Turquoise-blue waters, gentle-breezes, underwater adventures, and warmth all-around, what a life! A sailing adventure in The Bahamas is sure to offer you this, and much more. Made up of more than 700 islands and spanning over 760 miles, dotted with beautiful coral reefs, rich cultural heritage, and vibrant local lifestyle, there is something for everyone in this corner of the world, arguably one of the most beautiful in existence.
Day 1 - Miami to Bimini Day 2 - Bimini to Chub Cay Day 3 - Chub Cay to Andros Island Day 4 - Andros Island to Nassau Day 5 - Nassau to Great Harbour Cay Day 6 - Berry Islands to Freeport
Day 7 - West End to Key Biscayne
What’s more, The Bahamas is only located a little more than a stone’s throw away from the US state of Florida. So why not charter a yacht in Miami (our personal favourite is
SamBoat in case anyone’s wondering), and go on a sailing holiday of a lifetime?
Just a head’s up, some sections of this itinerary may be slightly challenging for less experienced sailors. It is therefore recommended to sail from Miami to Bahamas in the months between November and April, as this eliminates the risk of being caught up in the hurricane season of the Bahamas in the months prior.
It is also worth noting that between Miami and the first Bahamian port of call, Bimini, the Gulf Stream current is desirable, as it makes the sail easier. However, this increases the likelihood of traffic on this channel. It is therefore recommended to ensure external antennae, radars, and cell signal amplifiers are in proper working condition on board before making the trip. These, as well as
other onboard essentials, will go a long way in ensuring a stress-free sailing holiday in The Bahamas. There are also buddy groups across the internet that connect people looking to sail these routes, and form a caravan for an enhanced feeling of safety.
Ready? Set? Sail!
Day 1 - Miami to Bimini 50 nautical miles
For the first day of your sailing adventure in the Bahamas, begin your yacht charter in Miami at Key Biscayne. Here, there are anchorages suitable for a sail to the Bahamas, such as the Dinner Key Anchorage in Coconut Grove, located on the Biscayne Bay. Head East, riding the Gulf Stream Current, where after about 50 nautical miles, your Bahamian sailing trip will begin in Bimini. This is the Bahamas’ Westernmost district.
In addition to stunning beaches, Bimini is awash with watersports, which are likely to excite any adventurous spirit. From sport-fishing to swimming with dolphins, and even snorkelling with reef sharks, fun is guaranteed for everyone.
Day 2 - Bimini to Chub Cay 80 nautical miles
For the next leg of this Bahamas sailing itinerary, gear up for a longer sail, headed South to Chub Cay. This forms part of the Berry Islands, a collection of 30 islands and countless cays, where the waters are blue and the bliss is eternal. Where possible, you could aim for higher cruising speeds in order to shorten the time spent in the open waters.
Chub Cay is home to numerous natural wonders, and largely remains unspoiled, offering marvellous stretches of beach, where the privacy on offer is unparalleled. Chub Cay is also the nesting ground for several seabird species, such as pelicans and terns. Therefore, If you are looking for a couple of hours of tranquillity, with birds flying high and their sounds in the distance, this is a must-see destination.
Also to be enjoyed here is the underwater life, which is particularly interesting for sport-fishing, owing to the abundance of big fish such as blue fin tuna and blue marlin.
Day 3 - Chub Cay to Andros Island 18 nautical miles
This shorter sail from the Berry Islands to Andros Island will allow you to have loads of time exploring the largest Bahamian Island. With a start in Nicholls Town, you can progressively head further south along the East Coast of the island, exploring the cultural and historical wealth of the island.
Andros Island is famously known as the home to the world’s third largest barrier reef, and by extension, the third largest living organism in the world, measuring 305 kilometres in length. This is a snorkelling paradise, as it is home to over 164 species of fish and coral, some specific only to this part of the world. These include the Reef Shark and Black Jack fish species, and the Staghorn Coral.
For a more cultural experience, the Androsia Hand Made Batik Factory is located in Andros Town. Here, you can witness the making of the world-renowned batik fabric. Settle in Andros town for dinner or a drink, and get ready for the fourth day sailing in the Bahamas.
Day 4 - Andros Island to Nassau 24 nautical miles
Set off from Andros Town, and head East to Nassau, the island that is home to the capital of The Bahamas.
At Clifton Bay, Clifton Heritage National Park is worth a visit, where a plethora of activities await. Hiking trails are on offer, with sweeping views of the island, particularly the Tongue of the Ocean, where contrasting blues of the Great Bahama Bank are visible. Magnificent beaches and underwater dives are also possible around Clifton Bay.
Head not too far East to the main city of Nassau, and explore the streets that harbour remains of the colonial British influence. If time allows, a tour of old Nassau is possible on horseback, allowing you to fully appreciate the city’s heritage.
Day 5 - Nassau to Great Harbour Cay 51 nautical miles
While in Nassau, it is possible to enjoy a longer sailing trip around the Bahamas. Should you wish to do so, you can head off to the Abacos Islands, whose beauty deserves a few days at least for full immersion. A more detailed idea of activities around the Abacos can be considered in this
15 day sail of the Bahamas.
However, for a shorter sailing trip of the Bahamas, head North West from Nassau to the Great Harbour Cay, in the Berry Islands. Around here you will find the Sugar Beach Caves, widely regarded as one of the most beautiful spots in The Bahamas, and whose name is derived from the white sand beaches found here. Hiking around these caves is also a possibility, and so are picnics on the sand when the tides are low.
For a little more adventure, head further North to the Great Stirrup Cay, whose main attraction is a lighthouse dating back to 1863, as well as a shipwreck that lies in situ unidentified.
Day 6 - Berry Islands to Freeport 57 nautical miles
As this sailing charter around the Bahamas begins to wind down, head North to Freeport, located on the Grand Bahama, and The Bahamas’ second largest city.
Lucaya, Freeport’s main attraction, is the perfect spot to stock up on trinkets and memorabilia from your Bahamian adventure. It is littered with oceanfront stalls and markets, with sights and sounds that leave a lasting impression. Freeport is also a birdwatcher’s paradise, with 28 species of native Bahamian birds visible at the National Parks around Freeport.
Anchor around the West End area, in readiness for the final sail back to Miami.
Day 7 - West End to Key Biscayne 82 nautical miles
End your Bahamas sailing charter by setting off from West End on the Grand Bahama. Depending on the sailing speed and wind conditions, this could be a long sail back to port in Key Biscayne, enough time to reminisce on this magical adventure.