Scheduled seaplane service returns to Bimini
Tropic Ocean Airways, the airline that reinvented seaplane travel in Florida and the Bahamas, once again leads the industry by offering scheduled seaplane service to Bimini from Fort Lauderdale International Airport (FLL).
Operated by US military pilots and seaplane instructors and known for outstanding guest service, Tropic is the only US-based seaplane airline that is authorized by the Bahamian government to service the North Bimini Seaplane Base.
Beginning Friday, March 30, 2012, Tropic will offer twice-weekly flights that will originate from Sheltair at the Fort Lauderdale International Airport. Sheltair is a luxurious private terminal with free parking, which offers a convenient alternative to the long security lines in the main terminal. Passengers arriving from locations outside of Florida via a major airline can connect to a Tropic flight via a shuttle to Sheltair’s terminal, where they will board their seaplane to Bimini. The return trip to the US is just as convenient since Tropic is located adjacent to Customs and Immigration.
The flights are approximately 35 minutes and will land in the harbour on North Bimini, allowing passengers to disembark at the seaplane ramp just blocks away from Guy Harvey’s Big Game Club and Bimini Bay, avoiding the long taxi and ferry boat ride required if arriving at the South Bimini airport. The airline also has discount rates for members of the military and is adding a “locals” fare that will be in effect this summer.
“Bimini needs a scheduled seaplane service,” said Tropic Ocean Airways CEO Rob Ceravolo. “The regular flights to our closest neighbour add a convenient option for both frequent visitors to North Bimini and the locals.”
Tropic is teaming up with the Big Game Club and Bimini Watersports to offer guests an adventure travel package including airfare, accommodations, and water sports activities.
“Big Game is a fantastic destination,” Ceravolo added, “and we’re very excited to offer travelers a weekend of fun flying seaplanes, fishing, diving, and enjoying the islands.”
Tropic has been serving Bimini since early 2011, when the airline reintroduced seaplane flights to the island. In the year since it began operations the airline has had some notable flights, including donating two flights to transport Christmas gifts to the children of Bimini, as well as bringing John Hemingway, grandson of Ernest Hemingway, back to the island.
Although the scheduled service is limited to flights originating from Fort Lauderdale on Fridays and Sundays, Tropic will add more flights and destinations throughout the summer based on demand.
“We are working with the Miami Seaplane Base on Watson Island to create the infrastructure to support regular flights to Bimini,” Ceravolo said. “We would love to see regular service throughout the week from both Miami and Palm Beach in addition to the Fort Lauderdale service and are working diligently to make this a reality.”
The scheduled service allows Tropic to offer its great flights at competitive rates while still maintaining a unique blend of one-of-a-kind experiences and quality service.
“We launched our airline because we believe passengers deserve better choices in air travel and we are very excited to offer our flights on a per-seat basis,” Ceravolo said. “At a time when vacations begin with the slow form of torture called airline check-ins, long security lines and cattle-car aircraft, we provide a convenient and exciting alternative to mundane airline travel. When you fly Tropic your vacation starts when you board your aircraft!”