Dates: Nov – April | Departure: Nassau, Bahamas | Group Size: Flexible | Price: Starting at $2450 per person
Sailing the Exumas is ideal for those that enjoy solitude, nature, unspoiled beauty and quaint, low-key beach settlements. You can also experience some of the most amazing diving, snorkeling and fishing in the Out Islands of the Bahamas. If you love animals, you can swim with nurse sharks at Compass Cay, swim with pigs at Big Major Cay and feed the iguanas at Allen Cays. It’s the perfect tropical destination for a yacht charter.
Create Your Own Adventure…Do as much or as little as you would like throughout the week. If you are interested in learning how to sail, your captain is a certified sailing instructor and can give you a certification through the American Sailing Association. If you want to relax and enjoy the sights only, thats okay too! You may decide to help sail the yacht one day, but not the next. It is all completely up to you.
This voyage is led by MountainSea head crew Captain Colin and Chef Sarah. They bring years of experience leading yacht charters all over the world, and can’t wait to share their love of the Bahamas with you!
Exumas Sailing Voyage Highlights
- Visit the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park
- See the famous swimming pigs
- Sail to secluded bays and swim in crystal blue waters
- Swim with friendly nurse sharks
- Snorkel at Thunderball Grotto
- See the rare Northern Bahamian rock iguanas
Day 1 – Nassau
We’ll meet at Palm Cay Marina in Nassau at 5:00pm. Board the yacht and get comfortable. We will have dinner ashore at one of the many local waterfront restaurants tonight.
Day 2 – Allen Cays
Sail to Allen Cays to see the rare Northern Bahamian Rock Iguanas, which are only found in the Exumas. You can feed these gentle creatures with grapes but beware that the iguanas can grow to a large size and can jump! Sail onwards to Highbourne Cay to snorkel the Octopus Garden reef at Horseshoe Bay.
You can see stromatolite reefs on the east coast, dating back 3.5 billion years, and if the weather is calm, you can also snorkel the Elkhorn and Staghorn reefs. Also spend the night at the Highborne Cay Marina, where you can enjoy the beach, hike the island path and trails and relax during happy hour at the marina restaurant overlooking the gorgeous bay.
Day 3 – Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park
Explore the Exuma Cays Land & Sea Park at Warderick Wells Cay, an area of outstanding beauty with sand dunes, mangroves and wonderful beaches. Hike the seven miles of trails ashore, wander among the remains of 18th-century loyalist settlements and enjoy bird watching.
Walk up Boo Boo Hill and leave your boat’s name on a piece of driftwood at the top as an offering to Neptune, taking care to avoid the blowholes. Or you can relax on white-sand beaches, snorkel the coral reefs and spot hawksbill turtles, lemon sharks and vibrant fish.
There’s even a sperm whale skeleton to examine on Powerful Beach and stromatolites to the south-west of the island, the world’s oldest living reefs. There are three mooring fields, which can be found at the natural harbor, Emerald Rock south of the visitor centre and Hog Cay in the south-west.
Day 4 – Compass, Staniel, and Big Major Cays
Today we sail Compass Cay, where you can get into the water with friendly nurse sharks and swim with them. On the north coast we’ll find the famous natural whirlpool called “Rachel’s Bubble Bath”, which is at its best at high tide. Take care of the sea urchins nearby and bring your sea shoes.
We’ll drop by Staniel Cay to provision from the local grocery stores. Near the yacht club, you’ll find the amazing Thunderball Grotto on an nearby outcrop, where the James Bond film Thunderball was filmed. Snorkel this marine cave at low tide and marvel at the shafts of sunlight that illuminate the cavern. Opposite is Big Major Cay, where you can swim with the Exumas pigs on Pig Beach.
Day 5 – Shroud Cay
Sail onwards towards Shroud Cay, which is part of the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park. We’ll drop in the paddleboard or kayak so you can explore the shallow mangroves and creeks that meander across the island. You’ll be able to spot turtles, rays and nurse sharks. Once you reach the east side of the island, you will enter a vibrant blue lagoon and set foot on one of the most beautiful beaches in the Bahamas. If you want to stroll Driftwood Beach and take the steep walk to Camp Driftwood, be aware that you can no longer leave mementos, only rocks. It was from this lookout point that the US authorities spied on Norman’s Cay and its drug trafficking activities.
Day 6 – Normans Cay
Norman’s Cay is an abandoned former drug trafficking island and run by Carlos Lehder, which explains its runway. You can snorkel the smuggler’s plane wreck, which rests in just 10ft of water on the south-west coast of the island.
In the afternoon we’ll head back to Nassau and enjoy the pool, beach and restaurants on the marina site.
Day 7 – Farewell!
Unfortunately, today we must leave our beloved yacht and head off to new adventures. It was a pleasure having you all onboard and we look forward to sailing with you again in the near future!
- All breakfasts, lunches, and snacks
- 4 Dinners onboard
- Water and all non-alcoholic beverages onboard
- 6 Nights in double stateroom with ensuite lavatory
- Snorkeling equipment
- Water toys
- Yacht fees, fuel costs, marina fees
- MountainSea hat
- American Sailing Association Certifications
- ASA 101 – Basic Keelboat Sailing
- ASA 103 – Coastal Cruising
- ASA 104 – Bareboat Chartering
- ASA 114 – Cruising Catamarans
- Scuba Diving
- Airport transfers
- 3 Meals onshore
- Attraction entrance fees
- Alcoholic beverages (Many places to buy throughout the voyage)
- Travel insurance
- Crew gratuity
“Taking our family, including two children, on a yacht for the week was daunting, as we all had very limited experience on large boats. But every detail and every comfort was taken care of by Captain Ted. We were able to learn a tremendous amount, and the way in which Ted worked with our kids was as gentle as it was effective. His demeanor imparted a sense of confidence that allowed our kids to comfortably take on tasks they might not otherwise have tried, from taking the helm to learning to flambé shrimp for dinner. We all came away appreciative that our week had been as relaxing as educational. The unbelievable beauty of the Caribbean was perhaps the least impressive part of our trip, and that is saying a ton about Ted and the trip. Can’t wait to head South again.”
Keith, Krista, Walker and Grey Davis