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Just 50 miles from the coast of Florida, Bimini is a world unto itself. It was one of Ernest Hemingway’s favorite places where he came to write as well as fish for the elusive blue marlin. With a population of only 2,000, the islands never feel crowded. On your Bimini cruise, you’ll find the North Island is a bit more lively, the South Island a bit more relaxed.
These unspoiled islands are endowed with peaceful, pristine beaches, friendly locals, fresh seafood, and some of the best sportfishing and water sports in the world. Diving and snorkeling enthusiasts will be in paradise here, where gorgeous coral reefs, colorful fish, blue holes created by sunken limestone, and shipwrecks await. Enjoy the uncomplicated way of island life on a luxury cruise to the Bahamas with Celebrity Cruises.
Since the warm waters of The Bahamas run right through the Gulf Stream, the Bimini Biological Field Station set up a shark lab here. Tour the station, learn about the research done, and even adopt a shark. Non-aggressive lemon sharks are common in the area.
A lifelong labor of love and a must-see, 5th generation Biminite historian and poet, Ashley Saunders, built this charming and quirky museum from shells, sea glass, recycled tiles, coins, and objects salvaged from area shipwrecks. It’s all an amazing tribute to the wonders of the ocean.
Off Bimini’s north coast lies the mysterious Bimini Road, submerged under about 18 feet of water. Snorkel or scuba to see giant rocks neatly laid out in a road-like line for a half-mile. Some people like to think it may be a part of the sunken Lost City of Atlantis; others think it’s simply a result of natural forces.
Some of the best beaches in Bimini are on the southwest side of the North Island, like Radio Beach, Blister Beach, and Spook Hill. On Bimini beaches, you’ll enjoy fun water activities like snorkeling, scuba diving, and paddleboarding. Of course, you can also do nothing more than gloriously soak up some sun while sipping an icy cold Kalik.
Bimini is full of exciting places to snorkel or scuba dive. Go snorkeling at Rainbow Reef, a protected marine park with dozens of species of fish. Experienced divers can visit the Continental Shelf on a two-tank dive. Or explore the fascinating S.S. Sapona shipwreck and learn about the concrete ship’s storied history.
While on your Bimini cruise, spend some time fishing these impossibly turquoise waters. Anglers from all over come here hoping to catch bonefish, blue marlin, tuna, amberjack, sailfish, and more. In fact, over 50 fishing world records were set in these waters. Hemingway’s time fishing and living in Bimini even inspired his prize-winning The Old Man and the Sea.
From sophisticated seafood restaurants to casual beachside conch shacks, Bimini is a foodie’s paradise. Seafood is king, especially conch meat, which is transformed into fresh salads, fritters, chowder, and ceviche. Sweet, fresh-baked Bimini bread is another staple not to be missed.
Rum is a favored island beverage, and there are two cocktails that rise to the top of the most-popular list: Goombay Smash, which features four types of rum, pineapple juice, and orange juice; and Rum Runners, made with fruit juices, banana liqueur, rum, and grenadine.
Bimini, also called The Biminis, is actually three islands: North Island, South Island, and the uninhabited East Island. The first inhabitants in Bimini were the Lucayans, and in their language, the name "Bimini" means "two islands". Bimini currently has a population of about only 2,000 people, most of whom live in Alice Town on North Bimini.
Some of Bimini’s famed visitors include Juan Ponce de Leon, who searched for the Fountain of Youth here; Ernest Hemingway, who wrote and fished on the islands; and Martin Luther King, Jr., who wrote his acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize here.
Transportation is not a problem on the seven-mile-long North Island. One of the most popular ways to get around is by golf cart or bicycle, which are available to rent. Be aware that driving is on the left side of the road here. If you want to travel between the North and the South Island, you can simply take the daily ferry. Taxis are also plentiful.
On the North Island, King’s Highway is the easiest place to find shops for souvenirs or something to eat. There’s also a small market just south of the cruise pier. Find a stall run by a local craftsperson at the Craft Centre in Alice Town for handcrafted mementos made by a local.
The official currency of The Bahamas is the Bahamian dollar ($BSD). U.S. currency is also accepted. Most shops and restaurants accept debit cards or credit cards, but it’s always a good idea to have some cash on hand.