Written by Missy Johnston
Join your yacht in the capital city of Nassau to cruise 34 miles to another world. There are more than 700 islands in The Bahamas, with the Exuma chain reaching south at least 120 miles. Arrive at the Allen’s Cay group of islands to explore nearby beaches and to meet the large population of protected native iguanas on Leaf Cay or Southwest Allan’s Cay, which always comes out to greet visitors. Good snorkeling and fishing surround this collection of some 13 small islands and reefs.
In the morning cruise to uninhabited Hawksbill Cay, on of the prettiest cays in the Land and Sea Park. Walk along the beautiful expanse of beaches and climb the large hill for a panoramic view of the anchorage. In the afternoon hike the trails to explore ruins of Loyalist plantations dating from 1783 and enjoy a picnic lunch.
After breakfast, cruise to Warderick Wells, headquarters of the Exuma Land and Sea Park, where you’ll be greeted by an amazing display of water colors and sand banks upon approach. Snorkeling is excellent on nearby reefs. On shore, check out the sperm whale skeleton on the beach and enjoy the park’s four miles of walking trails.
Enjoy a lazy tropical breakfast before cruising to Staniel Cay where you can visit this quaint settlement of brightly colored houses. Snorkelers will enjoy exploring Thunderball Cave, the site of the movies “Splash” and “Thunderball”. Have dinner on board or ashore at the Staniel Cay Yacht Club.
Big Major Cay
Leave for Big Major Cay to visit the swimming piggies. Cruise to the eight-mile-long Pipe Creek, an area generally deserted as many yachts avoid its tricky shifting shoals and endless coral heads. This is a watersport paradise providing endless fishing, exploring and snorkeling opportunities.
Enjoy breakfast before cruising north to Shroud Cay. After anchoring, take the dingy through unspoiled mangrove creeks for a private lunch on a spectacular unspoiled ocean beach. Hike along the trails to see a variety of birds and wildlife.
In the morning cruise to Norman’s Cay to snorkel on the island’s famous airplane wreck. While lunch is served, cruise to Nassau for a visit to the magical Atlantis Resort for great entertainment and nightlife.
Disembark in Nassau.