The Islands Of The Bahamas: A Boater’s Paradise

Located just 50 miles off the coast of Florida, The Bahamas is one of the most popular destinations in the world for island hopping

There is really no better place in the world to go boating than The Islands Of The Bahamas. The islands-nation is scattered across 100,000 square miles of Atlantic Ocean, but Bimini lies a mere 50 miles from Florida. Boaters and sailors can explore The Bahamas for a weekend or for weeks on end, hopping from Bimini to The Berry Islands to Nassau, or sailing around the 365 cays of The Exumas. The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and partners throughout the islands make it easy for cruisers, sailors and luxury yachters to enjoy some of the most pristine waters in the world and all the fishing, diving and beachcombing that go with the island-hopping life.

The Bahamas welcomes pleasure boaters, charters and bareboat charters throughout the islands, and facilities in Nassau, Grand Bahama Island, The Abacos, The Exuma Cays provide convenient hubs for captains and cruisers. The Association of Bahamas Marinas and Bahamas Port Authority have teamed to offer a new one-stop incentive service to make registration even easier for brokers, charter brokers, boat captains and boat owners. The service provides seamless processing for boat registration, on-line payment of fees, itinerary planning and networking with marinas, hotels, restaurants and destination experiences across The Bahamas’ many islands. The Association of Bahamas Marinas new services also include an online booking engine for member properties enabling boaters to make reservations 24 hours a day. The booking engine is supported by a call center through which consumers may also make hotel or flight reservations (toll-free: 844-556-5290, or U.S.: 954-462-4591), or email reservations@bahamamarinas.com).   

CHOOSING AN ISLAND THAT ‘ROCKS THE BOAT’

The Abacos

Claiming the name as one of the best cruising and sailing destination in the world, it’s no wonder The Abacos are popular amongst boaters. There are 17 marinas throughout the island chain, making it an ideal destination for island hopping to Marsh Harbour or Hope Town.

Abaco Beach Resort and Boat Harbour – The Bahamas’ largest full-service marina is located in Marsh Harbour, equipped with 198 slips, and can accommodate boats up to 200 feet.  Shower and laundry facilities, pools and a swim up-bar, a gas and diesel station, yacht maintenance and more are available for guests. www.abacobeachresort.com

Green Turtle Club and Marina – The 40 slip marina offers modern facilities and accommodates vessels up to 130 feet, have 30/50/100-amp service with water and WIFI access, and full access to the Green Turtle Club Resort, including the yacht club pub, patio and indoor restaurants, pool, restrooms, showers and laundry facilities. www.greenturtleclub.com

Treasure Cay Beach, Marina & Golf Resort– The resort’s well protected, full-service marina is complete with a fuel station, scuba dive shop and shower facilities, and equipped with 164 slips and privately-owned vessels are available for charter. www.treasurecay.com/marina

Bluff House Beach Resort & Marina– The resort’s marina is equipped with 46 slips and offers shower and laundry facilities, a fuel station and electrical hookups to its guests and accommodates boats of up to 75 feet. www.bluffhouse.com

Leeward Yacht Club Marina Resort – This 24-slip, well-protected marina is nestled within a 7-acre resort. Boaters have access to two shipyards, the restaurant, bar, outdoor pool, tennis courts, and luxury rental homes. www.leewardyachtclub.com

Bimini  

Bimini is known as the big game fishing capital of the world, boasts some of the finest hues of blue water, and is home to a number of annual fishing tournaments. This island is a popular destination for private power boaters trekking across the Gulf Stream. Full-service marinas are available in North Bimini, South Bimini, Gun Cay and Cat Cay, most offering official ports of entry.

Bimini Big Game Fishing Club – This history-rich hotel offers a full-service marina equipped with 75 slips, accommodates vessels up to 160-feet and offers facilities that cater to the fishing tournaments that take place throughout the year. www.biggameclubbimini.com

Sea Crest Hotel and Marina – The hotel’s modern marina can handle yachts up to 100 feet, is equipped with 14 slips, and offers guests freshwater wash-downs, electrical hookups and fish cleaning stations. www.seacrestbimini.com

The Berry Islands

Though a majority of  The Berry Islands are uninhabited, they are known as one of the leading ports-of-call within The Bahamas for cruising pleasure boaters. This tranquil destination is home to a number of caverns and reefs, miles of swim-ashore secluded beaches, and a multitude of harbors – all a big attraction to cruising boaters.

