The Bahamas is an archipelago comprising of 700 islands and 2500 cays. It is located in the northeast of the Caribbean Sea in the Atlantic Ocean, to north of Cuba and to the southeast of the United States of America where the nearest state is Florida.
The region offers clear turquoise waters with golden beaches on hundreds of coral islands, quiet anchorages and some world- renowned ports. During a yacht charter in the area, you can visit the famous Pink Sand beach on Harbor Island which derives its name from the pale pink powder sand that stretches over 3 miles of coastline.
Dotted with a sub-tropical climate and offers the clearest waters in the Caribbean region. Most visitors stick to the most famous spots of the area: Nassau and Paradise Island which have about 26 most frequented beaches.
New Providence and The Exumas
Nassau, the capital of New Providence, is considered as the top yacht charter destination in the Bahamas. The island offers great shopping, numerous world-class resorts, restaurants and bars and also a large casino. Nassau is a flourishing cosmopolitan city of many contrasts, from the Queens Staircase of 66 steps to Fort Finastle to Sol Kerzner’s famous Atlantis resort on Paradise Island. The island is linked by a bridge to the Paradise Island.
Nassau is also the place of the Bahamas Government where you can even watch the changing of the guard twice a month and by request have tea with the Governess. You can sail further to the others islands like Eleuthera, Exumas or Long Island and visit many more. All the islands are beautiful, and offer beaches and some fantastic marine life.
At the Atlantis Marina, you will never be short of activities. There are more than 35 restaurants and bars and a world class casino. You can also have a go at the different water slides available. A visit to the Aquarium is a must, try it after dark when it is less crowded and the fishes are most curious.
Moving on from Atlantis, there are the historic site of the Fort Finastle, Fort Charlotte which is the largest in the Bahamas and Government House. There is also the Adastra Gardens and zoos, which is home to the world famous ‘marching flamingoes’ or you can opt for a guided ride in a surrey (horse driven carriage).
Away from Nassau, you can visit the Allan’s Cay, which is home to fearsome but friendly looking iguanas. At Highbourne Cay, you can watch the shark feeding in the evenings and this has one of the most beautiful and calm beaches in a protected bay. Other most opted stops are Sampson Cay, which has a superb restaurant and bar, Staniel Cay is a sleepy little village with superb beaches, also home to Staniel Cay Yacht Club, which has an excellent restaurant and bar, the famous Thunderball Grotto, a must for the avid diver and just around the corner is Big Major’s Spot, where you can go ashore in the tender and feed the domesticated piggies.
South of Nassau lies the island chain of The Exumas with an island for every day of the year, this 100 mile long stretch of secluded and uninhabited cays offers amazing diving, fishing and has been the location to numerous film sets. On Great Exuma Island, there is the Four Seasons Resort at Emerald Bay Marina which hosts an 18 holes, par-72 golf course, full spa and fitness center.
There are plenty of places to enjoy a nice lunch or dinner. There is the Restaurants Graycliff in Nassau which is a five star restaurant, the Bobby Lay Mesa Grill in Atlantis which mixes the south-western cuisine with a little Bahamian flair and the Staniel Cay Yacht Club where you can enjoy a relaxing dinner.
The Marinas are the Atlantis Marina and Hurricane Hole Marin on Paradise Island, the Nassau Yacht Haven in Nassau and the Staniel Cay Yacht Club in The Exumas. There are fuel docks at Hurricane Hole.
Eleuthera and Harbour Island
You will also discover Eleuthera and Harbor Island which are famous for their pineapples. Eleuthera, surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Caribbean Sea on the other is over 100 miles long with a 2 mile wide arc, with Harbour Island nearby. Eleuthera was initially occupied by the Lucayan Indians who were enslaved by the Spanish in the 1500s and sent to South America to work in the gold and silver mines. British puritan settlers then arrived here in 1648 fleeing religious persecution in England and Bermuda. They named the island ‘Eleuthera’ which is the Greek word for freedom. They settled on the Harbour Island and Spanish Wells. This sleepy island attracts the rock stars, actors and even royalty.
