Just over a month ago, on September 1st 2019, Hurricane Dorian made landfall, decimating parts of the Bahamas. The Category 5 hurricane’s winds reached up to 185 mph and the devastation has seen more than 60 people lose their lives, with many more still missing.
Rescue and clean up efforts are in full force, and the resilient people of the Bahamas are trying to rebuild their lives and livelihoods. The country relies heavily on tourism as its main economy, and getting to a stage where they can welcome visitors to the hotels and resorts, as well as visiting superyachts, is an important part of their recovery.
The Bahamas’ 700 islands are spread over a vast area – 100,000 square miles– and most of the islands escaped the devastation, leaving life to continue as before. Indeed, just a week after Dorian swept through the Caribbean, 14 of Bahamas’ principle islands were open for tourism business. “Maintaining a robust tourism industry will be vital in helping the country to recover and rebuild,” said Bahamas Minister of Tourism & Aviation Dionisio D’Aguilar. “We are grateful for the outpouring of support and love for our islands, and we would like everyone to know that the best thing they can do for us right now is visit. Our beautiful island nation is ready to welcome you.”
So where can you still charter a yacht in the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian and which areas were the most affected?
Where to Charter a Yacht in the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian
In preparation for Dorian, yacht owners and managers moved their fleet of yachts to the southern island of Nassau and nearby islands. This not only saved the yachts from destruction, but has meant that most of the Bahamas is once again open to yacht charter. The region’s main airport, the Lynden Pindling International Airport, is welcoming flights from across the world and is the main entry point for those arriving to embark on yacht charters.
While Nassau, on New Providence Island, offers a wealth of beautiful bays, high class facilities and world class yachting destinations, it can also be the jumping off point to more remote locations. The Exumas, famous for its swimming pigs as well as its clear waters, white sand beaches and fascinating wrecks, is home to Highbourne Cay, Staniel Cay Yacht Club and Compass Cay Marina all of which are open for business. Spread across 120 miles, they provide plenty of pristine Caribbean seascapes to enjoy on a yacht charter.
Harbour Island and Eleuthera suffered minimal damage in the storm, and while both Valentines Resort and Marina and Cape Eleuthera Resort and Marina reported some damage, they are both back up and running and welcoming yachts once again. The remote beauty of these islands has long attracted yacht charterers to experience the iconic Pink Beach.
Yet more remote are the Bimini Islands which offer an escape-from-the-crowds experience. There are two marinas, Browns Marina and Bimini Blue Water Marina, which are equipped to welcome charter yachts. Andros Island, despite being the largest of the Bahamas’ islands, is a gentle giant with a laid-back vibe and unspoilt beaches. Kamalame Cay Marina and Lighthouse Yacht Club and Marina are both open for business having escaped the worst of Dorian. Likewise, both Long Island and Cat Island escaped any damage as Dorian passed through, and its pretty marinas, airports and yachting facilities are all running as normal.
The Worst Affected Areas
The eye of Dorian swept straight over the beautiful Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama, and these areas were the worst hit. Rescue efforts have been focused here and at this time it is a no-go area for superyachts. With infrastructure destroyed, and many people still missing, it will sadly be a while until Grand Bahama and the Abaco’s are ready to welcome superyachts again. However, a lot of the main hotels and businesses on these islands plan to be back up and running by Spring of 2020.
The Berry Islands are the closest set of islands to Grand Bahama and the Abaco Islands and, while they did suffer some damage, are back up and running. While it shouldn’t affect yacht charter guests, they might notice increased activity on the Berry Islands as they’re used as a distribution centre and rescue jumping off point to the worst affected areas. The Berry Islands are renowned for their deserted beaches, thriving underwater world and amazing sport fishing opportunities.
To donate to the rebuilding and recovery efforts on these islands please click here.
Visit the Bahamas
While rescue efforts continue in the Abacos Islands and Grand Bahama, and our hearts go out to all those affected by the storm, the best way the superyacht industry and its charter guests can help the country as a whole it to support its most valuable asset: tourism. The beauty of this country is staggering, and its people welcoming and hospitable. With excellent yachting facilities and a huge choice of some of the world’s top superyachts to charter, the Bahamas are well and truly open for business.
Please contact our team at TJB Superyachts to ask about Bahamas Yacht Charters.