Hurricane Dorian's rampage through Grand Bahama Island and the Abacos in early September resulted in massive damage to the island chains' infrastructures, including homes, resorts, airports and cruise ports, businesses and attractions.
Travel Weekly has mapped the status of many resorts and major attractions on these island chains (the majority of the Bahamas was not directly hit by Hurricane Dorian). See below for the latest, and zoom in to interact with the points-of-interest on the maps. Have an update for our maps? Contact contributing Caribbean editor Gay Myers.
Grand Bahama Island
There's been much progress on Grand Bahama, according to its tourism board, and plenty of reasons to put
the destination on a vacation itinerary this fall and winter.
Air and ground transportation
The airport on Grand Bahama Island has been open for weeks to private charters and domestic Bahamian carriers from Nassau, including Western Air and Bahamasair. All flights currently are limited to daytime operations.
U.S. carriers are still not landing there, however; capabilities to accept and clear direct flights from the U.S. are subject to approval by the TSA. Airport authorities are working to secure this approval by mid-November.
Overnight visitors can arrive in Grand Bahama by sea via Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line, which has a cruise-and-stay program in Freeport, and the Balearia Caribbean fast ferry. Other cruise lines, such as Carnival Cruise Line, are back with regular calls.
Several taxi and tour companies are back in service. A number of rental car services also are available, including Hertz and Avis.
Hotels and resorts open on Grand Bahama Island:
Bell Channel Inn; Castaways Resort & Suites; Dolphin Cove; Mayfield Beach; Ocean Reef Resort; Pelican Bay; Paradise Cove; Flamingo Bay Hotel and Marina; Royal Islander; Sunrise Resort & Suites; Taino Beach Resorts; The Village Bahamia.
Lighthouse Pointe facilities are open, including its six restaurants, beach, pools, spa, gym, convention center, golf course and tennis courts.
Hotels and resorts closed on Grand Bahama Island:
Old Bahama Bay and the Freeport Resort and Club are scheduled to open Nov. 1. Island Seas/Island Palm Resorts will reopen on Nov. 15. Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach will reopen on Dec. 10, with newly renovated rooms. Dundee Bay Villas is open to relief workers only.
Port Lucaya Marketplace was back in operation on Oct. 18, well ahead ahead of its original estimated reopening date.
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. Grand Bahama Nature Tours is offering revised tours with canal kayak tours and ATV excursions.
On the Abaco Islands, which comprise the main island of Great Abaco and Little Abaco and several barrier islands and cays, tourist facilities are not yet open, according to reports in the Nassau Guardian. The focus in the Abacos remains on restoring basic services; clearing debris to facilitate rebuilding; and helping those who did not evacuate with their immediate needs for food, shelter and employment, the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation has said.
Air and ground transportation:
The Leonard M. Thompson Airport in Marsh Harbour hopes to
reopen to U.S. flights in November, pending approval from the TSA. It is open to domestic flights as well as relief flights from Nassau.
Hotels and resorts closed on the Abacos:
The Abaco Club on Winding Bay in Marsh Harbour posted a photo on Oct. 24 of some of its staff wearing the #AbacoStrong tee shirts with the comment, "We remain hopeful, we remain strong...we will rebuild."
Abaco Beach Resort & Boat Harbor Marina in Marsh Harbour said on its website that
work has begun on rebuilding its beachfront property and that it hopes
to open its marina fuel pump "soon," but it did not give a timeline.
Treasure Cay Beach, Marina and Golf Resort has laid off most of its staff and may not be able to rehire those employees for up to two years as the hotel rebuilds, according to Robert Meister, resort president.
Bahamas Beach Club on Treasure Cay reports that the resort "is cleaning up and fired up to rebuild and reopen next year."
Green Turtle Cub & Marina on Treasure Cay experienced substantial damage and hopes to "be fully operational by March," according to the resort's Facebook post.
Pelican Beach Villas on Green Turtle Cay posted that "it is sad to report that the resort is a total loss."
Bluff House Beach Resort & Marina on Green Turtle Cay posted that it "has lots of heroes to thank, now more than ever before."