Caribbean Tourism

Getting There in Bahamas by Air and Sea

Airlines: American Airlines, T1800-4337300. Air Canada, T3278411. Bahamasair, T3773223 in Nassau, T3528341 in Freeport, 800-2224262 in the USA. Delta Airlines/Comair, T3771043, 800-2211212. Gulfstream International, T3528532. Air Jamaica, T800-5235585. AOM, T3777035. Chalk’s International, T3632845. Condor, T800-5246975. Continental, T800-2310856. United, T3524511.


Most flights to the Bahamas originate in the USA. Connecting flights by Bahamasair go out from Nassau like spokes of a wheel to the Family Islands although many airlines now fly direct from Florida to the Family Islands.

To Nassau...

  • From USA: From Atlanta (Delta), Charleston (Delta), Charlotte (US Air), Cincinnati (Delta Connection), Columbus (Delta), Fort Lauderdale (American Eagle, Continental Connection/Gulfstream International, Chalks, Bahamasair), Key West (Continental Connection/Gulfstream), Manchester, New Hampshire (US Air), Miami (Continental Connection/Gulfstream, American Eagle, Pan Am Airbridge, Chalks, Bahamasair, Milwaukee (US Air), New York (TWA, Continental, Delta), Orlando (Delta Connection, Comair, Continental Connection/Gulfstream, American Eagle, Bahamasair), Philadelphia (US Air), St Louis (Delta Connection), Tallahassee (Gulfstream), Tampa/St Petersburg (Gulfstream/Continental Connection), West Palm Beach (Gulfstream/ Continental Connection, Bahamasair).
  • From Canada: Air Canada flies from Montréal and Toronto.
  • From Europe: British Airways have three flights a week from London (Gatwick); AOM French Airlines fly twice a week from Paris and Condor have charters from Germany.
  • From the Caribbean: Bahamasair connects Providenciales with Nassau, British Airways flies from San José, Costa Rica and Grand Cayman on its way back to London, AOM from Havana, Air Jamaica from Montego Bay.

There are also several commuter airlines serving some of the Family Islands direct from airports in Florida including Gulfstream International Airlines (in Miami T305-8711200, F305-8713540), Island Express (T3673597, in USA 954-3590380, F954-3592752), Walkers International (T954-3591405, F954-3591414), US Air Express (T800-6221015), Chalk’s International (T800-4242557), (Miami T305-3718628, Bimini T3473024, Nassau T3632845), Air Sunshine (T800-4358900), Continental, American Eagle, Lynx Air and Pan Am Airbridge. Also in Miami, Bahamasair, T305-5931910, 800-2224262. Tickets can be booked through computer systems but are normally purchased on the spot at the airport, routing and timing subject to last minute alteration depending on demand. See text for details of services to each island. LB Limited (T3523389) has charter flights to Freeport from Florida with some flights timed so that gamblers can do a day-trip to the casino. Other charter airlines including Cleare Air (T3770341, F3770342), Congo Air (T3778329, F3777413, Fort Lauderdale T305-4565611, F305-9850855) and Island Air Charters (T305-3599942, 800-4449904). Private pilots should ask the tourist office for the Air Navigation Chart or contact the Private Pilot Briefing Centre, T800-3277678 in the USA.

  • To Freeport: TWA flies from New York (La Guardia). American Eagle, Gulfstream International and Bahamasair fly from Miami. LB Limited from Baltimore, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Fort Lauderdale, Hartford, Raleigh/Durham, Richmond and West Palm Beach; Gulfstream International Airlines from Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Gainesville, Jackonsville, Key West, Orlando, Miami, West Palm beach and Tampa. Grand Bahama Vacations flies two weekly non-stop jets from 10 US cities including Pittsburgh and Memphis, and daily from Fort Lauderdale.
  • To The Family Islands: Most islands have at least one Bahamasair flight a day and at least one mailboat a week. If you are travelling in a group, a small charter plane may be much more convenient and only a little more expensive. Some islands also have a direct flight from Miami or another Florida airport; this cuts out the need for an unreliable, time-consuming connection in Nassau.
  • To Berry Islands: Great Harbour Cay (GHC) and Chub Cay (CCZ) have airports served by Island Express from Fort Lauderdale (T954-3590380). Southern Pride Aviation/Bimini Island Air fly daily to Chub Cay from Fort Lauderdale’s Executive Airport. Other carriers include Island Air Charters, T954-3599942, and Pan Am Air Bridge, T800-4242557.
  • To Crooked Island: The main airport (Crooked Island – CRI) is at Major Cay; Acklins has an airport at Spring Point (AXP). Bahamasair has two flights a week from Nassau, one goes to Major Cay first, the other lands first at Spring Point.

Following are the links to airlines:

Sea

To Freeport From the USA: Sea Jets have two 250-passenger jet foils from Palm Beach twice daily, Thu-Mon, 1½ hours, US$99 return (US$49 for children under 16), plus arrival and departure tax of US$25.

Ports of Entry: (Own flag) Abaco: Walker’s Cay, Green Turtle Cay, Marsh Harbour, Sandy Point. Andros: Morgan’s Bluff, Fresh Creek, Mangrove Cay, Congo Town. Berry Islands: Great Harbour Cay, Chub Cay. Bimini: Alice Town, Cat Cay, Gun Cay. Eleuthera: Harbour Island, Hatchet Bay, Governor’s Harbour, Rock Sound. Exuma: George Town. Grand Bahama: West End, Freeport Harbour, Port Lucaya, Lucaya Marina, Xanadu Marina. Inagua: Matthew Town. Long Island: Stella Maris. New Providence: Nassau (any yacht basin). Ragged Island: Duncan Town. San Salvador: Cockburn Town.

Boat Documents: Complete duplicate copies of Maritime Declaration of Health, Inwards Report for Pleasure Vehicles and crew/passengers lists required. The vessel will be issued with a one-year cruising permit, US$10. During regular working hours, the only charge is for transportation for the clearing officer. Individuals will be given 60 days clearance with extensions obtained at a port of entry. A boat with a cruising permit may import parts duty-free.

Anchorage: At West Bay at west end of island is protected in most weather and you can stop there if it is too late to enter Nassau. Cruise ships, commercial shipping and yachts make Nassau harbour very busy. All vessels must check in and out with Harbour Control, VHF 16, when entering or leaving harbour. There is a VHF net for cruising boats. Anchorage in Nassau is limited and holding is poor. Theft and other security problems make it preferable to take a slip in one of the many marinas: West Bay, Lyford Cay Club and Marina, Great Harbour Cay Marina, East Bay Yacht Basin, Nassau Yacht Haven, Nassau Harbour Club Hotel & Marina, Paradise Harbour Club and Marina. If you need to clear customs, enter with quarantine flag raised and contact marina; customs and immigration staff will come to your vessel.


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