14

How can a Nigeria passport holder with Bahamas visa travel to the Bahamas without transit through US, UK and Canada

  • 1
    I suspect you'll need a transit visa for most itineraries, but Canada's transit visas are at least free of charge. – phoog Jan 28 at 11:09
  • 2
    @Traveller Taking the question literally, a Schengen transit visa appears permissible, in which case the problem might be attacked similarly working backwards from the Bahamas end (since I suspect there aren't many flights in from outside the US/Canada) – origimbo Jan 28 at 11:47
  • 11
    Do you need to avoid the US, UK and Canada, or do you just want to? Wikipedia's list of destinations served by the Bahamas' main airport suggests you have very few options. Condor's seasonal flight to Frankfurt was the only one I saw outside the Caribbean/Central America that meets your criteria and if you think you can't get a transit visa for the countries you list, you probably can't get one for Schengen, either. – David Richerby Jan 28 at 12:21
  • 5
    By boat :-) There are a couple of cargo vessels a day that travel from Nigeria to the Bahamas carrying cocoa and other freight. I'm pretty sure one of them would be happy (for a fee or for working passage) to take you direct from a to b – Valorum Jan 29 at 7:07
  • 2
    Now I'm curious how you've managed to get banned from or wanted in all of those countries.. – pjc50 Jan 29 at 15:50
25

The classic answer to these problems used to be the Moscow-Havana Aeroflot flight as it is one of the few ways to cross the Atlantic Ocean skipping what vaguely could be called the West. Cubana de Aviación or Bahamasair will get you to Nassau from Havana. However, getting to Moscow from Lagos is a bit of a trek, Turkish Airlines via Istanbul seems to be a good option. Note Cubana website doesn't show the Nassua flight (and apparently never did, as this 11 year old post shows) but Havanatur does. Bahamasair have no such problems. This, however, is not your best option, it's just the knee jerk reaction from a travel answerer to the "Transatlantic crossing and visa problems" area of questions.

Turkish Airlines was mentioned as they fly from Lagos to Istanbul and they now fly to Panama City from Istanbul (it seems the Istanbul-Panama City flight has a stop in Bogota but coming back it's direct see announcement) and from Panama City, Copa Air flies to Nassau and it is possible a good travel agent could make this a single booking as Turkish and Copa are both Star Alliance. As far as I am aware, both Panama and Turkey is such you don't go through immigration when in transit so no visa required if you don't want to leave the transit area of the airport. Turkey has eVisa if you want to look around.

More possibilities exist via Brazil:

  1. Sao Paulo via Luanda. TAAG Angola flies the Luanda-Sao Paulo leg and they announced a Lagos-Luanda flight starting in 2018 November but neither the TAAG website nor Expertflier shows it so I presume it doesn't exist (yet? TAAG has a Lagos destination page...). However, Arik Air flies this leg.
  2. Sao Paulo with Ethiopian Airlines via Addis Ababa.
  3. Sao Paulo with South African Airways via Johannesburg.
  4. Sao Paulo or Rio the Janeiro with Royal Air Maroc via Casablanca.

Copa Airlines will take you from either Brazilian airport to Nassau via Panama City. Note: Ethiopian Airlines is Star Alliance, again. These are all four flights in each direction where Turkish + Copa is "only" three in one direction and four in the other.

Actually, if you get to Luanda, there is a once a week Luanda-Havana flight and that option seems to be the shortest flight time wise and the only option I can find which is "only" three flights in both directions. It's certainly a major hassle as it is not bookable online but also for other reasons: Going out, the layover is almost a day: Arik Air flies Lagos-Luanda once a week and lands at 12:30 a.m. on Friday and the TAAG Luanda-Havana flight leaves at 9:30PM the same day. Coming back, however, you have a problem: Arik Air turns around immediately, the Luanda - Lagos flight, again, once a week, leaves on Friday 1:30 a.m. whereas the Havana-Luanda flight leaves Havana on Sunday so the layover is several days.

8

The website FlightConnections.com is pretty good for answering this sort of question. Playing around with it, it looks like you could do it in three flights as follows:

  • Lagos or Abuja to either a Schengen airport (Paris, Amsterdam, Frankfurt) or to Istanbul;

  • From there to either Havana or Panama City;

  • From there to Nassau.

No one airline serves all of these flights, so you may need to purchase multiple tickets. If you do this, be sure to leave ample time between them. I'm also not sure what the transit visa policies of Turkey, Cuba, or Panama are with respect to Nigerian citizens; but I do know that the Schengen area will require you to apply for a transit visa in advance.

Note that FlightConnections.com can be misleading concerning which non-stop legs actually exist. For example, the map appears to show Turkish airlines as flying non-stop from Istanbul to Panama City, but the Turkish Airlines website shows that this is a direct flight (not non-stop) with a stop in Bogota. Similarly, the flight from Istanbul to Havana is non-stop, but the return flight from Havana stops in Caracas.

3

I took a look at the website for the international airport in the Bahamas. It lists arrivals, both domestic (other Bahamian airports) and international. Almost all the international arrivals are from the US, and one is from Toronto. I did spot:

  • Cap Haitien, Haiti
  • Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
  • Havana, Cuba
  • Panama City, Panama
  • London, England

I might have missed a non-US destination there. Now your problem is figuring out how to get to one of those places. All except London are on the same side of the Atlantic as the Bahamas and may have the same issues. But there is a flight from London. The body of your question mentions not transiting through the UK, but the title does not. If you can go through the UK, this could work. If not you'll have to look for flights to these other airports.

If you can transit through France but not England, look for flights to former French colonies in the Caribbean, and then shorter flights from those Caribbean places to the Bahamas. Haiti is a good first choice.

  • 1
    Probably it is better to cross Atlantic and then to to to Bahamas (it is also a lot shorter). Panama is a hub for the region, so I would put it as further look. – Giacomo Catenazzi Jan 28 at 13:40
  • 4
    With regard to London, the original form of the question mentioned the UK as a place to avoid, though this was only in the body, not in the title. A subsequent edit added the UK to the title. – phoog Jan 28 at 16:16
  • Haiti is the most interesting one. Nigerian nationals can enter Haiti visa-free for up to three months, and it has a Bahamas embassy. – Michael Hampton Jan 29 at 15:22

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