Frequently asked questions

Bahamas

Travel

See our COVID-19 Travel Requirements page for the latest COVID-19 travel updates.

Yellow fever certificate requirements 

A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travellers arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission. the same is required for travellers having transited more than 12 hours through the airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission. An overview of the countries which this applies to can be downloaded here: Yellow Fever Risk Countries. Further information can be found under the Visiting the Bahamas section of The Government of The Bahamas website.

 

We advise all guests to check the with their nearest travel health clinic for the latest vaccination advice, and to ensure that their vaccinations are up to date. Please make sure that you use insect repellent and cover exposed skin to prevent any insect borne diseases.

All Bahamas Master itineraries embark and disembark in Freeport, Grand Bahama which is served by Grand Bahama International Airport (FPO).

We recommend booking flights to and from Grand Bahama, which is served by several airlines from the US*:
- American Airlines from Miami (MIA) or Atlanta (ATL)
- United Airlines, Bahamasair, or Silver Airways from Fort Lauderdale (FLL)

*Non-US citizens travelling to the Bahamas via the United States may be required to obtain an ESTA or US transit visa prior to leaving their home country.

It is also possible to fly from Europe to Nassau (NAS) via LHR without transiting through the US but, this requires an additional, domestic flight from Nassau to Freeport.

PLEASE NOTE: Guests are kindly asked not to book flights that arrive after the designated liveaboard embarkation time, or early morning flights for departure on the day of disembarkation.

Visa Information

US, Canadian, UK, and most European nationals do not require a visa to enter the Bahamas. For further information visit The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism website. An overview of visa requirements for all nationalities can be downloaded from the 'Visiting the Bahamas' section of the 'Non-Residents' page on The Government of the Bahamas website.

Transit Via the United States - ESTA or Visas 

If you are not a US resident and are travelling to the Bahamas via the United States, you will need to apply for an ESTA under the Visa Waiver Program, or will need to acquire a US transit visa.

Please check the following page of the US Department of Homeland Security's website for more information: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/

IMPORTANT: All travellers wishing to enter the US under the VWP need to hold a passport with an integrated chip (an ePassport). 

Passport Your passport should be valid for six months from the date of departure from The Bahamas. 

It is strongly recommended to spend at least one night in Florida and / or Freeport before cruise embarkation.

Ideally, you should plan to arrive in the Bahamas one day before the liveaboard embarkation day so that you are well rested before your diving holiday starts. This also means that, on the day of embarkation, you will be able to relax and have use of hotel facilities prior to boarding Bahamas Master as early embarkation is not possible.

Depending on your chosen flight route and connections, you may also need a night in Florida or the Bahamas after your liveaboard.

Country Information

UTC -5

English is the official language of The Bahamas, with a local dialect called 'Bahamianese' or 'Bahamian Dialect' being spoken colloquially.

 

Bahamians are deeply religious and Christianity is the predominant religion practised in the country.

The local currency is the Bahamian Dollar (BSD), but USD is also readily used. Cards are used throughout most of the country, especially in the tourist areas, although on some of the smaller outer islands only cash is accepted for purchases. ATMs are readily available in any major town.

Mobile phones with international roaming or local / US SIM cards will be able to pick up a signal when on land before or after your cruise, or onboard when close to shore at the start and end of the itinerary.

However, there will be little or no mobile phone coverage for the vast majority of the liveaboard itinerary.

WiFi data packages are available to purchase aboard Bahamas Master, with prices starting from 15 USD for 1 night (250MB). 

The Bahamas has a tropical climate, meaning it is humid and hot throughout the year with temperatures dropping slightly in the evenings. Temperatures vary from 24°C to 31°C (77°-90°F) depending on the time of year with July & August being the warmest months and January & February being the coolest. 

November through April features lots of sunshine and little rainfall, whereas the 'rainy season' from May through October is slightly more humid and warmer with heavy rain coming in short but intense thundershowers.

Water temperatures range from 23°C (74°F) in January up to 29°C (84°F) in August.

