Five Free Things To Do In Nassau

mahogany house
Standard

There’s nothing quite like some R&R and free time to explore, leaving your worries and cares behind.

However, the reality is that everything comes at a price. Well, almost everything. Travelling to Nassau doesn’t have to break the bank and these five suggestions will show you how to enjoy what the island has to offer while saving money for things that are important, like Bahamian-made rum!

Disclaimer: While these activities are all free, there are costs involved while at the location and getting to the location.

1. John Watlings Rum Tour: What’s a Bahamas trip without the best part, alcohol? Very little is known about the pirate, John Watlings, but  on the tour, they’ll tell you all that is. There are periodic rum tastings,  but don’t leave without trying a Rum Dum (this you will have to pay for), there’s nothing quite like it.

John Watlings
2. Versailles Garden: There’s a rumour that The Bahamas is only sun, sand and sea but I’m here to tell you we’re so much more than that. Escape the crowded beaches and routine and visit these gardens for a little “me time”. The Versailles Gardens were once the centrepiece of Huntington Hartford’s private estate, before being purchased by the One & Only Club. This place is breathtaking and depending on what time you go, you may have the gardens all to yourself.

Versailles
3. Fishing on the Canal: You’ll always find a variety of fish in the canal if you have a little patience. A personal favourite is the canal, located in Coral Harbour. It’s peaceful, serene, and has a fantastic view. Simply throw out a line and wait for a bite but take entertainment.

Canal-Coral harbour
4. Wine Tastings: It’s always wine time. Free wine tastings are held at Mahogany House twice a month – wine lovers flock here to try all of the best wine, hand-picked by the experts at Mahogany House. If you fall in love with any, there’s a 10% discount off all tasting wines. Hint: The next tasting is in April.

mahogany house
5. Kayaking – Of course the equipment to kayak is not provided by us but we will direct you to Bonefish Pond where you will have the best experience kayaking, granted you find the equipment. Located on the south-central coast of New Providence, this is one of Nassau’s best-kept secrets and when you arrive you’ll discover why. Note: Kayaking isn’t the only thing you can do here, go for a swim or snorkel at your own risk. If you live a little on the slow side, there’s a great boardwalk.

DSC_0248

 

This post originally appeared on Bahamas.com

 

 

Grand Bahama Air Show A Flying Success

Standard
Photo Credit: Jamika Culmer (Bahamas Ministry of Tourism)

Photo Credit: Jamika Culmer (Bahamas Ministry of Tourism)

Adults and children were treated to an unforgettable air show hosted by the Ministry of Tourism on recently at Taino Beach, Grand Bahama.

The air show, a special element of Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival was introduced to create more activities to The Bahamas for tourists.

“A few years ago, I was asked to put in place an air show to bring excitement back in The Bahamas in terms of bringing more activities here,” said Chief Pilot and Aviation Specialist for the Ministry of Tourism, Greg Rolle.

“We centered the air show around the Carnival weekend because we thought it would be perfect on the beach. We wanted to remind people that aviation is how we get to various islands in The Bahamas and put it to the forefront.”

The audience was left in awe as the airplanes showed off their skills in basic air gunnery and formation flying. The Cessna 182, a home built plane and an aircraft originally used in World War 2 were just some of the planes participating in the jaw-dropping air show.

“The performers take it very seriously. The goal is to maybe make it look a bit crazy, maybe make it look dangerous but they don’t want to alarm anyone,” said Brian Norris, Narrator for the Chuters.

Nuvolari Chotoosingh, manager of Sports Tourism predicted that over 100 persons would visit Grand Bahama for the event.

“Some 50 – 60 vintage aircrafts will be here. But in addition to that you’ll have pilots and family members so some 200 persons just for the particular airshow and traffic itself,” Chotoosingh said.

Chotoosingh also expected the entire Grand Bahama Island to come out and enjoy the show.

“I’m expecting the whole Grand Bahama Island to come out to Taino Beach, Friday and Saturday as it’s a wonderful opportunity for everyone to be involved and witness something,” he added.

A career fair was also held for kids between the ages of 8-17 on April 15 that were interested in an aviation career.

“The Ministry wants to expose youngsters to aviation letting them know what it takes to get to that level so they can have a wonderful opportunity to actually gauge as to where they want to go,” Chotoosingh said.

