Destination: The Bahamas

Sea Ray explores Bahamian paradise by way of an L650 Fly.

Throughout history, the idyllic islands of The Bahamas have been prized by everyone from Blackbeard to Christopher Columbus to the British Crown. It’s not hard to see why these shores have charmed so many. From the Crystal-clear water to sugar-white sand, the natural beauty of this country on the Lucayan Archipelago is legendary.

But there is more to be found here than a plethora of umbrella drinks—though rest assured they are plentiful. For discerning cruisers looking for a day at the beach and more, The Bahamas’ historic landmarks and modern glamour make it an enviable cruising destination.

Visitors are greeted by an architectural rainbow.

Naturally, a location of such style and cultural substance begs for an equally compelling yacht, which is why Sea Ray Living recently cruised there aboard a new L650 Fly, determined to uncover all the stops you should make on your next island voyage. With more than 700 islands and cays to explore, choosing where to begin your journey can be an odyssey in itself. Start in Bimini, the westernmost district of the Bahamas, a short 48-mile cruise from Miami. Resorts World Bimini is a perfect home-base and provides the largest yacht and marina complex in the Bahamas for the ultimate in ease. The hotel is an elegant hideaway with six restaurants onsite, including a full raw bar.

For those seeking world-class angling, take after Ernest Hemingway and discover  Bimini’s exceptional big game fishing. Hemingway wasn’t the only heavy hitter with a passion for Bimini, though. Juan Ponce de Leon thought the island home to the mythical Fountain of Youth. Perhaps he was thinking of the Healing Hole, a freshwater pool in North Bimini in a forest of mangroves. Outgoing tides pump mineral-rich fresh water into the Healing Hole due to the limestone bedrock. While we don’t recommend drinking it, a pilgrimage to dip in a toe is certainly a worthy trip.

After a day of exploring, kick up your feet and read about the history of bootlegger Bill McCoy who ran rum through Bimini to America during Prohibition. If you happen to visit onboard an L650 Fly, pour yourself a tipple of the real McCoy up on the flybridge. There’s a full wet bar up there to keep your drink ice cold.

A lighthouse marks the approach to Nassau.

Next, cruise onward toward Nassau, the capital city of the Bahamas on the island of New Providence. Foodies should be sure to book a Tru Bahamian Food Tour. These small-group guided excursions center around various aspects of authentic Bahamian cuisine, leading visitors off the beaten path and into exciting culinary adventures. Cooking classes are also available with local chefs in 5-star kitchens.

If you’ve got romance on the brain, you can’t miss the Cloisters, the remains of a 14th-century French monastery on Paradise Island across from downtown Nassau. Coated in moss and wildflowers, the monastery is one of only four ever to be removed from French soil—for the first time by newspaperman William Randolph Hearst, who imported it to the United States, and later Huntington Hardford, who brought it to the Bahamas. The views of the monastery are even better from the water, so a sunset cruise onboard an L650 Fly will be a perfect form of vespers.

From Nassau, chart onward to wrap up your cruise of a lifetime in historic and glamorous Harbour Island near Eleuthera. Often called the Martha’s Vineyard of the tropics, the pink-sand beaches here are nothing short of magnificent. Enjoy world-class cuisine at the Dunmore, a glam 1960s beach club with top-notch hospitality.

You can also explore local haunt The Landing, whose perfectly curated British Colonial bar features its own house rum. The island is small, so when you’re not cruising the clearest waters or discovering dinner-plate-sized starfish, make like the locals and hop in a golf cart to scoot around— the island is only 3 miles by half a mile.

On a typical day in The Landing, you’ll probably cross paths with at least one celebrity, but much to everyone’s relief there are no paparazzi in this charming hamlet whose capital city, Dunmore Town, is pretty much the entire island. Diane Von Furstenburg, Dave Matthews and Elle MacPherson frequently visit “Briland,” perhaps attracted by the abundance of high-end shops; The Blue Rooster, The Sugar Mill and Miss Mae’s all carry top-of-the-line goods, including local jewelry made out of the pinkest conch shells.

Those seeking history here should check out Dunmore Cottage, home of former 19th century Virginia governor John Murray. Loyal to the British during the American Revolution, Murray fled the United States for the Bahamas, along with many other crown sympathizers. He received the title Lord Dunmore for his faithfulness, and his is one of many pastel-colored conch-style cottages that give this whole island a charmed, dollhouse feel.

You won’t want this journey to end, but boarding an L650 Fly for the Caribbean Sea will certainly make it all a little easier. Sea Ray owners Sarah and Max Gordon, who often cruise the Bahamas, shared, “It’s the perfect luxury destination to relax and refresh yourself during the long winter.”

We couldn’t agree more.

Sea Ray Owners Club members, if you’re planning your own voyage to The Out Islands of The Bahamas, take advantage of a special fuel credit offer: Learn more.

 

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