If a little privacy on a small boat is your idea of fun, consider a Bahamas sailing charter voyage. Chartering a vessel for a sail to the Bahamas, or around the islands of the Bahamas, is possible.
Advantages to a Bahamas Sailing Charter
If you are not interested in a large cruise ship with thousands of passengers such as a week on the Carnival Cruise Line or on one of the Royal Caribbean Cruises, perhaps you should think about booking a reservation on a charter ship to the Bahamas. There are many advantages to a smaller vessel including:
- Quieter days and nights
- Fewer passengers
- More passenger togetherness, or bonding
- Ability to have a say in the ship's daily itinerary
- Can take part in the actual sailing of the vessel
Where to Look
First of all, make sure that you are aware of where the charter begins. While some boats can be embarked in Florida, others only sail from the Bahamas and others sail from both Florida and the Bahamas.
- The Charter Specialists claim that their most popular starting ports are Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach and Miami. In the Bahamas, they are Freeport, Nassau, and Marsh Harbor. This company offers cruises on motor yachts and some trips on sailing yachts.
- Join Angela and Joe aboard AMAROK, a yacht that sails from Nassau, Bahamas to Exuma, Eleuthera and the Berry Islands. Operating in the Bahamas, The AMAROK is a 41-foot Morgan Outisland cutter-rigged ketch. It can carry up to six passengers.
- Cruise Abaco has three yachts for you to choose from including the Lokadune, Alpha Cat and Opportunity I. On the Lokadune and Alpha Cat, the captain accompanies the passengers during the day, but at night, leaves them alone on the docked yacht.
A week-long sample itinerary aboard one of the Abaco yachts includes the following:
- Day One - Your party will meet at the marina in Marsh Harbor in the Bahamas. Once you are settled, you will devise a cruise plan that suits your wants and will also be permissible with the current weather forecast. After decisions are made, there is time for an afternoon swim or walk on the beach.
- Day Two - Sail to Guana Cay and then enjoy some snorkeling, sunbathing, and swimming. A pig roast on the beach at Nippers will make a delicious dinner.
- Day Three - Sail south and stop at Foul Cay Underwater Park. Snorkeling will follow. The afternoon will include sailing to Man o War Cay.
- Day Four - Explore the Cay with a trip to the sail shop, view the boat builders, and enjoy shopping at a variety of stores. Swim and enjoy time on the beach in the afternoon and then sail to Hope Town. In this town, enjoy a dinner at one of the restaurants and a visit to the local museum. Drinks at the local bars will end this evening.
- Day Five - Sail to Tahiti Beach and swim, snorkel, and even fish. A dinner on the yacht follows.
- Day Six - The boat sails to Sandy Cay Park and Shell Tilloo Bank.
- Day Seven - Sail back to Marsh Harbor.
The cost of chartering a boat varies, depending on the itinerary, length of the trip, and how much you want to rely on a crew or the captain to assist you. There are week-long cruises and voyages that last two weeks. They can range in price from $2,900 for a seven-day cruise, to over $5,000 for a fourteen-day sail.
Reserving a Charter
In order to find out more about making a reservation on a Bahamas sailing charter, contract your travel agent or go online to the specific website of the charter company you are interested in using.
What to Bring
Pack light. Many of the charter boat owners say that passengers tend to bring too much. Along with your passport, needed documents, toiletries, and prescribed medications, be sure to bring:
- Soft-soled shoes
- Beach towels
- Camera, film, and batteries
- Light jacket
- Casual clothing
- Snorkeling gear if you have your own
Enjoy the Experience
The boats are equipped with linens, bath towels, garbage bags and toilet paper. Some of them allow drinking of alcoholic beverages, but you must provide your own. Gourmet meals aboard the vessel are included in the price, although when the boat docks and passengers are expected to eat at one of the local restaurants the cost of those meals are not included in the overall rate.
A Bahamas sailing charter voyage is a vastly different experience than taking a Bahamas cruise aboard a mainstream ship, but it offers passengers unique opportunities to explore much more of this island nation's culture, history, and geography than larger cruises. Bon Voyage!