Dolphin Encounters Nassau Bahamas

I’ve seen the dolphins on Grand Bahama and in Nassau a couple of times, but I never get tired of seeing these intelligent animals perform. At the encounters on Blue Lagoon Island, just to the northeast of Paradise Island, you really get close to these finny creatures. Whereas you only get to touch, or simply swim with, the dolphins at the encounter in Freeport, there’s a lot more interaction here in Nassau.

Photograph of two bottlenose dolphins

Dolphin Encounters Nassau is home to 16 Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, including the internationally famous “Flipper.” Blue Lagoon Island is just three miles offshore, northeast of Paradise Island. The idea is for you to really get to know these beautiful and intelligent animals, one-on-one. This is done through a couple of programs: “Close Encounters” and “Swim With The Dolphins.”

Close Encounters delivers exactly what it promises. Once in the water, usually to waist level or a little bit more, your trainer brings the chosen dolphin to you. After a moment or two, the dolphin is encouraged to move in close, real close. It will put its head over your shoulder and you can give it an intimate cuddle while the dolphin squeaks sweet nothings in your ear. Dolphins weigh between 600 and 800 pounds, so the experience can be intimidating, but don’t let their size put you off; your time with one of these lovely creatures will become a memory to last forever.

Swim With The Dolphins brings you even closer to these fantastic creatures. The staff puts you into a life vest and you get into one of the pens. Swim around for a moment or two and you’ll be joined by steel-gray dolphins that swirl the water around you, zipping off to far reaches of the pen, leaping out of the water and high into the air as they go. Then, the activity subsides. You’re asked to lie in the water, on your stomach, stiff-legged, with your feet together; not the easiest thing to do, especially when you don’t know what’s about to happen. A few seconds go by and you feel something gently touch the soles of your feet. Then it happens: sudden pressure from behind. Faster and faster you move through the water as the dolphin pushes against the soles of your feet until you’re planing across the surface of the water like a powerboat. The whole experience – the push – lasts for just a few seconds, but it’s a great experience. You’ll need to take along towels, swimsuit, sunscreen.

This is one of Nassau’s premier attractions. It’s almost always sold out, so be sure to call and make a reservation at least 24 hours in advance. They operate in rain or shine, daily from 8 am until 5 pm. Fees: Close Encounters, $98; observers, $25.Phone  800-688-5871 or 242-363-1003


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Getting There:

For visitors arriving by air, the Bahamas are served through Nassau by most US airlines and by international airlines from Canada and Europe, and to a slightly more limited degree through Freeport.

The Out Islands are served mainly by Bahamas Air via connections in Nassau and Freeport.

The Bahamas is also a major destination for the cruise ship industry

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