Houses in Nassau Bahamas with words "scuba diving Nassau, Bahamas" written over the top of them.

The Ultimate Guide To Scuba Diving In Nassau New Providence Bahamas

While it’s technically not in the Caribbean Sea, It’s difficult to not think of the Bahamas when discussing the Caribbean. And trust me, Nassau/New Providence, with its thriving coral reefs, beautiful marine life and wrecks – like the James bond wrecks – has so much to offer all travelers.

a dock going out to water.
You definitely get a Caribbean feel in the Bahamas.

So fix yourself a vodka martini – shaken, not stirred – and join Jay, Scuba Jay and let’s check out Nassau New Providence and its spectacular waters.

Cartoon of james bond underwater with a diver.
You know it must be good diving if Bond dove there!

Getting There

The Bahamas consist of 16 major islands (about 700 in total) and encompasses approximately 100,000 sq. miles of ocean. The Western most island of the Bahamas is Bimini and it’s located just about 50 miles off of Florida. Nassau on New Providence is the capital of this beautiful Island chain.

Body of water in Bahamas.
Nassau is one of many destinations to explore in the Bahamas Island Chain

While you can take a boat, if you’d prefer some old world travel, there are many direct flights into Nassau’s Lynden Pindling International Airport. These direct flights include domestic flights from Boston, Ft. Lauderdale, New York City and Washington DC.

International direct flights include London UK, Kingston Jamaica and Toronto Canada. For the Scuba Jay family trip, we flew out of Toronto on Air Canada and it was easy going travels both to and from the Nassau.

Air Canada wing of flight.
Air Canada is a great choice for a direct flight from Toronto into Nassau.

No matter how you get there, as you are touching down to kick off your trip you can almost hear the steel drums playing. And once you have landed, relax as you are now on Bahamian time…and what a time it is!


There are plenty of hotels to pick from on Nassau. For our stay, we chose the Breezes all-inclusive resort.

Breezes, Nassau Bahamas.
Breezes pool area where you can get a cold beverage and something to eat from the outside grill.

The beach, food, drink and staff at Breezes were all very good. The hotel, in general, could use a bit of upkeep from some painting to new furniture in the rooms.

And a word to the wise. If partying is not your thing, than request a room facing away from the pool. Breezes has live music and Karaoke pretty much every night that goes till midnight. If you have a room facing the pool, this sounds like it’s right outside of your window.

Scuba jay posing on the beach.
Scuba Jay relaxing with an adult beverage on the Breezes’ beach.

Overall, we did enjoy our stay at Breezes and would go back again for our next adventure.

Other hotel choices in and around Nassau include the more modern and beautiful Baha Mar and the Atlantis resort, with water park, on the nearby Paradise Island.

Atlantis, Nassau Bahamas.
Atlantis is stunning, but may not be in everyone’s price range…if price doesn’t matter, their best suit is $25k a day!

Scuba diving In Nassau

Crystal clear waters with beautiful and abundant fish life and plentiful shipwrecks are just some of the many reasons why people travel to scuba dive in the Bahamas. It’s also the reasons why many movies have filmed both underwater and above water scenes there.

In Nassau alone, there are plenty of dive sites to fill several dive trips. And what sites they are! swimming around the reefs you can find among the plentiful reef fish, sea turtles, eels, spiny lobster and let’s not forget sharks…oh the sharks!!

Fish around a reef underwater in the Bahamas.
Nassau has many famous dive spots ranging from easy to challenging.

Dive Operations

There are several dive operators to choose from on New Providence. These include Made in Water Excursions, for boutique diving, and Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas, which we used as our dive shop and is the main go to shop on the island.

Stuart Cove’s had several boats running. They took care to fill each dive boat with divers of like experience, giving folks the opportunity to do a dive with those of similar diving skills.

We did two morning dives for each of our dive days. However, if you are really aggressive with your diving, you can book up to five dives a day – including a night dive. Just watch that nitrogen build-up!

All in all, Stuart Cove’s is a nicely run operation with good captains and dive crews. Their Divemasters were great at leading us to good spots and were rather entertaining as well with stories and jokes.

Boats in Stuart's cove, Nassau.
Check out Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas if on New Providence. (photo courtesy of Stuart Cove’s)

Scuba Diving Sights of Nassau/New Providence Island

In New Providence there are many famous dive sites, with approximately 35 dive sites Stuart Cove’s can take you to. The majority of the sites are on the Southwest side of New Providence island.