Sun n Fun in conjunction with the Ministry of Tourism partnered to bring the first Sun n Fun Bahamas Airshow and Exhibition to Freeport, Grand Bahama.

This post originally appeared on tourismtoday.com

Bahamian Students Finish Second in Caribbean Student Colloquium

Standard
Photo Credit: Kemuel Stubbs (Bahamas Ministry of Tourism)

Photo Credit: Kemuel Stubbs (Bahamas Ministry of Tourism)

 

NEW YORK, New York: Chiccharney at Birds of Paradise Bed and Breakfast was the magnificent idea conceived by four College of The Bahamas students for the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) Student Colloquium.

The Student Colloquium, held on June 1st during New York City’s Caribbean Week attracted the finest future leaders from The Bahamas, Turks & Caicos Islands, Trinidad and Jamaica.

Represented by two former Jr. Ministers of Tourism and other COB students: Travis Robinson, Kendall Sands, Iant’a Stubbs and Keri Cartwright, The Bahamas placed second in the competition.

Challenged to creatively present on the topic of creating a sustainable bed and breakfast for the Caribbean that will become the new face of accommodation and small lodging establishments in the next ten years, the group opened the competition with a rousing performance.

The proposed bed and breakfast would be located in Andros with 8 cabins completely made out of trex material. The cabins would be energy efficient, generating electricity using blue energy. It had been suggested that the cabins sit on stilts, while the interior be filled with Androsia with a flamingo or Bahama Parrot room to display Bahamian culture. If the idea worked on Andros, plans to expand throughout The Bahamas, and eventually the Caribbean, would be implemented.

Iant’a Stubbs said the island of Andros was chosen because it was virtually untouched.

“We chose Andros because of its diverse, flora fauna and natural wonders,” she said.

“We did a class, sustainable tourism and we always talked about how Andros had the third largest barrier reef and a carbon sequestration and we just fed off that idea and the space that it had for the renewable energy ideas that we came up with like blue energy and biomass.”

The Bahamas began its presentation with a video of the group brainstorming at Arawak Cay and continued the presentation in a similar format, while engaging each other on various parts of their business plan.

Although, the team did not win the competition, Stubbs said more energy should be given to young people as their ideas can benefit the Bahamas in the long run.

“I think that the proposed ideas were well thought of, they were innovative. It was a collective idea and I really think it’s something we can use to better The Bahamas in the future,” she said.

Ruth Gardiner, Associate Professor at the College of the Bahamas said while there are always ways to improve, her team glimmered.

“There’s always more one can do and so perfection is as perfect as one can make it. I believe we can always aim to do better but I think my team did exceptionally well,” Gardiner said.

Joy Jibrulu, Director General of Ministry of Tourism said the team was truly brilliant.

“Not only did the team do themselves proud, and do the college proud but they did all Bahamians proud. I was blown away by their ideas, the way they presented them, and their depth of knowledge about The Islands of The Bahamas,” she said.

Also attending the Student Colloquium was Junior Minister of Tourism, Gabrielle Josephs who was coaxed into saying a few words to the audience.

“To top it off our Junior Minister of Tourism, Gabriele Josephs demonstrated that he is more than a Jr. Minister of Tourism,” Mrs. Jibrilu added. “He was invited up to speak in a room of 200 people and he blew it out of the park so much so the moderator at the end had to say, we didn’t coach him and he’s not a politician.”

This post originally appeared on tourismtoday.com

Couple Seeks to Break Underwater Kissing Record

Standard

 

underwater_kiss_record_attempt

Love is always in The Bahamas and one adventurous couple is hoping to put their love and commitment on display to break the Guinness World Record attempt for the longest underwater kiss on July 24, 2016.

Earlier this year, Gordon and Mymy McKenzie of Scotland and Switzerland respectively, took part in a world record attempt to break the longest dive at Stuart Cove and left with an idea that could not only shatter the world record but also raise money for the Southern Islands impacted by Hurricane Joaquin. Currently, the current record for the longest underwater kiss stands at three minutes and 24 seconds and is held by two Italian free divers.

After Hurricane Joaquin had destroyed the Southern Islands, the McKenzies watched with interest as St. Andrews, the school where Gordon teaches did a magnificent job of raising money.

