Half Moon Cay, Bahamas - Holland America's Private Island
Half Moon Cay, Bahamas
Holland America Line goes to great lengths to help protect the natural ecology of the island. Of these 2,450 acres, 2,400 are still untouched and unspoiled. So unspoiled, in fact, that the Bahamian National Trust has designated Half Moon Cay a Wild Bird Preserve. The other 50 acres are a delightful playground for those Holland America guests who get to spend the day there. As the highest rated port of call on Holland America's Caribbean and Panama Canal itineraries, Half Moon Cay has won the Annual Editor-in-Chief Award for "Best Private Island" from Porthole Cruise Magazine for the past four years.
Half Moon Cay DescriptionHalf Moon Cay is an island destination featuring a comprehensive high-quality development that offers more facilities, services and activities than any other cruise line's private island. Half Moon Cay became operational on Dec. 12, 1997, and since then has received kudos as an award-winning vacation destination and recognition for creating an environmentally sustainable experience for cruise passengers. The Director-General of the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism commended Holland America Line's efforts to "create and enhance Half Moon Cay as a viable mini-destination which reflects the special ambience of The Bahamas while continuing its favorable ecological impact and steady employment for our citizens."
Half Moon Cay LocationHalf Moon Cay is located on 2,400-acre Little San Salvador Island, Bahamas. The island, purchased by Holland America Line in January 1997, is less than 100 miles southeast of Nassau between southern Eleuthera and Cat Island. Half Moon Cay is built on 45 acres along a crescent-shaped white sand beach more than a mile in length that fronts on a protected bay leading west to Exuma Sound.
Naming Half Moon CayHalf Moon Cay was named after Holland America Line's logo, which depicts explorer Henry Hudson's ship, the Half Moon, and also to reflect the crescent shape of the beach.
Half Moon Cay FacilitiesHalf Moon Cay accommodates up to 4,500 guests per day in several areas most of which are handicapped-accessible.
The West Indies Village features shops, and straw market. Also a first aid/nurse station, post office, Bahamian-style chapel, ice cream shop and bar.
The Food Pavilion encompasses a buffet and kitchen facility with six service lines,15 tropical, open-air dining shelters, each seating a minimum of 48 guests, large bar seating 30, three additional bar stations, two fresh fruit and condiment shelters, restrooms, and a bandstand with island-style steel band.
Signature of Excellence EnhancementsBeginning this fall of 2004, a new Horseback Ride 'n Swim excursion will allow guests to explore the island's natural beauty on trails that are accessible only by horseback. Guests will be taken by jitney to stables at the center of the island where they will get a brief orientation before saddling up on these specially trained horses. During the ride, guides will share insight on Bahamian history, people and culture. The trail will lead guests to a deserted beach where they enjoy refreshments and can take an unforgettable swim in the sea with the horses.
For those who prefer to get a closer look at the island's incredible sea life, the new Stingray Adventure Program will offer guests the opportunity to swim or snorkel with these gentle and mysterious creatures in a secluded cove, which is part of a beautiful 700-acre lagoon. The program will start with an informative session from an expert lecturer on the Southern Stingrays and other marine life living in the lagoon. Under the direction of tour guides, guests can interact with and feed the stingrays. The Stingray Adventure Program will also be available by fall of 2004.
In the summer of 2004, a new Wave Runner tour will take guests along the island's picturesque shoreline, navigating around natural reef locations and stopping at a sandy beach for refreshments and a discussion of the region's rich history and culture. The tour will continue to an active reef where guests can swim with and feed schools of beautiful tropical fish. A highlight will be the new Wave Runner park that includes a series of courses that allow guests to test their skills. This park will be located in a separate area of the beach that is removed from the island's other activities.
Half Moon Lagoon, designed especially with kids in mind, is a fun-filled aqua park conveniently located on the shore of Half Moon Cay's main beach that will provide Island-themed action and adventure in the sun. Half Moon Lagoon will be ready for action by the end of 2004.
Special Features and Activities on Half Moon CayWhether its strolling barefoot on the two-mile beach, feeling the white sand between your toes, or doing something a bit more active, you'll find it on Half Moon Cay.
- Aqua-sports center with beach gear and water sports equipment
- Fully-equipped Club HAL children's playground
- Beach chairs
- Beach Volleyball, shuffleboard and basketball
- Network of nature trails with interpretive signs
- Bridges across dunes for beach access
- Designated Wild Bird Reserve
- All facilities meet and exceed ADA requirements including beach and jitney trams
- Hard-surfaced and sand pathways connecting venues
- Three tropical mist stations
- Shaded rest areas with hammocks
- "I wish I could Stay Here Forever" beachfront bar
- Air-conditioned private beachfront cabanas (for rent)
- 1700-acre interior lagoon
- 9 miles of beach
- Supervised swimming area
- Beginners Snorkel Area
- Optional Eco-Lagoon Tour
- Deep Sea Fishing
- Aqua Cycling
- Sailing (catamarans and sailboats)
- Flats Fishing and more
Last Updated : May 2015