The island is home to some very nice shipwrecks, including the Sea Trader, Port Nelson, David Tucker and Ray of Hope.

However, these are just a few of the wrecks to be explored. The Bahamas in general – and New Providence specifically – have aggressively been sinking boats and ships to create artificial reefs. These reefs have become nicely populated with all sorts of marine life, like the famous Nassau grouper.

The Sea Trader

The Sea Trader is a 250ft long oil tanker that was sunk on purpose by Stuart Cove’s to create an artificial reef. She lies upright in waters between about 60ft and 80ft and has much to see and offer.

The pilothouse is intact and there are several easy swim-throughs with marked exits for advanced divers. With some nice coral formations attracting sea life, this is a dive to put on your list.

Sea trader swim through, underwater Nassau, Bahamas.
There are several swim-throughs with easy exit points.
Outside the sea trader pilothouse, underwater in Nassau Bahamas.
The pilothouse looms over the wreck of the Sea Trader.

Close by the Sea Trader is Heineken Wall, whose name comes from the site being just off of the coast where the brewing company has a location.

This wall dive is stunning with its drop-off and makes you feel like you’re floating weightless on the side of a mountain.

Scuba diver underwater in the Bahamas by the Heineken Wall.
Despite the clear waters, you will not see the bottom of the drop-off at Heineken Wall.

Above the drop-off there is a nice coral formation with sea fans and brain corals.

Brain coral underwater in the bahamas.
Doesn’t take a genius to appreciate the beautiful brain coral above Heineken wall.

Included in the the marine life at this dive site was colorful reef fish as well as nurse sharks and Caribbean reef sharks. Overall, a beautiful spot to checkout the underwater world.

Shark underwater in the bahamas.
Nurse sharks and Caribbean reef sharks can be seen patrolling above Heineken Wall.
The Port Nelson

The Port Nelson is another ship that was sunk on purpose as a part of the Bahamas Artificial Reef Program. This decommissioned Coast Guard cutter is a great wreck to explore for advanced divers.

Stern of the port nelson underwater in the bahamas.
The Port Nelson is one of 30 wrecks that make up the Bahamas Artificial Reef Program.

The wreck sits upright in about 80ft of water. Its bow hangs over the edge of a trench that is part of the Tongue of the Ocean and that appears to have no bottom.

The bow of the port nelson wreck underwater in the Bahamas.
The bow of the Port Nelson taken at 117ft looking up from the “bottomless” trench on which the ship overhangs.

While there is no pilothouse to explore, there are many other nooks and crannies to peer into that many a fish now make their home.

David Tucker

Sunk by Stuart Cove’s in 1997, the David Tucker is a fine wreck for all certified divers to explore.

Bow of the David tucker underwater in the bahamas.
The bow of the David Tucker.

This old US Coast Guard Cutter is fairly intact and is lying slightly to her starboard side in about 50ft of water on a sandy bottom.

Scuba jays daughter is infront of the stern of the David Tucker underwater in the Bahamas.
Scuba Jay’s daughter Sofia on the port side stern of the David Tucker.

Over the years, this ship has become a nice artificial reef attracting all sorts of cool coral formations and marine life.

Coral formations underwater in the bahamas.
Some beautiful coral formations, like this sea fan, can be found on the David Tucker.
Feather worms underwater in the bahamas.
Among the David Tucker you can find pockets of these incredible social duster feather worms.

Close to this dive site is another dive site, Sand Chute, that is definitely worth doing. We did the David Tucker as our first dive and then this location after our surface interval. Hitting both of these spots in a day was definitely a very good day of scuba diving!

Making your way over to the “chute” you follow a sandy bottom with coral formations on either side. The bottom has a decline that then dumps you out over the Tongue of the Ocean trench, which is much deeper than the eye can see.

Sand chute underwater  in the Bahamas.
Follow the “Sand Chute” down to a great wall dive over the Tongue of the Ocean.

This dive site may be for more experienced divers with good buoyancy control as it is easy to loose track of your depth and descend down past recreational dive limits. So be careful to avoid doing a deco dive and enjoy one of the more dramatic walls and drop-offs to be found in the Bahamas.

Scuba jays daughter going up the wall.
Sofia above Scuba Jay on the wall.
Ray of Hope

This former Haitian freighter was sunk by Stuart cove’s in 2003. At 200ft long there is much to explore and at a maximum depth of about 69ft there is enough time to do so.

