Balearia group, a Spanish shipping company that has transported people and cargo for 13 years in the Spanish Mediterranean, is starting a high-speed transport service to the Bahamas from Port Everglades, which is expected to begin December 9, 2011. The 463-passenger Bahamas Express transport will operate daily, except Wednesdays, departing from Port Everglades at 10 a.m. to Freeport and returning to Port Everglades at 10 p.m. This route will be operated by the fast ferry Pinar del Rio and will take two to three hours.
“There has been a high demand for this daily service to the Bahamas since Discovery Cruises ceased operations in September,” said Port Everglades Director Phil Allen. “Bahamas Express is a good fit for Port Everglades because the company has an excellent reputation and is growing, and the market for a daily Bahamas service from Broward County/Greater Fort Lauderdale is already established.”
The Bahamian government approved an agreement with Bahamas Express to maintain the Bahamians' daily commercial link with Broward County. While other companies have shown an interest in establishing daily cruise services from Port Everglades, none have indicated their readiness to begin service this year, Allen added.
The Bahamas Express will be operating from Cruise Terminal 1 near the Broward County/Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention Center where parking is available in the Northport Parking Garage. The fast ferry Pinar del Río, which sails at a speed of 32 knots, has a capacity of 463 people. Amenities include a bar, duty free gift shop, pet cages and family-friendly baby changing areas. Reservations can be made on the website www.ferryexpress.com, at the ticket offices in Fort Lauderdale or by calling 1-305-370-2323.