Bahamas Mail Boats

Photograph of Bahamas Mail BoatEven though the Out Islands are now almost all accessible by airplane, mail boats still ply the waters back and forth between the islands. The boats leave Nassau from Potter’s Cay – located off East Bay Street under the east Paradise Island bridge – about once a week, stopping at one or two of the Out Islands along the way. The journey takes about 12 hours, usually overnight. Schedules are somewhat random, subject to change and postponement. The mail boat is, however, an economical way to travel the islands, a lot of fun, and perhaps the most understated and unusual adventure available. The decks are crowded with Bahamians, freight, livestock and a variety of weird cargoes.

This is also a great way to make short trips to the Out Islands. For instance, the Bahamas Daybreak III leaves Nassau on Mondays at 7 pm, arrives at Governor’s Harbour on Eleuthera at midnight, and returns to Nassau at 8 pm on Tuesday. You could spend the night at the Duck Inn or the Rainbow Inn, spend the next day sightseeing, swimming, snorkeling or whatever, then catch the boat and be back in your hotel by 1:30 am, just in time to get some sleep.

Unfortunately, passage cannot be arranged in advance, but only after arrival in the Bahamas. For more information, call the dock master at Potter’s Cay, phone 242-393-1064. You’ll find detailed schedule and fare information in the At a Glance section of this website.

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Getting There:

For visitors arriving by air, the Bahamas are served through Nassau by most US airlines and by international airlines from Canada and Europe, and to a slightly more limited degree through Freeport.

The Out Islands are served mainly by Bahamas Air via connections in Nassau and Freeport.

The Bahamas is also a major destination for the cruise ship industry

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