Ray of hope underwater in the bahamas.
Offering a spectacular dive is the Ray of Hope.

Th wreck is fully intact and sits upright with some nice swim-throughs. You can hit her bow at about 40ft and swim down to her stern at about 60ft.

The Ray of Hope lies in a great spot, with the Tongue of the Ocean behind her. Close by is the old remains of the old Bahama Mama shipwreck.

This location is teeming with sea life including nurse and reef sharks, sea turtles, eels and an abundance of fish. New providence island and Nassau scuba diving at its finest!

Some other nice dive sites to check out on New Providence include the James Bond wrecks and DC 3 Wall.

James Bond Wrecks

These are fun wrecks that all open water certified divers and James Bond fans can enjoy. These wrecks are close by each other and are made up of the Tears of Allah and a fabricated vulcan bomber.

The Tears of Allah is a 92ft long tugboat used in the Thunderball remake Never Say Never Again, which saw Sean Connery return as Bond one last time.

Never say never again poster.
Dive into Hollywood history on the tug used in Never Say Never Again.

Sitting in about 45ft of water, the wreck has become a nice artificial reef attracting various sea life including angelfish, sea turtles and Nassau grouper.

Speaking of Thunderball, the fabricated vulcan bomber was a prop used in that groundbreaking movie. While there now only remains the metal outline of the bomber, it is still a cool dive site just to be where Scuba Jay’s favorite Bond movie was filmed.

If you are up to the journey, you can visit Thunderball grotto. This famous grotto was also featured in the 007 movie. However, it is about 80 miles South of Nassau, in the Exumas, West of Staniel Cay.

Watch the Bond movies and then take the dive and feel like you’re steeping right into Bond’s fins!

DC 3 Wall

Another movie prop left behind is the DC 3 that was used in the 2005 movie Into the Blue. The plane has been beaten up some, but its location next to a wall drop-off makes this still a wreck worth seeing.

DC 3 Wall underwater  in the bahamas.
The plane while battered still makes for a nice photo op.

You can enjoy a good amount of bottom time hanging out around the plane, which lies in about 40ft of water. Or – depending on your experience level – venture a little deeper, down the wall to explore some marine life and coral formations.

With any of these movie prop dive sites, you’ll have fun telling family and friends how you were there the next time you turn the movie on…and you know how us divers love telling stories.

Shark diving

Scuba diving in the Bahamas has become synonyms with shark diving. Several of the islands, like Bimini, are largely known because of the thrilling dives they offer with these ocean predators.

On New Providence – for the more daring – Stuart Cove’s can take you on shark dives where you have the opportunity to see various shark species like tiger sharks, lemon sharks, nurse sharks and great hammerhead sharks. These outings usually include feedings, where the sharks are gliding right next to you!

Scuba divers around sharks in the bahams.
If sharks are your thing, Stuart Cove’s has you covered with their shark dive.

Other Activities

Nassau New Providence is not just for certified scuba divers. There are countless above water activities that the entire family can enjoy and many adventures await for you there and on the nearby Paradise Island.


On Paradise Island – just a bridge drive away from Nassau – is the Atlantis resort and sea park. While it may not be in the budget to stay here, the sea park is definitely worth a visit.

Scuba jay and his family in front of Antlantis.
Scuba Jay and family getting ready for a day of fun at the Atlantis Sea Park.

Day passes can be purchased for the park and once inside, there is a little something for everyone. From the kiddie pool to the giant “leap of faith,” kids – and adults – of all ages will have a good time.

Atlantis leap of faith slide in Nassau.
Does your inner Indiana Jones have the courage to drop down this “leap of faith” in a tube past sharks?!

You can also purchase tickets to snorkel in the Atlantis aquarium with its “ruins” or swim with the dolphins on site.

Underwater in the aquarium in Atlantis.
Become part of the aquarium exhibit as you snorkel through the ruins of Atlantis.
Scuba jay and his daughter swimming with the dolphins in atlantis.
Scuba Jay and daughter Sofia enjoying our time with our smiling dolphin friend.

Atlantis feels like a cross between Las Vegas and Disney. There is a large casino inside the hotel for those that want to try their luck. In the sea park, you really do feel like you have found the lost Atlantis ruins. But instead of treasure, you find exciting water slides and an exciting rapid river. Our visit was a great day where many good memories were made!

Swimming With The Bahamian Pigs

So as it turns out there are pigs in the Bahamas that swim! Once I heard about this I knew I had to see it for myself.

