NASSAU -- As part of its new $15 million ad campaign, the Bahamas
Ministry of Tourism is trying to focus visitor attention on its
undervisited Out Islands, the 700 islands and 2,500-odd cays that
stretch for some 100,000 square miles beyond the easily accessible,
well-trod strands of Nassau/Paradise and Grand Bahama islands.
According to tourism officials, "These islands may not be in the
mainstream, but they aren't beyond reach," with regular charter
plane, ferry and even mailboat service from more frequently visited
Bahamas Ferries runs three ferries from its base of operations
in Nassau. Its Bo Hengy, a 170-passenger fast-ferry catamaran,
offers daily service from Nassau to Spanish Wells and Harbour
Meanwhile, sister ships Sea Link and Sea Wind ferry both
passengers and cars to Abaco, Andros, Exuma and North Eleuthera;
schedule and fare information is available online at www.bahamasferries.com.
In the Abacos sub-archipelago, three ferry companies provide
interisland services between Great Abaco and the dozens of smaller
cays surrounding it.
Albury's Ferry serves Hope Town, Man O War Cay, Scotland Cay and
Guana Cay from Marsh Harbour; Green Turtle Ferry shuttles between
Treasure Cay Ferry Dock and Green Turtle Cay; and Pinder's Ferry
connects Abaco to Grand Bahama with service between Crown Haven and
Ferry service is also available between Florida and Grand Bahama
New ferry operator Bahamas Florida Express at (866) 313-3779 or
on the Web at www.ferrybahamas.com, launched high-speed service
between the Fort Lauderdale area and Grand Bahama last fall -- and
pays agents 12% to 15% commission on bookings.
Meanwhile, Discovery Cruise Line at (800) 937-4477, or www.discoverycruise.com, continues to offer daily
roundtrip cruises -- and hotel packages -- from Port Everglades to
And the high-speed ferry Cloud X at (866) 463-3779 or www.bahamasferry.com offers daily three-hour crossings
from Port of Palm Beach, Fla.
Other options include chartering a private yacht through
organizations such as the American Yacht Charter Association (www.ayca.net) or
brokers such as Ed Hamilton and Co. (www.ed-hamilton.com).
Island-hopping by plane offers great views of the Out Islands'
turquoise waters -- and faster travel times.
Bahamasair (www.bahamasair.com) offers daily flights from Nassau
to Abacos, Andros, Eleuthera, Exuma, Grand Bahama and Long Island
as well as less frequent service to smaller destinations, such as
Acklins, Cat Island, Inagua and Mayaguana.
Another, fun option is travel by seaplane; Chalk Ocean Airways
(www.chalksoceanairways.com) flies between Florida and
Bimini and Nassau/Paradise Island.
Agents looking to transport clients from Nassau to one of the
Out Islands might consider a Bahamas-based charter airline, such
• Sky Unlimited, (242) 377-8993, serving Abaco, Andros, Bimini,
Cat Island, Eleuthera, Exuma and Long Island.
• Southern Air, (242) 377-2014, serving Abaco, Cat Island and
• Western Air, (242) 377-2222, serving Andros and Bimini.
• Cat Island Air, (242) 377-3318, serving Cat Island.
• BH Charters, (242) 377-0017, serving Long Island.
• Flamingo Air, (242) 377-0354, serving Exuma.
In addition, certain resorts -- such as Small Hope Bay on
Andros, Fernandez Bay on Cat Island, or Stella Maris on Long Island
-- can transport guests via their own private airplanes.
U.S.-based charter and scheduled air carriers operating from
Florida to the Out Islands include Air Flight, Florida Coastal
Airlines, Gulfstream Charters, Island Air Charters, National Air
Transport and Sky Limo.
Major airlines with service to Out Island airports include
American Eagle, with service to Abaco and Exuma; Bahamasair, to
Abaco; and Continental Connection, Delta Connection and US Airways
Express, all serving both Abaco and Eleuthera.
For more information on the Out Islands and transportation
within the Bahamas, visit www.bahamas.com online.
To contact reporter Kenneth Kiesnoski, send e-mail to [email protected].