Grand Bahama Island, the third-largest island in the Bahamas, is a popular tourist destination known for its beautiful beaches, crystal-clear waters, and abundant marine life. The island is also a world-renowned diving destination, offering a variety of dive sites suitable for all levels of experience.
Diving enthusiasts venturing to Grand Bahama Island are in for a treat, as this Caribbean paradise offers some of the most exhilarating diving opportunities. The island boasts crystal-clear waters and diverse marine ecosystems.
For those who appreciate maritime history and underwater exploration, Theo's Wreck provides a captivating dive. Sunk in 1982, this freighter has transformed into an artificial reef, attracting a plethora of marine species. Divers can navigate the ship's structure, surrounded by schools of colourful fish and delicate corals.
The enchanting Sugar Wreck, resting just off the shores of Grand Bahama, is another highlight for keen wreck divers. This sunken freighter has become a thriving habitat for marine life, including angelfish, grouper, and moray eels. With its shallow depth, it's an accessible site suitable for divers of all skill levels.
At Tiger's Paw, divers explore a stunning wall that plunges to depths of over 30 metres. This site is known for its impressive coral formations, sponges, and sea fans. It's also an ideal location for spotting pelagic species, making it a dream come true for underwater photographers.
Lastly, the captivating Silver Point Reef beckons underwater photographers and nature enthusiasts. Here, you'll find vibrant coral gardens teeming with marine life. Stingrays, turtles, and schools of tropical fish are just a few of the enchanting sights awaiting divers at this beautiful reef.
Grand Bahama Island is one of the best places in the world to dive with sharks. Dedicated shark diving trips are available every week of the year to dive with Caribbean Reef Sharks at the famous Shark Alley dive site, with Lemon Sharks and Nurse Sharks also frequently seen.
Tiger Beach is also renowned for sightings of Tiger Sharks. These large, apex predators are known for their distinctive tiger stripes. Tiger beach dives are typically offered by liveaboard dive boats; however, trips can also be arranged from the resort between December and April, subject to minimum numbers and weather conditions. The sharks are often very curious and inquisitive, and they may even approach divers. It's an unforgettable experience to see these amazing creatures up close and personal.
Reef Oasis Dive Club, Grand Bahama
Reef Oasis Dive Club at Viva Fortuna Beach is the go-to hub for divers of all levels looking to dive from Grand Bahama. Equipped with modern gear and staffed by experienced professionals, it offers easy access to dive sites, a variety of courses, and shark encounters throughout the year.
The dive centre is fully equipped with modern gear and equipment rental services, ensuring a safe and comfortable diving experience. The centre offers up to three dives per day on a set schedule throughout the week. Dive boats are well-maintained, providing efficient transport to dive sites, and feature ample seating and equipment storage for a comfortable journey.
At least one regular dive must be completed before divers are permitted to join a shark diving excursion. Regular dives start from £110 for two morning dives. Shark diving excursions to Shark Alley are offered three times weekly throughout the year on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, with the opportunity to see Caribbean reef shark, nurse shark and lemon shark.
Tiger Beach trips are subject to weather and minimum numbers, and operate weekly from December through to mid-April.
Reef Oasis Dive Club also offer a range of PADI dive courses for divers of different skill levels, with experienced instructors to guide you through the training process. A PADI Open Water course is from £400 per person, with the option for a referral course available.
Prices listed below are an indication only, and subject to change.
- Shark Dive at Shark Alley from £130 per person
- Tiger Beach excursions from £400 (depending on participant numbers), paid locally
- Night diving supplement £40
- Full equipment rental from £35 per day
With great all year-round diving conditions, the Bahamas is ideal for those looking for diverse diving and especially shark dives. Combine excellent diving and snorkelling with relaxing on beautiful beaches and a variety of tourist and historical attractions topside.
The main islands of the Bahamas are well-established as tourist destinations. Taxis are readily available, and you can phone a taxi, flag one down on the street or stroll along to the taxi stands conveniently located at most large hotels and at airports throughout the islands.
