The Bahamas is an archipelago comprising some 700 islands, of which around 30 are inhabited.

So it’s you first cruise to The Bahamas and you have questions on your mind about so many things. Here are a few tips that should help in some way.

Entry Requirements

Entry requirements differ according to what country you are a resident and citizen of.

US Citizens

To get up-to-date information on regulations for international travel, please visit the Travel Section of the US Customs and Border Protection Home Page: www.cbp.gov.

US Permanent Residents (Non-citizens)

To enter The Bahamas, US residents who are not citizens need an Alien Registration Card (Green Card)

For visits NOT exceeding 30 days: You need an original Alien Registration Card and a national passport (from country of birth).

For visits exceeding 30 days: You need a valid national passport and a Bahamas visa.

Canadian Citizens

If you’re a Canadian citizen you do not require a visa to visit The Bahamas and can stay there for up to eight months.

However, the individual must have the following documents:

a) A Canadian passport, with an expiry date that is NOT less than three months, after leaving The Bahamas (for direct travel) and NOT less than six months (if transiting through other countries such as the US)

b) A return ticket

Canadian Permanent Residents

Permanent Residents of Canada (formerly known as Landed Immigrants) may stay in The Bahamas for 30 days without a visa. However, they must travel with the following items:

* A valid passport from your country of origin of which expiry date, after return from The Bahamas, must NOT be less than three months (for

direct travel) and NOT less than six months (if transiting through other countries such as the US)

* An original Canadian Permanent Resident CARD of which the expiry date must NOT be less than three months (for direct travel) and NOT less than six months (if transiting through other countries such as the US)

* A return ticket

Latin American Citizens

Citizens from Latin America are required to present a valid passport which must cover the period of intended stay. You are not required to have a Bahamas visa if the stay is less than 3 months. If you are departing The Bahamas for a country that has the passport validity requirement of six months beyond the dates of travel, then that requirement will be enforced.

Also, you need to have a return ticket or onward journey ticket, hotel confirmation if you’re staying at a hotel, or the name and address of residence and, if requested, proof of funds to support your visit.

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

NOTE: Where a child, who is a minor, is traveling with only one parent a notarized letter of permit from the parent not traveling may be requested. If the minor is traveling with non-parents, a notarized letter from the minor’s guardians would be required. This letter should indicate that the chaperones are authorized to (a) travel outside the country with the minor, (b) permit the chaperones to seek medical attention for the minor, if necessary.

Other Countries

Citizens from countries other than the US and Canada are required to present a valid passport which must be current up to your travel period, in order to enter The Bahamas. 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 months beyond the dates of your departure, then that requirement will be enforced. You must also have a return, or onward journey ticket, hotel confirmation if you’re staying at a hotel, or name and address of residence, along with proof of funds to support your visit.

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

Currency

The Bahamas uses the Bahamian Dollar (BSD). The exchange rate as at September 2016 is: 1 BSD = 1 USD

After Docking

After docking there is so much to do in The Bahamas

Some say The Bahamas is all about the water, so be prepared to indulge. Snorkel gear, Hawaiian sling, inflatable kayak or inflatable paddle board would be great to have, especially on remote islands.

Duty free shopping is available.

Enjoy the camaraderie of the Bahamians

Bahamians are friendly and kind and getting to know them will enhance your vacation.

Food

The food is good, enjoy it. Try the delicious crab salad or conch salad. Try the conch chowder or any of the exotic drinks. Rock lobster, Bahamian stew fish, baked crab, pigeon peas and rice are all favourites.

Attractions

There are a lot of attractions in The Bahamas, so it will be worth your while. Here is an introduction.

Atlantis Paradise Island, for water park, dolphins, casino, acquarium, honeymoon

Paradise Island, for casino, beach, dolphins, water park, snorkeling.

Junkanoo, for music, culture, beach.

Pirates of Nassau Museum, for pirate-themed museum and replica ship.

Elbow Cay, for beaches, lighthouses, fishing, surfing, golf.

Athol Island, for snorkeling.

And there’s a whole lot more!

Driving

In The Bahamas, like on most Caribbean islands, driving is on the left.

Article written for cruisewesterncaribbean.com by Mr.Carl Gilchrist
Please do not copy without permission