Bahamas Yacht Charter Guide

The 700 Islands of The Bahamas Yacht Charter Guide

by Katie Storr

 Hey there, fellow adventurers! 

If you’ve ever dreamt of discovering the true beauty of The Bahamas, I’m here to tell you there’s no better way than with a yacht charter. As a local working in the yachting industry, I’ve seen firsthand how this approach allows you to experience our island paradise in all its glory. So, let me give you the lowdown on why sailing on a yacht charter in The Bahamas is the way to go.

Island Hopping Freedom

The Bahamas isn’t just one or two picturesque islands; it’s an archipelago of 700 islands and 2500 cays of unique gems, each with its own charm. There are 16 major islands to choose from, however exploration by sea means you see so much along the way. With a yacht charter, you have the freedom to set your course, to explore islands that match your vibes. It’s like having your very own treasure map, and every day brings a new X to mark the spot.

Hidden Hideaways

The real beauty of The Bahamas often lies in its hidden spots – those secluded coves and pristine beaches away from the crowds. Yacht charters can anchor in these places, giving you the kind of privacy and serenity you can only dream about. And if your yacht has a tender or dinghy boat its even better, jet-skis for an epic adventure are an added bonus. There is so much to exlplore! 

Mother Oceans Nature Show

Living and working here, I’m still awestruck by the breathtaking scenery every day. Turquoise waters, ivory beaches, lush greenery, and vibrant coral reefs surround you at every turn. Sailing on a yacht charter puts you right in the middle of this stunning spectacle.

An Underwater World Like No Other 

The ocean is our playground, and there’s something for everyone. Snorkel around dazzling coral reefs, diving with sharks (my favourite activity), exploring shipwrecks or hang out with the famous swimming pigs on Big Majors Cay. Water sports are at your fingertips – paddleboarding, kayaking, and more, all just a leap from your yacht. There are so many activities to plan and curate the most epic itinerary for your trip. 

Local Culture & Vibes

The Bahamas isn’t just pretty scenery; we’ve got a rich cultural heritage too. With a yacht charter, you can swing by local settlements, savor authentic Bahamian cuisine, chat with our friendly locals, and soak in our history. Immerse yourself in the island life its the best way to experience The Bahamas. 

Close Proximity Geographically 

We’ve got islands so close you can hop from one to the other with a morning coffee in hand. From lively hotspots to quiet escapes, you can have it all with the ease of island-hopping, all thanks to a yacht charter. For Example if you want to stay anchored in Nassau so you are close to the city life you can hop to The Exuma Cays or Harbour Island for the day both islands being just 1-2hrs away. 

A Luxurious Experience

Yacht charters here come in all shapes and sizes, from modest catamarans to lavish superyachts. You can craft your dream experience – enjoy top-notch amenities, personalized service, and gourmet dining while surrounded by our natural beauty. Another popular experience is renting a private island for the day along with your yacht the possibilities are endless. 

This is priceless information keep reading… :) Most Importantly:

Sail Responsibly 

We take our environment seriously, and many yacht charters in The Bahamas are dedicated to responsible and sustainable tourism. By choosing one of these, you can enjoy the stunning environment while contributing to its conservation. (Ask Us about how we can plan your sustainable yacht charter today!)

Now we will dive right in to some of the Do’s and Dont’s of  Planning your Bahamas Yacht Charter Vacation. 


Plan Ahead: Plan your itinerary in advance, but also be flexible. The Bahamas has many islands and cays to explore, so knowing your options will help you make the most of your trip.

Check the Weather: Keep a close eye on the weather forecast. The Bahama Islands are prone to sudden storms, especially during hurricane season (June to November). Safety is a top priority, so avoid setting sail during adverse weather conditions. I’ve been caught in some of the worst weather while working in the industry it’s no fun, and you’ll be stuck in port tied to a dock in a marina your entire trip bored out your mind. 

Learn about Customs, and Rules & Regulations: Familiarize yourself with Bahamian customs and immigration regulations. Ensure you have the necessary paperwork, including passports and boat documentation. If you are planning on entering the country on your personal yacht you’ll need a cruising permit and this can be done through Click 2 Clear

Respect Our Marine Life: We are known for our rich marine ecosystems. When snorkeling and diving, do not touch or disturb coral reefs or marine life. Practice responsible eco-tourism. As a dive instructor we like to say; Take nothing but photos, leave nothing but bubbles. :)  No touching! When enjoying water activities like snorkeling and paddleboarding, be cautious of your impact on fragile ecosystems. Do not anchor on coral reefs or seagrass beds, and avoid disturbing marine life.

If you will be fishing or sport fishing on trip be sure to know - The Bahamas Fishing Regulations 

Support Local Communities and Small Businesses: Interact with locals respectfully, learn about our culture. Engaging with the local community can enhance your experience and contribute to the sustainability of the islands. Supporting small businesses boosts community pride and economic development, putting dollars directly into the hands of Bahamians and providing jobs.

