Exuma Bahamas Cruise
Here is a sample itinerary of the cruise:
Day 1: Arrive at Nassau and head to Palm Cay Marina in the afternoon to acquaint ourselves with the boat. Get provisions on board and enjoy the Palm Cay Resort and Marina for a night.
Day 2: 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, we can also snorkel the Elkhorn and Staghorn reefs. Then we will spend the night at the Highborne Cay Marina, enjoying the beach, hike the island path and trails and relax during happy hour at the marina restaurant overlooking the gorgeous bay.
Day 3: Sail down the cays to 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 we can leave our boat’s name on a piece of driftwood at the top as an offering to Neptune, taking care to avoid the blow holes. 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.
Day 4: On to Compass Cay, where you can get into the water with friendly nurse sharks and swim with them. You can also feed the sharks with fish. On the north coast you’ll find the famous natural whirlpool called “Rachel’s Bubble Bath”.
Then we head to Staniel Cay. Near the yacht club is 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: Sail to Shroud Cay, which is part of the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park. We 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 look out point that the US authorities spied on Norman’s Cay and its drug trafficking activities.
Day 6: 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. Or how about a barefoot walk on Twinkie Beach to forage among the seashells and then dine at Norman’s Cay Beach Club to watch the sunset.
Day 7: Sail back to Rose Island near Nassau for some more snorkeling and exploration – take the dinghy into the canals of an old rum runner base!
Day 8: In the morning, we will head back into Palm Cay Marina for departure.