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Deserted sugar sand beaches, shallow reefs teeming with colorful undersea life, endless crystalline turquoise waters; not only are the islands of The Bahamas exquisitely breathtaking, they are one of the world's best kept secrets.
Just 45 miles from Miami, the Bahamian island chain begins with Bimini and meanders 500 miles to the southwest, comprising over 700 islands and 2400 cays. Rimmed by one of the world's great barrier reefs, these sheltered waters offer myriad opportunities for relaxed cruising, undersea exploration, fishing, swimming, snorkeling, water sports and plenty of on-land hiking and discovery for the whole family. The small island chain of the Exumas is an idyllic retreat offering both natural wonder and magnificent luxury.
This winter, indulge in the quintessential Bahamian experience with a charter aboard any of Fleet Miami's private yachts. Ranging in size and style from 31 to 154 feet, these vessels are perfectly suited for shallow water cruising and include plenty of toys to discover the world in and above these spectacular waters. Fleet Miami's personal concierge can work with you to select the best boat and the perfect itinerary to suit your preferences.
SNORKELING, MANGROVES AND A GLORIOUS SUNSET
Your family charter begins at the Albany Marina on Providence Island, which is easily serviced by the Nassau airport and nearby private airstrips. After you greet your crew and get settled in, rent a golf cart and explore the facility, which was built as a premier yachting destination and is one of the largest berthing facilities in the Caribbean.
Lunch will be served al fresco on the aft deck as your yacht gets underway for a scenic cruise to Shroud Cay in the Exuma Cays Land & Sea Park. This cluster of uninhabited cays is home to a unique nursery for Caribbean lobster, sea turtles, conch, birds and many varieties of fish.
After the anchor is dropped, dive into the clear turquoise waters and begin exploring the undersea world that makes the Exumas such a sought-after destination. The kids will never tire of the "washing machine," where gentle currents push swimmers from one side of a peninsula around to the other. Take a family tour of the shallow mangroves by paddleboard or kayak, or wade ashore and hike to the highest point on land to breathe in the beautiful island scenery.
As the afternoon wanes, return to the yacht to relax around the hot tub for sunset cocktails followed by a delicious dinner even the little ones will love.
INTRIGUE, ADVENTURE AND UNDERSEA EXPLORATION
The excitement rises with the sun this morning as you depart early for a world of adventure and intrigue with a visit to Norman's Cay. This island once served as the bustling headquarters for the famed Carlos Lehder's cocaine smuggling operation, but today enjoys a quieter life with incredible bays, stunning beaches, lagoons and spectacular views.
Fishing enthusiasts can take to the water today, while beach lovers can tender to Twinkie Beach, a charming beach littered with sea shells and highlighted by a lone palm tree. A snorkel amidst the infamous partially submerged wreck of a drug smuggling Curtiss C-46 Commando is a must. The adults may also try their hand at spearfishing or hire a local flats bonefishing guide while the kids will keep an eye out for dolphin pods, who are always curious about boating visitors. Late in the afternoon, tender around the island to visit Norman's Cay Beach Club, formerly known as McDuff's, for a burger, cocktail and island stories as the sun sets.
Back onboard, relax with a gourmet dinner and retire to the bridge deck for board games, movies and lively conversation.
PIRATE TREASURE, BUBBLE BATHS AND SWIMMING PIGS
The old pirate's hideaway of Warderick Wells is the destination of the morning. Serving as the headquarters of the Exumas Land and Sea Park, due to its wide variety of naturally occurring ecosystems, Warderick Wells is home to the skeleton of a 53- foot sperm whale and over 7 miles of hiking trails. Hike Boo Boo hill for scenic vistas and driftwood souvenirs left by visitors before you, explore the beaches and reefs that provide for fabulous snorkeling, or let your crew arrange for a morning pirate scavenger hunt for the kids. To the south is Pirate's Lair, a hidden anchorage accessible via a longer day hike or tender ride.
In the afternoon, cruise south to the Rocky Dundas, two high cays featuring interior caves that provide exceptional snorkeling experiences. Nearby is the north end of Compass Cay, home to a famous natural whirlpool known as Rachel's Bubble Bath. Affected by the tide, this pool can either be a bubbling bath or a flat lagoon.
As your yacht drops anchor between Big Major's and Staniel Cay in the late afternoon, you may be treated to a welcome by the famous swimming pigs. Although the story of how these pigs came to live on an uninhabited island has never been verified, they are quite happy and kept well fed by visitors and locals alike.
FISHING, SNORKELING AND HIDDEN CAVES
Enjoy breakfast while underway to Staniel Cay and the Thunderball Grotto this morning. Featured in the James Bond films Thunderball and Never Say Never Again, the cave can be accessed via snorkel and, once inside, features breathtakingly colorful corals that shimmer in the light. Fishing enthusiasts can get in one final morning on the water, whether bone, reef or deep-sea fishing, while the kids will make the most of the yacht's many water toys.
After a lovely al fresco luncheon and one last swim, you'll be transferred to the small island airstrip in Staniel Cay or Black Point for a scenic return flight home.