Bahamas Private Island: What to Do at Half Moon Cay

Half Moon Beach on Bahamas private island Half Moon Cay
Half Moon Beach

Half Moon Cay is one of the most popular Bahamas private islands you can visit, and it is easy to see why. It is owned by Carnival Cruise Line, but it is visited seasonally by Holland America as well. To get there, you will have to book with one of these cruise lines and be prepared to ride a tender boat to shore, as there isn’t a port to dock at on this wild island. With pristine beaches and untouched nature, there is quite a bit to do at Half Moon Cay.

Visit The Bahamas Private Island Beach

Maybe this goes without saying, but it wouldn’t be a trip to a Bahamas private island without some quality time on the beach. Half Moon Beach is over a mile of soft, white sand that wraps around a gorgeous cerulean bay, creating the moon shape that gives the island its name. With such a long stretch of beach available, you can either grab a lounge chair close to all of the action, or walk further down the beach away from all the crowds. There’s enough beach here for everyone!

There are also places to get food or grab a refreshment, and servers will walk around to get drink orders. Just be aware, your drink package will not transfer over from the ship. You will either need to order your drinks a la carte, or if you come on a Holland America cruise, then you can purchase an island drink package that will cover your drinks while on Half Moon Cay.

Eat & Drink to Your Heart’s Content

There are some great places to get food and drinks on Half Moon Cay, so you’ll probably want to plan accordingly so that you don’t miss out. Seafood lovers will want to sink their teeth into grilled lobster and crunchy lobster rolls at the Lobster Shack. Check out the Tropics Restaurant food pavilions to get some beachside barbeque or get a taste of local flavor with Caribbean jerk chicken.

There are a few good bars to pick from as well, such as On the Rocks Bar and the aptly named “I Wish I Could Stay Here Forever” Bar. But the cherry on top of this Bahamas private island experience is the 3-story Captain Morgan pirate ship. This place is like a playground for adults, with two levels for the bar area and a top level that offers a view of the whole cove and is a perfect place to snag some selfies with the beach in the background.

See the Stingrays of Half Moon Cay

Half Moon Cay is a largely undeveloped island with plenty of natural beauty to enjoy. Coming to a place like this offers a few experiences that you won’t often get the chance to enjoy, and the stingray excursion is probably the best example. Walk over or take the tram to Stingray Cove to get up close and personal with these mystifying and elegant creatures in their natural habitat.

Guides here will teach you about the behaviors, habitats, feeding, and breeding of the southern stingrays that reside at Half Moon Cay. After getting a briefing from your guide, you’ll get your own set of snorkel gear and get to dive right in with the stingrays, and even feel just how silky-smooth they are. A net blocks other wildlife from coming into the stingray enclosure, so you can swim with them uninterrupted in a safe environment.

Bahamas Private Island Horse Swim

Yes, you read that right. Stingrays aren’t the only wildlife that you can take a swim with on this unique Bahamas private island. The horseback excursion starts with a tour of the island up to its highest point, where you will be treated to a panoramic view of the surrounding ocean, including views of some nearby islands.

Afterwards, you can grab a drink while the horses get ready. Then it’s time to ride your horse right into the bay for a quick dip in the cool Caribbean waters. This is a horse lover’s dream, but even if riding isn’t really your thing, you can still get up close and personal with the horses in their stable!

Discover the Birds of Half Moon Cay

While this is a very popular stop as far as Bahamas private islands go, it is mostly undeveloped, leaving the local wildlife intact. Being less than 4 square miles means that the local fauna mostly consists of sea life and birds, but there is far more variety of birds here than you might think for its tiny size. From burrowing owls and white-crowned pigeons, to great blue heron and snowy egrets, there is enough here that even amateur birdwatchers will be able to spend all day just trying to catch a glimpse of as many rare birds as they can find!


Want to check out the Bahamas private island of Half Moon Cay? Visit Cruises.com — we can help you book the smart way! We give you our exclusive bonus offers and all qualifying Carnival Cruise Line offers, plus all of the VIFP Club loyalty program benefits. Book online at Cruises.com or call 800-288-6006 today.

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