Sail the Bahamas:
7 Day Abacos Yachting Itineraries
With its own calm sea surrounded by charming islands, each worth a visit, the Abaco Islands are known as one of the worlds top boating and sailing destinations. With quaint colonial towns, two golf courses, miles and miles of stellar beach, great fishing and diving and a wonderful selection of restaurants and bars, the Abacos are the most complete vacation destination in the Bahamas out islands.
The Abacos is a 120-mile-long island chain, basically a mini-Bahamas complete with its own out islands. Great Abaco Island and Little Abaco serve as the “mainland,” with a string of barrier islands separating them from the Atlantic. The body of water between – a turquoise Nirvana for boaters and sailors – is the calm, shallow Sea of Abaco.
There are three types of charters available:
1. Offshore Sailing Adventure: This trip is for adventurous sailors who are willing to help keep watch (navigate), at night. We will be stopping and enjoying the destinations but we will be traveling for several days. This is a discounted charter, for less than the price of bareboating. You have the advantage of having us on board to take responsibility for it. You will sail over to the Bahamas with us, so you fly into Miami/Ft. Lauderdale to get on board, and home from Marsh Harbor, Bahamas. For those sailing the boat back to the USA with us, you will fly into Marsh Harbour and fly home from Miami/Ft. Lauderdale. *Please note: Return airfare is required to enter the Bahamas, so just buy 2 one way tickets and then cancel the return ticket for a refund.
2. Luxury Charter Cruise: The second type of trip is an easy going, all-inclusive and relaxed cruise around the Abacos islands. Enjoy lots of snorkeling, diving, chilling out, and some fun land-based activities. You will fly in and out of Marsh Harbour Airport in Abaco.
3. Simply relax and sleep aboard the boat in a marina. See the AirBnB listing here.
— Click one of the tabs below for details. —
[tabby title=”Offshore Sailing Adventure”]
Limited availability: We are only going to provide two sailing adventure cruises.
1 – Sail from Miami, FL to Abaco, Bahamas on 5 to 12 of November, 2016.
2 – Sail from somewhere in the Bahamas to Miami, FL on 18 to 25 of March, 2017.
Price includes all meals onboard and all drinks onboard. There will always be something to eat in the galley, beer, wine and spirits are only available once we have anchored or moored for the evening on the longer sailing days.
Scuba diving and fishing from Makara is included.
Since this is a sailing adventure, sometimes we have to alter the plans a bit due to the wind not agreeing with us. The most important point is that we enjoy ourselves and get you to your destination on time. However, it would be a good idea to allow yourself an extra “buffer” day at our final destination. You are welcome to stay the night onboard during your “buffer” day.
2 Guests = $6,200/week
3 Guests = $6,900/week
4 Guests = $7,600/week
5 Guests = $8,300/week
6 Guests = $9,000/week
Day 1: Miami to the Biminis
Arrive in Miami, and board the yacht at Mia Marina Bayside, downtown Miami on Biscayne Blvd. We will settle in and spend the night in the marina. There are excellent restaurants and shops here, as you would expect from this city. We will set sail in the early morning, after breakfast, to arrive at the Biminis in the early afternoon, about 6.5 hours after we depart. We will all clear into immigration and receive our fishing and cruising permit for the boat. Don’t worry, when you fly back to the USA from Marsh Harbor, all you need is a copy of the cruising permit to prove you paid the taxes. There is excellent snorkeling and conch shacks on both North and South Bimini island.
Day 2: North Bimini to Freeport, Grand Bahama Island
Wake early and get underway before breakfast. Enjoy the current of the Gulf Stream pushing us North while we enjoy our pancakes, and sailing fast up to the exciting town of Freeport by mid afternoon. With plenty of daylight remaining, we will dock in a marina or take a mooring for the night. After a bit of shopping and wandering around town, we will have dinner at a restaurant and cocktails back aboard the boat.
Day 3: Overnight sail from Freeport to Schooner Bay Harbour, Great Abaco Island
Sail 120nm in 15 hours, or at least try to make it all the way there. If it’s not a comfortable sail, we can stop at an anchorage about halfway there, and finish up the trip the next day. Schooner Bay Harbour has a very protected harbour for our sleeping comfort after the long trip. Looks fun, right?
Day 4 to 7: Schooner Bay Harbour to Marsh Harbour
Finally in the Abacos, the hard sailing behind us, we have a few days to bounce around the cays and explore. We will be visiting most of the sites on the itinerary below. And enjoying snorkeling, paddleboarding, fishing or whatever we like, as we explore the cays. We won’t be underway much during the day, so there will be lots of time for water-based or land-based activites. We will be moored or anchored every afternoon for the night. There are only 80nm to travel from Schooner Bay Harbour, all the way North to Green Turtle Cay and back to Marsh Harbour for your flights home.
For the return trip in March – Bahamas to Miami, obviously we will be going in reverse, enjoying the cays of the Abacos, then sailing back to Miami over 3 or 4 days. *Please note: Return airfare is required to enter the Bahamas, so just buy 2 one way tickets and then cancel the return ticket for a refund.
[tabby title=”Luxury Charter Cruise”]
Limited availability of 7 day vacations between November, 2016 and March, 2017.
* Price includes meals onboard and all drinks onboard.
* Day 3 and Day 5 lunches and dinners on shore are included in the price.
* Scuba diving and fishing from Makara included.