Great Harbour Cay Marina – This marina is located in a serene harbour, equipped with 65 slips, and can accommodate boats up to 130 feet. Amenities include access to the fuel docks shower and laundry facilities, bar and restaurant, and internet. www.greatharbourcaymarina.com

Chub Cay Marina – Located next to "The Billfish Capital of The Bahamas" and within a surge-

proof harbour, this full-service marina provides 109 slips, and can accommodate boats up to 190 feet. Boaters can enjoy fine dining at the Harbour House Restaurant and lounge. www.chubcayresortandmarina.com

New Providence – Nassau, Paradise Island

Nassau is the tourism hub of The Bahamas, booming with luxury resorts, fine restaurants, shopping districts, and marinas. This vibrant destination is ideal for island hopping to The Out Islands, including The Berry Islands, Andros, Eleuthera and The Exumas.

The Marina at Atlantis – With direct access from Nassau Harbour, this marina features 63 mega-yacht slips, and can accommodate vessels up to 220 feet.  Guests of the marina have access to all of Atlantis’ facilities. www.atlantisbahamas.com/rooms/atlantismarina

Bay Street Marina – This 89-slip marina is located in the heart of Nassau and within walking distance of Paradise Island.  Boaters with vessels up to 150 feet can dock at Bay Street Marina, and have access to polishing and wash-down services, shower and laundry facilities, the pool and fitness center and more. ww.baystreetmarina.com

Nassau Harbour Club Hotel and Marina – The hotel’s full service marina is equipped with 65 slips, which can accommodate vessels up to 200 feet. Privately owned vessels are available for charter and fresh water and laundry facilities are on-site. www.nassauharbourclub.com

Albany Marina – This luxury resort community boasts a marina that is truly a yacht haven, accommodating vessels up to 300 feet, with state-of-the-art facilities and world-class amenities. Yacht-goers have access to the fitness center, volleyball and basketball courts. www.albanybahamas.com

Odyssey Aviation (MYNN) – Odyssey Aviation Bahamas caters to the world’s private aviation community and is the largest and most trusted provider of general aviation services in The Bahamas, with operations at five airports on four islands. Odyssey Aviation Nassau, the largest of the Bahamas locations, is consistently voted Best FBO in the Bahamas and one of the top FBOs in the Caribbean.  24-hour service can be requested at all locations.  All airports are ports-of-entry with customs and immigration.  All locations are Rubis branded suppliers of Jet-A1 Fuel. Nassau and Exuma locations have customs and immigration in their facilities and offer AvGas http://www.odysseyaviation.com/

Eleuthera and Harbour Island:

Located just 50 miles from Nassau are Eleuthera and Harbour Island – known for their pineapple fields, stunning pink sand beaches, and miles of coastline that attract anglers and boating enthusiasts.  

Romora Bay Resort and Marina – This world-class, full-service marina is located in the heart of Harbour Island and accommodates boats, yachts and mega-yachts up to 190 feet. Upon docking, clientele have access to onsite customs and immigration, yacht provisioning, yacht cleaning and detailing services, bathroom and shower facilities, and more. www.romorabay.com

Valentine’s Yacht Club and Marina, Harbour Island – This state-of-the-art marina is the largest yacht marina in Harbour Island, equipped with 51 slips and accommodates vessels up to 108 feet. Amenities include a fuel dock, shower and laundry facilities, a fish cleaning station, and WIFI access. www.valentinesresort.com/marina

Cape Eleuthera Resort and Marina – This stunning beachfront resort boasts a marina that is fully equipped to accommodate vessels up to 200 feet.

www.capeeleuthera.com/the-marina  

Spanish Wells Yacht Haven & Resort – This vibrant resort’s 30-slip, all-weather marina is located just off the northwestern tip of Eleuthera and accommodates yachts up to 165 feet. Marina guests have access to storage facilities, reverse osmosis water supply, and on-site shower and laundry facilities. www.swyachthaven.com

Odyssey Aviation (MYER & MYEM) – Two of the five FBOs known as Odyssey Aviation can be found in Eleuthera.  Odyssey Aviation is the largest and most trusted provider of general aviation services in The Bahamas.  24-hour service can be requested at these locations. Both airports, which are ports-of-entry with customs and immigration, are located in Rock Sound Eleuthera (MYER) and Governor’s Harbour, Eleuthera (MYEM).  All locations are Rubis branded suppliers of Jet-A1 Fuel. One other facility would be found on San Salvador (MYSM) http://www.odysseyaviation.com/

The Exumas

From the pristine white sandy beaches and alluring sapphire water, to the Bahamian rock iguanas and miles of cays and hidden coves – The Exumas are the epitome of Bahamian paradise. Boaters head to this exotic gem of a destination to experience The Bahamas’ most prestigious event of the year – the National Family Island Regatta.

