BahamasExpress-ferryBalearia Bahamas Express launched the first ferry service between Fort Lauderdale and Grand Bahama Island.

Balearia is a Spanish company that has operated ferry services for 14 years between Spain and the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean.

The high-speed, 463-passenger Pinar del Rio ferry operates daily except Wednesdays, departing Fort Lauderdale’s Port Everglades Terminal One at 10 a.m., arriving Freeport at 12:30 p.m.

The return trip departs at 7:30 p.m., arriving in Fort Lauderdale at 10 p.m.

Roundtrip economy fare is $75; roundtrip first-class fare is $90. Passengers holding first-class tickets have larger reclining seats and extended legroom.

Additional charges includes the Bahamas departure tax of $18 and an operational charge of $12.50. Kids up to 6 years of age pay only the operational fee.

Onboard amenities include a bar, duty-free gift shop and baby-changing stations.

Passengers are allowed up to two pieces of hand luggage at no charge.

The ferry permits kenneled cats and dogs on board with their owners, if the pets have valid vaccination documents. The pet rate ranges from $80 to $100, depending on weight.

Follow Gay Nagle Myers on Twitter @gnmtraveleekly.

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