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Nassau (NAS) is the most popular point of entry into the Bahamas, convenient for visitors heading to New Providence and Paradise Island. British Airways offers direct Bahamas flights from London-Heathrow (LHR) to Nassau five times per week.
With a nine-hour flight time and a five-hour time difference between the Bahamas and the UK, it’s often possible to leave in the morning and be on the beach by the afternoon. Regular domestic flights to Heathrow from cities around the UK mean that Nassau is usually just two flights away, no matter where you live.
If Nassau isn’t your final destination, you can make connections from Nassau to Freeport (FPO) and many of the Out Islands via local airlines such as Bahamasair. A number of the Out Islands are just a 30-minute flight from Nassau.
Another option is to continue your journey by boat. Bahamas Ferries is the main company offering transport from Nassau to various popular destinations, including Exuma and Governor’s Harbour. The boats are quite comfortable, with air-conditioning and a food and beverage service, but the schedules have a reputation for changing unexpectedly.
If the direct flights to Nassau with British Airways don’t fit your schedule, or you don’t want to fly into Nassau, the best option is to fly via a US city. From Miami, you can hop on connecting flights to Nassau, Freeport or even some Out Islands such as Bimini and the Exumas.
It’s also possible to reach the Bahamas via other cities including Fort Lauderdale, New York, Charlotte and Atlanta. You could even decide to take advantage of your stopover and spend a few days in the US as part of your trip.
A number of airlines offer flights to the Bahamas via the US, so it’s best to shop around a bit to find the cheapest Bahamas flight option for you. American Airlines offers several daily flights from Fort Lauderdale to Nassau, while US Airways offers daily flights to Nassau from Charlotte.
You’ll find some of the cheapest Bahamas flight deals during the ‘off season’, which lasts from mid-April to mid-December. Temperatures can be quite hot during these months, but if you can handle the heat, there are significant savings to be had.
UK residents do not need a visa to enter the Bahamas for a 21-day tourist stay. All you need is a passport with six months’ validity from your date of departure from the Bahamas.
If your flight connects through the US, however, keep in mind that you’ll need to obtain an Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) at least 72 hours before your trip as part of the Visa Waiver Program. You can then stay in the US – including the Bahamas – for up to 90 days.
Either way, when you arrive in the Bahamas, you’ll need to fill out an immigration card. Be sure to hang on to your portion of this card during your stay and then present it at the airport when you leave the island.