Exumas, Bahamas
Yacht Charter & Sailing Vacations

Bahamas – Exumas • Where to go • When to go • What you should know • How to Book

Any adventurer will love a Bahamas yacht charter – the Exumas as the archipelago offers 365 cays to discover and explore. Animal, water, beach, and nature lovers will surely rejoice on a sailing vacation in the Exumas. One can swim with nurse sharks, visit and swim with the infamous Bahamas pigs, feed tropical iguanas, snorkel or scuba, and observe an abundance of marine life in the crystal-clear blue waters.

What is a sailing vacation, yacht charter, etc..? Learn more here ›

piggy in the bahamas

EXUMAS – BAHAMAS YACHT CHARTER SUMMARY

We’ve been there!

We recommend an Exumas and Bahamas yacht charter and sailing vacation, especially if looking for a location close to the U.S. mainland.

Stunning isolated beaches, gorgeous hiking island trails, and plenty of fishing. After a day of exploring, enjoy either secluded harbors or upscale ports. The Exumas is definitely a cruising utopia!

Sailing Requirements

Exumas – Bahamas Bareboat charter requirements:

Sailing Resume

Certification

License

Learn more at Yacht Charter Resources ›

Sailing Skill Level

Knowledge – Skills – Experience:

✔ Intermediate

*note an Exumas – Bahamas yacht charter includes shallow waters and coral reefs.

Sailing Skill Levels ›

When to go?

The Bahamas is generally a year-round destination.

• Best times for a Bahamas yacht charter are between November and April.

• May/June can be rainy (usually brief showers).

• July/August can be uncomfortably hot (air conditioned boat recommended).

Climate

The Bahamas – Exumas is a tropical climate with a hot/wet season and a warm/dry season. Most of the year temperatures range between 80-85 degrees F while December through February is a bit cooler averaging 70-75 degrees F.  Evenings can be cooler with the onshore breezes. The wet season is from June to November, but notably the showers are usually brief and pass quickly.

Cuisine

Delish!  Much of the Bahamian cuisine is influenced by the American South (like fish n’ grits) with an emphasis on seafood!  Fish is a staple: conch, crab, grouper and bonefish are local favorites.  Rum punches or Kalik (Bahamian Beer) are well earned after a day of sailing and playing.

Provisioning: Solomon’s is recommended. You can also provision in Highborne Cay, Staniel Cay, Georgetown and/or Eleuthera.

Must See & Do

• Highborne Cay—Allan’s Cay: Snorkeling, diving, nurse sharks, beaches, iguanas on Leaf Cay beach.

• Norman’s Cay: Snorkeling, plane wreck, beaches.

• Shroud Cay: Mangrove river, beaches, shallow waters with marine life.

• Warderick Well: Exuma Cay Land & Sea Park, Coral Gardens, snorkeling, hiking, deserted beaches.

• Compass Cay: Play with nurse sharks, snorkeling, hiking, beaches, fishing, bubbling pools.

• Staniel Cay: Snorkeling Thunder Ball Cave, Big Major Spot (pig island), Staniel Cay Yacht Club.

• Eleuthera: Egg Island, Royal Island, Spanish Well, Hatchet Bay Harbor.

• Fishing: Fishing in the Bahamas does not require a license.  Temporary permits are generally included in the cruising permit fees.  However, fishing is prohibited in the the Exumas Cay Land and Sea Park area from Shroud Cay to Cambridge Cay.  Spear fishing is not permitted anywhere.

• Snorkeling:  The Exumas are known for snorkeling.  Be sure to bring your own mask and snorkel.  The charter companies usually provide fins.

• Scuba Diving: If you’d like to arrange for scuba diving, we suggest Staniel Cay Adventures or Dive Exuma.

How to get there?

Fly into the preferred airport: Nassau (Lynden Pindling International Airport—NAS); Georgetown (MYEG); Staniel Cay (MYES)

The main charter base is at Palm Cay Marina (approx. 30 min drive from Nassau airport; plenty of taxi’s await or we can arrange a private transfer). Alternatively, there are satellite bases at Georgetown (Emerald Bay Marina); Staniel Cay (Staniel Cay Yacht Club).

