Bahamas – One of the Worlds Great Cruising Grounds
Discover turquoise waters, sparkling beaches, moderate winds and a wealth of interesting anchorages where the vivid blue of the Gulf Stream turns northward. These fantastically rich waters bring exceptional sailing to the cruising paradise of The Bahamas. Nature took time to build a sparkling arc, letting centuries of coral make the fine foundation for these low-lying islands. The attraction here is in the subtle beauty of soft sands, sheltered sailing, and surprising delights of seclusion.
Originally settled by the Arawak people, these laid-back islands are known for snorkeling, diving, and fishing, astonishing beaches, picturesque settlements and, above all, hospitality and genuine friendliness. One of the world’s largest barrier reef systems surrounds these reef-and-cay sheltered waters, providing 100 miles of relaxed cruising in the relatively shallow safety of The Sea of Abaco.
Once the home of swash buckling privateers, one of the world’s great cruising areas is found in the clear, reef-protected waters of the spectacular Abacos. Easy air access from anywhere in North America makes this “the Caribbean that’s close to home.” And from all corners of the world visitors come to find warm sun, the most beautiful turquoise waters and hundreds of secluded beaches of soft white sand.
Complete listing of our Crewed Charter Yachts in the Bahamas:
The Abacos are a string of Bahamian islands located approximately 175 miles east of Palm Beach, Florida. The “mainland” is Great Abaco, third largest island in the Bahamas, with a curve of cays just a few miles offshore creating the protected Sea of Abaco, perfect for sailing or day trip power boating. Historically different from other areas in the Bahamas, the population of the Abacos descended from Loyalists during the War of Independence from the United States. These blonde-haired, blue-eyed Abaconians have given up wrecking and rum running, but still work at traditional occupations– farming, fishing, and boat building. Small guest houses and family-run hotels, as well as private home rentals, allow for a more personal experience. Tourists can embrace the relaxed culture and feel like locals.
The central cruising area is comprised of Great Abaco and Little Abaco, along with a delightful string of sandy cays just to the east. Begin in the center at quaint Man-O-War Cay. The beach at Treasure Cay is one of National Geographic’s Top 10! Great snorkeling and a Marine Park are the attractions at Fowl Cay. Cultural appeal is the calling card of Green Turtle Cay with its museum, sculpture gardens, and fine dining at the Green Turtle Club. Visible for miles is the historic lighthouse of Hope Town, a candy-striped sentinel on the southeastern reef. South to Pelican Cays National Park you’ll be amazed by the vast collection of colorful coral and sea life. Giant starfish are scattered along the sandy bottom for miles. Sail The Abacos and you won’t believe your eyes!
The Islands of the Abacos
- Great Abaco
- Elbow Cay
- Great Guana Cay
- Green Turtle Cay
- Lubbers Quarters Cay
- Man-o-War Cay
- Treasure Cay
Together, the Cays and Great Exuma - with its wide range of resorts and hotels that range from luxury amenities to basic fishing lodges – offer an amazing variety of vacation possibilities in the The Out Islands of The Bahamas. The Exumas are a 120 mile long island chain, within the chain of the Out Islands, and beginning at Great Exuma the Cays stretch to the north-east toward New Providence. The Cays are the most exotic of the Out Islands, a collection of tiny jewels set in the aquamarine and sapphire of the most beautiful water you’ve ever imagined.
Bahamas – General Information
- Capital: Nassau
- Population: 300,000
- Area: 700 islands of 5,380 square miles (13,900 sq km)
- Currency: Bahamian $; US$1=Ba$1
- Language: English but major European languages spoken at tourist centers
- Political status: independent nation; member of the Commonwealth
- Religion: Traditional Christian denomination churches with Anglican and Roman Catholic the largest
- Business: In Nassau, Paradise Island and Freeport/Lucaya, banks are open 9.30am-3pm, Monday to Thursday, and 9.30am-5pm on Friday. Hours vary in the other islands. The main banks are Central Bank of The Bahamas, Bank of Nova Scotia, Barclays Bank International, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Chase Manhattan Bank, Citibank, and Royal Bank of Canada. Shops open 9am-5pm or later with early closing on one weekday afternoon. Major payment cards accepted.
- Electricity: 120 volts AC, 60 cycles
- Telecommunications: the international dialling code for The Bahamas is +1 242 followed by seven digits. On the island, use the seven digits alone. Time: GMT-5