How Far Is the Bahamas from Miami by Boat?

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The Bahamas is an island family with more than 700 islands, cays, and islets in the Atlantic Ocean, east of Florida and north of Cuba. It’s a popular tourist attraction for people who enjoy its breathtaking beaches, crystal-clear waters, and resounding marine life.

Thousands of tourists travel to the Bahamas from Miami each year on different occasions, such as New year’s eve, Christmas, Valentine’s, and more. Miami is a major Florida city also known for its beautiful beaches, nightlife, and cultural attractions.

There are various ways to travel to the Bahamas from Miami, but the most delightful option is to journey by sea and savor the Atlantic. Nonetheless, there are several considerations if you travel to the Bahamas on your boat.

This article will provide a Miami-Bahamas travel guide, outlining the distance between the two locations by boat and identifying factors that may affect the duration of the trip.

Topics of discussion:

  • How far is the Bahamas from Miami by Boat?
  • Popular destinations in the Bahamas
  • Why is boat travel the best option?
  • How long will it take to get to the Bahamas?
  • Factors that can impact travel duration
  • Bahamas travel checklist
  • The cost of the boat trip to the Bahamas


Distance between Miami and the Bahamas

There is no fixed distance between Miami and the Bahamas since it is a group of more than 700 islands spread over a vast area in the Atlantic. Each island has a unique geographical feature and location. The distance depends on the particular island you are traveling to. 

Most boats sailing from Miami to the Bahamas head to more extensive and famous islands like Grand Bahama or Nassau. The distance between Miami and these islands can range from approximately 45 to over 200 miles.

The shortest distance between Miami and the Bahamas is to Bimini island, located barely 50 miles east of Miami. It is an excellent option if you are looking for a quick boat trip to the Bahamas. However, other popular islands, including Nassau or the Exumas, are located further east, and it might take a few hours to reach by boat. 


What to See in the Bahamas?

The Bahamas can be an idyllic getaway for those who adore beaches and nature. Its mesmerizing shorelines, iconic scenery, and vibrant nightlife are sure to leave a lasting impression. If you’re planning a trip to the Bahamas, make sure to visit these top 5 destinations:

  • Nassau – The capital city of the Bahamas offers a blend of history, culture, and stunning beaches. It is home to attractions such as the Atlantis Paradise Island Resort, the National Art Museum, and the vibrant Junkanoo Festival.
  • Grand Bahama – This island is famous for its vast national parks, underwater caves, and captivating beaches. Visitors can explore the Lucayan National Park, the Garden of the Groves, and the Port Lucaya Marketplace.
  • Harbour Island – This small island is a favorite of the rich and famous and is known for its pink-sand beaches, chic boutiques, and vibrant nightlife.
  • Exuma – This island chain comprises over 365 islands and cays and is renowned for its crystal-clear waters, coral reefs, and swimming pigs at Pig Beach.
  • Eleuthera – This island boasts some of the most stunning beaches in the Bahamas, such as the pink-sand beaches at French Leave Beach and Ten Bay Beach. Visitors can also explore the Glass Window Bridge, which offers breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.
Destination Distance from Miami Travel Duration
Nassau 180 miles Approx 8 hours
Exuma 304 miles 15-16 hours (Ferry)
Grand Bahama 50 miles 3 hours
Eleuthera 220 miles 8-10 hours
Harbour Island  222 miles 8-10 hours

Why Should You Consider Traveling By Boat?

