Disney Lookout Cay at Lighthouse Point’s Open-Trestle Pier

The first thing guests will notice when their Disney Cruise ship arrives at Disney Lookout Cay at Lighthouse Point is an open-trestle pier extending out into the deep blue waters of the Exuma Sound on the south western coastline of Eleuthera.

The open-trestle pier extends less than a half mile (4/5 kilometer) west into deeper water as you can see from this Google Earth image which was used to calculate the distance.

Lookout Cay Google Earth Feb 2024 Pier Distance To Shore

When Disney purchased the property in 2019, the deal they signed with The Bahamian government via the Heads of Agreement (HOA) established a set of ground rules for the development and operation of the property.

Per the HOA, The Bahamas is leasing the seabed, the underwater land below the pier, berth, and marina to Disney for a term of 50 years and the right to renew for one further term of 50 years (the land property was purchased and is not leased). The lease includes language, that marina (Turbot Berth) is not open to the public and is exclusive to Disney and their invitees such as third party tour operators.

The HOA stated Disney will follow a high level of environmental and conservation stewardship and sensitivity that have been used at other company projects around the world. In 2021, the Lighthouse Point Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the development project was released and included actual drawings of the open-trestle pier along with the ingress and egress route for cruise ships.

In creating Lighthouse Point, Disney was driven to protect and sustain the natural beauty of the site, celebrate culture, and help strengthen the community in Eleuthera as established by the HOA and EIA. As a result, the plans called for as little impact as possible on the natural environment leaving the overwhelming majority of the site undeveloped.

The design of the open-trestle pier was intentional, as it addresses a number of environmental concerns regarding water flow, marine life, coral, and sediment. By extending the open-trestle pier from the shore to deep water this prevented the need to dredge a ship channel. Below is a look at NOAA chart for the area with depth measured in fathoms which is equal to 6 feet or 1.8288 meters to understand the bathymetry of the surrounding area. I’ve also included a view showing Gorda Cay (Castaway Cay) and Nassau relative to Lighthouse Point.

Furthermore, the location of the pier was based on a scientific assessment of the ocean floor to avoid areas where coral reefs are present. The viable individual corals within the pier’s footprint were expertly relocated to improve the health of struggling coral reefs in the area.

Join me as I take the approximately half mile (4/5 kilometer) walk from the forward gangway of the Disney Magic across the Disney Lookout Cay at Lighthouse Point open-trestle pier in Eleuthera, Bahamas.

The following video is identical to the first, but presented at normal speed.

When you reach land, you are presented with a spectacular view of Mabrika Cove and the waves crashing on the rocks.

Lookout Cay Mabrika Cove Cabanas Pier

Turn around, enjoy the view of your cruise ship, and take some photos.

Lookout Cay Open Trestle Pier Disney Magic

Disney Cruise Line is now offering a water stop and cold towels on the pier. Guests with mobility issue can speak with guest services to arrange a golf cart ride, and guests staying in the cabanas are extended a golf cart ride back at the end of their time ashore.

Port Comparisons

In terms of the walking distances, here are some comparisons to other cruise ports staring with Castaway Cay where the walk to the tram pickup area is 1/5 mile while the walk over to the first tram stop just shy of 2/5 mile.

Nassau, just like the other ports will depend on where the ship docks, the short walk is just under 1/5 mile while the northern berth would be closer to a 3/10 mile.

Now Costa Maya has a pier that reaches out a full half mile to either end, but that would never be the typical walk as it would normally range from 1/5 to 3/10 mile.

Finally, I wanted to compare Perfect Day at Coco Cay which is 1/5 mile – this is quite a common distance so far. While the pier is on the shorter side, there is an amazing feature… Sail shades which would be a nice enhancement to the open-trestle pier at Lighthouse Point.

As you can see, there were a number of concessions made in order for Disney Cruise Line construct a pier at Lighthouse Point versus the nearby Princess Cays private destination where guests must tender ashore.

Eleuther Princess Cays Ship Tendering Lighthouse Point

Either way you look at it, the open-trestle pier at Lighthouse Point is a gateway to a day of fun in the sun on a gorgeous beach, or a relaxation and entertainment onboard your cruise ship.

12 Replies to “Disney Lookout Cay at Lighthouse Point’s Open-Trestle Pier”

  1. Tammi

    Don’t you just hate it when people walk across sideways as a group and are totally oblivious that anyone might be behind them? We always walk in single file in situations like this (like walking through WDW).

  2. Don

    I -love- that you included the note about the ‘sail shades’ at Coco Cay. We talked about the exact same thing and hope that Disney will do something similar. Speaking from the experience of someone who was stuck in a brief rain shower, those shades not only block the sun, they also provide (just a little) shelter from rain too.

    But more than anything, they do an excellent job of distracting you from the fact that you’re walking. Something (anything) that Disney can do to help us forget what we’re doing is welcomed.

    1. James

      Adding sun sails would require structural engineers to determine if the pier can safely handle the additional forces. Given Bob Chapek love for budget cuts, I suspect he cut the additional structural support needed for sun shades.

      1. Chris

        Bob Chapek was a boob, there’s little doubt. That being said, the time for blaming him and letting the rest of Disney leadership (namely Bob IGER) off the hook for the absolute mess they’ve led the company into is long past due.

  3. ilmom

    Wonder if they’ve considered special needs and senior citizens in this. A golf cart isn’t going to help much.

    1. Matt

      Disney has added “ Golf carts” to give rides for guests not wanting/ or able to walk the long pier.

  4. Ryan

    I wish this article would have stuck with one scale or the other instead of using one paragraph with kilometers and one with miles. It’s difficult to follow when comparing 4/5 km to 1/5 mile and having to switch over to Google to calculate. Just saying.

    On another note, just the visual of this bridge is uninviting and quite daunting. I mean the photo says it all. Will prolly just stay onboard. From the beach approx a mile or so walk back, not cool at 4pm after a day of drink, sun and herding a family of 6 after dropping $10k on two cabins. Hope they fix this.

  5. Lisa

    Not a place I’d want to be stuck if it was raining and started lightening!!! Also, I can imagine the epic meltdowns that will be taking place on that pier. Maybe they should offer wagons to pull small kids.

  6. Elle


  7. Just me

    I’m going on a cruise that will stop there. My parents would never be able to walk that pier so they’ll end up having to stay on the ship. I don’t know if I’d want to walk it either. Absolutely no shade with the sun beating down on you. Sounds miserable.

  8. Kay

    We used to snorkel the reefs that were exactly where the pier is now. There is no way they relocated all of the reef and the thousands of people they will bring and dump onto these once pristine reefs will destroy what is left. The sunscreen alone will be devastating.


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