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Nassau, the Bahamian capital city, is a port of call on both Carnival cruises from Virginia.Nassau, the Bahamian capital city, is a port of call on both Carnival cruises from Virginia. (Photo: solar737/iStock/Getty Images )

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Cruising from Virginia Beach to the Bahamas is easy, with the Port of Norfolk only 18 miles away. This 400-year-old historic port is where Thomas Jefferson landed after voyaging across the Atlantic in 1789. Today, the port area has been revitalized to include museums, monuments and restaurants. It's also used by Carnival Cruise Lines to take travelers to the Bahamas on five- and six-day cruises. The port is about 20 minutes away from Virginia Beach, and there is plenty of secure parking.

Cruising on the Carnival Splendor

Both the Bahamas cruises that leave from Virginia are aboard the Carnival Splendor. The ship is 952 feet long and it can hold 3, 000 guests as well as a crew of 1, 150. There are plenty of on-board entertainment options including karaoke, music and stand-up comedy in the El Morocco Lounge. In addition to several pools, there's a splash park and the Carnival Twister waterslide. Relax with a spa treatment, test your luck in the casino, or enjoy fine-dining at the Pinnacle Steakhouse.

Cruising to Freeport, Bahamas

Both the five-day and six-day cruises from Virginia stop in Freeport on Grand Bahamas Island. After docking, relax on the white sand of Xanadu Beach, sip a rum drink at one of the seaside bars, or shop for authentic Bahamian goods on streets lined with markets and shops. Book a Carnival excursion to swim with dolphins, explore the Lucayan National Forest, or snorkel off a coral reef.

Cruising to Nassau, Bahamas

The Nassau port of call is also included on five- and six-day cruises aboard the Carnival Splendor. Nassau hosts over a million visitors each year. While in port, relax on the beach, take a tour of the shoreline on a jet ski, and visit the Atlantis Resort and its casino. Immerse yourself in 18th-century history and architecture at the Queen's Staircase, or take a swim with the dolphins by booking an excursion through the ship.

Cruising to Half Moon Cay

To travel from Virginia to Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas, book the six-day cruise aboard the Carnival Splendor. Enjoy the private island by swimming in the ocean, riding horses through the surf, or petting tame stingrays. There's a water park that looks like a giant pirate's ship, so you can let the kids play while you sip rum punch and sway to the beat of a local calypso band.

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Source: traveltips.usatoday.com
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