ABOUT THE BAHAMAS

Over 700 islands and Cays (pronounced “keys”) make up the archipelago known as the Bahamas. These Islands are like emerald jewels set in over 100,000 square miles of turquoise sea. At the closest point the Bahamas are a mere 45 miles from the United States, yet these lush tropical islands are a world apart! Travel to the Bahamas is very easy with international airports and flights daily from almost every corner of the globe.

The Bahamas are very diverse with several island ‘groups’. Each area is distinct in its own way, yet the One People of the Bahamas are very united. For example, the residents of Abaco are decedents of Loyalists and have historically been shipbuilders, sailors and boaters. Spanish Wells people have the largest fishing fleet in the Bahamas and live in a New England style village. Islanders from Eleuthera were once farmers, raising the largest Pineapple plantations in the world. Exumians have relied on both the land and sea, in many forms over the years for their livelihood. Yet as different as the islands are, one theme is common: they all offer exceptional beauty, unrivaled waters and a vast array of things to see and do.

The Capitol of the Bahamas is Nassau. This is where most charters start, and it has an International Airport. The official Language of the Bahamas is English, often spoken with a unique island lilt. The official currency is the Bahamian Dollar. The Bahamas is very politically stable, its system of government is based on the English Parliamentary system. The Bahamas gained independence in 1973. Bahamian Independence Day is July 10. There is very little crime in the Bahamas, particularly in tourist areas or in the Out Islands. The people tend to be warm, friendly and welcoming. The economy relies heavily on tourism and the tourist dollars.

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HOW TO GET THERE & WHEN TO CHARTER IN THE BAHAMAS

Getting from “there” to here is now faster and easier than ever! Nassau, the capital, is served by an International Airport

Direct flights are available from many major US hubs like New York, Dallas, Atlanta, Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Miami and more. Fly direct also from London, Toronto and other international cities,

These Tropical Islands have some of the best weather in the Caribbean! There are generally two seasons: Summer (May-October) and Winter (November-April).

Winter months are generally dry, with fair skies, low humidity and lots of sunshine. Highs in the upper 70’s to low 80’s with breezes. Great sailing weather, perfect for sunning, snorkeling, fishing, exploring the islands. Sea temperatures are in the upper 70’s to near 80F.

Summer months are warmer and more humid, with occasional passing showers, but are perfect for spending lots of time on, and in the water. Great weather for diving, catching a big lobster, snorkeling and SCUBA diving. Air temperature is in the mid to upper 80’s, with sea temperatures 80-85F. Talk with one of our Charter Consultants to plan the best time for  your Yacht Charter, based on activities you enjoy.

NASSAU TO EXUMAS SAMPLE YACHT ITINERARY

A chain of islands over 90 miles long, the Exumas is a popular destination for yacht charters from around the world, yet the area is pristine,
un-crowded and unspoiled by modern civilization.

Over 365 islands and cays make up this string of jewels in the Bahamas, which are bordered on one side by shallow banks and the other by the depths of Exumas Sound. Most of the settlements on the islands are small and picturesque, and the islands themselves are surrounded by fringing reefs and crystal-clear waters. Fishing of all kinds in the Exumas is excellent. Snorkeling on shallow reefs can be found on either side of the islands. Beautiful beaches are found virtually everywhere, and spectacular diving on the Sound side with plunging walls is both dramatic and pristine.

From Nassau, the Upper Exumas are 30 miles over the shallow waters of the bank, making it a smooth passage even in choppy weather.

Bahamas Private Crewed Yacht Rentals

Day One

Meet your yacht in Nassau, and spend the afternoon shopping and taking in the sights, or spend the day at the Atlantis Resort (marina guests have full privileges) which offers a spectacular water park, marina village shops, spa, restaurants, bars and casino. Or, elect to cruise to nearby Rose Island for some snorkeling, beach time and general unwinding under the stars to kick off your yacht charter.

Bahamas Private Crewed Yacht Rentals

Day Two

Leave Nassau for the trip to the Upper Exumas, a two-three hour trip by motor yacht, a four to five hour sail. Allan’s Cay, often a first stop, offers protected anchorages great snorkeling and a visit to the famous Allan’s Cay Iguanas. These creatures are found on only two islands in the world, Allan’s and the nearby Leaf Cay. They are the largest native animals to the Bahamas, and hundreds of these creatures will greet you as you stand quietly on the beach.

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Day Three

Norman’s Cay, once the home of a large drug cartel, but now just a sleepy island hideaway, offers an opportunity to snorkel on a sunken airplane, and a visit to MacDuff’s Bar and Grill (home of the “hurricane blender”) is a must.  Anchor that night off Shroud Cay, which offers excellent and private beaches, walking trails, and mangrove creeks to explore by kayak, dinghy or wave runner. Shroud Cay is part of the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park The Exumas Land and Sea Park founded by the Bahamas National Trust is a sanctuary for birds, plants and marine life. The diving and snorkeling within the 22 by 8 mile park area are incredible and a visit to Warderick Wells is worthwhile to explore the over four miles of trails, which lead to rare plants, caves, wells and ruins.

