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.
SNORKELING, HUNGRY IGUANAS 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. .
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, or simply explore the undersea life via SeaBob. 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, HIKING 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.
If the weather and tide permit, you may be able to visit the eastern shore of Warderick Wells Sound, home to reefs formed by Stromatolites. These fragile flat grey reefs date back 3.5 billion years and were thought to be extinct until discovered in 1983. They are considered to be the oldest evidence of life on earth.
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.
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.
After a lovely al fresco luncheon, fishing enthusiasts can enjoy another afternoon on the water, whether bone, reef or deep-sea fishing, while the kids and the rest of the guests can snorkel, paddleboard or make the most of the yacht's many water toys.
After dinner, sit back for movies and popcorn and perhaps a special dessert treat for the kids from the chef!
There is so much to do at Cambridge Cay you may decide to spend two nights here. After dropping anchor this morning, the entire family can snorkel another undersea plane wreck or snorkel or dive the wondrous "Sea Aquarium" miniature wall dive. After surfacing for lunch, spend some time on a sand bar enjoying the sunshine and clear Bahamian waters.
This afternoon, guests can break off for a variety of activities, from exploring via kayak or paddle board to hiking the scenic trails to visiting blow holes or the private island owned by actor Johnny Depp.
Alternatively, spend the afternoon visiting 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. Don't miss the opportunity to visit the well-mannered nurse sharks here.
Your crew may surprise you with a sunset beach bbq this evening, where the family can while the night away under a clear night sky filled with billions of stars.
WATERSPORTS, BEACH LIFE, PHOTO MEMORIES
Enjoy a beach picnic this afternoon and some last minute shelling before returning to the boat for a truly special dinner prepared by the chef. After dinner the crew will show a presentation of photos captured during your trip â€“ a truly magical finish to a spectacular vacation!
Retire to the sun deck for another evening under the brilliant night sky.
SCENIC CRUISE, WATERSLIDES, CASINO NIGHT
Your yacht will get underway in the wee hours today, for the long cruise to the Atlantis resort and casino on Paradise Island. Catch the sunrise while underway or join the family on the aft deck for an al fresco breakfast in the shadow of the Atlantis resort towers.
Disembark for some late morning shopping at the various boutiques lining the Atlantis promenade, let the kids try out the famed waterslides or simply relax on the sun deck taking in the sights and sounds of bustling resort.
After a leisurely luncheon, bid a fond farewell to your crew and either be transferred to the Nassau airport for your flight home or check in to your room at the Atlantis resort to enjoy one last lively evening at the casino.