Many of the islands in the Abacos are so small that they don't even have an air strip or helicopter pad. This means that the only way to travel between the group is to sail. If you don't have a boat of your own, you'll need to hire a private charter, or do what most do and take a ferry. There are three main ferry services that make stops in the Abacos, as well as a few smaller options that only travel between two specific spots.
Many years ago, mail boats were the only way for locals to get from island to island if they were not in possession of their own boats. The mail boats began as a government mail and freight service, but as people began to realize the possibilities, the service evolved and began offering passenger transfer as well. These days they visit Marsh Harbour, Green Turtle Cay, Sandy Point, and Moore's Island, all parts of the Abacos, as well as New Providence Island, Acklins, Andros, the Berry Islands, the Bimini Islands, Cat Island, Eleuthera, Great Exuma, Grand Bahama, Harbour Island, Inagua, Long Island, Mayaguana, and San Salvador.
The Mail Boat that is known to frequent the Abaco is called the Captain Gurth Dean. It leaves from Potter's Cay on Tuesday at 6:00 p.m., sails for 12 hours, and makes port in Marsh Harbour and Green Turtle Cay. The cost is $40(USD), and the return boat leaves the Abacos on Friday at 6:00 p.m.
Another route leaves Potter's Cay on Friday at 6:00 p.m. and makes stops in Sandy Point, Moore's Island, and Bulluck's Harbour. This trip costs $45(USD) each way and returns on Sunday at 8:00 a.m.
The biggest complaint passengers have about the mail boats is their speed. They tend to move at a very slow pace, but the trade off it that the cost is lower than flying and even other ferries.
Bahamas Fast Ferries came into being as a result of the complaints that the mail boat system was too slow. Although the price to travel using these ferries is much higher, it cuts your travel time down significantly, which is important to tourists who have limited time to explore. Fast Ferries make stops in Sandy Point as part of a Cruise and Stay Package, while their regular daily services leave from Nassau and travel to the Andros Islands, Eleuthera, and the Exumas.
Albury's Ferry Service is the most important ferry service to exist on Abaco. It has been in operation for nearly half a century, and succeeds in getting tourists from Marsh Harbour to Man-of-War, Hope Town, Great Guana Cay, and Scotland on a daily basis. This is important for tourists who fly into the Marsh Harbour International Airport with plans to stay elsewhere. operates 12 fiberglass “donies,” and most trips last less than 30 minutes and cost only $17(USD).
There is one other ferry service, that tourists staying on Abaco should know about, and that is the Green Turtle Ferry that travels non-stop between Treasure Cay and Green Turtle Cay during daylight hours. Green Turtle Cay is a very small islet that draws tourists looking to get off the grid, and it is so secluded that you can't even fly there. For this reason, most tourists will fly into Treasure Cay, then take the 15 to 20 minute ferry to reach their final destination. It costs $20(USD) per person round trip to take the Green Turtle Cay Ferry.
Familiarize yourself with the choices for water transportation below.
|--||Man of War Cay||Man of War Cay|
|--||Treasure Cay||Great Abaco|
|(242) 367-3277||Marsh Harbour||Great Abaco|
|(242) 367-0290||Marsh Harbour||Great Abaco|
|--||Scotland Cay||Scotland Cay|
|--||Great Guana Cay||Great Guana Cay|
|--||Man of War Cay||Man of War Cay|
|--||Marsh Harbour||Great Abaco|
|--||Green Turtle Cay||Green Turtle Cay|
|--||Queen's Highway - Hopetown||Elbow Cay|
|--||1.0 mi. (1.7 km) North of Hopetown||Elbow Cay|
|--||Sandy Point||Great Abaco|
|--||22.9 mi. (36.9 km) Northwest of Marsh Harbour||Great Abaco|
|--||1.7 mi. (2.8 km) South West of Hopetown||Elbow Cay|
Getting around the Abacos – and visiting some of the other islands in the Bahamas – is as simple as hopping on a ferry. Knowing about schedules and fares in advance allows you to prepare for this island-style adventure and make the most of it.
|Location Served||Dock A||Dock B||Company||Frequency|
|Green Turtle Cay||Treasure Cay Airport Ferry Terminal||Green Turtle Cay Ferry Dock||Green Turtle Ferry||many times per day|
|Marsh Harbour||Albury's Ferry Scotland Cay Dock||Albury's Marsh Harbour Dock||Albury's Ferry Service||several times per day|
|Marsh Harbour||Albury's Guana Dock||Albury's Marsh Harbour Dock||Albury's Ferry Service||several times per day|
|Marsh Harbour||Albury's Man-O-War Ferry Dock||Albury's Marsh Harbour Dock||Albury's Ferry Service||several times per day|
|Marsh Harbour||Lower Public Dock||Albury's Marsh Harbour Dock||Albury's Ferry Service||several times per day|
|Nassau||Sandy Point Ferry Terminal||Bahamas Ferries Potters Cay Dock||Bahamas Ferries||1 to 2 days per week|
|Treasure Cay||Abaco Adventures Man O' War Dock||Abaco Adventures Treasure Cay Dock||1 to 2 days per week|
Help us improve! We welcome your corrections and suggestions.