New Bahamian Government 7.5% Value Added Tax (VAT) Begins in January 1, 2015

The Bahamian Government recently announced they would begin charging a 7.5% Value Added Tax (VAT) on most goods and services purchased ashore in The Bahamas. As a result, effective January 1, 2015, cruise passengers will begin to notice the 7.5% VAT added to purchases made ashore in The Bahamas.

With regard to Disney Cruise Line sailings, this new tax will affect all passengers sailing to Nassau and Disney’s Castaway Cay. Although the Disney Cruise Line fleet sails under the Bahamian flag, the Value Added Tax will not apply to shipboard purchases.

This 7.5% VAT appears to be reason for the increase in the price of port adventures and the cabanas on Castaway Cay noticed last week by Lauren McGowan on Twitter.

Costs incurred on certain components of Disney Cruise Line Port Adventures are also subject to this VAT and guest should expect a slight increase in the total cost of these excursions. Disney Cruise Line will allow guests who pre-booked any of the affected rentals or port adventure experiences prior to January 1st to cancel may do so without penalty. It is important to keep in mind, this is a tax from the Bahamian Government, and not a price increase by Disney Cruise Line.

This Value Added Tax applies to most purchases, including spa services, merchandise, beverages and most rentals, including Beach Cabanas. A 7.5% VAT will be added to the following purchases/rentals at Disney Castaway Cay:

  • Beverage Purchases
  • Bicycle Rentals
  • Merchandise Purchases
  • Float Rentals
  • Snorkel Rentals
  • Cabana Rentals
  • Castaway Rays Stingray Adventure
  • Spa Services
  • Certain Components of Port Adventures

Licensed stores in Nassau will continue to offer Duty Free purchases on the following items:

  • Cosmetics
  • Sunglasses
  • Gems
  • Jewelry, including watches
  • Leather goods
  • Linen
  • Fountain pens and refills

Full details of the VAT can be read in the full pdf published by the Bahamian Ministry of Finance as well as VAT Guidance for Duty Free Shopping.

Guests sailing with Disney Cruise Line will receive a VAT letter onboard notifying them of this change, beginning December 27, 2014.

2 Replies to “New Bahamian Government 7.5% Value Added Tax (VAT) Begins in January 1, 2015”

  1. Walt S.

    Although the Disney Cruise Line fleet sails under the Bahamian flag, the Value Added Tax will not apply to shipboard purchases. I WONDER WHY? Maybe because it move from one location to another staying out in the open seas. I think……………..

  2. Ruth

    Travelers to Europe there is a form to fill out to get reimbursed the vat tax that is charged if you are not a resident of that country. Will guests be be able to fill out a similar form when traveling to the Bahamas?


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