The couple was inspired so much that they decided to attempt to break a world record to raise money to support the efforts.

Gordon said they chose the Southern Islands in particular to raise money because people tend to move on with their lives and forget the devastation caused after disasters.

“I see all the time that people forget when these things happen and they think they’ll do some fundraising for a few months and then it’s fine,” he said.

“I’m a school teacher and we have a student with us who can’t go to school down there anymore and also we thought it was worthwhile cause to do what we’re doing to raise a lot of money to help some people out.”

Although on their own, both Gordon and Mymy can hold their breath for more than four minutes. However, attempting to hold an underwater kiss longer than 30 seconds is no easy task but they have managed to follow a rigorous schedule every day to prepare for their challenge.

Mymy said the key to breaking the record lies in the technique itself.

“We did a free diving course to practice some techniques and it’s a lot about being relaxed and knowing how to breathe slowly so you can slow down your pulse,” she said.

One of the training methods, the couple uses is called static apnea training, which is a discipline in which a person holds their breathe underwater for as long as possible.

Gordon said they do as much with static apnea as they can but the real challenge stems from being in the kissing position.

“Obviously for this record, we have to be in the position of kissing one another which unlike normal apnea you have to relax your muscles by kneeling down and holding on to each other,” he said.

“The challenge comes when we’ll have to use some oxygen to train in that position.”

So far, the McKenzies has raised $795 of their goal of $2,000 and are looking to reach their goal before July 24.

To find out more about their challenge, visit their page at Generosity: https://www.generosity.com/emergencies-fundraising/mymy-gordon-s-world-r….

This post originally appeared on Tourismtoday.com

Bahamas Determined To Take NYC By Storm

Standard

This post originally appeared on Bahamas.com



Caribbean Tourism Week is underway in New York City and The Bahamas already has its eyes set on taking a huge chunk of the tourism pie.

Caribbean Week is a signature event of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), which celebrates the sights, sounds and unique destination experiences of the Caribbean.

The Bahamas – a leading destination in the Caribbean – is no different and wants the world to see why millions of visitors flock to its shores every year.

Area Management of NY Bahamas Tourism Office Mikala Moss says The Bahamas has much to learn about attracting tourists.

“The Bahamas is here in full force, as are many of the member countries. We are here in New York because there’s so much to learn in terms of what Manhattan does in terms of attracting tourists,” Moss said.

“There are only approximately nine million residents on the island of Manhattan, however they get approximately 56.5 million visitors a year. If we could just get a slice of those visitors to jump on a two and a half hour flight and come down to the Bahamas, how wonderful it would be for them to visit not just Nassau but our 700 islands and 2000 cays to really know why we think it’s better in The Bahamas.”

The Bahamas is participating in a number of signature events. These events include, Student Colloquium, Media Marketplace, Rum & Rhythm and Caribbean Tourism Awards. The Bahamas is also hosting two signature events, Party in The Backyard, Date Night to bring a dollop of The Bahamas to the city.

Moss said the response has been exceptional.

“Our feedback has been phenomenal, far exceeding the numbers we have space for,” she said.

“Our romance event (Date Night) we were targeting 125 persons and we have about 160 people on the guest lists. We are looking to host a beautiful date night for people who are in love, for people who are married and thinking about getting married.”

As it relates to the party in the backyard, Moss said she was expecting 250 guests but so far 350 people have RSVP’d.

“We encourage them to come out and just relax and chill out,” she said.

“We are trying to bring a bit of the Bahamas to New York and have them sample some Bahamian food and maybe drink a little Bahamian beer.”

Bahamian artists will also perform live at the party.

Moss said the Ministry of Tourism is also targeting the business community.

“It’s not just beach, sun and sand but we want to tap into the financial industry as well,” she said.

Caribbean Week ends on Sunday with the Caribbean Rocks concert, in partnership with Tempo. Bahamian artists, Puzzle, Stileet, D-Mac and Fanshawn will perform.

There will also be a special Junkanoo performance.

16 Lucky Couples Chosen To Wed In The Bahamas

Standard

This post originally appeared on Bahamas.com

Love is in the air as sixteen (16) couples prepare to have the wedding of a lifetime on The Islands Of The Bahamas, after being chosen as winners of the Bahamas 16 Weddings Invitation Competition.

