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The Best Time to Cruise to the Bahamas: A Month-by-Month Guide

Marissa Wright

Last updated
Apr 1, 2024

Read time
7 min read

Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas, is less than 200 miles off the coast of Miami, making it a convenient and popular cruise destination for many. Ubiquitous with cruising, the Bahamas offers up its tropical ports and private islands on short cruises or part of longer Caribbean itineraries nearly year-round.

Due to the long cruise season, deciding the best month to cruise to the Bahamas can be tricky. Vacationers might wonder: Will it be too crowded in the summer or rainy in the winter? When is the cheapest time to sail to the Bahamas?

We took a look at the calendar year to determine when you can find the best weather conditions, hurricane season storms and not-to-miss festivals -- all to help you decide the best time to cruise to the Bahamas.

Our Verdict: The Best Month to Cruise to the Bahamas Is January

Rain is fleeting in the Bahamas in January, and the sun shines more than 80 percent of the year. While you might want to exercise additional caution during hurricane season (June through early November), the Bahamas is a great destination to cruise year-round.

Given seasonality, rainfall and fare prices, January is the best month for a cruise to the Bahamas.

Bahamas Weather in January: Warm Weather and Low Chances of Rain

Beach and Lighthouse at Ocean Cay, MSC's private island in the Bahamas (Photo: Jorge Oliver)

You should start off your year with a warm-weather cruise because January is one of the best months to go to the Bahamas. The islands' trade winds ensure warm temperatures year-round (even for swimming). Cruisers can expect highs in the mid-80s that never dip below the mid-60s in winter.

January is the beginning of the dry season with very little rain in Nassau. Outside of New Year's (the end of the local Junkanoo winter festival), the first few months of the year are relatively quiet, with children heading back to school.

Bahamas Weather in February: Sunny Days with Little Rain

The secluded beach is one of the main attractions at Hideaway Beach (Photo: Jorge Oliver)

The Bahamas continue to be a dry, warm paradise in February, with low chances of rain. Expect temperatures to stick close to highs and lows in January, with lows not dipping below the mid-60s and highs reaching the 80s.

Winter is one of the best times to cruise in the Bahamas because the average temperature is 73 degrees F, and the warm, sunny days with little to no rain are ideal for sipping your favorite drinks at the beach bar or enjoying underwater activities.

Bahamas Weather in March: Warmer Days with Mild Weather Conditions

Disembarking from your cruise ship in Nassau can be a crowded, chaotic affair (Photo: Aaron Saunders)

Springtime is also a prime time to visit the Bahamas. The change of seasons signals warmer temperatures (by a handful of degrees), but March and other spring months promise the mild weather conditions and warm breezes that cruisers can expect outside of hurricane season in the Caribbean.

In March, you may see a light shower during the day, but for the most part, you can expect little to no rain. During March’s mild temperatures, the ocean also warms up. The average ocean temperature is 75 degrees F, warm enough to enjoy a snorkeling and diving excursion.

March is a busy time in the Bahamas, with crowds of spring breakers heading to this warm-weather paradise searching for fun in the sun.

Bahamas Weather in April: Warm Weather and Low Chances of Rain

Nassau's beaches offer plenty of fun in the sun (Photo: Bahamas Ministry of Tourism)

Bahamas weather in April starts to warm up and is still part of the high season. Spring break crowds should slow down toward the end of the month, and you can enjoy quieter beaches and water sports. In April, the average temperature is 77 degrees F, which makes it ideal weather for fun in the sun.

April offers mild weather, warm waters and bright sun. Occasional tropical showers visit the Bahamas in April but typically don’t last long. The total rainfall is only about 2.6 inches in March and April, so you won’t need to pack your rain gear. Instead, you should pack sun protection and other beach gear to enjoy the best beaches in Nassau.

Bahamas Weather in May: Rising Temperatures and a Chance of Rain

MSC Meraviglia parked in Nassau, Bahamas (Credit: Rob Norman)

May ushers in steamier temperatures that can reach into the 90s. Along with the heat of summer comes the start of the rainy season in the Bahamas. Be sure to pack reef-friendly sunscreen to protect your skin and an umbrella on the off chance you hit a patch of rain.

The plus side of May is that it also welcomes shoulder season in the Bahamas, meaning it’s easier to avoid the crowds, fares tend to drop and there are fewer tourists in your way.

