From airport to activities, tourism is resuming on Grand Bahama

|
Royal Caribbean International's relief efforts on Grand Bahama Island in September. The island is recovering after a hit by Hurricane Dorian.
Royal Caribbean International's relief efforts on Grand Bahama Island in September. The island is recovering after a hit by Hurricane Dorian. Photo Credit: Tom Stieghorst

There's steady progress to report on Grand Bahama's road to recovery after Hurricane Dorian's rampage on Sept. 1, according to the tourist board.

The international airport is targeting a mid-November date for the resumption of scheduled flights to and from Fort Lauderdale, pending completion of repairs.

Carnival Cruise Line returned on Oct. 11, bringing 2,600 visitors aboard the Carnival Pride.

The Grand Bahama Port Authority and the taxi union offered special fares from Freeport Harbor to Taino Beach, which was transformed for the day into a marketplace with arts, crafts and souvenirs from vendors displaced from the Garden of the Groves and Port Lucaya Marketplace.

The Carnival Elation docked in Freeport on Oct. 13, which marked the resumption of regular calls.

Bahamas Paradise Cruise Lines' Grand Celebration resumed its scheduled two-night sailings on Sept. 28, and passengers are offered the option to support humanitarian relief efforts through special excursions.

Financial donations continue to pour in to support relief efforts. A team of representatives from the U.S. Congress and the U.S. Agency for International Development visited the island recently to donate $7.5 million in additional humanitarian assistance, to bring the total funding provided by U.S. public- and private-sector partnerships by mid-October to more than $33 million.

"The good news is that a top Bahamian insurer estimates that 80% to 90% of all claims will be wrapped up before Christmas," said Ian Rolle, acting chairman of the Grand Bahama Island Tourism Board.

Currently open for business: Bell Channel Inn, Castaways Resort & Suites, Dolphin Cove, Mayfield Beach, Ocean Reef Resort, Pelican Bay, Flamingo Bay Hotel and Marina, Lighthouse Pointe, Royal Islander, Sunrise Resort & Suites, Taino Beach Resorts and The Village Bahamia. Dundee Bay villas is open to relief workers only; Old Bahama Bay is slated to open on Nov. 1; Freeport Resort & Clubs on Nov. 14; and Island Seas/Island Palm Resorts on Nov. 15. Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach will reopen on Dec. 10 with newly renovated rooms.

A number of rental car services are available, including Hertz, Avis and taxi companies.

A survey has been completed at Port Lucaya Marketplace and an assessment of the roof is underway. Officials estimate that the earliest possible reopening date would take place by the end of the month, as long as no major structural work is required for the roof.

As far as activities go, Grand Bahama Nature Tours is offering revised tours with canal kayak tours and ATV excursions. The reopening of the Pirate's Cove Zipline and Waterpark was scheduled by early November.

Reopened are UNEXSO & the Dolphin Experience; the pig tour; Crystal Beach/Eco-Adventures' beach and snorkel activities; Fragrance of the Bahamas perfume factory; the Renu Day Spa; Caribbean Divers; Calavash Eco Adventures; Exotic Adventures; Grand Bahama Lucaya Watersports; and Paradise Watersports.

Comments
JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI