Flying to the Bahamas requires a Passport Book (not the card), with at least 6 months left before its expiration, for each person entering the Bahamas, even infants. (See How Long Can We Stay for more information) Pets require a Bahamas Pet Import Form and Health Certificate. (See Bringing Pets for forms and procedures)
There are now two air services between Ft. Lauderdale Executive Airport, FL (FXE) and The Bight (TBI) airport on Cat Island. One is still offered by Watermakers Air, and the other is Marlin Air, operated by Ezra Russell, see details at the bottom of this page. Otherwise, to fly to Cat Island you will need to connect in Nassau, where you clear Bahamian Immigration and declare how long and where you will be staying. Generally immigration officers in Nassau will only grant you up to 30 to 90 days for you visit. If you need to stay longer you need to contact the local immigration dept. at Smith’s Bay in advance at 342-2149. You will be given a Bahamas Tourist card that should always be carried with you. After clearing immigration go downstairs and collect any checked bags and you will then go through Bahamas Customs and tell them you having nothing to declare. But be aware that drug use, even marijuana is illegal in the Bahamas, so only bring medications for which you have a prescription.
Cat Island is served by two public airports, one in the north at Arthur’s Town (ATC), which is closer to Pigeon Cay, and another in the south at New Bight (TBI). While several airlines fly between Nassau and Cat Island, we recommend either SkyBahamas, which can be booked directly online at SkyBahamas.net or Marlin Air )call Ezra 242-427-8520 or Tre Russell (pilot) 242-557-1478). Round trip airfare between Nassau and either airport on Cat Island is about $205-$235 USD. SkyBahamas schedule is changing effective March 1st 2018. They will fly once daily between Nassau and The Bight on Mon. Wed. Fri. and Sun., and once daily between Nassau and Arthur’s Town on Tue, Thu, Sat. and Sun., so check their website for actual times and availability. Their aircraft are 30 seat twin turboprops and the flight is less than 30 minutes. Bahamas’ Civil Aviation Administration (their equivalent to the FAA) does not allow night time flights to the Out Islands.
If traveling from the US west coast we recommend taking a red-eye flight that arrives in Nassau by 1:30 PM and taking the afternoon (3:30 PM) Sky Bahamas flight to Arthur’s Town. If you’re planning on over-nighting in Nassau, the closest hotel to the airport (hence the least taxi fare) is Orange Hill, a ‘mom and pop’ style family resort with generally reasonable rates. If you want to stay in the city, and if your budget will afford it, the British Colonial Hilton is recommended. The BC Hilton is a historic landmark, and the location where Sean Connery filmed his last Bond movie, Never Say Never. There’s even a 007 suite at the hotel. The hotel is located next to the Straw Market Bay Street tourist shopping areas. It’s about a $50 / 30 minute taxi ride each way to and from the airport. If you want a lower cost downtown hotel, then we suggest the Towne Hotel, which is only a block from the Hilton and is a locals’ favorite, but definitely a budget type accommodations.
Once you arrive on Cat Island there are usually local taxi services available to drive you to Pigeon Cay. One way taxi fare from Arthur’s Town is about $30 plus tip and from New Bight to Pigeon Cay is about $70 plus tip, always cash only, for two passengers. Extra Passengers and baggage is a bit more. We recommend making arrangements for a ride ahead of time just to be certain. And most drivers will take you to a grocery store as part of the trip so you can pick up any essentials or fresh items before getting settled in.
Marlin Air (Ezra Russell) New Bight has started a charter daily from TBI- Nass also has flights direct from TBI-FLL Executive Airport. Leslie reports she has flown with them several times, cargo ok to bring as well, nice way to travel. For info call Ezra 242-427-8520 or Tre Russell (pilot) 242-557-1478
Watermakers Air between Ft Lauderdale Executive airport and the Bight, Cat Island. Flights are up to four days per week on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, usually only upon request, more like a charter service. Check their website for Airfares and actual schedules.
Watermakers Air is pet friendly!
In addition, Watermakers Air is excited to offer “per pound” freight service to New Bight. Our dedicated freight department is standing by ready to assist you with all your shipping needs! We offer Regular, Express, and Priority Rush delivery options. Rates begin at $1.50 per lb. We also offer complimentary mail forwarding of U.S. Standard mail.
Reservations email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Freight email: email@example.com
2331 NW 55th Court, Hangar 19
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309