NASSAU, BAHAMAS

Posted: August 8, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

The moment your toes touch sand and your gaze meets water, you know you’re in The Islands Of The Bahamas. It’s the comfortable ease, the instant sense of belonging. It’s finding that your departure from everyday life is also your arrival at an extraordinary place within yourself.  Here are some fun facts…

  • Officially known as the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, it is a country consisting of more than 3,000 islands, cays, and isles.
  • The Bahamas have a sub-tropical climate, about 340 sunny days per year and – according to astronauts – the clearest waters in the Caribbean region.
  • Conch, among other foods, especially seafoods, is a staple food in the Bahamas.
  • The country is a economically and politically stable country. It is one of the most developed countries in the Caribbean region.

You’ll find their capital city, Nassau on New Providence Island, neighbor to Paradise Island. Offering a distinct blend of international glamour and tropical ease, this unique island pair gives you the freedom to do everything or nothing at all. So, kick back. Enjoy.

Bahamas Info

Part international glamour. Part tropical ease. Nassau, the capital city, is found on New Providence Island and two bridges conveniently link neighboring Paradise Island and its 685 acres of extraordinary beauty. This bustling island pair offers a mixture of attractions, fine dining, fresh fish markets, water sports and boutique shopping.

Things To Do in Bahamas

Beaches

The beaches that surround Nassau/Paradise Island are not only beautiful, they also offer as much or as little activity as you would like to have.

Water Sports

In Nassau/Paradise Island, you can explore their crystal-blue waters one sport at a time. Options include snorkeling at a variety of popular spots with equipment for rent at most hotels and on tours.

Gaming

Take a spin at roulette. Play a hand of Caribbean poker. Or, try your luck at blackjack, craps, baccarat or one of our many slot machines.   But please remember, you must be over 18 to gamble.

Golf

There is no season to limit play in Nassau/Paradise Island, just year-round blue skies and warm weather.  Beautiful settings abound, framing tee boxes and fairways with picture-perfect backdrops for your best shot.

Fishing

Whether you’re a first-timer trying out casting from a pier or a deep-sea fanatic hoping to beat one of the 50 world records set in the waters of The Bahamas, you’ll find all types of fishing here.

Shopping

Visit the world-famous Straw Market on Bay Street, where you will experience Bahamian life close-up and can polish your bartering skills while sampling the work of some of the local artisans.

Travel Tips

Know before you go!

The more you know about traveling in The Islands Of The Bahamas, the more prepared you’ll be when you arrive.

Clothing

Casual summer wear can be worn during the day any time of the year; but be sure to bring a jacket or sweater for cooler evenings from December to February. Most hotels/restaurants/casinos require jackets for men in the evening, especially in more cosmopolitan areas, such as Nassau and Freeport/Lucaya.

Though walking the streets in swim trunks in mid-January might sound irresistible, beach clothing is inappropriate on the streets, in churches, restaurants and casinos. Away from beach or pool areas, you are expected to cover your bathing suit with shorts or a long shirt. In the more laid-back remote areas, the dress code is more flexible.

Time Zone

The Islands Of The Bahamas is in the Eastern Standard Time Zone.

In March of 2007, The Bahamas adopted a new policy for Daylight Saving Time.  As a result, Daylight Saving Time will commence at 2:00 a.m. on the second Sunday in March and will continue until 2:00 a.m. on the first Sunday in November.

This is the same daylight savings policy practiced in Australia, Canada and the United States.

Currency

The Bahamian dollar is held on par with the U.S. dollar and both are accepted interchangeably throughout the islands. Credit cards and travelers checks are accepted at most locations on Nassau/Paradise Island and Grand Bahama Island. +PLUS and Cirrus ATMs can be found at banks on Nassau/Paradise Island, Grand Bahama Island and on most of the major Out Islands.

Electricity

Electrical outlets in The Islands Of The Bahamas are 60 cycles/120 volts, which is compatible with all U.S. appliances. British and European appliances require a flat two-pin adaptor and 220-volt converter.

Duty-Free Shopping

Most of the major islands have duty-free shopping on cameras, binoculars and telescopes, china and crystal, watches and clocks, jewelry, perfumes, fine linens and tablecloths, liquor and leather goods. Savings on these items are between 25% – 50% below U.S. prices.

