Earlier this week, the Bahamas announced that it was closing its borders to travellers from the USA as a precautionary measure to stop the spread of COVID-19. So; what does this mean for you if you’ve already booked, or are planning to book, a yachting vacation in the Bahamas?
On Wednesday July 22, the Bahamas stopped allowing commerical flights from the USA into the country.
If you’re based in the States and you’re planning a tropical, social-distancing-optimized vacation on board a superyacht in the Bahamas in the coming weeks, you may be calling your plans into question.
But there’s no need to put the brakes on your dream getaway yet.
First, you need to understand exactly what these travel restrictions mean and how they will impact your travel.
Private yachts and luxury charter yachts are still able to cruise freely in the Bahamas.
No islands are off limits, except Grand Bahama. The Bahamas’ most popular charter destinations, which includes the Exumas and Harbour Island, are still open to yacht-goers and charterers with most restaurants and tourist attractions up and running as usual.
While commerical flighrs to and from the US are not currently operating, it is still possible to fly out privately, meet your yacht and enjoy a fun and memorable superyacht vacation surrounded by your nearest and dearest.
Chartered or private flights will still be permitted to fly in and out of the Bahamas. This is great news if you’re based in Florida, with plenty of options at your disposal and a flight time of just forty-five minutes from Miami to Staniel Cay.
One of YachtCharterFleet’s favorite private airlines for yacht-goers is Makers Air, which has adjusted its COVID-19 safety protocols and offers flights to a variety of the Bahamas’ islands.
Other destinations on the East Coast are just as easy to access via private flights. From the West Coast, the flight time will likely be a little longer, but there are still countless private aviation options that will ensure a comfortable, hassle-free flight to the Bahamas.
Grand Bahama is the only exception to the above-mentioned points. Yachts and private aircraft will not be allowed to land or dock on the island of Grand Bahama, which includes the city of Freeport.
Luckily, the main exit and entry point for yachts is Nassau. For flights, your plane will have to clear international customs, usually at Chub Cay, before being allowed to land at an airport of your choosing in the Bahamas.
Since Grand Bahama isn't usually included in yacht charter itineraries and is not a main exit or entry point, your plans are not likely to be affected by this closure.
Travellers from Canada, the United Kingdom and the European Union are permitted to enter the Bahamas via commercial flights, but they are required to present a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test from a referenced lab, taken no more than 10 days prior to the date of travel.
In spite of Coronavirus travel restrictions, it’s still possible to charter a yacht in the Bahamas right now. Whether you’re interested in Nassau or the Exumas, our guide to private yachting vacations in the Bahamas during Coronavirus is packed with essential travel advice and key information that you need to know before booking.
As well as recommendations for the best places to visit, we’ve also put together some Bahamas social distancing itineraries, which have been tailored so that you can avoid the crowds while still soaking up all the most incredible sights of the Bahamas.
If you’re interested in viewing a selection of yachts available now, you can take a look at our recent round-up of the best charter yachts in the Bahamas for every budget.
You can also view and compare the complete fleet of charter yachts in the Bahamas.
To make a booking or find out more, please get in touch with a yacht charter broker.
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