The lucky Canadian couples will be a part of 16 weddings on 16 islands all transpiring simultaneously with one thing in common, their love.

The weddings will take place on the alluring islands of Abaco, Andros, Bimini, Cat Island, Crooked Island, Eleuthera, Exuma, Harbour Island, Grand Bahama, Inagua, Long Island, Nassau, Paradise Island and San Salvador.

As the various hotels across The Bahamas host the lucky couples, the islands will all provide a distinctive cultural experience.

The Bahamas’ 16 Weddings competition asked engaged couples to submit creative photos or video that enhanced a theme wedding designated by The Bahamas by creatively incorporating something from a selected island into their wedding. The submission was required to be supplemented with a brief story of their love and their reasons for wanting to marry in the Bahamas. The most creative entries were short-listed by the consumers by voting on social media and bahamas16weddings.com. The contest officially closed on June 10, 2016.

The 16 lucky couples that will exchange vows in November in The Bahamas are; Dawn Saunders & Darryl Flowers of Pickering, Ontario exchanging vows on Abaco Tiffany Jones & Nabil Badre Ottawa, Ontario exchanging vows on Abaco; Krista Coward & Christophe McMahon of Mitchell, Ontario exchanging vows on Andros; Olivia Muc & Robert Surgeoner of Winnipeg, Manitoba, exchanging vows on Bimini; Alycia Park & Ryan Yaremko of Stoney Creek, Ontario, exchanging vows on Cat Island; Tessa Peterson & Matthew Boyko of Winnipeg, Manitoba, exchanging vows on Eleuthera; Laura Lortie & Patrick Cain of Niagara Falls, Ontario, exchanging vows on Harbour Island; Lana Newell & Mark Voisin of Bedford, Nova Scotia, exchanging vows on Exuma; Kristen Cormier & Adam Morris of Burlington, Ontario exchanging vows on Grand Bahama; Jessyca Sylvestre & Jason Danyluk of Niagara Falls, Ontario exchanging vows on Grand Bahama; Megan Cull & Curtis McDonald of Cochrane, Alberta exchanging vows on Grand Bahama; Nicole Vogel & Michael D’Aoust of Sherwood, Alberta exchanging vows on Inagua; Maryse Bourgeois & Daniel Cormier from Grande-Digue, New Brunswick exchanging vows on Long Island, Debbie Thompson & David Carrington of Toronto, Ontario exchanging vows on Nassau, Dayna Sawatzky & Tyler Pugh of Edmonton, Alberta exchanging vows on Paradise Island and Katrine Martyn & Curtis Streeter of Pickering, Ontario exchanging vows on San Salvador.

Sr. Director of Bahamas Tourism Office (BTO) Canada Paul Strachan believes that with this unique social media campaign, The Bahamas has solidified its position as the number one destination for weddings and honeymoon destinations.

“We’re quite pleased with the results of the promotion so far, and with the use of various media channels, we’ve successfully delivered the message that The Islands Of The Bahamas is a premier, award-winning wedding and honeymoon destination, with multiple islands and multi options for all things romantic,” Strachan said.

“We’ve just completed the contest phase of this promotion with a selection of 16 Canadian couples anxiously waiting to exchange vows in 16 exotic locations throughout the Islands of The Bahamas. With the ongoing efforts of this promotion, we’re very optimistic that we’ll benefit from an increase in Canadian visitors within the romantic travel segment in the next 12-18 months.”

The couples will receive complimentary round-trip airline tickets to The Bahamas, hotel accommodations including meals for three nights, a wedding ceremony, cake, flowers and a reception for up to four guests. Wedding rings, a gown, a tuxedo and a personal wedding coordinator will also be provided for each couple.

British Airways Lands New Aircraft At LPIA

Standard

This post originally appeared on Bahamas.com

optimized-dsc_8377

British Airways (BA) has made a significant investment in the Bahamian economy with the introduction of a larger plane on its direct flights between London Heathrow and Nassau.

On July 1, 2016 British Airways made its inaugural flight with a Boeing 777 to New Providence, officially replacing the much smaller B-767 aircraft. The B-777 offers twice the seating capacity of the B-767 with a 275 seating capacity and it will operate four times a week rather than five times a week.

