Once in the country, modern Bahamas Ferry Services allow you to do island hopping between Nassau, Eleuthera Island, Andros, the Exumas as well as within the boater's paradise around Marsh Harbour on Abaco Island.
Last updated October, 2013
Four Different Bahamas Ferry Services
1. The new (Dec., 2011) Bahamas Express Ferry from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to Freeport on Grand Bahama Island.
2. The Fast Ferry System within the Bahamas.
3. The Ferry Services around Marsh Harbour, Abaco.
4. The old mail boat system connecting the 20 inhabited islands of The Bahamas to the capital Nassau. BTW, here are the Nassau Pros & Cons.
The Bahamas Express Ferry...
(The circled numbers below have no significance)
From Florida To The Bahamas
Picture taken from examiner.com
The fast ferry Pinar del Río has a capacity of 460 passengers. It gets you from Ft. Lauderdale to Freeport in two and a half hours.
Schedule: Departs 10am and returns 7:30pm every day except Wednesdays, allowing for day trips from the U.S. to the Bahamas.
Here you can book your passage on the Bahamas Express.
2. Fast Bahamas Ferry Services Linking Nassau to Eleuthera, Abaco, Andros and The Exumas
It's all on
this page about advantages & disadvantages of using Fast Ferries within the Bahamas.
(Clicking pops open a new window -- when you close it, you'll be right back here.)
These are scheduled Bahamas ferry services to the very interesting small islands near Marsh Harbour, i.e. Man-O-War Cay, Hope Town, Great Guana Cay, and Scotland Cay.
Here are Albury's ferry schedules.
Albury's have been operating ferry services to these small islands nearby Marsh Harbour for over 45 years.
Albury's also rents boats with outboard engines and Bimini tops. The area around Marsh Harbour is a true boater's paradise.
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4. Mail Boats
It's the cheap way to get to just about anywhere in the Bahamas. To the inhabitants of the 14 main islands, mail boats used to be the only connection to the outside world.
Take a look at these 14 islands of the Bahamas on the map just below.
From North-West to South-East they are...
- Grand Bahama Island, home of Freeport
- The Abacos
- The Berry Islands
- Eleuthera and Harbour Island
- New Providence Island with Nassau & Paradise Island on it
- Cat Island
- The Exumas
- San Salvador
- Long Island (Yes, there's one in the Bahamas, too!)
- Acklins/Crooked Island
Mail boats transport freight, mail and passengers. But be forewarned... It is quite an adventurous way of exploring the Islands.
We went straight into the center of mail boat coordination which is the Dock Master's Office in Nassau, phone: 1-242-393-1064.
It is located on the right side of Potter's Cay. That's the rectangle under the two bridges below, connecting Paradise Island with Nassau.
Another problem we had to deal with was this... When we tried to get a ticket from Abaco to Nassau, we were told the mail boat scheduled for that day had a changed itinerary and is now sailing to the US.
But since 2010 the mail boat organization seems to have improved.
Click here to get the government's official mail boat schedule
For short legs, for example from Governor's Harbour, Eleuthera, to Nassau, the mail boat "Eleuthera Express" is a viable solution.
It's cheap and you can travel quite comfortably in an air-conditioned passenger cabin where you will meet many of the friendly locals.
Here's the mail boat "Eleuthera Express" with its air-conditioned cabin at the back.
The trip from Nassau to Governor's Harbour, Eleuthera, will take over five hours.
In comparison... An airplane will only take 20 minutes to do the same distance from Nassau to Governor's Harbour
Call the Dock Master in Nassau.
Phone: 1-242-393-1064 When you're in Nassau, dial 393-1064.
He will tell you on what day and the approximate time a boat will leave from Nassau to any of the 14 Bahamian islands above.
By the way, how much do you know about the Bahamas?... Take this Bahamas quiz and learn more.
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