2 Guests = $11,500/week
3 Guests = $13,000/week
4 Guests = $14,500/week
5 Guests = $16,000/week
6 Guests = $17,500/week
Day 1: Marsh Harbor
Arrive in Marsh Harbor (which is easily accessible from any US airport) and board the yacht at the Abaco Beach Resort, a large resort and marina that caters to the mega yacht and sport fishing scene. Once you’re settled on board, enjoy lunch on the aft deck, as we slowly make our way south to Little Harbor – a fun spot with a lot of history. Little Harbor’s remote and lush surroundings offered inspiration for the late bronze sculptor Randolph Johnston. Johnston’s family has had a vivid history since settling this harbor over 50 years ago. Here they built a bronze art foundry to cast their renowned sculptures. Peter Johnston continues his father’s art in bronze and gold depicting the marine wildlife around him. On the harbor beach is a small Tiki bar called Pete’s Pub, where they always serve the freshest seafood and potent cocktails! Enjoy a quiet night at anchor while enjoying the peace and solitude that only the Abacos can deliver. Take in the stars from the sun deck or simply enjoy the peace that surrounds you.
Day 2: Pelican Cay Land & Sea Park / Elbow Cay
After breakfast we will head north to the Pelican Cay Land & Sea Park, a vast 2,100-acre reserve. It is home to some of the most unique and beautiful marine life in the world and features an extensive number of undersea caves, coral reefs, flora and fauna. From here we’ll enjoy a private beach picnic on one of the gorgeous, uninhabited islands in the park.
Then it’s only a short hop up to Elbow Cay, home of the famous candy striped lighthouse. Depending on your preferences and weather, you can enjoy a night at anchor or tuck into a slip in White Sound or the main harbor. Hope Town offers great dining, local art galleries, and of course the lighthouse is a must see. From Lighthouse Marina you can explore the lighthouse and the amazing views from the top! This lighthouse is one of the last manually operated in the world.
Day 3: Hope Town and Elbow Cay
We’ll enjoy breakfast aboard before heading ashore to explore Hope Town and Elbow Cay. A great way to get around the island is by golf cart – head off to the southern end and enjoy the beautiful beaches, the surf break and some great drinking and dining spots that are along the way. Enjoy lunch ashore with fantastic ocean beach views. From Elbow Cay you can visit Lubber’s Quarters and Cracker Pea’s a fun seaside restaurant overlooking the Sea of Abaco and Tahiti Beach, which draws surfers to ride its large waves, because it lacks a protective reef like many of the other island beaches. Or just spend the day enjoying the tranquil island life style with no agenda. Elbow Cay is an active island with great beaches, fun resorts, restaurants and island nightlife and it’s well worth the extra time ashore to explore and relax. Firefly Resort is a great spot for cocktails and the perfect vantage point for a romantic sunset. The Abaco Inn and Hope Town Harbor Lodge are great dinner spots with views of the lighthouse, the Atlantic Ocean and another pristine Abaco beach.
Day 4: Man-O-War Cay / Guana Cay
Just a short hop from Elbow Cay is the historical boat-building island, Man-O-War Cay. Enjoy breakfast on the aft deck as you cruise the turquoise calm waters on the Sea of Abaco. Visit Joe’s Studio on the harbor front and catch Joe at work handcrafting his world famous Man-O-War sailing dinghies. Another must visit is Albury’s Sail Shop and Sally’s Seaside Boutique, both right on the waterfront. Man-O-War is one of the last “dry islands” in the Bahamas yet still hosts many of the best cocktail parties in Abaco!
Once back aboard, we’ll pick up anchor and head to Guana Cay. There is great snorkeling along the way at the Fowl Cays and depending on weather, a good reef break for surfing. The Sea of Abaco offers great conching grounds in these parts, for the trained eye. Bakers Bay Resort is a new development with a beautiful large yacht facility. The Tom Fazio golf course at the resort offers world class golfing and views. There is great snorkeling and diving just off the reef to the north end and one of the most spectacular beaches in all of Abaco. Guana Cay is home to famous Nipper’s Beach Bar & Grill and is definitely worth the trip up the hill. Enjoy the quintessential beach bar overlooking white sand and every hue of turquoise and aqua imaginable while sipping on a Nipper’s cocktail.
Day 5: Green Turtle Cay
We’ll depart Guana Cay for Green Turtle Cay. Along the way is another beautiful snorkeling spot just off No Name cay. There is a great marina facility in White Sound at the Green Turtle Club, or depending on your preference, nice spots to anchor in New Plymouth near a historic settlement, where you can take a stroll to the small museum and historical gardens. Eventually you will come across a friendly spot known to all boaters as Miss Emily’s Blue Bee Bar, where you will likely find Miss Emily herself pouring her famous Goombay Smash cocktail with a welcoming smile on her face. The Green Turtle Club, Bluff House and Pineapples are great spots for dining ashore.
Day 6: Manjack Cay
Depart Green Turtle for Manjack Cay. Depending on weather, Manjack offers two great anchorages. The south end near Rat Cay is a fantastic spot to relax and enjoy water sports and the cut offers great paddle boarding and kayaking. Spend the day exploring and enjoying the peaceful tranquility of Abaco in and on the water. The north end is also a great spot and provides some of the best sunset views over the water. Enjoy dinner aboard and another peaceful evening under the stars.
Day 7: Treasure Cay
A quick hop over to Treasure Cay while you enjoy breakfast on the aft deck and wind down before departure. Treasure Cay has yet another gorgeous beach, noted by National Geographic as one of the World’s Top Ten. Enjoy a peaceful stroll and take it all in before you prepare for departure and begin making plans for your next yachting vacation!