Ian Blackman, VP Customer Service & Operations for North America and the Caribbean said the airline wanted an overall upgrade for flights to The Bahamas.

“We wanted a bit more capacity on this route and the 777 gives us about 46 per cent more capacity overall but certainly in the Club World cabin, it gives us double the capacity,” Blackman said.

“Going from 24 seats up to 48 seats give us a lot of additional cargo capacity which we hope to exploit locally by uplifting more goods and services in The Bahamas and out of The Bahamas as well.”

Tyrone Sawyer, Senior Director of Airlift Development at the Ministry of Tourism believes that with this change, the potential to increase connecting air arrivals to The Islands of the Bahamas from Europe on BA has grown proportionately.

“In the case of BA, it is not an inaugural we’re actually manufacturing excitement by virtue of the fact that they’re coming with an upgraded aircraft and they’re coming with the ability to bring almost twice the amount of people,” he said.

He added that The Bahamas plans to intensify its promotional efforts to bring more European travelers to The Islands of The Bahamas.

“We’re now looking to our promotional efforts and the marketplace to build the awareness and the demand to therefore fill those seats,” Sawyer said.

Joy Jibrilu, Director General of the Ministry of Tourism is elated with BA’s decision to upgrade the aircraft as it gives travelers the option to maximize their time in the Bahamas.

“The Bahamas has been the only Caribbean destination to have retained and maintained a Heathrow departure,” she said.

“All the flights from other Caribbean countries leave from Gatwick and anyone who travels know that it is much further to get to, much more expensive, normally an overnight stay closer to the airport and it would have effectively eliminated all of our European connections… Not only does it fly out of the UK, it connects with every European city.”

She added that before the upgrade BA used an old aircraft that hadn’t been used anywhere else in the world and it created an issue with The Bahamas as a destination in terms of product.

“It’s about understanding how important a Heathrow departure and an upgraded plane matches the profile of Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA),” Jibrilu said.

The passengers onboard the new aircraft were greeted by the pulsating sounds of the traditional goatskin drum as they entered LPIA. They were also greeted by MOT, Nassau Airport Development (NAD) and BA officials.

The Importance of Social Media Networking

Standard

Most people use social media to solely keep up with friends and family. However as an entrepreneur, social media should be more than a way to keep in contact – it should be used to sustain and run your business.

Networking on social media is also important because it gives you the opportunity to connect with people that aren’t in your sphere. Don’t allow the fact that you aren’t familiar with someone hinder you from reaching out to elevate your business.

An example of how I’ve used Social Media Networking to my advantage is; I volunteered to help out with the Bahamian Icon Awards and was lucky enough to get the coordinator role of the Public Relations team. For those unfamiliar with the awards, it’s a yearly show celebrating exemplary Bahamians in the community. It’s huge and it’s an absolute honor to be in charge of it.

One day as the founder and I were brainstorming on how to possibly make it larger, I mentioned that Constance Jones of WPLG Local 10 news out of South Florida followed me on Twitter and maybe I could ask her to come down. Admittedly, I was a bit nervous pitching to an absolute stranger but it’s Twitter and we’re both journalists and the worse thing she could do is say no. However, she said yes and now she’s presenting to the winner of Outstanding Live Entertainment Ensemble.

Imagine what would have happened if I allowed my fears of not knowing her stop me from pitching to her. Absolutely nothing would have happened but that’s not necessarily a good thing.

Sometimes it’s okay to reach out of our comfort zones for the sake of networking. Especially if it’s going to increase the worth of your brand.

Challenge yourself to network with new and unknown contacts and go even further and build a relationship. Continue this with every contact you meet and watch how easy it becomes. Make it a point to always think about the worth of your brand and watch how much your actions change. You’ll be proud of the brand you’ve built.

Press_picture

 

 

Staycationing in the Bahamas

Standard

Somewhere between allowing our work to consume our lives and getting stuck in a pattern of being busy all the time, we forget to truly appreciate and experience the world around us.

 

In the Bahamas, we’re surrounded by paradise complete with the best beaches and the most beautiful resorts in the world. Yet, we would ultimately spend a fortune to vacation elsewhere; without batting an eye.

 

Not only can you save money by staycationing at home but it affords you the opportunity to unplug and change your perspective. Save yourself thousands of dollars and visit the Islands of the Bahamas like you’ve never seen them before.