Bahamas Weather in June: Warmer Temperatures and More Rain

Kayakers in Lucayan National Park kayaking, The Bahamas (The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Investments and Aviation)

The official start of the Atlantic hurricane season is June, though it is historically not an active month for storms. You may find cruise deals on Bahamas sailings, encouraging vacationers to spend their summer holidays at sea.

The crowds are thinner in June because you may have to endure inclement weather. The average temperature stays in the 80s, and the humidity can rise quickly. On average, it rains 15 days a month in June, making it not the best month for a sunny cruise but an excellent month for a cruise deal.

If you plan on visiting the Bahamas during the rainy season, you can enjoy indoor activities like shopping in the port or dining at the best restaurants in Nassau.

Bahamas Weather in July: High Heat During the Bahamas' Busy Season

Castaway Cay (Photo:Disney Cruise Line)

The peak of summer is probably not the best time to visit the Bahamas, though the allure of a cheap cruise and an afternoon on a beach will still appeal to many, especially families.

Known for crowds and congestion almost everywhere, summer cruises in July (and August) are busy in the Bahamas. Be sure to book choice shore excursions well in advance.

Summertime marks the Bahamas Independence Day (July 10), and tropical storms can reach this part of the world in July. Plan your Bahamas cruise itinerary with the weather in mind and pack accordingly.

Bahamas Weather in August: Wet, Rainy Days and High Temperatures

Carnival Vista (Photo: Carnival)

August is wet in the Bahamas, so there's a chance that your ship-operated shore excursion might get rained out. Summer cruises are a great way to reconnect with loved ones and enjoy much-needed relaxation.

Even though the weather forecast for August in the Bahamas doesn’t look great, with rain and cloudy weather rolling in, you can still enjoy indoor activities like shopping, visiting museums and tasting savory local dishes at popular restaurants.

During this hot summer month, the island has a holiday, Emancipation Day (the first Monday in August). If you're lucky enough to be in port, you will encounter parades and picnics across the islands.

Bahamas Weather in September: Hot, Humid Weather During Hurricane Season

Historic shipwreck in Bimini, Bahamas (Photo: thomas carr/Shutterstock)

By September, summer is winding down, and the fall is usually an excellent off-season time to travel. However, September and October mark the height of hurricane season in the Bahamas, which means potentially discounted cruises for those willing to take a chance.

The weather in September in the Bahamas is humid, which isn’t ideal for cruisers who want relaxing beach days with little to no humidity. The temperatures are mild, with the lows not going below 70 degrees F and the highs going up to 87 degrees F on hot days.

Bahamas Weather in October: Rising Humidity During Hurricane Season

Great Stirrup Cay (Photo:Roman Stetsyk/Shutterstock)

When October rolls around, it’s peak hurricane season, and it's not the best time to visit the Bahamas. However, fall is one of the most prime times to score a deal on a Bahamas vacation, and it leads to cheaper flights, hotels and cruise packages.

October has some of the most humid months in the Bahamas on average. On top of the humidity, the temperatures are slightly cooler than the month before, with a low of 68 degrees F and highs of 86 degrees F.

Bahamas Weather in November: Sunny Skies and the End of Hurricane Season

Love Beach in Nassau (Photo: HRC/Cruise Critic member)

By mid-November, hurricane season ends, and the high season for cruising in the Bahamas begins. On average, humidity also drops. During this month of transition, the average temperature is 82 degrees F.

Many cruisers enjoy heading to the Bahamas in November because there are thinner crowds. There’s little risk of hurricanes, and the sun is back out to play, so visitors can enjoy fun in the sun and hit the beach.

Bahamas Weather in December: Mostly Dry and Warm, Sunny Days

Villa on Half Moon Cay (Photo: Cruise Critic)

December is the start of peak season in the Bahamas. The warm weather really starts to kick in, and the average temperature is about 78 degrees F. During December, the crowds also begin to pick up.

Cruisers wanting to get away during the winter season often book holiday cruises to warm-weather hotspots like the Bahamas and the Caribbean. Cruise lines host special celebrations, dinners and galas to get everyone in the holiday spirit.

The Bahamian street parade known as Junkanoo is held on Boxing Day (Dec. 26) and New Year's Day each year. Consider the celebration to be the Bahamas' version of Carnival.

Publish date October 10, 2019
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