You can find local arts and crafts in straw markets and specialty shops, or in Nassau’s Festival Place, Paradise Island’s Bahama Craft Center and Grand Bahama Island’s Port Lucaya Marketplace.

Health & Safety

Inoculations are not required unless traveling to The Islands Of The Bahamas from an infected area.

While in The Bahamas, you can have peace of mind knowing that there are facilities available to serve your health-related and pharmacy needs. The medical facilities on the islands, especially Nassau/Paradise Island and Grand Bahama Island, are staffed with North American and European-trained physicians.

Banking

Banking hours are Monday through Thursday, 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. In Nassau/Paradise Island there are ATMs at both Paradise Island and Cable Beach casinos and, commercial banks.  In Grand Bahama, they can be found at major banks, the casino and Port Lucaya and on The Out Islands ATMs are at banks on all of the major islands. Most are equipped with +PLUS and Cirrus ATM systems.

Climate

The trade winds that blow almost continually throughout The Islands Of The Bahamas give the islands a warm, agreeable climate that varies little year-round. The most refreshing time is between September and May, when the temperature averages 70-75°F. The rest of the year is a bit warmer with temperatures averaging between 80-90°F.

Hurricane Season

June through November is The Bahamas’ hurricane season. The weather does influence travel decisions and often inaccurate reporting of information on hurricanes results in needless cancellations by U.S. travelers. Many Bahamian hotels have instituted a Hurricane Hotel Policy that states that visitors who cancel a Bahamas vacation during a hurricane will receive an immediate refund with no penalties.

Rainy Season

The Islands Of The Bahamas can experience rain year-round; however, the months of May through October constitute the rainy season. The northern islands normally receive twice as much rain as the southern islands.

Language

The official language of The Bahamas is English, more British than American, and generally intertwined with a special Bahamian dialect. Some Indian words like cassava and guava have been retained in the language.

Entry Requirements

Other Countries

To enter The Bahamas, citizens from countries other than the U.S. and Canada are required to present a valid passport which must be current up to your travel period and some countries are also required to have a Bahamas visa.  If you are departing The Bahamas for a country  that has the passport validity requirement of six (6) months beyond the dates of travel, then that requirement will be enforced. You must also have a return, or onward journey ticket, and proof of funds to support your visit. To view the entry requirements for your country of birth, please download the pdf below .

NOTE: If you are using an electronic ticket, please show Immigration a copy of your travel itinerary and ticket number.

PASSPORT refers to a valid passport from the individual’s country of birth.

VISA refers to a Bahamas visa only. If a person is born in one country and resident in another (other than the U.S. or Canada), the documentation required is based upon the country of birth.

To download a Bahamas Visa Application Form or to verify the visa requirements  click here.

VACCINATION REQUIREMENTS:  Most visitors to The Bahamas do not need special vaccinations before entering the country. However, travellers over age one must provide a YELLOW FEVER VACCINATION CERTIFICATE, if they are coming from infected areas. Information can be found on the following site: www.bahamas.gov.bs

Customs & Immigration

Arrival:

Upon arriving in The Islands Of The Bahamas, everyone must fill out and sign an immigration form, keeping a portion of the card in hand until departing. An oral baggage declaration is required. Each adult visitor is allowed to bring 50 cigars, 200 cigarettes or one pound of tobacco, one quart of spirits and a variety of personal effects (personal radio headsets, bicycle, two still cameras, etc.). All beer imported into the country is dutiable at a rate of $10 per imperial gallon or $18 per case.  Purchases up to a value of $100 are permitted by all arriving passengers.

Departure:

Departures to the U.S. must go through U.S. Customs and Border Protection pre-clearance. U.S. visitors may take home $800 worth of duty-free merchandise. The next $1,000 is taxed at 10%. Gifts valued up to $50 may be mailed home duty-free. One litre of wine, liqueur or liquor and five cartons of cigarettes may be taken duty-free.

