Resorts World Bimini is ending its cruises from Miami Sunday, as increased air service to Bimini makes it easier to get to the island just 50 miles away.
The company will add different ferry service in the spring, but it won’t be overnight, as cruises on the Bimini SuperFast are now.
Genting, the Malaysian resort and casino giant, started the ferry service in mid-2013, after it bought the former Bimini Bay Resort, renamed it Resorts World Bimini and built a casino. Later, it began work on a 305-room Hilton, which is partially open and is scheduled to be completed in the spring.
The cruises started as day trips from PortMiami, but the three-hour travel time didn’t let passengers spend much time on the island, and the cruises soon changed to overnight trips and finally to two-night trips, three times a week. Passengers could stay on the island or in one of the ship’s 180 staterooms.
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The number of visitors to Bimini doubled to 117,315 in 2014, the first full year that Genting’s casino and ferry were in operation.
At the time, there was no daily air service between Bimini and Miami or Fort Lauderdale, only a few trips a week from Fort Lauderdale. The resort later added seaplane and private jet service for its VIPs.
Now, however, Silver Airways has expanded its service out of Fort Lauderdale to daily flights and Cape Air has added twice-daily seaplane flights from Miami (from Watson Island, next to PortMiami) that will increase to five flights a day on Sunday. Including Resorts World’s private aircraft, those additions will allow up to 500 people a day to make the 30-minute flight to the island, Resorts World said.
Resorts World said it will replace the SuperFast with “a more efficient ferry operation” between PortMiami and Bimini in the spring, but provided no more information.