The Bahamas, open for charters from 15 June
Though not technically part of the Caribbean, the Bahamas, which trickle down into the Atlantic from the tip of Florida, have all the Eden-esque features of their neighbouring isles: sugar-white sands, turquoise seas, and a vibe so laid-back you need to give way to wild iguanas.
On a yacht charter in the Bahamas you can spend endless days hopping between the 700 subtropical islands, drop anchor by secluded cays, dive amid the world’s third largest barrier reef or pull into a luxurious resort for a round of championship golf with jaw-dropping views.
A paradise world of mangroves, lagoons, pink sandy beaches, swimming pigs and pineapple fields, the Bahamas is the stuff of yacht charter dreams.
And as you travel the isles you can be sure of a warm welcome – Bahamians are famously friendly and are only too happy to introduce you to their Goombay and rake-and-scrape music (best enjoyed at a fish fry, preferably with a rum punch in hand) or dazzle you with the colourful costumes of the Junkanoo.
A Bahamas Yacht Charter is perfect for a romantic escape or a heavenly charter reunion with family and friends.
An addictive mix of glitzy casinos, high-end duty free shopping and quiet, shady lanes, Nassau, home to two thirds of all Bahamians, has a 24/7 buzz. While the hustle and bustle of cruise ships around the Atlantis Resort isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, you won’t have to travel far to find a quiet place to sit with an ocean view, where the only noise you’ll hear is the sound of the waves rolling in. While there are many great things to see and do in Nassau – like visiting the island’s well preserved historic buildings, which date back to the days when pirates ruled the town – the real treasures await on the other islands. More than likely, Nassau will just be your starting point.
Just 50 miles east of Nassau, Eleuthera is a private tropical paradise just waiting to be discovered. What makes this island unique are its rolling hills, rustic architecture, over twenty gorgeous beaches and friendly locals. Be sure to visit the Hatchet Bay caves, a hidden marvel towards the centre of this claw-shaped island. Beneath a lush green field lies one of the largest systems of caves in the Caribbean, rumoured to have sheltered pirates and buccaneers centuries ago.
Other attractions include the Glass Window Bridge, Preacher’s Cave and the Island School, a private solar-powered educational centre where high-school students from around the world come to learn about sustainable living, with the ocean and the stunning natural environment as their classroom. Whether you choose to explore hidden treasures, visit the island’s shops, lay back on the pearly white sand or just stay aboard and enjoy the view, Eleuthera’s beauty will surely bowl you over.
Fancy diving the deepest recorded blue hole in the world? Dean’s Blue Hole is over 600 feet deep, making it a must for even the most seasoned deep-sea and free divers. Even if you don’t fancy a dip, the bright turquoise water fading into the deep black abyss is a must-see.
What helps make this private 80-mile long island extra special is its diverse topography: the east side is studded with dramatic cliffs and caves, while the west is adorned with undisturbed beaches and calm waters. Spend the day relaxing or collecting colourful shells on the many pink and white secluded beaches and natural pools, or take a dive into the unknown – the choice is yours. Thought to be one of the most picturesque islands in the Bahamas, Long Island is a hidden paradise not to be missed.
Imagine an isolated beach with crystal-clear turquoise waves gently breaking onto salmon-coloured sand. Sound like a dream? A visit to the three-and-a-half miles of coastline on the eastern edge of Harbour Island makes this fantasy a reality. The famous sand gets its unusual colour from an ultra-fine blend of coral, tiny rocks and microscopic pink and red shells.
This Bahamian hideaway boasts superb lunch spots, colourful reefs for swimming and snorkelling and tiny roads only wide enough for golf carts. If you’re up for an adventure, hop into your scuba gear and dive the Current Cut. One of the top dive sites in the world, the current from this fast drift dive will carry you two-thirds of a mile in ten minutes. Just a hop, skip and jump away from its sister island, Eleuthera, Harbour Island is the perfect place for those who crave an intimate and super-laid-back holiday.
The Exumas archipelago consists of 365 islands and cays – a collection of jewels scattered through the turquoise Atlantic. As you cruise these paradise waters, see if you can spot any locations from Pirates of the Caribbean, or from the many James Bond films which have been shot here. No matter where you decide to anchor, every island and cay has something to offer. Visit Big Major Cay to feed the friendly swimming pigs, the Land and Sea Park to scope out bird sanctuaries and overgrown mangrove trees, Stocking Island to taste your very first conch burger or get out scuba or snorkelling gear and take advantage of the countless reefs and grottos.
If you feel like relaxing, chill out on one of the many private beaches or lose yourself in a deep-tissue massage at the Sea Star Spa in George Town. Whichever island or cay you choose, your Exumas memories will last a lifetime.
12th June 2020 |