Nassau Bahamas

Travel Advisory: Increase Risk Level for a Popular Cruise Destination

The Bahamas is a popular destination for cruise travelers. However, traveling to the Bahamas may not be as safe as it seems. The U.S. Department of State has recently increased its travel advisory level for the Bahamas.

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Travel Advisory

The US Department of State has raised the travel advisory level for the Bahamas to Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution, due to crime and water safety issues. 

Nassau Bahamas with Cruise ship

Uptick in Crime

There has been an uptick in crime in the Bahamas. Most of the crime that threatens the safety of travelers occurs on two of the most populated and visited ones: New Providence (Nassau) and Grand Bahama (Freeport). 

Nassau, the capital and largest city of the Bahamas, has a particularly high risk of crime in the area known as “Over the Hill”, which is south of Shirley Street. This area is notorious for gang-on-gang violence that has led to a surge in homicides. 

However, violent crime is not limited to this area, and tourists can also fall victim to burglaries, armed robberies, and sexual assaults in both tourist and non-tourist areas of the city. 

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Watercraft Rentals and Tours

The US Government has issued an advisory warning travelers to be careful when they are joining water tours or renting watercraft such as jet-skis. 

Water tours and watercraft rentals are not consistently regulated by the authorities. This means that the watercraft may be poorly maintained and pose a risk of malfunctioning or breaking down. 

Plus operators may not have the proper safety certifications or training to ensure the safety of their passengers or customers. 

In the Bahamas, commercial watercraft operators have the discretion to operate their vessels regardless of the weather forecasts, and they may not cancel or reschedule their services even if the conditions are unfavorable or dangerous. This has resulted in several injuries and fatalities involving watercraft accidents or collisions in the past. 

Use your judgement, if it looks like bad weather, don’t go in the water!

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Jet-Ski rentals in particular pose a major safety issue. In fact, due to these safety concerns, U.S. government personnel are not permitted to use independently operated jet-ski rentals on New Providence and Paradise Islands. 

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Shark Attack

When you are swimming in the Bahamas, be mindful of sharks. There have been some recent cases where people have died or got hurt because of shark attacks.  You should always check the weather and the water before you swim and listen to the warnings from the people who know the area. 

If you need to book shore excursion tours, a great platform to book tours is with viator

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