Just two miles off is the Harbour Island, which is around three miles long and half a mile wide. It is a fascinating island with the main mode of travel is by golf cart. There is a three mile long pink powdery sandy beach and the dotted with the New England style clap-board houses.
These two islands and the surrounding waters are truly a retreat for water sports enthusiasts. With activities such as bone fishing, reef fishing and deep sea fishing, to diving off the Current Cut which is on the most exhilarating dives in the world. There is also horseback riding along the famous three mile beach, shallow snorkelling or just lazing on the beautiful pink sand beaches.
In Eleuthera, you can also visit the Preacher’s Cove, where many artifacts of prehistoric, early European and African settlers have been discovered.
There are many places where you will be able to enjoy a nice lunch or dinner. There is the Pink Sands Resort Restaurant, the Rock House Bahamas, and the Romora Bay Club.
Fuelling is available at Harbour Island Marina, Valentines Marina and Cape Eleuthera Marina.
During a yacht charter cruise around the islands, you can start your sailing itinerary from Marsh harbor in the Abacos which is the main charter port of the area. Most of the yachts and sailing boats are berthed in Marsh harbor.
The Abacos consists of Great Abaco and Little Abaco and numerous cays and islets which are the northern islands of the Bahamas and offer an ideal cruising ground for the charter guests that seek the quiet and solitude of the islands. These slow-paced, laid-back islands are known for exceptional snorkeling and diving, pristine pink sandy beaches as well as grand fishing tournaments.
You can also climb the 101 steps to the top of the candy lighthouse at Hope Town to enjoy the amazing views over Elbow and Parrot Cays. There are golf courses and tennis courts at Treasure Cay Marina.
The places where you will be able to enjoy a nice lunch or dinner are the Bluff House, Hotel and Yacht Club, on Green Turtle Cay and the Nippers Beach Bar on, Great Guana Cay.
The marinas in Abacos are Abaco Boat Harbour and Marina, Marsh Harbour, Treasure Cay Resort and Marina and Green Turtle Club Resort and Marina. There are no marinas for yachts over 100ft. Fuelling are available at Abaco Boat Harbour Marina and Treasure Cay Marina.
Grand Bahama and Freeport
From Abacos, you can easily reach the eastern beautiful string of cays such as Man-O-War Cay, Treasure Cay, Fowl Cay and the Green Turtle Cay. You will be able to visit the Freeport Island which is a modern and planned city and the famous Grand Bahama, the fifth largest island in the archipelago.
Grand Bahama offers various world-class resorts but there are also numerous deserted beaches and pristine nature with the renowned underwater cave systems which are located at the Lucayan.
The Island of Grand Bahama is the largest of all the Islands and very much the gateway to The Bahamas. Grand Bahama is an island of many contrasts. There is the Lucayan National Park which has one of the longest underwater cave systems in the world, the highly exclusive Ginn Sur Mer Resort, on Old Bahama Bay, Dolphin Experience which is home to friendly bottlenose dolphins, there is shark diving or wreck diving, the Jeep Safari with Grand Bahama Nature, bird watching excursions, bicycle rental with Kayak Nature Tours and horseback riding along the beach with Trikk Pony.
There is a variety of restaurants to choose from: the Ferry House Restaurant at the Grand Bahama Yacht Club, The Harbour Room and the After Deck in Freeport.
The Marinas are the Grand Bahama Yacht Club, the Port Lucaya Marina and the Ginn Sur Mer Resort, Old Bahama Bay. Fuelling is available at Bradford Marine Grand Bahama, Grand Bahama Yacht Club and the Port Lucaya Marina.
If you like fishing, you can sail towards the famous sport fishing capital of the area, Bimini, which lies at about 50 miles off the coast of South Florida.
The Bahamas is a perfect destination to celebrate great events like special celebrations, weddings, honeymoons or even business meetings.