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Old 31-10-2015, 14:07   #1
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Entry Requirements for the Bahamas

Hi everyone! My husband, Dave and I are brand new to this group, so I apologize if I am posting this in the wrong section. We are just finishing up the purchase of our very first boat, a Lipari 41, called Bolero. We are beyond excited and are planning a 5 month cruise of the Bahamas this spring with our 4 kids and small dog. We spent 5 months aboard an Admiral 38 called Balance in 2012 in the Caribbean, including Bocas del Toro, the Bay Islands of Honduras, Rio Dulce of Guatemala, mainland Belize, Barrier Islands of Belize, San Blas Islands of Panama and back to Bocas. It was an awesome adventure. Maybe we met some of you!?

Anyway, this is my question (the first of many, I'm sure): Dave will be flying out next week with crew to Marsh Harbor, Abaco, Bahamas to pick up Bolero and take it to Florida for retrofitting in preparation for our upcoming adventure. He (and his crew) have one way tickets into Marsh Harbor. We have read that Bahamian Immigration MAY request/require proof of a roundtrip ticket upon entry into the country. We read that without a roundtrip ticket entry into the country MAY be denied. Yikes!! They leave Nov. 8 (a week from tomorrow). Can anyone tell me whether or not it is likely that Dave and crew will be denied entry without a roundtrip ticket? I know none of you are Bahamian Immigration officials, I'm just wondering if anyone has entered the country (recently) with a one way ticket and if they were allowed/denied entry to the Bahamas?

Thanks in advance!
~Heather, First "Mate"
(And the salty crew of Bolero)

P.S. Here is a link to the first chapter of our 2012 Caribbean adventure for anyone interested:



Additional chapters can be found on the side bar when the video is playing or by clicking on "Dave Stewart" below the video or by doing a You Tube search for "Sail on the Wild Side". The videos are organized by chapter. Enjoy!
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Old 31-10-2015, 14:38   #2
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Re: Entry Requirements for the Bahamas

My granddaughter flew down to GT (one way) and sailed back with us a couple of years ago. No problems at all. Bahamians understand folks joining boats.
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Old 31-10-2015, 15:06   #3
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Re: Entry Requirements for the Bahamas

If you are still "buying" the boat and his name does not appear anyplace as the OWNER of the boat, then they may have very good reason to ask you for a round trip ticket, or for proof that he's going to be leaving on a boat of some type. After all, sales have been known to fall through.


I'd contact the authorities there, and include a copy of the sales contract or other papers showing your intent and almost certain purchase of the vessel, then see what they have to say.


If the sale is actually going to be concluded and the title of the boat transferred to his name before he steps on the plane...that's something else again. That should make life very easy.
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Old 31-10-2015, 15:17   #4
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Re: Entry Requirements for the Bahamas

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Heather & Dave.
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Old 01-11-2015, 03:45   #5
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Re: Entry Requirements for the Bahamas

If you can, get a copy of the cruising permit and a letter from the holder of the cruising permit stating they are a delivery crew. It is usually not the Bahamian government, but the airlines that cause the problems.
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Old 01-11-2015, 08:27   #6
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Re: Entry Requirements for the Bahamas

That's been our experience as well. Produce proof of ownership and smile a lot :-)
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Old 01-11-2015, 11:13   #7
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Re: Entry Requirements for the Bahamas

I flew from canada to spain with a one way ticket for a transatlantic delivery. I brought copies of every document possible...boat ownership, skippers passport, letter from the skipper declaring me as crew, etc. In the end no one even asked anything. It was just "passport please....NEXT".
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Old 01-11-2015, 13:01   #8
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Re: Entry Requirements for the Bahamas

Another option is to buy a full fare one way ticket back and then cancel either after you get the ticket confirmation or the day you get to the Bahamas. Can buy the morning you leave and cancel after you clear customs.

Had the same issue going into Mexico one time (out of many one way trips there) and that was the easiest way out. It was the airline that was the problem. Guess if a country refuses entry for that reason the airline is responsible for shipping you out of the country. In my case I just bought a full fare ticket online with the agent standing there and cancelled it when I landed.
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Old 01-11-2015, 13:45   #9
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Re: Entry Requirements for the Bahamas

Related question: Does anyone know about bringing a forien national into the Bahamas on a US flagged vessel? It is possible I will sail with a friend from Argentina and was wondering whether crew need to worry about entry requirements (other than a valid passport) separate and apart from teh vessel and captain. TIA for any suggestions.
-M
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Old 01-11-2015, 14:45   #10
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Re: Entry Requirements for the Bahamas

In January 2015 my wife and I flew to Abaco to rejoin our boat which we had left in Green Turtle Cay in December. We were stopped at the Silver Airways checkin counter in Fort Lauderdale. The ticket agent refused to let us board the flight until we purchased a return ticket. It was an extra $600 for which we had not budgeted. We even got charged an extra fee for buying the ticket at the gate.
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Old 01-11-2015, 15:22   #11
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Re: Entry Requirements for the Bahamas

I have also only been routinely asked for a return ticket by the airline but never by the Bahamas government.

It's easy to buy a refundable ticket on JetBlue and then cancel. You do it all online and the refund comes back to the credit card. Who knows? The boat might have a problem and I would need to use the ticket.

I once bought one of these ticket as "insurance" despite having a cruising permit when flying out of Boston. The Bahamas cruising permit paper doesn't look particularly real. It also doesn't have your name on it. The airline desk people in Florida are familiar with them but I wasn't so sure in Boston checking in for an early flight.
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Old 01-11-2015, 15:43   #12
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Re: Entry Requirements for the Bahamas

What is the issue with these airlines that question one way tickets?

Can everything stupid be blamed on 9/11?
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Old 01-11-2015, 16:11   #13
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Re: Entry Requirements for the Bahamas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
What is the issue with these airlines that question one way tickets?

Can everything stupid be blamed on 9/11?
Authorities at destination will in many cases fine airlines when they bring in someone without a visa or a return ticket.
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Old 01-11-2015, 16:32   #14
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Re: Entry Requirements for the Bahamas

Quote:
Originally Posted by svlamorocha View Post
Authorities at destination will in many cases fine airlines when they bring in someone without a visa or a return ticket.
I don't quite understand how an airline can let someone even board if they don't have the "proper papers" to begin with. I recall being asked for my passport at the check-in counter on all my flights, even before C&I on departure.

The return ticket I can start to understand, but still...

I know it's not "your fault."
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Old 01-11-2015, 18:15   #15
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Re: Entry Requirements for the Bahamas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
I don't quite understand how an airline can let someone even board if they don't have the "proper papers" to begin with. I recall being asked for my passport at the check-in counter on all my flights, even before C&I on departure.

The return ticket I can start to understand, but still...

I know it's not "your fault."
I do not understand the link between this post of yours and my post before it. Can you please explain?

Sent from my GT-I9192 using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
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