Most Regaldive guests will not need to hire a car but if required, British rules apply. Driving in the Bahamas is just like driving at home, but with less traffic! Visitors may use their UK licences for up to three months and may also apply for an international driving licence. The minimum age for driving a hire car in the Bahamas is 25. Note: driving is on the left, but most cars are left-hand drive!
The main islands are connected by inter-island air services, and Bahamas Fast Ferries provides high-speed transportation from Nassau to Harbour Island and Eleuthera. There are many well established tour agents that can arrange excursions to the island’s wealth of cultural attractions.
The trade winds that blow almost continually throughout the Bahamas give the islands a warm, agreeable climate which hardly varies all year round. The most refreshing time to explore is between September and May, when the temperature averages 21-24°C. The rest of the year is a bit warmer, with higher humidity and rain in the summer months and temperatures between 27 and 29°C.
Peak season is from mid-December through to mid-April, when the days are mild and dry. Hurricanes have been known to occur during the year from June to November.
WATER TEMPERATURE & UNDERWATER VISIBILITY
Water temperature tends to mirror air temperature, ranging from 22- 28°C. Visibility is generally excellent all year round and in excess of 20-30m is the norm. Even in the rainy season the water is generally clear as there is virtually no runoff from the land. A 3-5mm wetsuit is generally advised.
The Bahamas is 5 hours behind GMT.
The legal tender throughout the Bahamas is the Bahamian dollar (B$), which is on par with the US dollar. Though The Bahamas mints and circulates its own legal tender, both US and Bahamian dollars are accepted interchangeably throughout the islands. ATMs are available throughout the islands, and Credit Cards are accepted in most hotels and restaurants.
English is the official language of the Bahamas and most locals speak Bahamian English, the islands' dialect.
TELEPHONE & INTERNET
4G is available throughout the islands, and many hotels and resorts provide Wi-Fi for guests.
Over the centuries, each new population that has settled in the Bahamas, with their different backgrounds, traditions and beliefs, has shaped Bahamian culture into the unique, colourful patchwork of life and lifestyles that it is today.
The islands of the Bahamas gained independence from Great Britain on 10 July 1973, which is celebrated as Bahamian Independence Day. As a member of the British Commonwealth, the Bahamas has a symbolic link to Great Britain and there is even a Changing of the Guards ceremony which takes place at Government House in Nassau every two weeks. Other events include the world-famous Junkanoo carnivals.
British Airways flies from London to Nassau airport (Sir Lynden Pindling International - NAS) five times a week, on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The direct flight takes nine hours. Airports on other islands can be reached via cities in the USA such as Miami and Orlando.
Bahamas Air offers seven flights daily from Nassau to Grand Bahama Island.
Departure tax: $15 throughout the Bahamas.
In Grand Bahama (Freeport) there is an additional $3 airport security fee for a total of $18.00.
Transfers: Nassau Hotels - between 5–25 minutes to / from the airport.
Twin centre: The Bahamas makes an ideal twin centre destination, and you can combine a land-based holiday with a liveaboard for the ultimate dive holiday. Please ask one of our sales executives for more information.
PASSPORTS & VISAS
Passengers travelling to the Bahamas must have six months valid on their passport from the date of entry into the Bahamas. British passport holders visiting the Bahamas as a tourist do not need a visa, but you do need to complete an immigration card on arrival.
Note: If you are travelling to the Bahamas via the US, even if you are only transiting, you must check the US entry requirements. If you do not have the correct authorisation, you will not be allowed to travel to or transit through the US.
Guests should note that you may well be asked for proof of an exit or onward ticket and of sufficient funds to finance your stay ($200 / day) upon arrival in the country.
There are no compulsory vaccinations, but we recommend protection against tetanus and hepatitis A. Vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed before departure. For the most up-to-date advice, please consult your travel clinic. Further information regarding vaccinations for travel to this country can be found at www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk and from your local healthcare provider.
Guests should note that proof of yellow fever vaccination is required if you are travelling from an infected area.