Suggest you also visit the tourism sites bahamas.com for covid-related protocals and travel updates.

Exumas – Bahamas Bareboat Charter Sample Itineraries

Where to go on a Bahamas – Exumas sailing vacation?

Scroll below for sample itineraries or use the map to explore.

Sample Itineraries:

The Bahamas – Exumas is a charter destination where NauticEd recommends at least 7 days.  10-14 days is preferred and more would be great.  A one-way from Nassau (to Staniel Cay or Georgetown) is also possible (at an additional cost) and recommended.

Please consult with us on itineraries – we’ve chartered in Bahamas – Exumas and can suggest itineraries and locations to best fit your vacation goals.

7 day sample itinerary: 

  • Nassau → Highborne Cay → Warderick Wells → Staniel Cay → Shroud Cay → Rose Island → Nassau
  • Nassau → Highborne Cay → Allan’s Cay → Waderick Wells → Shroud Cay → Norman’s Cay → Nassau

10 day sample itinerary

  • Nassau → Highborne Cay → Allan’s Cay → Warderick Wells → Staniel Cay → Shroud Cay → Norman’s Cay → Nassau
  • Nassau → Norman’s Cay → Warderick Wells → Sampson Cay → Staniel Cay → Black Pointe → Compass Cay → Shroud Cay → Highborne Cay → Rose Island → Nassau

One-way itinerary

Nassau → HIghborne Cay → Allan’s Cay → Norman’s Cay → Shroud Cay → Warderick

Buy the Cruising Guide to the Exumas

Bahamas – Exumas Related Blog Posts

AN EXUMAS – BAHAMAS YACHT CHARTER SOUNDS AMAZING!
I’D LIKE TO…

NauticEd are Exumas – Bahamas yacht charter agents. We don’t charge you a fee and can more than likely save you money on all your sailing vacations. We search the world’s databases for over 8,000 yachts in 55 destinations. We give expert advice on where and when to go – likely, we’ve been there. Make an inquiry and book your sailing vacations through NauticEd Sailing Vacations.

Additional Notes

Sailing Skill Levels

Local Knowledge + Education: as Sailing Vacation Experts, NauticEd’s team has chartered and sailed in almost all these locations – providing you with the “local knowledge” you need when planning a sailing vacation. And, as the leader in sailing education, NauticEd assigns different skill levels based on the knowledge-theory and practical/experience needed for chartering in different sailing locations.

Recommended Knowledge-Theory Courses for chartering: Bareboat Charter Master Bundle (six bareboat and near coastal courses), Catamaran Sailing Confidence (if chartering a Cat), Yacht Charter Crew Course (for your crew).

Skill Levels notably emphasize the overall practical experience and competency that is required to sail in certain areas. Of course, the “devil’s in the details” on specifics, and we recommend you contact us when planning a sailing vacation. We’ll save you money on your vacation – which is great – but being prepared to have safe fun experiences that will last a lifetime is priceless!

• Intermediate = Near Coastal <5nm within sight of land, some navigation hazards (always be aware), and generally mild weather conditions. Good seapersonship (i.e., “seamanship”) skills, knowledge, and experience apply.

• Intermediate +Plus = Near Coastal <15nm, within sight of land in clear atmospheric conditions, moderate navigation hazards, and/or challenging weather. Good seapersonship skills, knowledge, and experience apply.

• Advanced = Near Coastal <20nm, within sight of land in clear atmospheric conditions, many navigation hazards, and/or potentially difficult weather. Expert seapersonship skills, knowledge, and experience apply.

*Atmospheric conditions: from the deck of a sailboat, your “visible horizon” is about 12nm on a clear day (considering typical freeboard + your height). Visibility is decreased by haze, fog, rain, smoke, and similar atmospheric considerations. Navigating by line of sight is obviously greater if your destination has features such as mountains, lighthouses, tall buildings, etc…

*Navigational hazards may include features such as rocks, shoals, rough inlets or anchorages, challenging tides and currents, lee shores, commercial traffic, etc…

*Weather: examples of challenging or difficult weather include thunder/lightning storms, areas prone to high winds, or even seasonal risks such as excessive heat.

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