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New, bigger ferry to run between Fort Lauderdale and Grand Bahama

The 1000-passenger Alhucemas, renamed Bahama Mama, will begin carrying passengers between Fort Lauderdale and Freeport, Grand Bahama, on Thursday.
The 1000-passenger Alhucemas, renamed Bahama Mama, will begin carrying passengers between Fort Lauderdale and Freeport, Grand Bahama, on Thursday. Balearia Ferry Express

A new ferry, twice as large as the one it replaces, will begin carrying passengers between Fort Lauderdale and Freeport, Grand Bahama, on Thursday.

The 1000-passenger Alhucemas, renamed Bahama Mama, replaces the Pinar del Rio, a 463-passenger catamaran that has been making the run for three years. The ferry is operated by Balearia Ferry Express, a Spanish company, which hopes to add trips to Nassau later this year.

The fare for a day trip ranges from $126 to $251. Balearia also partnerships with hotels on Freeport so passengers can spend one or more nights on the island if they like, but those prices are not available yet.

Although the larger ship has cabins, they’re available for comfort on the trip, not as overnight accommodations. It also has a pool, casino, restaurant, bars, entertainment and other amenities.

The ship will leave Fort Lauderdale at 8 a.m. for the three-hour cruise to Grand Bahama, then depart Freeport at 7 p.m., arriving back in Florida around 10 p.m. Information: www.ferryexpress.com.

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