Great Stirrup Cay Excursions and Activities: The Charm of Berry Islands and the Bahamas
Berry Islands in the Bahamas is almost synonymous with private islands. Great Stirrup Cay and Perfect Day at CocoCay (Little Stirrup Cay), all part of Berry Islands, are owned and used exclusively by leading cruise lines. Great Stirrup Cay, a small island that was once a military base and a satellite tracking station is now a top cruise destination. It is owned by Norwegian Cruise Line which uses it exclusively for its passengers on Caribbean cruises. It is an idyllic sun-drenched paradise whose soft and fine white sand beaches welcome your explorer’s zeal. This 250-acre property has been renovated by NCL to reflect the needs of contemporary cruisers.
12 Things to Do in Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas
Great Stirrup Cay shares a few common things with other private islands of the Bahamas; it has a lot of activities to occupy passengers. Fun times can range from taking a nap in a hammock tied on the palm trees and swaying to the whims of the breeze or joining in on the many shore excursions like snorkeling, parasailing, kayaking or stingray adventures. Check out all the things to do in Great Stirrup Cay.
1. Skim Across the Pristine Waters on a Kayaking Excursion
The pristine waters surrounding Great Stirrup Cay beckon you to get out on them, and what better way to do just that than a guided kayaking excursion. Bring the whole family, even if you no one has ever kayaked before. Your guide will provide a brief orientation, including how to maneuver a two-person kayak. Enjoy the leisurely pace as you glide over clear, shallow water south of the cay. The tour hugs the coastline, allowing for a close-up view of all its features and formations. Be sure to look down to see marine life below, such as stingrays and spectacular starfish.
2. Explore the Surrounding Waters on a Paddle Boarding Adventure
Get ready to explore the waters of Bertram’s Cove on Great Stirrup Cay at your own pace. SUP, or Stand Up Paddle Boarding, provides a fun, easy way to do just that. Rent a paddleboard, and the staff will provide helpful hints to get you going. Once you get the hang of it out on the water, you’ll experience one-of-a-kind views of the beach as well as opportunities to glimpse the local marine life.
3. Fly Through the Air with a Ziplining Thrill
What a thrill it is to soar through the air, zipping from up high to down low. Ziplining on the cay is a fun activity for those who enjoy a bird’s eye view of things, and maybe a little scare. Two ziplining options are available:
Island Zipline Adventure
Try out the Osprey traverse, which obtains its name from that common bird of prey. There are three easy flights, including the tallest one at 110 feet long and 130 feet off the ground. The second thrills as you step off the platform at 110 feet and soar through the air to land on another platform 600 feet away. From there, you descend a stairway where you come to the third launching platform and take the ending 600-foot zipline back down to the ground.
The Long-Run Zipline
Called the Seahawk, another term for the Osprey. the Long-Run Zipline is the star activity of things to do in Great Stirrup Cay. You’ll enjoy 1,600 feet of open air, ziplining over the beautiful blues of the Bahamian water. Starting at 130 feet above the ground, spectacular views await as you descend, including that of the beach, coral reefs and marine life, as well as the surrounding isles. To get back to your starting point, you’ll need to make your way through a configuration of V net bridges, complete a chimney climb, and, if up for it, accept the challenge of a cargo net climb. Two additional zips are also included, pushing that adrenaline rush even further.
4. Ride the Waves on an Exciting Tour
Among the things to do in Great Stirrup Cay, a wave runner tour may one of the most exciting. After getting a brief introduction on how to safely operate your wave runner, you get out on the open water and follow your tour guide along the way. Among the tour, visitors can enjoy swimming in the waters at Star Fish Alley, where they can see starfish in the clear waters. More experienced riders can take some freedom to move up front with the tour guide and really enjoy soaring through the waters on their jet skis. If you are a beginner though, do not fret. There is still plenty of fun to be had.
Related: Castaway Cay, Bahamas: Disney Cruise Line’s Little Piece of Heaven
5. Relax and Have fun
The signature cocktail and barbeque taken by the beach side while being calmed by the delightful ocean breezes is a fine way of winding down after taking a swim in the crystal clear waters that are home to schools of tropical fish.
The island boasts of the largest water slide where your kids can have the time of their life as you watch. The Hippo Water Slide guarantees to raise your kids’ fun some 40 feet into the air and spread their joys a whole 175 feet which are the dimensions of the facility.
The island has three beach bars: one main one and two lesser public houses located on the east end of the beach. A trip to the Great Stirrup Cay is incomplete without a visit to these vibrant bars.