Scuba Jay and his family in the water with a pig on a paddleboat.
Scuba Jay and family enjoying water time with Biscuit the swimming Bahamian pig.

While the wild pigs live on Big Major Cay in the Exuma Cays, you can book online for a swimming pig excursion right in Nassau. If you’re close to Cable Beach, you can save some money by walking over and signing up in person.

Pig encounter in the Bahamas.
Cinnamon looking for food.

Our visit with the famous swimming pigs included lunch, drinks and paddle boarding. This was an enjoyable outing with some adorable friendly pigs. (on a side note, the pigs were well cared for and lovingly looked out for by their handlers).

ATV Tours

If you are looking for some across-the-land adventure, take an ATV tour. Besides the diving in the Bahamas, this was my second most favorite activity that we did. Hopping on ATVs and spending several hours cruising around Nassau was quit the thrill!

ATV tour in nassau.
Get ready to start your engines for a different kind of touring adventure.

During our half day tour we traveled busy roads to various locations like old forts and the Queen’s Staircase.

Fort Montague in Nassau.
On our tour we stopped at forts like Fort Montagu.
Scuba Jays family at the bottom of the queen's staircase.
Scuba Jay and family at the bottom of the Queen’s Staircase.

Throughout the day our several escorts did a great job leading us and blocking off traffic so we could safely traverse the busy main and back streets.

Scuba Jay and his daughter Ava on an ATV.
Scuba Jay and daughter Ava navigating through the streets of Nassau.

Along the way our travels took us to the John Watling’s Rum distillery and an old creepy cave.

John Watling in the Bahamas.
No drinking and driving, but it was cool to see the rum bottles being hand labeled at John Watling’s.
ATV tour cave.
Follow the steps down if you dare and then look up to see some bats!

We finished our tour with a beach break and some lunch. Overall, this was an excellent fun outing!

Beach break on the ATV tour.
Scuba Jay soaking his feet at the beach lunch break after some ATVing.

Pirates of Nassau Museum and downtown Nassau

Another thing that is synonymous with the Bahamas and the Caribbean is pirates! The Pirates of Nassau Museum in downtown Nassau is a great stop to learn about this colorful part of the island’s history.

Nassau pirate museum.
Arrr, visit the Pirate Museum for some background history of the old scallywags that terrorized the waters.

The tour of the Museum can be done in an hour or less depending on how much time you spend on reading the information about the exhibits.

Inside the pirate museum.
You feel transported to an old dock as you walk beside an old pirate ship.

Throughout the tour there are questions challenging your knowledge of pirate history, which the family had fun trying to answer.

Jays daughter ava playing dead in the stockade.
Answer a question wrong about ye old pirates and end up in the stockade like Scuba Jay’s daughter Ava.

This is one of those museums where they make learning both entertaining and fun. A good family activity for sure!

Scuba Jay and his family.
Educational and fun means a win win.

Downtown Nassau is rather small, but worth a visit to see some stores for souvenirs and grab some snacks. But don’t wait till after dinner, as everything shuts down about 5pm or so. (Times may vary during different parts of the year. We were there in February).

Downtown nassau.
Downtown Nassau is small, but enjoyable for all your tourist shopping needs.

You can visit the Straw Market with all its little stalls. Here you can try your hand at haggling a little for an variety of items like rope bracelets and conch shells. This is a cool little cultural experience, but get ready to be asked constantly by the vendors if you want something.

Straw market nassau.
The famous Straw Market in downtown Nassau is a fun time for some souvenir shopping.

Some other fun activities include a boat excursion to swim with turtles, boating and snorkeling tours with lunch and a food tasting and cultural walking tour. From our experience, every tour operator was attentive and worked hard to make sure you had a good time.

Wrapping Things Up

The scuba diving makes Nassau New Providence a great stop for a dive vacation. But there is so much more to this island than that. There is the beautiful year round weather, friendly locals, plenty of water and non-water activities and sightseeing opportunities to keep you entertained for several trips…and let’s not forget the tasty Bahama Mamas!

Scuba Jay posing in the water.
Dive into the Bahamas; not just a great diving vacation, but all around vacation!

Pack your gear and head out for some Bahamian fun in the sun and Nassau New Providence scuba diving. You won’t regret it!

“How boring would the world be if everywhere and everyone were the same. Safe travels and good adventures.” Scuba Jay

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