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Bahamas Sailing Vacations on a Tall Ship Windjammer Cruise
Set sail for new horizons on a barefoot cruise in the Bahamas. On our flagship, the tall ship Liberty Clipper, you explore the Out Islands of The Bahamas and enjoy sailing in such a beautiful, tropical destination. All our Bahamas sailing vacation cruises conveniently start and stop in Nassau, the Bahamas. We board on Sunday afternoon and disembark the following Saturday. Unfortunately, the Bahamas vacation cruise must come to an end, though we know you’ll leave with amazing memories of your time on Liberty Clipper.
The Bahamas are the beginning of the Caribbean Islands — join us as we explore these beautiful waters that are so close to home!
Our Bahamas tall ship cruises start and end in Nassau, where you can fly in directly to Nassau International Airport (Airport Code “NAS”). You’re welcomed aboard the ship on Sunday afternoon at 5 p.m. The ship remains in Nassau for you to explore the area on Sunday night and then we set sail the following morning to begin our island-hopping adventure! You’re responsible for dinner ashore on Sunday night and we commence our meal service on Monday morning.
The principal islands that the ship visits during your cruise may include Eleuthera Island, the Exumas, and smaller unnamed islands. We never know which islands we will visit as the captain determines the ultimate course based upon the wind direction and any exciting events that we know of in the area. Each of our Bahamas sailing cruises is unique and special in this aspect. Your sailing cruise takes you to a new town or new island each day after we’ve sailed the warm tropical waters. The Liberty Clipper returns to her berth on Nassau early Saturday morning at the completion of your cruise — if you’re hooked, you can always extend and stay with us another week in paradise!
Just 35 miles southeast of Nassau, the Exumas are an archipelago of 365 cays and gorgeous islands. Discover this exotic collection of tiny jewels, set in the most beautiful aquamarine and sapphire water you have ever imagined. Great Exuma Island, together with the Exuma Cays, offers an amazing variety of possibilities for all water sports, like swimming, snorkeling, or relaxing in the crystal clear water. Hidden coves, bays, and harbors are magnets for yachts and sport fishermen.
Many of the unnamed beaches and coves of the islands, including extensive offshore reef areas, are included in the protected Exuma National Land and Sea Park of the Bahamas National Trust. Some of the islands with permanent residents and resorts include Staniel Cay (home of the Staniel Cay Yacht Club, a fixture in the Exumas), Fowl Cay, Musha Cay, and Iguana Cay. Thunderball Grotto, located just a few hundred yards off Staniel Cay, is one location where the James Bond film Thunderball was filmed. Sandy Cay, just a short boat ride from Little Exuma was the location used for filming the Pirates of the Caribbean beach scenes!
Eleuthera’s many beaches are considered among the best in the Bahamas. One of the Bahamas’ Out Islands, it is 110 miles long north to south and just a few miles wide. Charming visitors with its endless white beaches, colonial villages, and pineapple fields, the island faces the Atlantic Ocean on its east side and the Great Bahama Bank on the west.
Eleuthera started as a coral reef, but unlike many of the islands, its terrain is quite hilly, with some hills as high as 100 feet! The shoreline varies from pink sand beaches to large coral outcroppings extending into azure waters. Much less developed than Nassau, Freeport, or the Abacos, Eleuthera is like an island lost in time. Life moves at a slower pace here, with only 8,000 inhabitants, and a focus on vacationing.
You wake each day of your sailing vacation to the gentle sounds of water lapping against the hull, sea birds looking for their morning meal, and the gentle sway of the ship at anchor. Start your day with a delightful, leisurely breakfast served on the main deck. Treat yourself to freshly brewed coffee, fruits, breads, and any combination from eggs to waffles to cereal, you won’t leave the table hungry here! After a relaxing start, we begin the day’s sail. Typically the ship sails from mid-morning to mid-afternoon. The day is your time to relax, take a cat-nap, read a good book, listen to the captain tell sea stories, or help sail the ship.
