This huge cruising area offers yachtsmen 5400 square miles of sea and 700 islands. The Bahamas are renowned for flat water sailing, endless miles of pink sandy beaches, hundreds of secluded anchorages and dozens of colorful ports with friendly local inhabitants. The Abacos are a group of islands and cays forming a boomerang-shaped chain that stretches 120 miles from Walker's Cay in the north, to Hole-in-the-Wall in the south. The arch shape creates a naturally protected cruising area known as the Sea of Abaco. The miles of reefs and turquoise waters are the home to an incredible range of marine life.
Great Abaco Island and Little Abaco serve as the "mainland." Marsh Harbour has a lively downtown area with all city amenities. Treasure Cay boasts miles of pristine beaches, including one of the top 10 beaches in the world. Elbow Cay and Green Turtle Cay are old English loyalist settlements, where you’ll find beautifully preserved colonial architecture with a touch of Bahamian pastels, of course. And Guana Cay is famous for Sunday barbecues atop the island's tall sand dune, which overlooks a magnificent 7-mile–long beach.
Nassau International Airport, now known as Lynden Pindling International Airport. Marsh Harbour International Airport for access to the Abaco islands.
The dialing code for the Bahamas is as North America: +1. International direct flights depart from Miami with Bahamas Air, American Airlines, Continental Airlines and Sky Bahamas to Marsh Harbour, Abaco Bahamas. It is a short taxi ride from the Marsh Harbour airport to the marina.
There are regular flights from London, and other major European cities into Nassau Bahamas. An internal flight can then be taken with a Bahamas Air flight to Marsh Harbour, Great Abaco. By sea, you can travel from Nassau with Bahamas Ferry Services on a fully air-conditioned vessel.
The outlying islands of the Bahamas are known as the Family or Out Islands. There is a satellite office in Harbour Place Building near the tourist strip in Marsh Harbour that is easily accessible for visitors wanting to get brochures or information on the destination. Hours of Operation: Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
The outlying islands have very low crime rates. in tourist areas of New Providence, Grand Bahama and Freeport, some tourists have been victims of robbery in isolated areas. Be vigilant at all times and don’t walk alone away from the main hotels, tourist areas, beaches and downtown Nassau, particularly after dark. Take care if travelling on local bus services after dusk on routes away from the main tourist routes. Do not carry large amounts of cash or jewellery.
There are no travel visas required by North American or European visitors to the Bahamas. Guests traveling from outside North America or Europe or not holding valid US, Canadian or European passports, must check with the Bahamian Embassy/Consulate. Upon arriving in The Islands of The Bahamas, non-residents complete an Immigration form. After processing, a portion of the card is given back until time of departing when that portion should be given to the airline agent at the check in counter.
When leaving the Bahamas residents and visitors alike six (6) years and over must pay a Departure Tax of $20.
Departures to the US must go through US Customs pre-clearance.
If you are travelling via the USA, you may need to apply for an ESTA. The Bahamas counts as part of the ‘contiguous territory and islands’ for US visa waiver purposes and time spent in The Bahamas counts towards the 90 day maximum permitted stay in the US under this waiver for non American travellers.
It is advisable to check that your tetanus shot is up to date and have the routine/recommened vaccinations of Hepatitis B and Polio. All islands have medical clinics or smaller hospitals but with limited staff and equipment transportation to Nassau or Miami via air ambulance is the norm for more serious injuries and illness. It is advisable to purchase medical and cancellation/interruption insurance when traveling abroad on adventurous holidays.
The BSD ($) is the currency in the Bahamas - it is the same exchange value as the USD $. ATM machines are available in Marsh Harbour and on the islands and are available at most banks. ATMs dispense Bahamian dollars.
The electric current is 110/120 volts AC 50Hz which is the same as the United States. American appliances can be used without an adaptor but appliances from outside North America will require convertors and adaptors. The standard voltage on all yachts is 12volts in order to use electronic equipment that is 110v or 220v; you will need an inverter suitable for use in a cigarette lighter.
There are 3 large supermarkets in Marsh Harbour, the largest store is Maxwell’s, on Power Line Road. Shopping in Throughout the islands, authentic Bahamian items can be found from stylish boutiques to open-air markets to straw vendors and even large retail centers. While there are small groceries on the out islands, the prices and selections tend to be quite different form those in Marsh Harbour.
BTC is the primary telecommunications provider for the Bahamas. It is partly government owned and offers telephone, internet and wireless services. A prepaid Bahamas SIM card with an unlocked international cell phone is the most convenient and economical solution. Wi-fi and hotspot services are now available at almost all islands in restaurants and coffee shops.
The best restaurants are to be found in Nassau. In the Out Islands, Bahamian food is the main type of cuisine offered. Fine dining is not necessarily one of the reasons to come to the Bahamas, except for some notable exceptions, many restaurants serve fairly routine international fare of the surf-and-turf variety. Local seafood dishes consist mainly of grouper and conch. More exotic fish is often flown in frozen from Miami, as is most meat and poultry.
Like North America, tipping for good service is expected at 15%.