Getting Here and Around
Getting Here and Around
Long Island has two airports: Deadman's Cay (LGI) in the middle south and Stella Maris Airport (SML) in the far north. Bahamasair and Southern Air airlines provide daily service from Nassau to Stella Maris and Deadman's Cay airports. Pineapple Air flies daily from Nassau into Stella Maris and twice a week into Deadman's Cay. Stella Maris Resort has its own excellent air charter service to and from Nassau and between many southern islands including the Exumas. Other charter services are available from Nassau and Fort Lauderdale. Hawkline Aviation is an FBO at Stella Maris, a good fuel stop for private pilots going farther afield.
Guests staying at Cape Santa Maria or Stella Maris Resort should fly into Stella Maris Airport. Chez Pierre Bahamas' guests can fly into either airport, although the Stella Maris Airport is a bit closer. All others should fly into Deadman's Cay Airport midisland. Flying into the wrong airport will cost you not only an hour's drive, but also $100 or more in taxi fares. Listen carefully to the arrival announcement when you approach Long Island; most commercial airlines stop at both airports.
Deadman's Cay Airport. Deadman's Cay, Long Island. 242/337–1777; 242/337--7077.
Stella Maris Airport. Stella Maris, Long Island. 242/338–2006.
Mail boats that bring supplies to the island each week make an adventurous mode of transportation. You'll ride with groceries, large and small appliances, automobiles, and sometimes even livestock. All boats depart from Potter's Cay in Nassau. Schedules change frequently. M/V Mia Dean or its substitute ship the M/V Sea Spirit (that also goes on to Acklins and Crooked Islands) leaves Tuesday for Clarence Town in south Long Island and returns Thursday (18 hours; $60 one-way). The Island Link, a faster RORO boat, leaves Tuesday with stops in Salt Pond, Deadman's Cay, and Seymour's, returning Thursday (eight hours; $70 one-way). Bahamas Ferries, also a RORO that takes vehicles, and with its faster, more comfortable passenger lounge, leaves Nassau Monday and gets into Simms, north Long Island, having stopped in George Town, Exumas.
Mailboat Port/Dockmaster's Office in Nassau. Potter's Cay, Nassau, New Providence Island. 242/393–1064.
A car is absolutely necessary to explore the island or visit any place outside your resort. The Queen's Highway curls like a ribbon from north to south, ending abruptly at the ocean in the north and at a stop sign in the south. It's narrow, with no marked center line, which makes bikes and scooters dangerous modes of transportation. The highway is easily traversed, but some off-roads require four-wheel drive, such as the road to the Columbus Monument, which is rocky and treacherous. The roads to Adderley's Plantation and Chez Pierre's are rough, but a passable adventure.
Most hotels will arrange car rentals, and can have your car waiting on-site or at the airport. Rentals range from $60 to $85. Some include gas; all have a limited number of vehicles. It's best to go for an a SUV or compact SUV with all-wheel drive if you have a choice.
Keep your gas tank full; although there are service stations along the highway, hours can be irregular and some take only cash. Some gas stations are closed on Sunday, so if that’s your departure day, be sure to fill up the night before so the tank will be full when you return the car. Gas is expensive in the Outer Islands.
Mr. T's Car Rental. Come here for the cheapest rate on Long Island: $60/day plus gas. Three days or more is $50/day. Mid--Long Island, Deadman's Cay, Long Island. 242/337–1054; 242/357–1678.
Omar's Rental Cars. Cars here are available for pickup/return on the north end of the island only. Cape Santa Maria Resort, Cape Santa Maria, Long Island. 800/926–9704; 242/338–5273.
Seaside Car Rentals. Salt Pond, midisland, Deadman's Cay, Long Island. 242/338--0041; 242/338--0140.
Unique Wheels Rental. In addition to cars and SUVs, this company also rents scooters, ATVs, and go-karts. Rentals are available for pickup/return on the south end of the island only. Clarence Town, south Long Island, Long Island. 242/225–7720; 242/225–8630; www.uniquewheelsrental.net.
Williams Car Rental. This company will do deliveries and accept drop-offs only on the north end of the island. Glintons, just north of Stella Maris, Long Island. 242/338–5002.
Taxis meet incoming flights at both airports. From the Stella Maris Airport, the fare to Stella Maris Resort is $10 per couple; to Cape Santa Maria, the fare is $30 per couple. Guests staying at Chez Pierre Bahamas pay $40 from the Stella Maris Airport and $60 from Deadman's Cay. Winter Haven provides free transportation from the Deadman's Cay Airport. A full-day tour of the island by taxi would cost about $350, and a half-day tour would be about $120. However, all taxis are privately owned, so rates can be negotiated. It is generally cheaper to rent a car for the duration of your trip than it is to pay taxi fares every time you want to go somewhere.
Jerry's Taxi Service. Alligator Bay, near Simms, north Long island, Stella Maris, Long Island. 242/338–8592; 242/472–8065.
Leonard Darville. Long Island. 242/472–0024.
Omar Daley. North Long Island, Stella Maris, Long Island. 242/357–1043; 242/338--2031.
Scofield Miller Taxi. Millers, mid-north Long Island, Long Island. 242/338–8970.