Discover the wonders available when you embark on a catamaran or sailboat cruise in the Bahamas. With about 700 islands and crystalline seas that stretch out for miles, there is no reason why everyone won’t enjoy a cruise in the Bahamas.
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The best time to sail in the Bahamas, similar to all of the islands in the Caribbean, is from mid-December to mid-April. The wind in this area offers perfect sailing conditions for your cruise. The best part? Temperatures are pleasant all year round, ranging from 30°C to 15°C.
With more than 700 islands to discover, there is so much to explore during your stay. Don't miss out on exploring Paradise Island, Exuma and Nassau! These classic destinations can't be missed. Or head to the Eleuthera and visit the pink sand beaches! A veritable utopia awaits you.
The Bahamas is an idyllic island chain, consisting of around 700 islands, only 30 of which are inhabited. With picture-perfect panoramic views that stretch out for miles, you will never get bored of navigating this beautiful area in the crystalline Caribbean Sea. A shining example of untouched natural beauty, the Bahamas offers a wide range of unique holiday experiences that the whole family will love.
A cruise in the Bahamas promises to be spectacular, no matter who you’re going with. Naturally, with around 700 islands, island hopping is bound to be a family favourite, but there are plenty of other things to do if you want to stay in one particular area. For example, you can add a wide range of different water sports equipment onto your charter that the whole family will enjoy. Adults will surely love to try out things such as water skiing, windsurfing, and paddleboarding, while the kids will enjoy splashing around with the inflatable water toys. Snorkelling and scuba diving, meanwhile, are sure to be a hit with the whole family, especially given the quantity of different marine species inhabiting the seas surrounding these islands.
If you’re travelling with your partner, you should opt for a crewed cruise in the Bahamas. In this way, you can enjoy a romantic dinner for two on board underneath a spectacular sunset. The coastal landscapes in the Caribbean are known for being some of the most idyllic in the world so this will surely be an unforgettable experience for the two of you.
Even if you have plenty of sailing experience, you can’t go wrong when you book a cruise in the Bahamas with a skipper. A skipper will have an intimate knowledge of the shores surrounding the Bahamas and can guide you with ease to all the best places within the islands.
If you want to further enhance your level of luxury and comfort, you should opt for a crewed cruise in the Bahamas. A crew typically consists of between four and six people and includes a chef, one or two hostesses, and one or more deckhands. They will work hard throughout your voyage to ensure that you get the maximum enjoyment out of your trip.
Located in the Caribbean, the weather in the Bahamas will be pretty nice all year round. However, it is generally agreed that the best time to visit the Bahamas is from mid-December to mid-April when the temperatures are high and the winds provide perfect conditions for sailing. The only drawback of this period is that being peak season for a Caribbean cruise, there will likely be lots of tourists, leaving the seas crowded and sending the boat prices soaring. For this reason, you might prefer to go sailing instead from mid-April until the beginning of June, when there will be fewer holidaymakers, and thus better boat deals.
The only time when we would generally recommend avoiding a cruise in a sailboat or catamaran is from June to November when it is hurricane season in the Bahamas. The weather conditions during this period will be much more erratic and this may result in your sailing holiday being cancelled. To avoid risking disappointment or potential danger, we suggest you choose a time when there is less risk involved.
There are a couple of different sailing itineraries that you can follow in the Bahamas, depending on the planned duration of your cruise. The first suggested itinerary lasts for a week and starts on Paradise Island, right next to the larger island of New Providence, which is home to the Bahamas’ capital city, Nassau. From Paradise Island, you will set sail northeast until you reach Spanish Wells and St. George’s Cay, just a short distance from Eleuthera. After this, you should head east towards Harbor Island, which features some unique pink sand beaches to sunbathe on if you want a break from the water. After you’re done relaxing in the sun on Harbor Island, you should start your descent south, where you will visit a series of small cays, starting with Highborne Cay, and then moving on to Allen Cay, before heading north again to Norman Cay and then back down south to Sampson Cay. From Sampson Cay, you should set sail north again to Hawksbill Cay, where you can swim with a rich selection of marine life, including hawksbill and loggerhead turtles. Your last stop before making the long trip back to Paradise Island is Shroud Cay, which lies just to the north of Hawksbill Cay and has an impressive selection of different landscapes, including mangroves and swamps.
