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Express ferry to link Fort Lauderdale to The Bahamas

A new boat called the Bahamas Express Ferry is about to start high-speed service from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale to The Bahamas, according to New Times Broward Palm Beach. After some hitches, the ferry service operator is set to announce ticket prices this week. 

Broward-Palm Beach New Times
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Nov. 28/11 (By Deirdra Funcheon) – Hate flying? Lost your yacht in the recession? But sure as hell would love a decent Rum Runner and a handmade straw hat?

You are so in luck, because a new boat called the Bahamas Express Ferry is about to start high-speed service from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale to the Bahamas.

A massive, colorful ferry with the teal 1980s color scheme has been docked near 17th Street for a few weeks now.

It is operated by a company called Balearia, which offers a similar service in Spain, connecting the mainland with four islands, including Ibiza.

According to the company’s website, the Bahamas boat (one of 12 in the company’s fleet) is christened Pinar del Rio and can hold 463 passengers and 80 cars (though earlier reports indicate that cars will not be allowed on the Bahamas service). It has a restaurant/bar onboard, and pets are allowed.

Fast ferry services in South Florida have come and gone. One from the Port of Palm Beach to the Bahamas operated in the 1990s and early 2000s but closed. Fast-ferry services from South Florida to Key West have also opened and closed.

Balearia has not been immune to problems. It had initially announced the Bahamas ferry service back in July. At that time, the company said it planned to operate out of Miami, not Fort Lauderdale, and would stop on both Bimini and Grand Bahama Island. The ferry was supposed to make two roundtrips each day, with the trip taking two hours in each direction and tickets costing $99 to $180, with kids under 6 traveling free. But launch dates were postponed as the company reported problems finalizing deals at the port in Bimini.

This is an excerpt from Broward-Palm Beach New Times as it appeared on November 29, 2011. For updates or to read the current version of this post in its entirety, please click here.

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Nature artist and conservationist Guy Harvey has announced plans to open Guy Harvey Outposts Club and Marina, Rum Cay, next summer, according to MarketWatch website. This will be the second such venture in The Bahamas following the opening of Bimini Big Game Club last year.

Pictured is The Bahamas delegation at the 27th Regular Session of the Assembly of the International Maritime Organisation in London, November 21, 2011 (Left to right): Paul Farquharson, high commissioner and permanent representative to the IMO; Efthimios E Mitropoulos, secretary-general of the IMO; Ian Fair, chairman, Bahamas Maritime Authority (BMA); Peter Goulandris, vice-chairman, BMA; Commodore Davy Rolle, director and chief executive officer, BMA; and captain Doug Bell, deputy director, BMA.

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