Despite being under an hour flying time from Miami, the Exumas are a beautiful sailing destination in the Bahamas virtually untouched by mass tourism.
Starting your charter from Nassau choose to sail the Exumas, the Abacos, Eleuthera, Cat Island or venture further afield to San Salvador or Crooked Island. Sailing in the Bahamas will make you feel like you are looking at a postcard with sandy islands, tranquil bays, sheltered harbours and sleepy historic villages. The beaches are spectacular, mile after mile of white sand inhabited more by seabirds than people and plenty of reefs for fantastic snorkelling and scuba diving.
More than 200kms of sailing paradise and in the middle of it all you will find one of the largest protected marine parks in the world. The local cuisine includes the freshest fish, lobster and the best cracked conch you’ll ever taste! And when you see the extraordinary colour of the water surrounding these islands, you’ll know you’ve arrived at a perfect location for your sailing holiday.
Embark at Palm Cay, Nassau and spend your afternoon collecting your provisions and getting settled onboard.
Head to Allen Cays to see the rare Northern Bahamian Rock Iguanas, which are only found in the Exumas. Continue your sail to Highborne Cay and be sure to snorkel the Octopus Garden reef at Horseshoe Bay. Highborne Cay Marina has a lovely restaurant with great views overlooking the bay. Take the chance to explore the island on the hiking trails.
Explore the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park at Warderick Wells Cay, an area of outstanding beauty with sand dunes, mangroves and wonderful beaches.
Visit the Interpretation centre, snorkel, hike, visit the loyalist plantation ruins or simply relax on the island's 30 deserted beaches.
Shroud Cay is part of the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park and is the perfect place to use a paddle board or kayak to explore the shallow mangroves and creeks. Here you will be able to spot turtles, rays and nurse sharks. On the east side of the island you will come to a vibrant blue lagoon and one of the most beautiful beaches in the Bahamas - Driftwood Beach.
Norman’s Cay is an abandoned former drug trafficking island and run by Carlos Lehder, which explains its runway. You can snorkel the smuggler’s plane wreck, which rests in just 10ft of water on the south-west coast of the island. Enjoy a stroll along Twinkie Beach before dining at Norman’s Cay Beach Club and watching the sunset.
Late morning head back to Palm Cay and enjoy the pool, beach and restaurant.
Trade winds blow from 5-20 knots, with higher gusts in winter months. The entire cruising ground is protected by a barrier reef, which moderates sea conditions year-round. Temperatures averages 77-89oF year-round. The best time to visit is February to June. There is a risk of tropical storms during August and September.
We have rated this destination a 'Level 1-2' (levels info)
British Airways have direct flights to Lynden Pindling International Airport (NAS), Nassau.
Yacht charter rates are shown WITHOUT flights giving you the flexibility to book your own flights. If you would prefer a flight-inclusive holiday then Nautilus Yachting is a fully bonded ATOL tour operator and can book flights from the UK to fit your sailing holiday. Choose from a wide choice of airlines - we are not tied to any particular airline. All flight-inclusive holidays are fully bonded for your financial protection under our ATOL 3016.
We can arrange transfers for you with the base in Nassau. The transfer time from the airport to the base is around 30 minutes. Please speak to a member of staff for current prices.
"We had a wonderful time and would recommend the Islands. Make sure you go to Chatham Bay on Union Island, get Tim and the Bushman to cook you curried Conch - fantastic."
To skipper a bareboat charter or flotilla yacht, you need to hold a practical sailing certificate equivalent to RYA Day Skipper Practical qualification or RYA International Certificate of Competence (ICC). For charters in Greece, you must now have the ICC certificate. You must also be assisted by at least one competent crew member over the age of 18.
For charters in Croatia, Malta and the Canaries, at least one member of the crew or the skipper will also need a VHF licence.
RYA qualifications can be obtained by RYA sailing schools in the UK or alternatively choose from one of our overseas centres in Gibraltar, Greece or Turkey.
For Caribbean and Tropical charters, formal qualifications are not compulsory, however, you should be Day Skipper standard and be assisted by at least one competent crew. A brief sailing resume should be provided to outline your experience.
If you don't hold the relevant qualifications then why not add a skipper?
Winds force 2-3 (4-11 Knots)combined with generally shorter distances. Good for beginner or intermediate sailors. Line-of-sight navigation but basic knowledge of charts and ability to plot your position required.
Winds force 3-5 (7-21 Knots) with approximately 15-20nm per day. Intermediate experience required. Predominately line of sight navigation but an understanding of how to sail in open water.
Winds force 4-6 (11-27 Knots) with mileage of approximately 20nm+ per day. Ideal for experienced skippers looking to venture out to new destinations. Day skipper standard but with experienced crew would be recommended.