Traveling by boat to the Bahamas can be a pleasant and memorable travel experience. Here are some reasons why you should consider traveling by boat to the Bahamas:

  • Scenic route: The best thing about boat travel through the Atlantic is the breathtaking views of the ocean and the islands as you approach the Bahamas. If you haven’t already done that, this will be one of your life’s best experiences.
  • Flexibility: Traveling by boat gives you more flexibility regarding your journey. You are free to choose the time of your trip and the route you want to take and can make as many stops as you want on your way. 
  • Avoid airport hassle: Air travel is quick, but not everyone enjoys the long queues, security checks, check-ins, and more. With boat travel, you avoid all of these. Just board the boat and start your journey.
  • More privacy: Traveling by boat gives you more privacy and space than on a crowded plane. You can relax and enjoy the journey without worrying about dealing with an unknown crowd.
  • More control over your trip: Traveling by boat is similar to driving your car. You can start your journey according to your preference, make as many stops as you want, and change your departure time as per your requirements. 
  • Opportunity to explore: Traveling by boat gives you a chance to explore the islands uniquely. You can anchor in secluded coves, snorkel in clear waters, and enjoy the local culture and cuisine.


Travel Time Between Miami and the Bahamas

The travel time between Miami and the Bahamas may vary, based on several factors, including the type of boat, speed, weather conditions, and the destination island. For example, a high-speed ferry from Miami to Bimini may take only 2 hours, while a slower sailboat or motor yacht may take several hours longer. Similarly, challenging weather conditions can make your journey more tricky and increase the overall travel time. 

A speedboat is a suitable option if you are making a quick return trip to the Bahamas. You can go to one of the nearest islands, spend the day, and return to Miami before the end of the day. 

On average, boats take up to 4-5 hours to reach the Bahamas from Miami. Assuming you are traveling to one of the closer islands, such as Bimini, using a high-speed vessel. The journey can take significantly longer if you travel to one of the more remote islands, such as the Exumas.


Factors that can Impact Travel Time

Let’s take a look at some factors that can impact your travel time to the Bahamas:

  • Type of Boat: The type of boat you are using will significantly impact the travel time. High-speed ferries and powerboats are typically faster than sailboats or slower motor yachts.
  • Weather Conditions: The weather can significantly impact travel time, mainly if the seas are rough or there are strong winds. In some cases, boaters may need to delay their journey or take a longer route to avoid bad weather.
  • Distance to Destination Island: The distance between Miami and the specific island you are traveling to will impact your travel time. If you are looking for a whole day trip, Bimini is the right destination island. 


Taking a Boat Ride to the Bahamas? This is What You Need

If you’re planning a boat trip to the Bahamas, it’s essential to have a comprehensive checklist to ensure that you have everything you need for a safe and enjoyable voyage. Here are some items you should consider including on your Bahamas boat travel checklist:

  • Navigation tools, including maps, charts, and a GPS device.
  • Safety equipment includes life jackets, flares, fire extinguishers, and first aid supplies.
  • Proper documentation, including your passport, visa, and boat registration.
  • Cash and credit cards for customs and immigration fees, docking fees, and other expenses.
  • Communication devices, such as a VHF radio, satellite phone, or handheld device for emergency situations.
  • Food and water supplies for the duration of your trip.
  • Sun protection, including sunscreen, sunglasses, and hats.
  • Proper clothing for various weather conditions, including rain gear, warm clothing, and bathing suits.
  • Fishing gear and licenses, if applicable.
  • Entertainment items, such as books, games, or a music player to keep you entertained during downtime.


Miami to the Bahamas Boat Trip: How Much Does It Cost?

The cost of a boat trip to the Bahamas can vary depending on several factors, such as the type of boat, the duration of the trip, the number of passengers, and the amenities provided. Nonetheless, as a rough estimate, you should anticipate spending between $500 to $1,500 for a single journey.

A one-way trip from Florida to the Bahamas on a standard ferry can cost around $100-$200 per person, while a round-trip on a luxury yacht can cost upwards of $10,000. Other expenses to consider include customs and immigration fees, docking fees, and fuel costs.



To sum up, the distance between Miami and the Bahamas by boat varies depending on the location of your destination. The closest Bahamas island is just 50 miles away, which is a perfect option for the same-day return trip. 

Before starting your boat journey to the Bahamas, it is important to go through the rules and regulations. Make sure you have all the necessary papers and identities. Also, don’t forget to take the necessary safety precautions before hitting the sea. 


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