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Ferry to Bahamas

How to travel from the US to the Bahamas

balearia ferries


USA ⇔ The Bahamas
2 Hours
Up to 6 times per week

Fort Lauderdale-Grand Bahamas

USA ⇔ The Bahamas
2h 30 mins.
Up to 1 time per day

Ferries to Grand Bahamas or Bimini 🏝️

The Bahamas are located off the coast of Florida and can be easily reached by ferry from Miami (Fort Lauderdale). 

Two direct ferries will take you to 1) Freeport, Grand Bahamas, and 2) BiminiBimini is located just 51 miles / 83 km off the coast of Florida. 

The ferries are both operated by Balearia. The booking module below compares the departure times, travel duration, and prices.

Unfortunately, there are no Miami-Nassau ferries or routes to other islands. But don’t worry! You can go island hopping! The Mailboat and multiple smaller ferry operators can take you further. So all you ferry adventurers out there should keep reading.

Timetable, availability, and compare prices

Enter your travel dates and destination, and the system will show you all available Bimini and Grand Bahamas ferries. You can then choose the one that best suits your needs and budget.

Important: Select Fort Lauderdale – Bimini and not Miami – Bimini for ferries departing to Bimini.

Map with Bahama ferry & mailboat routes

The ferry map of the Bahamas shows multiple active routes and former routes. There used to be many more ferry crossings but many of these disappeared after hurricane Dorian and Covid-19. Luckily there are still a few and we hope more beautiful routes will be added (back) soon!

Island hopping Bahamas

If you’re looking to travel from Grand Bahama, there’s only one ferry connection available and that is with Great Abaco. For a Nassau connection, you must make a passenger reservation on the mailboat.

Mailboat Bahamas

Mailboats form the distribution network between the islands of the Bahamas. They don't sail fast so the crossings takes quite some time.The Mailboats are not known for being exceptionally comfortable and therefore mainly suitable for the seasoned traveler.
Although we prefer ferries ourselves, the plane is often a very good choice to travel around in the Bahamas. Of Course, you can also combine a flight with a ferry crossing. 
Bo Hengy III ferry from Bahamas Ferries

Bo Hengy III ferry from Bahamas Ferries

There are a number of ferries in the Bahamas. Some have a standard schedule, and others work more off-and-on or on-demand. We have listed the options for you with links to more information.

Freeport – Nassau Mailboat

About 70% of the inhabitants of The Bahamas live in the city of Nassau which is located on the island of New Providence.[1]Nassau (Bahamas), You can get there by mailboat from Freeport. The departure is often in the middle of the night, and it takes some time, but it will be an adventure for sure!

It is possible to travel by mailboat from Freeport to Nassau.

Nassau – Cat Island Mailboat

There is only one other Mailboat on which you can board as a passenger. This is from Nassau to Cat Island.

Nassau – Spanish Wells – Harbor island

On Fridays and Sundays, you can take the ferry from Nassau to Spanish Wells & Harbour Island. This ferry is operated by Bahamas Ferries. This company also operates on many other routes, but these are freight only.

Grand Bahama – Abaco

Great Abaco is an Island in the North and you can get there directly from Freeport, the arrival harbor from the ferry from Lauderdale. The other option is to take the ferry from McLeans town. This is a short crossing, but you first have to travel from Freeport to McLeans town. The distance is around 48 miles / 78km and you can travel by taxi. Please note that a taxi is not guaranteed to be available upon arrival at Crown Haven, so it is best to book it in advance.

Marsh Harbour – Hope Town

Off the coast of Abaco are several small islands. With G and L ferries you can easily get here. If you're in the area, a visit to Hope town is worth it.

Marsh Harbour – Man-O-War

Man-O-War is a quiet island that can also be reached from Abaco by ferry.

Marsh Harbour – Guana Cay

Abaco – Green Turtle Cay

Another small island close to Abaco is Green Turtle Cay. The ferry service is operated by Green Turtle Ferry Service. 

Acklins – Crooked Island

There is a small ferry between Lovely Bay, Acklins, and Cove Point, Crooked Island. On-demand charter service can be arranged at a cost.

  • Call: (242)344-3250

More info can also be found on the official website of the Bahamas.

Documents and ID needed for this trip

US-Bahamas Balearia Caribbean All U.S. Citizen adults and minors must be in possession of a current, valid passport book or passport card which you must show when traveling on this connection. There are however many exceptions to this rule as you can read in our post regarding ID requirements for the US-Bahamas ferry,

Ferry Bahama talk: Your questions and opinions

Ask, answer, and explore ferry routes with the community's expertise!

  1. Im currently with family @ fort Lauderdale. Do we need passports to go explore the Bahamas for a day or 2 in ferry?

  2. These mailboats are tough to understand, whil the time schedules don't change a lot: the actual timing does change. You should see this as more of an adventure than the large ferries from and to Bimini and/or Miami. You must literally expect the unexpected when booking tickets for these mailboats, and you have to call the dockmaster before you depart (like 5 days in advance). I've taken the Eleuthera Express many times now, it's a 5 to 9 hour trip for 40 USD, quite cheap and also ‘different' then just flying from A to B.

    Just my 2 cents,

    Big M

    • Thanks Big M for this additional guidance, we've been on a mailboat a few times and we 100% agree with what you say here: It's an adventure! You need some time in advance to simply ask at the harbor what's possible and such, online the info simply isn't always the best or outdated.

  3. Hello,
    I'a m trying to find our which port I would be dropped off when I book a ferry from Fort Lauderdale to Freeport? Where would I find this information?

  4. If i want to wisit thhe Bahamas on vacation, and travel between the islands, it´s very hard to figure out the best way to transport my self.
    Is there a good fery vebsite?
    and se how many islands has bridges between them?

  5. Hi. Trying to find out do u need a passport to travel via ferry from FL to Bahamas?

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1 Nassau (Bahamas),