Staniel Cay Yacht Club – The Staniel Cay Yacht Club is an Exuma staple set on a small charming island, with 14 vibrant waterfront bungalows and a full-service, 18-slip marina that can accommodate yachts up to 185 feet. www.stanielcay.com/marina

The Marina at Emerald Bay – This 150-slip, full-service marina located on Great Exuma is equipped to accommodate vessels up to 200 feet. www.marinaemeraldbay.com

Highbourne Cay Marina – This popular marina is a “must-stop” for boaters before journeying

through the Exuma islands.  Yachters can dock vessels up to 180 feet, and have access to standard marina amenities, including fuel, reverse-osmosis water, and shower and laundry services. www.highbournecaybahamas.com

Odyssey Aviation (MYEF) – Odyssey Aviation Exuma is the largest and most trusted provider of general aviation services in The Bahamas.  24-hour service can be requested at this location and is a ports-of-entry with customs and immigration.  This hub is a Rubis branded supplier of Jet-A1 Fuel. The Exuma location has customs and immigration in their facility and offer AvGas.

http://www.odysseyaviation.com/

Grand Bahama Island

Grand Bahama Island is the fourth largest island in The Islands Of The Bahamas, boasting beautiful beaches, extraordinary wildlife preserves, golf courses, local boutiques and fine dining. This unique island is home to the Grand Bahama Sailing Regatta at Taino Beach, attracting boaters from all over the world.

Grand Bahama Yacht Club – This conveniently located marina accommodates yachts up to 200 feet. Guests have access to superb services, an Olympic size pool, and the pool bar that offers Caribbean dishes and tropical drinks.  www.grandbahamayachtclub.com

The Old Bahama Bay Marina – This 72-slip, full-service marina is located in West End, Grand Bahama Island, and is only 56 miles from Palm Beach, Florida.  The marina accommodates boats up to 120 feet and boasts one of the only night navigable nautical points of entry in the area. www.oldbahamabay.com

Ocean Reef Yacht Club – The hotel’s marina is equipped with 50 slips and can accommodate boats up to 120 feet. The Ocean Reef Marina offers laundry facilities, free WIFI service, and access to the pool, bar and restaurant, and more.  www.oryc.com

Long Island

Long Island is one of the most scenic hideaways in The Islands Of The Bahamas, with breathtaking cliffs, captivating coral reefs, and serene beaches. The island is divided by the Tropic Of Cancer and is bordered on each side by two contrasting coasts. The western shoreline is composed of soft, white sandy beaches, while the island’s east coast consists of rocky bluffs that descend into the sea. The island offers world-class fishing, diving, boating and lush natural beauty. 

Flying Fish Marina – This 21-slip marina is nestled in a protective harbor in Clarence Town, a designated Bahamas Port of Entry. Flying Fish Marina is conveniently located for yachters traveling from Florida, and is considered a haven for anglers.  Standard amenities include a fuel dock, laundry and shower facilities, and access to internet. www.flyingfishmarina.com

ACTIVITIES

Boating Flings Boating flings are the Bahamian equivalent of a road trip, where a caravan of pleasure boaters cross the Gulf Stream to The Bahamas, ending the trek to enjoy on-island activities.

Regattas – This long-standing tradition attracts visitors from around the world as they flock to a number of islands throughout The Bahamas to enjoy competitive boat racing. Annual regattas include live musical performances, delicious local cuisine, loads of family fun activities, and more.

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

The following are some helpful tips and considerations before sailing to The Islands Of The Bahamas:

Quick Tips:

  • Be sure to have fuel aboard
  • As you enter the ports, fly the yellow quarantine flag to notify Customs of your arrival
  • For a full guide to entering and exiting The Bahamas, check out the full list of policies here: www.bahamas.com/faq/entering-exiting-policies
  • www.Bahamas.com is a great source to research land-based accommodations, activities, restaurants, and more

Association of Bahamas Marinas – From informative fishing guides to a complete list of official ports of entry, the Association of Bahamas Marinas is a one-stop-shop for everything you need to know about yachting, boating, sailing and fishing in The Bahamas. The association is comprised of The Bahamas' leading marina operators and is supported by allied members, both locally and abroad to promote, advocate and advance the interests for marine, sport fishing and boating industries. The Association of Bahamas Marinas offers boaters convenient reservation and booking services available via call center (toll-free: 844-556-5290, or U.S.: 954-462-4591), or email reservations@bahamamarinas.com). www.bahamasmarinas.com  

Boating and Sailing Regulations – Did you know that visiting boaters must clear Customs and Immigration at the nearest designated Port of Entry when arriving? The Out Islands Promotion Board website is also a great resource for necessary information to plan your next boating trip. www.myoutislands.com/bahamas-sailing/bahamas-boating-regulations

Weather – The average high temperature is 87 degrees Fahrenheit, with lows averaging around 75 degrees Fahrenheit. For weather data about The

Bahamas throughout the year, visit Bahamas.com/weather.

Media Contact:

Anita Johnson-Patty | General Manager, Global Communications | Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation | ajohnson@bahamas.com 

Weber Shandwick | Public Relations | Bahamas@webershandwick.com