If you want a slightly shorter cruise, we have also prepared a four-day itinerary. This one starts in the same place at Paradise Island, before heading south-east to Highborne Cay and then continuing south towards Allen Cay. After Allen Cay, you should set sail to the north towards Shroud Cay and then stop off in the capital city, Nassau, before dropping your boat back off at Paradise Island.
These two itineraries allow you to visit the best that the Bahamas has to offer, but if you have a bit of extra time, you should also stop off at Abacos Island, Long Island, Bimini, Elbow Cay, and Green Turtle Cay, which allow you to further immerse yourself in the rich culture of the islands.
There are many different factors that affect the price of a sailing holiday in the Bahamas. Some, such as the charter duration and the amenities on board are fairly obvious, but there are also factors, such as the type of boat and whether or not you want to set sail with a skipper. Generally, the cheapest time to go sailing in the Bahamas is from June until August and from October until November in the height of hurricane season. As a rough guide, though, a cruise in a sailboat in the Bahamas can cost around €2455 per week, while a cruise in a catamaran will cost about €5054 per week.
Typically, the only things included in the cost of a cruise in the Bahamas are the basic charter of the boat and the mooring fees in the port of origin. However, you will need to check with the individual boat owners exactly what is included, as if you opt for an all-inclusive catamaran charter, everything will be included in the price, in stark contrast with a bareboat charter, where not even a skipper comes with the boat.
Things that usually come at an extra charge are usually split into groups of mandatory and optional extras. Mandatory extras will usually be things like the charter package, fuel costs, and mooring at marinas other than your starting port. The charter package will include things like a final clean of the boat, a diving inspection to check for any damage done during your trip, administrative documents, and necessities such as kitchen utensils and bedclothes.
Optional extras will usually be things like towels and WIFI, if not included in the charter package and water sports equipment. On smaller boats, this equipment will often include things like surfboards, snorkelling and scuba diving equipment and kayaks, as well as inflatables. On larger boats, you may even have the opportunity to try out waterskiing and jet skiing.
Naturally, the Bahamas is an amazing place to go snorkelling and scuba diving, but did you know that at Major Cay, you can go splash around with the famous swimming pigs? This is a unique experience that you simply can’t have anywhere else and is certain to be memorable for the whole family. However, the swimming pigs aren’t the only creatures you can swim with in the Bahamas. At the aptly named Dolphin Cay, you can spend a day with the dolphins, or you can go swimming with the Nurse Sharks at Compass Cay. Although Nurse Sharks are relatively harmless, feeding only on small fish, make sure you don’t go too near or try to touch them as they are still wild animals.
During your cruise in the Bahamas, you should also make sure you visit the Ocean Atlas statue. This is actually the biggest underwater statue in the world and was so large it had to be constructed underwater. There are many different ways to enjoy this statue, depending on what you feel comfortable with. For the more confident swimmers, you can go scuba diving down to see it up close. However, you can also snorkel above it, and the statue is so tall that you are actually able to see it without even leaving the boat. This really is one of the unmissable things to do during your cruise in the Bahamas.
Both cruises in a sailboat and in a catamaran promise to be memorable, but there are advantages and disadvantages to both, depending on what sort of holiday you’re after. Sailing boats are typically more affordable, especially for groups of a smaller size, which allows the passengers to create an itinerary specifically tailored to their needs and interests. A cruise in a sailboat also offers a more authentic sailing experience, making it the more appropriate option for experienced sailors. However, they are not the most spacious boats, which means that if you are looking for a more luxurious and comfortable holiday, these may not be the boats for you.
Catamarans, on the other hand, are the epitome of luxury with the double hull structure offering more space and comfort than the monohull alternative. These boats are also more stable, being less affected by the waves and therefore meaning that the passengers are less likely to suffer from seasickness. However, the double hull structure and extra space do come at a cost when it comes to docking spaces at marinas. On account of them being bigger, you will need more docking space, which will usually be more expensive. A cruise in a catamaran also doesn’t offer an authentic sailing experience, meaning that it may not be the boat type for more experienced sailors.