Numerous ferry services make the rounds on a daily basis throughout the Bahamas. If you're planning on doing some island hopping and spending some time outside of Nassau, you'll want to become acquainted with each option so you can determine which is optimal for your needs. The ferries can be sorted into four broad categories, and knowing a bit about each of them gives you a better idea of which service to book with.
Once upon a time, Mail Boats were the premier way to get around the Bahamas. Today, they remain the least expensive option for getting to such a wide variety of islands. What you need to know about Mail Boats is that they are government run venture primarily used to haul transport. Locals got the idea to start hopping on board to visit other islands, and soon the vessels had been redesigned to carry passengers as well as freight.
The biggest complaint that tourists have is that the Mail Boats move slowly. You'll have the best luck if you use this service to travel between two islands that are located nearby one another. Mail Boats originate in Potter's Cay, which is less than 10 minutes from the center of Nassau, and sail to the Abacos, Acklins, Andros, the Berry Islands, Bimini, Cat Island, Eleuthera, the Exumas, Grand Bahama, Harbour Island, Inagua, Long Island, Mayaguana, and San Salvador,.
More information about this particular ferry service can be learned by contacting the Dockmaster's Offic at 242-393-1064.
Also originating from Potter's Cay is the Bahamas Fast Ferry Service, a much quicker alternative to the slow-going Mail Boats. In fact, Fast Ferries were created with the specific intent of providing quicker service than Mail Boats. This service connects Abaco, Andros, Eleuthera, the Exumas, and Nassau.
Every day the Fast Ferries leave from Potter's Cay at 8:00 a.m., transport passengers to the other islands, and returns again at 6:00 p.m.
Those who plan to take a day or two to explore the Marsh Harbour Island will want to take advantage Albury's Ferries. Albury's has been servicing the Bahamas for nearly 50 years, and with a fleet of 12 fiberglass boats provides transportation between Marsh Harbour, Man-of-War, Hope Town, Guana, and Scotland on a daily basis.
If you're traveling to the Bahamas from the state of Florida, you may consider making the two-and-a-half hour trip aboard the Pinar del Rio ferry, also known as the Bahamas Express Ferry, to Grand Bahama Island. From there, you can transfer to Nassau aboard a plan between the Grand Bahama International Airport and the Lynden Pindling International Airport.
Pinar del Rio leaves Ft. Lauderdale, Florida at 10:00 a.m. Every day of the week except for Wednesdays, and returns that evening at 7:30 p.m. This makes it easy to plan a quick day trip to the island, especially since it is just $49.50(USD) for a one way trip.
Another ferry service from Florida is the Maverick, which operates out of Miami on the weekend. Also for $49.50(USD), you can leave from the Port of Miami at 9:00 a.m. and sail to Alice Town on North Bimini, where you'll arrive around noon and stay until 5:00 p.m.
It is also important to note that there are several smaller ferry services around the islands that serve the purpose of offering transportation between two specific places. One great example of this is the Paradise Island Ferry right on New Providence Island. This ferry costs $3(USD) each way and brings tourists between the center of Nassau to Paradise Island in under 20 minutes. This ferry does not run on a set schedule; instead it continues to travel back and forth between the two islands throughout the day. Another example is the ferry that travels between Treasure Cay and Green Turtle Cay each day.
The numerous ferry options can be tricky to figure out, but once you do a world of day trip opportunities open up to you, making your Nassau getaway all the more magical.
|Location Served||Dock A||Dock B||Company||Frequency|
|Abaco||Bahamas Ferries Potters Cay Dock||Sandy Point Ferry Terminal||Bahamas Ferries||1 to 2 days per week|
|Acklins||Bahamas Ferries Potters Cay Dock||Acklins Ferry Dock||None|
|Andros||Bahamas Ferries Potters Cay Dock||Fresh Creek Ferry Terminal||Bahamas Ferries||1 to 2 days per week|
|Eleuthera||Bahamas Ferries Potters Cay Dock||Current Island Ferry Dock||Bahamas Ferries||1 to 2 days per week|
|Eleuthera||Bahamas Ferries Potters Cay Dock||Harbour Island Ferry Dock||Bahamas Ferries||1 to 2 days per week|
|Eleuthera||Bahamas Ferries Potters Cay Dock||Spanish Wells Ferry Dock||Bahamas Ferries||1 to 2 days per week|
|Grand Bahama||Bahamas Ferries Potters Cay Dock||Freeport Harbour Terminal One||Bahamas Ferries||1 to 2 days per week|
|Great Exuma||Bahamas Ferries Potters Cay Dock||Government Docks||Bahamas Ferries||1 to 2 days per week|
|Harbour Island||Bahamas Ferries Potters Cay Dock||Harbour Island Ferry Terminal||Bahamas Ferries||1 to 2 days per week|
|Long Island||Bahamas Ferries Potters Cay Dock||Long Island Ferry Dock||Bahamas Ferries||1 to 2 days per week|
|the Berry Islands||Bahamas Ferries Potters Cay Dock||Great Harbour Cay Fery Dock||None|
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