 

    1. Nandana – West End, Grand Bahama: If you live in the city or find yourself frequently visiting Nassau, break up with your daily routine and visit Nandana. Just 65 miles from South Florida, you won’t believe you didn’t hop on a plane; it’s breathtaking, exclusive and most importantly in the Bahamas.

      Picture an Asian style mansion on a swank oceanfront estate with the freedom to combine island and villa life. If this isn’t enough, imagine a full staff at your service around the clock, gourmet cuisine served just the way you like it and an on site masseuse willing to release all the knots in your neck.

      If a romantic getaway is just what you and your significant other have been dreaming about, then this one is for you. At 8500 a night, Nandana promises a unique experience like no other.

      Photo Courtesy of NandanaVilla.com

    2. Fishbones Tour, Eleuthera Bahamas: When was the last time you kissed a turtle? If your answer is never, then consider this tour. Whether it’s spearfishing, turtle chasing or reef fishing try your hand at doing something you’ve never done before in your own backyard.

      With each tour promising to be different, the crew at Fishbones Tour will make sure your time in Eleuthera is a unique one. Besides, what’s more appealing than the crystal clear waters of the Bahamas with the sun beating at your neck whilst sitting on a boat?

      Photo Courtesy of FishBoneTours.com

    3. Explore the Exuma Cays by Boat: When people speak about the Bahamas, rarely are the outer islands included in their minds. In fact, the life which exists outside Nassau is so beautiful there are simply no words to describe the simplicity of its beauty.

      If you have never visited the outer islands, Exuma should definitely make your bucket list. When you visit, why limit yourself to one cay when you can explore all 365 cays? Book a charter and visit islands you’ve only heard in passing such as; Barraterre or Big Majors Cay to visit the swimming pigs. The adventures are constant as long as your curiosity accompanies you.

      Photo Courtesy of The Best Beaches

    4. Islandz Tours, Nassau Bahamas: A staycation doesn’t always have to mean hopping on a plane and losing yourself. It can simply require you to hop in your car and experience your hometown in an entirely new way. With this route you don’t have to worry about late flights and unnecessary baggage claims.

      Think you know all there is to know about Nassau? Maybe you do, but Islandz Tours allows you to explore historical passageways, architectural gems and sites that you may have missed being wrapped up in your day to day life. Don’t pass up this opportunity to experience Nassau in a way that you never deemed possible.

      Photo Courtesy of IslandzTours.com

      • Watling’s Castle, San Salvador:
      • Traveling to San Salvador is an adventure in itself but when you get there don’t leave until you’ve explored Watling’s Castle.

      A visit to Watling’s and you will see the remains of a 18th century Loyalist plantation house. In an impressive three-storey plantation, you’re invited to journey to the 1830’s and roam the main house, the slave quarters, the lookout tower and the cook house.

      Be sure to read the history before visiting to truly appreciate your visit.

      Photo Courtesy of Bahamas.Com

      • PappaSurf, Nassau:
      • How many times are surfing and the Bahamas in the same sentence? Don’t answer that.

      The beauty of living in paradise is your means of adventures increases daily. The possibilities seem endless and you can do virtually anything and feel as if you’re on a daily vacation. PappaSurf offers you a chance to take advantage of the beauty of the island and explore using snorkeling, fishing or paddleboarding.

      No longer will you envy persons learning how to paddleboard, you’ll be one of them! From a paddle sunset tour to a night-glow paddle tour, allow your adrenlaine to rush as you dare yourself to step out of your comfort zone. Follow your guide to a beautiful reef location and learn more about ecology and the history of the Bahamas. If paddleboard scares you, then contemplate snorkeling which you can do virtually anywhere in the Bahamas.

      Photo Courtesy of PappaSurf.Com

      Whatever you eventually decide relish the beauty around you, breathe in slowly and connect with the world around you.

 

 

Happy Staycationing!

Ghosts of Fort George

Standard

fortgeorge

 

I created this interactive project with a colleague of mine, Amy Cleveland. We desired an adventure along with a great idea and since it was right in time for Halloween, we decided to do something along the lines of ghosts and haunted houses.

We worked together on every aspect and we were able to learn new things from each other and used it to create an amazing project,

You can find the project here.