6. Glide Through the Water with a Snorkel Adventure
Snorkeling is always a fun way to explore the sea life of an area, so when you are considering things to do in Great Stirrup Cay, it makes sense for snorkeling to be included on that list. The Fate of the Fancy snorkel adventure is fun for the entire family; here you explore the remnants of the “Fancy,” a ship of old that was supposedly attacked by a giant sea monster. Snorkeling takes on a whole new meaning when you go about it in this fashion, and the adventure includes a map to help guide you along the way.
7. Soar Through the Sky with a Parasailing Adventure
Another one of the most exciting things to do in Great Stirrup Cay is parasailing. There are few experiences that compare to the thrill of sailing through the sky as an experienced guide pulls you along. If you have never been parasailing before, this can be the perfect way to get an experienced guide to show you the ropes. Just jump on board and the ship crew will take care of you. From your vantage point in the sky, you will get to see Great Stirrup Cay in a different light, which can be something worth remembering for years to come.
8. Plunge in and Swim with the Pigs
Ready for a truly unique experience? Then get ready to swim with the pigs of the Bahamas. You’ll take a short boat ride over to Treasure Island, where you’ll receive your safety briefing. Then it’s time to interact and even feed the pigs in the water. An on-site photographer will capture this special moment for you. Enjoy a few refreshments from the cash-only bar and settle down on the observation deck to enjoy the panoramic views.
9. Encounter and Interact with Stingrays
Get ready for an exciting experience by spending time in the Stingray Encounter. After a briefing on how to safely interact with the stingrays, you’ll be taken by boat to Stingray City Bahamas. As you lower yourself down into the shallow water, you’ll be surrounded. You may even have the opportunity to assist with the feeding of these tame stingrays. You’re sure to be pleasantly surprised by these gentle creatures as you hold on to one, and maybe even give it a kiss.
10. Indulge in all the Food and Drink Options
Great Stirrup Cay abounds with eating and drinking options not to be missed. The Jumbey Beach Grill offers cold drinks along with various eats, including hamburgers and pizza. Or check out Abaco Taco, where you can customize your own tacos to your liking. If you’re looking for something quick, then look no further than the cay’s own food truck.
For drinks, the cay also has several fun options. Enjoy a freshly prepared mojito at the Bacardi Bar or try a refreshing margarita at the Patron Bar. For some island fun, head over to Bertram’s Bar.
11. Breeze Through the Shops to Find Treasures to Take Home
Explore the Straw Market for a few souvenirs and keepsakes. From wood carvings to woven products to uniquely Bahamian paintings, you’re sure to find something to treasure. Try out a straw hat to keep the sun from your face while shopping also.
12. Luxuriate in the Cabanas and Silver Cove Villas
Take your vacation to a new level by claiming your own private retreat. Two options are available, a gorgeous open-air cabana or a luxurious Silver Core Villa. In the villas, you will have A/C, television with on-demand movies, a full bathroom, and access to the delicious, upscale buffet. What’s more, you’ll have a retractable glass wall providing access to the beach as well as incredible, unobstructed views. Revel in the secluded comfort both these options offer.
With so many things to do in Great Stirrup Cay, which one will you do first?
Great Stirrup Cay Weather
The Great Stirrup Cay weather has a tropical marine climate on an annual basis. The average temperature May through October is mid 80’s to low 90’s Fahrenheit, and November to April has average night low temperatures of mid 60’s and high noon temperatures of mid 70’s Fahrenheit. The average sea temperature from December to April is 77 degrees Fahrenheit and May to November it ranges 81-86 degrees Fahrenheit, with the warmest sea temperature in August with an average of 86 degrees.
The highest average daily sunshine hours are 11 in July. The months with the lowest average daily sunshine of 7-8 hours per day are September through February. In December, the average monthly precipitation is 3 inches, and you can expect it to rain approximately 9 days of each month. The months of June to September, you can expect to see 15-19 days of rain per month with an average precipitation of 8.6 inches in July. The dry season is November-April, and the rainy season is May to October with the wettest month being in June and the driest in January. The best time to visit is the high season is December to April. The low season is May to November.
Getting to Great Stirrup Cay
NCL has lined up some of their best ships to grant you access to the tropical paradise of Great Stirrup Cay. The Norwegian Sky will lead this onslaught with three, four, five- and nine-night well-planned cruise itineraries. Norwegian Encore, Norwegian Escape, Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian Gem, Norwegian Sun and Norwegian Pearl will also bring guests to this tropical splendor. There are many well-appointed itineraries to choose from, all put together to ensure you enjoy the best of the Bahamas. Go ahead and stake your position in this coming year of tropical fun, book now!