On your Bahamas sailing vacation aboard the Liberty Clipper, you have the opportunity to explore the tall ship and join in the sailing alongside our crew if you choose to. You may head forward to find dolphins swimming under the bowsprit. Back aft, the captain and crew show you how to tend sails and lets you take a turn at the wheel while the power and mystique of a traditional gaff-rigged schooner extends before you. Blazing white canvas billows above your head, and the stiff breeze draws the ship forward to her next port of call where once again, you sleep soundly as the soft waves lap against the hull.
On our windjammer sailing cruises, you may find that just relaxing on the main deck is how you’d prefer to spend your afternoon – that’s fine! Pick anyplace you like and make yourself at home.
While not required, you are always invited to get involved with the sailing of the Windjammer Liberty Clipper. Our professional crew helps you plot our course on a nautical chart. We’re here for your enjoyment, so just let us know how we can make your tall ship cruise more enjoyable!
Once we’ve anchored for the afternoon, you have access to the world’s largest swimming pool! Feel free to jump in — cannonball or dive, your choice! We have a ladder available for you to get back aboard. Our crew is also on hand to assist you if you need anything – we are here to help and make your Bahamas sailing vacation exactly what you want it to be!
You also have the opportunity to head ashore each day of your tall ship cruise. You may find yourself on a tropical beach, exploring a historic fort, or taking a self-guided kayak tour in the Bahamas. Each day presents unique opportunities for you to discover local culture and wildlife. Windjammer cruises on the Liberty Clipper provide you opportunities to truly explore off-the-beaten-path locations like you’d never imagined.
In the evenings, enjoy fine homemade meals prepared by our chef. You can relax aboard the ship, or stay ashore a little longer, again depending upon the itinerary of your cruise. Sunsets on the water are always amazing and our ship affords a picture-perfect view with no obstructions. When it’s time to turn in for the evening, your comfortable cabin awaits.
From sailing the ship to exploring pink sand beaches to napping on deck, you’re never bored during your trip. Since we take each day as it comes, we are open to your suggestions. If there is a place or activity that you are especially looking forward to, you can always feel free to let our captain and crew know!
Help sail the ship! You’re taken care of by an experienced crew, but they are more than happy to have help and teach you the ropes. Learn sail handling, how to coil lines, navigation, or even steer the ship! All you have to do is ask — you can even volunteer to climb the rigging up the foremast!
If relaxing is more your pace, pull up a chair — or better yet, a hammock — and enjoy a nice nap or a good book. We have an on-board library, as well as games available for anyone to use. You’ll love being underway with beautiful ocean breezes on the deck of our windjammer schooner Liberty Clipper.
No one can resist getting in and experiencing the warm waters of the Caribbean — luckily, we have you covered! Use any of our equipment on board at no extra cost, and get a closer view of the Bahamas from the water.
The Bahamas are home to some of the most beautiful blue waters in the world. It’s a perfect place to get wet and as the waters are shallow. Most places we visit are under 10 feet deep, so even without SCUBA tanks, you can see it all!
Explore the surrounding waters at your own pace utilizing our sit-on-top sea kayaks! Check out coves, cays, and shorelines up-close!
If you want to get out on your own for a bit, our crew can teach you how to sail our dinghy, lovingly built by a Maine craftsman specifically for our windjammer cruises.
Do you have good balance? Feel free to try out our full-size paddle board and paddle yourself to that beach!
Each of the islands and towns we visit is unique. In the Out Islands, you have plenty of options for new experiences:
- Hiking and nature walks
- Visiting island villages
- Exploring caves
- Enjoy a cold beer at a local watering hole
- Bonfires at the beach
- Explore an abandoned Club Med
- Good old fashioned beach time!
George Washington once referred to the Bahamas as the “Isles of Perpetual June,” which is an excellent description for a nation that averages over 340 sunny days per year, that’s about a 93% chance of sunshine!
