What a way to cross the Gulf Stream! Travelers from south Florida to the Bahamas will have a new choice of transportation beginning December 9, 2011. A high-speed ferry, the Pinar del Rio, will be making the 76-mile trip from Port Everglades to Freeport in two and a half hours. A shipping company from Spain, the Bahamas Express, will operate the service. Designed for tourists and the resort industry, this service also has implications for the cruising community. It would certainly make it easy to get guests over to the Bahamas with less hassle and expense.
Fares start at $49 each way, with options for First Class if desired. Additional fees include an operational charge of $12.50 and the Bahamas departure tax of $18. One could go roundtrip on the ferry and stay two nights for the cost of an airline ticket.
The ferry departs every day except Wednesdays at 10 am and arrives at Grand Bahama at 12:30 pm. It departs the Bahamas at 7:30 pm and arrives back at Port Everglades at 10 pm. It has a speed of 32 knots and can carry 463 people. Besides the economy and first class accommodations, there is duty-free shopping and a bar-cafeteria onboard.