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Day Four

Cruise to Warderick Wells, the home of the Park Headquarters. The beautiful mooring field offers picturesque views, with nearby snorkeling, diving, beach exploring and trails.

Bahamas pigs

Day Five

Explore the Rocky Dundas, a unique land and sea cave system still within the park boundaries. A visit to Rachel’s Bubblebath is a must. Then cruise on down to Compass Cay Marina, or the settlement of Staniel Cay for a bit of local color and perhaps a night on the town. Explore the Thunderball Grotto at Staniel, where the James Bond Thunderball was filmed. and Don’t miss the opportunity to SWIM WITH THE PIGS at Big Major’s Cay!!

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Day Six

Return northward, stopping at Highbourne Cay to pick up  unique handcrafted souvenirs, or maybe to dive for fresh lobster or native conch. Anchor under the stars off one of the beautiful beaches, or tie up in the protected marina. Saturday evening’s island barbecue buffet is a weekly event.

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Day Seven

Return to Nassau, stopping to snorkel some of the coral patches on the Exuma banks in settled weather, or just enjoy the ride.

On longer visits to the Exumas it is possible to explore the lower Exuma Cays down to the popular Georgetown on Great Exuma. Georgetown is a delightfully picturesque community of about 900 residents and offers many things to do and see.  Plan to visit or stay at the new Four Seasons Resort with it’s Palmer Johnson designed golf course, spa and more.There are many places to buy local souvenirs, have a tropical drink and even dance the night away, Out Island Style. Shops and restaurants have colorful and unique names such as Club Peace and Plenty, Kermit’s Bar, and Top and Bottom. The Exumas have a little bit of everything and are truly a slice of paradise set in a sparkling sea.

BAHAMAS DESTINATIONS AND LOCAL ENTERTAINMENT

Eleuthera

Eleuthera is derived from the greek word for “freedom” and this is what you will find when you visit this beatuiful island of palm laced shores and pink sand beaches. This island stretches out over 100 miles of Atlantic Coastline on one side and protected bays on the other. Many charter parties prefer to tale a ‘road trip’ to see this spectacular island with its many seaside villages, pineapple crops, surfer’s beaches and artist colonies. Southern Eluthera offers more for the yachtsman with two full service marinas, spectacular deep-sea fishing and breathtaking diving.

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Harbour Island

Harbour Island is the gem of Eleuthera. Quaint Dunmore Town features Loyalist homes dating back to the early 1800’s Small resorts and private villas cater to the rich and famous, it is not unusual to catch a glimpse of Julia Roberts buying fresh produce or Cher on a fishing trip. However, this is the place the stars go away to get away, and the mode of transportation is by horseback or golf cart through the winding streets to the spectacular Pink Sand beach fringed by a beautiful coral reef.

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The Abaco Island

The many islands of the Abaco chain are some of the prettiest in the Bahamas.  Many of the settlements on the islands are very picturesque and reminiscent of New England towns. The narrow streets are tree-lined and cottages and homes dating back to the early 1800’s are still standing and beautifully maintained with gardens, fresh paint in tropical colors, and white-picket fences.

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Marsh Harbour

Marsh Harbour is the bustling ‘city’ of the Abacos with many shops and restaurants to explore. Just a few miles away is the stunning Hope Town on Elbow Cay. Here you will find some of the friendliest people in all the Bahamas. Approaching Hope Town you will see the red-and-white banded lighthouse, one of only three remaining hand-wound lighthouses in the world. The view from the top is spectacular, allowing you to take in the Sea of Abaco, Elbow Cay’s white sand beaches, and the Atlantic Ocean beyond.

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Hope Town

Hope Town is a pleasure to explore, easily on foot. No vehicles of any kind are permitted in the town center. The streets are narrow and clean; the shops are fun and funky. An afternoon can easily be spent at Hope Town’s very interesting museum. Many restaurants and watering holes are available in Hope Town. On the South end of Elbow Cay the famed Tahiti Beach is an excellent place to relax under the palms on a white-sand beach.

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Treasure Cay & Great Guana Cay

Treasure Cay and Great Guana Cay are both lovely spots to stop and snorkel, swim or relax on the beach. The famous Nipper’s Bar on Great Guana hosts a pig roast every Sunday afternoon, a great many tales are swapped and new friends made here.

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EXPLORING ABACOS

In addition to exploring the unique towns and settlements of the Abacos, there are many secluded, peaceful spots to be found as well. The Pelican Cays Land and Sea Park is a protected area with beautiful reefs and sandy beaches. Little Harbor offers a chance to explore the Bronze Sculpture museum and Foundry and visit the funky Pete’s Pub (try a Pete’s Blaster!) The many islands and cays in the area are fun to explore by dinghy and the fishing is excellent!