The Islands of The Bahamas is known globally as one of the top boating destinations in the western hemisphere. Moreover, recent statistics reveal that over the past three years there has been an increase of more than 60 percent in the number of boaters to The Bahamas.
The Association of Bahamas Marinas (ABM), which represents the interests of the boating, sports fishing and marina industries in The Bahamas, works with the country’s tourism ministry to promote boating to The Bahamas.
The mission of the ABM is creating and encouraging a national set of standards for marinas, their service levels, their safety and their efforts to conserve the environment. Specific objectives include establishing educational and training projects, certificate and related programs and research studies in order to improve the skills of marina operators, dock-masters and other personnel, be an information provider of news and trends shaping the industry with hopes of improving customer experiences, improve operations and increase profitability to the industry. For the boater, the ABM looks to educate regarding safe and responsible recreational use of the Bahamian waters and natural resources that make The Bahamas a prized destination.
One of the major boating and boater related initiatives in The Bahamas for 2019 is the introduction of a single electronic / on-line portal for the application and payment of fees for cruising permits and the yacht charter fee. This will save boaters substantial time with inbound customs & immigration and will streamline the collection of fees for the government.
Currently, boaters need to fill out a number of Customs and Immigration forms. These forms can be found on-line and fill out prior to arrive. To view and download the forms visit, https://bahamasmarinas.com/enteringexiting-policies.
Bahamas entry fees for boaters currently are:
a) For boats up to 35′, the fee is $150.00
b) For boats over35′,the fee is $300.00
The fees will cover Cruising Permit; Fishing Permit; and Departure Tax for up to three (3) persons. Each additional person above three will be charged a $25 departure tax. This fee is good for a second re-entry within a 90-day period.
The ABM has recently launched the Voyager cruising club as one method for bringing in the funds needed to pay for these initiatives. The Voyager membership program offers participating boaters exclusive benefits such as discounts, cruising guides and invitations to special events at marinas and boating related businesses throughout The Bahamas and the U.S.
The Voyager program is geared towards boating enthusiasts and anyone can join by paying a $75 annual membership fee. A significant portion of this membership fee goes directly to the environmental protection work of the Bahamas National Trust and the Bahamas Reef Environment Educational Foundation (BREEF). The rest is put towards funding ABM initiatives and raising the profile of boating to and throughout The Bahamas. The ABM has opened up the resale of these memberships to any person, company or group that would like to get involved.
For more information on the Voyager program, call 844-556-5290 / 410-988-3829 or visit www.voyagermember.com. For more information on the Association of Bahamas Marinas visit http://www.bahamasmarinas.com.