The Bahamas has a tropical maritime climate resulting in generally good year-round weather. Due to the immediate proximity of the ocean, the Bahamas does not experience extreme temperature fluctuation. In Nassau (where we board our cruises), winter temperatures seldom fall below 60 degrees Fahrenheit and usually reaches about 75 degrees Fahrenheit during the day. In the summer, temps usually have a low of 78 degrees Fahrenheit or less at night and seldom rise above 90 degrees Fahrenheit during the day.
The Bahamas really only has two seasons:
Summer: May through October when rainfall is relatively higher
Winter: November through April when there is little rainfall and lower humidity
Rain in the Bahamas is typical of any island archipelago in that it tends to come in short-lived, intense rain showers accompanied by strong winds, and are quickly followed by clear skies! Relative humidity generally averages about 65%. The rainy season occurs in the summer from May through October with most of the precipitation occurring during brief summer showers. Winter is the dry season with better winds for sailing.
Hurricane season extends from the end of June through the end of November. The Liberty Clipper’s sailing schedule in the Bahamas is structured to avoid hurricane season.
All cruises depart and return to NASSAU.
A VALID PASSPORT IS REQUIRED FOR THIS CRUISE!
Sunday: Boarding begins at 5 p.m.
- Board for your cruise on Sunday evening for the captain’s welcome and safety talk. We depart late that evening or early Monday morning with the tide.
- Dinner is not provided this evening, so you need to go ashore. We recommend the Green Parrot restaurant very close to our dock!
- If you arrive early, you may drop off your bags at the ship AFTER 11 a.m. on Sunday. Spend the day exploring Nassau – see some suggestions for what to do below!
- If you arrive late, please call the ship’s cell phone if you will be arriving after 8 p.m. This phone number will be provided to you in your pre-boarding email. You may also call our stateside office in Boston at 617-742-0333 (we are open until 6 p.m. EST).
Monday – Friday: Sailing in the beautiful Bahamas!
Saturday: Return to Nassau by approximately 10 a.m.
- We suggest that you schedule your return flight for after 2 p.m. at the earliest. This will help account for any possible weather delays returning to Nassau and give you time to get to the airport and through security.
Fly to Nassau (NAS) Lynden Pindling International Airport, served by most major airlines.
- We advise that you AVOID Bahamas Air as they have been known to cancel flights at the last minute.
- Be careful when arranging flights that may have very long layovers.
- Guests traveling from areas with the potential for winter weather delays are strongly advised to consider flying to Nassau a day or two before Sunday’s departure to ensure you do not miss the boat due to canceled or delayed flights. Recommended hotels are below!
Take a taxi from the airport.
- Travel time from the airport to Nassau is approximately 30 minutes, depending on traffic.
- Total cost will vary, though prepare to pay at least $30-$35. Please plan accordingly.
A valid passport is required to travel to the Bahamas. The Bahamas does not require VISAs for United States, Canadian, and European travelers. If you have any questions, please refer to the State Department in your country.
Currency in the Bahamas is the Bahamian Dollar, which is fixed at a one-to-one exchange ratio with the US Dollar. US Dollars are accepted everywhere in the Bahamas, so travelers from the US do not need to exchange currency in advance. Be aware that many businesses only accept cash, so plan accordingly.
Below are hotels we recommend if you decide to come in to Nassau a day early or stay a day late.
There is a lot to see and do in Nassau if you want to extend your trip. Here are a few brief suggestions that should get you through a day or two:
- The Cricket Club: A great locals spot for dinner and live music above the Cricket Field – this is a Liberty favorite!
- The Fish Fry: Visit this collection of over thirty restaurants and bars. Eat, drink and be merry. No shoes, no problem!
- Atlantis Resort water park and beach. Take a ride on the water-slide through the shark tank!
- The Pirate Museum
- Fort Charlotte
- SCUBA Diving: If you’d like to SCUBA on your vacation, please contact Bahamas Divers. They dock at the same marina as Liberty Clipper.