New Providence Island Ferries

Ferries are an important transportation option in the Bahamas

Photo credit: © Ramunas Bruzas | Dreamstime.com
 

Ferries are one of the most important means of transportation around the Bahamas. In some cases, it is the only way to get to a particular island without hiring a private sailor to get you there. The numerous ferry services and operators can be a bit confusing, but if you break it down into four main categories, ferry transport becomes a bit easier to understand. Keep in mind, only two of these ferry services directly connect with New Providence, but it is helpful to be aware of them in case you plan to visit several islands during your trip.

Mail Boats

Mail Boats are a government run service, as well as the least expensive way to get around the Bahamas. These boats are primarily used for freight transport, but have always carried passengers along with them since they began service. At one time, Mail Boats were the only way to travel between the islands for local residents, so these boats have seen quite a lot of use. The biggest problem with Mail Boats is that they are slow. Your best bet will be to look at the typical mail boat schedule and plan to travel to islands that are clustered together.

Trips originate from Potter's Cay on New Providence and make the rounds 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, and you can find more information about this service by contacting the Dockmaster's Office at 242-393-1064.

Fast Ferries

If you don't want to spend entire days sailing aboard mail ships to get from one island to the next, consider Bahamas' Fast Ferries instead. The Fast Ferries came into being in order to replace the need for public transportation aboard the Mail Boats, as well as get tourists around in a much faster manner. The Fast Ferries connect Nassau to Abaco, Andros, Eleuthera, and the Exumas. The Fast Ferry leaves from Nassau every day at 8:00 a.m., drops passengers off at each of the other islands, then returns at 6:00 p.m.

Albury's Ferries

For nearly half a century, Alburry's Ferries has been providing sea transport between some of the smaller and lesser-known islands in the Marsh Harbour area. Alburry's has a fleet of 12 fiberglass "donnies" that travel on a nearly daily basis between Marsh Harbour, Man-of-War, Hope Town, Guana, and Scotland.

International Ferries

Also known as the Bahamas Express Ferry, the Pinar del Rio carries up to 460 passengers between Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and Freeport, Grand Bahama every day of the week except for Wednesdays. The ferry leaves Florida at 10:00 a.m. and returns at 7:30 p.m., making a quick trip between the U.S. and the Bahamas a daily possibility. The journey takes just two and a half hours, and costs just $49.50(USD) for a one way trip.

Another option is the Maverick, which sails between the Port of Miami and the Biminis. The ferry runs Friday through Sunday, leaving at 9:00 a.m. and arriving at noon in Alice Town, North Bimini. It costs $49.50(USD) and includes access to a casino, disco, pool, and several restaurants on board. The return ride is at 5:00 p.m.

Familiarize yourself with the choices for water transportation below.

Ferry Docks
Name Location
Bahamas Ferries Potters Cay Dock Potters Cay
Paradise Island Ferry Terminal 0.3 mi. (0.6 km) West-Southwest of Paradise Island

Finally, note that there are a handful of smaller ferry services throughout the Bahamas that have very specific purposes, such as the ferry that travels between Nassau and Paradise Island. The Paradise Island Ferry brings tourists from the center of Nassau to Paradise Island on board a regularly inspected ferry in under 20 minutes. There is no official schedule, the ferries just run back and forth between the two locations all day, and the cost is $3(USD) per person each way. You can purchase tickets from the green shack under the bridge. Another ferry such as this is the one that travels between Treasure Cay and Green Turtle Cay.

Knowing your ferry options opens up a world of day tripping possibilities as you consider what you'll do during your stay on New Providence.

Ferry Routes, New Providence Island
Location Served Dock A Dock B Company Frequency
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
Nassau Acklins Ferry Dock Bahamas Ferries Potters Cay Dock The Mail Boat Company None
Nassau Current Island Ferry Dock Bahamas Ferries Potters Cay Dock Bahamas Ferries 1 to 2 days per week
Nassau Freeport Harbour Terminal One Bahamas Ferries Potters Cay Dock Bahamas Ferries 1 to 2 days per week
Nassau Fresh Creek Ferry Terminal Bahamas Ferries Potters Cay Dock Bahamas Ferries 1 to 2 days per week
Nassau Government Docks Bahamas Ferries Potters Cay Dock Bahamas Ferries 1 to 2 days per week
Nassau Harbour Island Ferry Dock Bahamas Ferries Potters Cay Dock Bahamas Ferries 1 to 2 days per week
Nassau Harbour Island Ferry Terminal Bahamas Ferries Potters Cay Dock Bahamas Ferries 1 to 2 days per week
Nassau Long Island Ferry Dock Bahamas Ferries Potters Cay Dock Bahamas Ferries 1 to 2 days per week
Nassau Sandy Point Ferry Terminal Bahamas Ferries Potters Cay Dock Bahamas Ferries 1 to 2 days per week
Nassau Spanish Wells Ferry Dock Bahamas Ferries Potters Cay Dock Bahamas Ferries 1 to 2 days per week
the Berry Islands Bahamas Ferries Potters Cay Dock Great Harbour Cay Fery Dock The Mail Boat Company None
 

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