from Florida to the Bahamas book two to seven day cruises. Some lines offer one-day roundtrips. One-way cruises are hard to find but are available. The Bahamas are a chain of 700 islands spread over 400 miles. One popular destination is the capital city of Nassau, located on New Providence Island. The island of Grand Bahamas hosts Freeport, another location near Florida that is popular for one-way cruises.
The Mail Boat Company LTD has been in operation since 1960. It travels between the islands of the Bahamas, bringing mail and freight but also carrying passengers and their cars. Mail boat service has a long history on the islands, after being established by the British in 1870. The Mail Boat leaves from Thursday at 7 p.m. and arrives at Nassau on Friday morning at 6 a.m. The return trip leaves on Thursdays at 8 a.m. from Freeport and lands in Florida on Friday morning at 1:30 a.m. Discounts are available for seniors (over 65), children, and groups of 20 or more. Vehicles can also be transported for an additional fee.
Mailboat Company LTD
Lynn Rolle 3218 N.W.
North River Drive Miami, FL 33142
Discovery Cruise Line
Discovery Cruise Line also offers one way cruises, but they are not advertised on its website. Travel goes from Ft. Lauderdale to Freeport. If you are not a Bahamian citizen or resident you need to show proof of citizenship in order to return to the U.S. The pricing information is not available via its website. The trip needs to be reserved over the phone through Discovery's reservation line or you may book it through its webchat. The price for a one-way ticket during the week was under $100 in 2010. If you decide you would like to travel on a weekend the price is a bit higher. Prices are set for the year but could change.
The company also offers one-day cruises that leave at 7:45 a.m. and arrives at Grand Bahamas Island at 1 p.m. The return trip leaves at 6 p.m. and arrives back in Miami at 10:30 p.m. The trip offers lunch, beverages, a casino and a pool. Special prices available for seniors and parties over five people.
Discovery Cruise Ferry
1775 N.W. 70th Ave.
Miami, FL 33126
Passport and Other Requirements
When traveling to the Bahamas from the United States, you will need a passport or passport card. Passport applications are not enough. Citizens of the U.S. under the age of 15 only need a valid birth certificate, or an expired passport. The birth certificate must be the kind issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Vital Statistics and copies are not good enough. Canadian citizens will need a Canadian passport and U.S. aliens need a current alien resident card.
Melanie Grimes is a medical journalist, homeopath, award-winning screenwriter, and editor of integrative medicine journals. Her essays have been published by Penguin Putnam. She writes and teaches homeopathy worldwide and is currently working on a novel and a memoir.