Boats:

If entering The Bahamas by boat, there is a flat fee to clear Customs and Immigration, which is $150.00 for boats 30 feet and under and $300.00 for boats 31 feet and over. This covers a vessel with three persons or less. Also included is a cruising permit, a fishing permit, Customs and Immigration charges and the $25.00 Departure Tax is waived for up to three persons. Each additional person above three will be charged $25.00 Departure Tax. In Grand Bahama the Departure Tax is $28.00. If you plan to stay longer than 12 months, special arrangement must be made with Bahamas Customs and Immigration.

Getting Around

There are several options to help you get around each island in The Bahamas, and to help you hop from island to island. Rental cars, buses and taxis are the most common modes of transportation. Check out the “Getting Around” section to find transportation for the particular island you are visiting.

By Air

There are several options, both by charter and by scheduled air, to help you move from one island to the next. Find a complete listing of the companies that provide island hopping in the “Private Flying” section of Bahamas Directory.

By Car

Rental cars, equipped for left-hand driving, are available on every island. Rental car facilities are often located at hotels and at airports. Renting a car is a convenient way for you to explore more of the island on your own time. There are local rental car companies and international rental agencies such as Hertz, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Thrifty, National, Almo are also represented on the island. Prices can range from approximately $75 per day for a compact vehicle to approximately $115 per day for a minivan.  Insurance and gas are extra.

By Scooter

Motor scooters are also available for rent. Renting a motor scooter gives you and a passenger the freedom to buzz around town and the countryside looking for that perfect, quiet beach spot. Motor scooters are approximately $50.00-$60.00 per day between the hours of 8am-5pm.  Insurance and a deposit is required. Hourly rentals can be requested. The law requires that motor scooter riders wear crash helmets, which are available from the scooter rental companies.

Please remember:  When taking to the roads in The Islands Of The Bahamas, there’s one important thing to remember: We drive on the left-hand side of the road.

By Sea

Bahamas Ferry Services

This high-speed Fast Ferry service is a fully air-conditioned vessel that whisks you from Nassau to one of several other major islands.

• The M/V BoHengy – high-speed daily service from Nassau to Harbour Island and North Eleuthera (twice on Fridays) and twice weekly from Nassau to Governor’s Harbour, Eleuthera (Friday & Sunday). This unique waterborne experience is via a 115-foot, high-speed catamaran that can accommodate approximately 177 passengers and is fully air-conditioned.

• The M/V Sealink – round-trip service from Nassau to Exuma, Andros and Eleuthera.

• The M/V Seawind – round-trip service from Nassau to Andros, Eleuthera and Abaco.

For schedule and fare information, please contact:

Bahamas Ferry Services Ltd.
Chief Marketing Officer: Mr. Khaalis Rolle
P. O. Box N-3709
Nassau, The Bahamas
Phone: 242-323-2166, 242-323-2165
Fax: 242-393-7451, 242-394-8457
info@bahamasferries.com
http://www.bahamasferries.com

By Bus and Taxi

Jitney Bus

Public transportation service (referred to as jitneys) is available on several of the major islands, such as Nassau/Paradise Island and Grand Bahama Island. Service is generally from early morning (about 6:30 a.m.) until about 7:00 p.m. Fares vary, depending on the route, and exact change is required. Bus stops are marked. The basic fare is $1.25 per person. Out of town zones in New Providence could cost up to $2.25.

Taxi

You can call a taxi or flag one down on the street in the major islands. Taxi stands are also conveniently placed at most hotels and at airports. Although metered rates vary by island, they are reasonable and are fixed by law.

Nassau/Paradise Island Taxi Rates

Nassau International Airport to:

– Cable Beach………………………$18.00

– Downtown………………………..$27.00

– Paradise Island…………………..$32.00 (add $1 bridge toll)

Cable Beach to:

– Downtown………………………..$15.00

– Paradise Island…………………..$22.00 (add $1 bridge toll)

Downtown to:

– Paradise Island…………………..$11.00 ($4.00 per person group rate for 4 or more passengers)

Please note:

– Surcharges often apply for more than two persons and extra luggage.

– A 5-mile taxi ride is approximately $12.00.

– Taxi rates quoted are for up to two (2) passengers.

– Each additional passenger is $3.00 per person.

 

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