Dispose of your waste - Practice No Trace: Leave the islands as pristine as you found them. Dispose of waste properly, and don’t litter. Follow environmentally-friendly practices to preserve the natural beauty of The Bahamas. 

If the vessel must discharge of it’s Black Water - Sewage Discharge Underway 

As Stated by The Bahamas Maritime Authority -  A vessel can discharge of comminuted and disinfected sewage at a distance of more than 3 nautical miles from the nearest land; or a vessel discharging sewage which is not comminuted or disinfected at a distance of more than 12 nautical miles from the nearest land. Untreated sewage discharged in accordance with paragraph 9.1.1.iii shall not be discharged instantaneously but at a moderate rate when the ship is en route and proceeding at not less than 4 knots.

Stay Safe: Often this over looked, working in the industry I have seen a lot of yacht and charter guests fail to prioritise safety on board. Ensure your yacht or boat rental is well-maintained and equipped with essential safety gear, such as life jackets, flares, and a first-aid kit, also water. Know where the muster station is located and what do you and your family do in the event there is an emergency. Be prepared, even if it doesn’t happen. 

Now to the part some people will skip because no one wants to be be told what not to do… 


Don’t Neglect Proper Documentation

To navigate the Bahamian waters legally, you need to obtain the necessary permits, such as a cruising permit or for those owning a yacht looking to charter you’ll need a chartering license. Make sure you have the appropriate fishing license if you plan on fishing. There are many protected areas in The Bahamas, so make sure you are aware of all restricted zones and follow the guidelines to protect the fragile marine ecosystems.

Don’t Neglect Navigations Skills

If you are the captain or part of the crew, don’t underestimate the importance of navigation skills. The Bahamas has very intricate waterways, and navigation errors can be dangerous. We have have 4 tides per day (2 highs and 2 lows), very strong current, shifting sands and very shallow and or sand banks that just magically appear if you aren’t paying close attention. If you don’t feel comfortable navigating in land take the deeper safer route. 

Don’t Over Stay

Respect local regulations for anchoring and time limits in certain areas. Overstaying your welcome can lead to fines or damages to the environment. Failing to comply with customs and immigration procedures can lead to fines and legal issues. Ensure you have the necessary documentation and declare any goods as required.

Don’t Crowd Anchorages:

In order to be a responsible boater, you should respect other boats’ space and avoid overcrowding anchorages. Maintain a safe distance when anchoring to prevent collisions or entanglements with other boats. You can enhance everyone’s boating experience by being considerate and mindful of other boaters.

Anchoring in The Exuma Land and Sea Park 

Tips for Anchoring in The Bahamas 

Don’t Anchor on Coral Reefs or Disturb Protect Marine Areas

Anchoring on coral reefs can cause irreparable damage. Use designated mooring buoys or anchor in sandy areas away from coral formations and seagrass beds. The Bahamas has several protected areas and national parks. Respect the rules and regulations of these areas and do not disturb the natural environment. It’s important that you know the designated MPA’s you can use your GPS to locate boundaries and Marine Parks.  National Parks of The Bahamas 

The mangroves are also a thriving home for young juvenile aquatic life, which should be respected as sanctuaries. I have seen visitors ride jet skis at speeds that would destroy marine life and the wetlands. Please do your part to preserve the aquatic life within our oceans; they are very important to the future of our planet. 

Don’t use a speargun 

Scuba equipment isn’t allowed while spearfishing and spearguns are prohibited

Spear guns are prohibited. Refer back to The Bahamas Fishing Regulations 

Don’t forget to Wear Sunscreen and Hydrate 

The Bahamas has a tropical climate with high temperatures and strong UV rays, making sunscreen and hydration crucial for protecting yourself from sunburn and heat-related issues while on a yacht charter.

There’s no denying that my country is a tropical paradise like no other, and the best way to unlock its true potential is by setting cruising through on a yacht charter. As a local entrenched in the yachting industry, I’ve witnessed the sheer magic of this approach, and I can tell you that it’s more than just a vacation; it’s an unforgettable odyssey.

With a yacht charter, you’re not just a tourist; you become an explorer, charting your course through our 700 islands, each one offering a unique adventure. You have the freedom to seek out hidden gems, bask in the breathtaking natural beauty, plunge into the warm crystal clear waters and dive into our rich cultural tapestry. Whether you’re an adventure enthusiast, a romantic soul, or a relaxation seeker, The Bahamas has something for you.

The luxury and exclusivity of a yacht charter means you’ll experience The Bahamas in a style that suits you, whether you’re after opulent pampering or laid-back island vibes. Plus, by choosing a sustainable yacht charter, you’re actively participating in the conservation of our treasured environment.

So, from a local who lives and breathes the open seas and the yachting and scuba industry, I say this: set your course, feel the salty breeze on your face, and let my home unveil its wonders to you, you won’t return home the same. 

Bon voyage!

xx Katie 

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