The Islands of The Bahamas are best enjoyed by sea and I recently had the opportunity to enjoy an educational and heart-pumping adventure throughout the Nassau Harbour with a local tour operator, Harbour Safaris. The tour, which lasts approximately 75 minutes, began at the Bay St. Marina with a quick safety guide by our quirky and hilarious guide who made sure we all signed our lives away via a waiver.
We then boarded 'The Huntress', a swanky 30 ft. Baltic Rigid Inflatable Boat, that reminds me of something that the police use to catch criminals. Fancy! This is no regular boat, there are no seats that you sit in—well there are seats, but it's a straddle seat, so it's like you're actually riding a jet-ski, kinda sorta! It's pretty cool!
As we slowly pulled away from the marina our guide took us on a journey through Bahamian history—fun tidbits on the history of the Nassau Harbour, Paradise Island, the many forts that guarded the city and of course, pirates! While the information was not new to me (resident Bahamian on the tour), it was a great introduction to The Bahamas and our 700 islands and cays. It's great for first-time visitors and a great refresher of the rich history of The Bahamas!
I did say this tour was heart-pumping right? Here comes the fun! After we got out of the harbour, our captain cranked up the speed, 40 + knots! I WASN'T READY! My go-pro didn't stand a chance at that speed. It was a beautiful and calm day out on the sea, which made gliding over the beautiful blue seas effortless! The tour takes you out of the harbour and along the back side of Paradise Island, where you are able to sail past the One & Only Ocean Club (a luxury hotel that services the rich and famous), million dollar homes that dot the pristine Cabbage Beach, up the opposite entrance of the harbor, past the historic Fort Montague, and slowly back to the marina.
The tour, while short, is sweet and packs a major punch! I highly recommend it for cruise ship visitors who don't have too much time on the island but still want to experience a little piece of The Bahamas by sea. I also recommend it to anyone who simply wants a change of scenery! Need some time away from the office and can extend a lunch hour? Why not?
If you're looking to take an even bigger bite out of The Islands of The Bahamas, Harbour Safaris also offers excursions to feed the world famous Swimming Pigs on Big Major's Cay in The Exumas. The excursion is weather dependent, but I assure you, it's so worth it. A bucket list experience! Additional excursions offered include trips to other popular Bahamian islands including Spanish Wells & Harbour Island, as well as a 5-hour tour exploring the northern Exumas.