Boating from Boca to the Bahamas: How Do You Get There From Here?
People are often surprised to learn how close Florida and The Bahamas really are. At the closest point, it’s only a distance of 50 miles! It’s hard not to start dreaming about making the journey from Boca Raton to The Bahamas by boat once you hear that!
Planning Your Boating Adventure to The Bahamas
There’s more to getting ready to take a boat to The Bahamas than remembering the sunscreen. So, what do you need to know before you set out for the tropical beaches and world-famous fishing grounds found in The Bahamas?
- The Bahamas are so close, but they are not part of the United States. The 700 islands that make up The Bahamas are a sovereign nation, so you will need to clear Customs and Immigration when entering the island chain just as you would when visiting any other foreign country.
When you are entering on a private boat you will need to fill out the Bahamas Customs Clearance Form (download PDF) and everyone on the boat will need to complete a Bahamas Immigration Card (download PDF). You will also need your passport.
- But, where do you go to clear customs? It’s not as simple as arriving at the airport and following the signs. There are designated Ports of Entry located throughout the islands where you will need to go first. And, when you get there, you will need to follow the pandemic protocols. As Nassau Paradise Island tourism officials explain, “Fly the yellow quarantine flag and notify Customs of your arrival. Until your vessel has been cleared, only the captain is allowed to leave the boat.”
- There are also a few fees that you should be aware of. “All boats entering The Bahamas are required to pay an entry fee that covers a cruising permit, fishing permit, and departure tax for up to three people. Each additional person on board will be charged an extra $25 departure tax. This fee is good for a second re-entry within a 90-day period. Fees are $150.00 for boats up to 35’ and $300 for boats over 35’,” the Nassau Paradise Island website says. For more information, they recommend consulting the Association of Bahamas Marinas.
Of course, you can simplify the process by chartering a boat in Florida, with an experienced captain who as made the trip from Boca Raton to The Bahamas by boat many times. For more information or to book your charter, contact us!