7 days in the South Bahamas

27 January 2015 • Written by Kate Hubert

7 day South Bahamas itinerary

The Southern Bahamas has all the ingredients for a memorable cruise: short passages between destinations, seclusion, beautiful scenery, fresh seafood and great watersports opportunities. Combine this with sun, breeze and the Bahamas' colourful character, which is still influenced more by the seasons than the tourist dollar, and the recipe is sure to make the mouth water.

This itinerary is an unusual trip relying less on infrastructure and ideal for those who love fishing, beaches, snorkelling, diving and the laid-back atmosphere that pervades the Outer Islands. Since the Bahamas seem to be developing at such a rate, this option may not be available for very long. Take a leaf out of Columbus's book and discover it for yourself.

Colourful local fishing boats dot Grenada's beaches © shutterstock.com

Days 1 & 2: Georgetown

Georgetown on the island of Great Exuma has an airport capable of accommodating large private jets and is well serviced by local airlines and connections from Florida. Georgetown should not be overlooked as a destination in its own right with plenty to see and do.

On the west side of the island are flats where the bonefishing is world class. Many small bays and beaches around Elizabeth Harbour have the perfect picnic spots, and, if diving is your thing, there are several blue holes.

Day 2: Diving at Cat Island © shutterstock.com

Day 3: Cat Island

Cat Island is a rather unusual stop for a cruise, but therein lies its charm. Perched on the southwestern point of the island is the Hawks Nest Marina, which has its own airstrip and rental cars essential if you feel like exploring the island. The islanders are very welcoming and will be only too pleased to recommend what to see and where to eat.

It's unlikely that many other boats will be around, so you can be assured of a quiet time. There is good diving off the south coast and the snorkelling off Hawk's Nest Point is exquisite. The Tarter Bank, south of Devil's point, will give you a good chance of catching your own dinner so have the crew put out a few lines ready to troll.

Day 4: The mangroves of San Salvador © shutterstock.com

Day 4: San Salvador

Famous as Christopher Columbus's landfall, San Salvador needs no introduction. It is a popular island with visitors for this reason, but also for its excellent diving. The dives are both interesting and accessible to divers of all skill levels.

The beaches are mostly deserted save for seashells and beg to be walked on. The island has a number of small museums and several sights of historical interest. Restaurants serve fresh fish and there is often plenty of it in San Salvador.

En route to Rum Cay, you'll stop off at Conception Island. From the anchorage, take a tender ride and enjoy exploring. Take time to check out the mangroves there is an entire micro-habitat easily visible and the birdlife can be very impressive.

Enjoy feasting on delicious seafood available all over the region © fotolia.com

Day 5: Rum Cay

This small island is a gem. There are few warmer welcomes in the Bahamas and few places that offer so many things to do. Fantastic diving and snorkelling are within a few yards of the marina and the fishing is first class.

The Sumner Point Marina is the focus of activity here and the staff can arrange pretty much anything. They often offer a get-together with a buffet of fresh fish, and you're sure to enjoy the atmosphere in the restaurant/bar.

Santa Maria Photo courtesy of Cape Santa Maria beach resort

Days 6 & 7: Calabash Bay, Cape Santa Maria, Long Island

In addition to the striking scenery here, a long clean beach affords great walks. Although there is a resort at the northern end of the beach, the seclusion is the attraction here and the sundowners will be memorable.

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