Most guests are comfortable diving in a 3mm full-length wetsuit during the warmer months, or 5mm for the cooler temperatures. However, your thermal protection should be based on your individual sensitivity and comfort. Guests who are more susceptible to cold, especially when doing multiple dives per day or remaining in one place for prolonged periods to observe marine life action, should consider packing a thicker or semi-dry wetsuit  and/or bringing a vest/hood.

IMPORTANT: Shark diving activities in the Bahamas requires divers to cover as much skin as possible, i.e. full-length wetsuit, gloves, hood and boots / socks all of which MUST BE DARK COLOURED. Please refer to our Shark Diving Information and Equipment Guidelines for further information.

In The Bahamas, medical care is generally satisfactory and medical facilities are comparable to what you would find in most developed countries. The most modern facilities are located in Nassau and Freeport, however, medical facilities can be found on virtually all islands. Please make sure you use insect repellent and cover exposed skin to prevent any insect borne diseases. Any serious illness/accident would require an airlift to the US.

Drones must be registered with the Bahamas Civil Aviation Authority prior to arriving in the Bahamas, and may only be flown if a permit has been obtained to do so. Unregistered drones will be seized by customs upon arrival in the Bahamas.

BCAA drone registration can be completed online through the Bahamas Civil Aviation Authority website: https://www.bcaabahamas.com/drone-registration/

Please make sure you fully read the BCAA terms and conditions for drone use before submitting your registration request.

There are two chambers located in Nassau equipped to deal with hyperbaric emergencies.

It is each person's responsibility to ensure they have appropriate and acceptable insurance that will cover recompression treatment and other emergency medical costs in the unlikely event of an accident. 

During Your Trip

Even though diving with sharks is very exciting and fun, it has inherent risks. The safety of our guests is paramount and we therefore adopt specific rules when diving with sharks in The Bahamas. To minimise the risks, all divers are required to follow the guidelines outlined in our Important Shark Diving Information.

It is important that you use suitable equipment to fully enjoy your shark diving experience, and to ensure your safety.

All divers are required to wear dark coloured full-length wetsuits, fins and boots, gloves and hood for shark dives.

Please consult our Bahamas Equipment Guidelines to see if your equipment is suitable. We have a range of dark coloured rental equipment available to pre-book and payable onboard as needed.

Power outlets on Bahamas Master are 110v/ 60Hz and US plugs. The sockets are compatible with most types of round pin plugs although there is a limited number of outlets available.

IMPORTANT: Guests whose electrical equipment requires 220v / 50Hz (most European and UK) will need a power adapater and should bring their own to ensure equipment charges and operates correctly.

WiFi internet access is available to purchase onboard Bahamas Master. The WiFi data packages may be used on one device at a time, subject to availability and signal strength in certain areas. The packages cannot be pre-booked or pre-paid.

Signal is only available when close to land as it is not a satellite data system.

  • Wifi will be available for most of Wrecks, Blue Holes, and Sharks & Ultimate Bahamas trips.
  • Wifi will be available for around half of Grand Bahama and Beyond trips (only when at Bimini).
  • Wifi will only be available for a short period after the boat leaves the marina and prior to returning to the marina on  Grand Bahama Adventure itineraries.

WiFi package prices start from 15 USD for 1 night (250 MB) and are based on duration and data package size. Please refer to our onboard extras document for further details of available package sizes and prices.

Marine, park and port fees vary depending on the itinerary duration and areas covered. The fees cover Bahamas Port Authorities fees, mooring fees and other local taxes.

The applicable amount will be added to your invoice to be paid on board Bahamas Master.

You can pay for all your onboard extras, including Marine, park and port fees, by card or in cash (USD, EUR, GBP and AUD).

Please note: due to unfavourable exchange rates in the Bahamas, cash payments in currencies other than USD are subject to a 4% fee.

Credit card payments on board are subject to a 3.5% surcharge.

Drones can be brought into the Bahamas with pre-registration. to apply for registration please visit The Bahamas Civil Aviation Authority website.

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