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James Bond and the Bahamas

Despite the fact that fictional superspy James Bond was first committed to the page (by author and former naval intelligence officer Ian Fleming) in Jamaica – at Fleming’s home, Goldeneye – the successful film series based on Fleming’s books has inextricably linked the man with the “licence to kill” to the Bahamas. More than a quarter of the blockbuster movies were filmed there, with the islands providing locations for some of the unforgettable sequences that the flicks are known for. Here’s a list:

  • Thunderball (1965) – “Thunderball” (pictured) is particularly well known for its underwater scenes, such as a spear-gun battle set in “The James Bond Cave” (which is north of Staniel Cay on Exuma) and underwater love scenes at Clifton Pier, Nassau. Several scenes were shot on Paradise Island, such as a JunkanooMardi-Gras filmed along Bay Street and an underwater battle at Lyford Cay. The nightspot where Bond gambles with Largo and dances with Domino is the Cafe Martinique – now revamped as Atlantis. The stolen Vulcan bomber crash-lands in the sea off Rose Island, on the northeastern coast of New Providence Island. It is hidden alongside Clifton Wall, part of Nassau Harbour, where the framework of the purpose-built prop (despite being blown up after filming) can still be seen.
  • You Only Live Twice (1967) – Agent 007 and the Japanese secret service ninja force must find and stop the true culprit of a series of spacejackings before nuclear war is provoked. Although filmed primarily in Japan and Spain (plus a few other international locations), an underwater rescue sequence was shot in the Bahamas.
  • The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) – One of the most exciting scenes in the 007 series was filmed in Coral Harbour, New Providence Island (Nassau). Starring Roger Mooreas James Bond, one spectacular scene combined both underwater and aerial shots of Bond’s water diving car and another scene includes a huge tanker swallowing a submarine.
  • Never Say Never Again (1983) — Sean Connery returned in his last performance as James Bond in the 14th Bond adventure that featured scenes shot in Nassau. Underwater battle scenes and the romance between Bond and Bond Girl Domino (played by Kim Basinger) were filmed at Clifton Pier, Nassau. Additional underwater scenes were shot at the Tears of Allah shipwreck in the South Ocean off New Providence Island. Further scenes were filmed at Ben’s Hole on Grand Bahama, on Rose Island, at the Exumas and in Nassau on Bay Street, and at the Straw Market and Nassau Dock.
  • Licence to Kill (1989) – James Bond goes rogue and sets off to unleash vengeance on a drug lord who tortured his best friend, a CIA agent, and left him for dead and murdered his bride after he helped capture him. While not one of the primary filming locations, the Bahamas still served as the source for shooting underwater sequences.
  • The World is Not Enough (1999) – Bond uncovers a nuclear plot when he protects an oil heiress from her former kidnapper, an international terrorist who can’t feel pain. The underwater submarine scenes were filmed in the Bahamas.
  • Casino Royale (2006) – One of the more recent James Bond movies, the first to star Daniel Craig, features scenes filmed at Coral Harbour in New Providence, at the Albany House, at Nassau International Airport and at Atlantis (the climactic poker game), and the One and Only Ocean Clubon Paradise Island. The beachfront mansion of Dimitrios is at West Shore on New Providence Island, the Buena Vista Hotel doubles as the Madagascar embassy and the Madagascar shanty town is actually an abandoned motel in Coral Harbour.

So if you’re looking for more than a quantum of solace from your vacation, stop by Freeport and use it as a base of operations to see the Bond locations for yourself – truly, for your eyes only. To learn more about trips to Freeport, or any of our other 40+ adventuresome locations, drop us a line at info@takethreenights.com.

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