Great Bahama Bank Yacht Adventure


Great Bahama Bank Yacht Adventure

The Great Bahama Bank is a boater´s paradise and is easily accessible from the east coast of the United States. This natural beauty is located just 53 miles east of Miami.

The crystal blue waters of the grand banks Bahamas provides world-class fishing, diving, and other activities. If you want to experience an exotic yachting getaway, the Bahama Bank is highly recommended.

Cruising the Bahamas from the US Mainland

Any route for cruising the Great Bahama Bank from the mainland begins with the Gulf Stream. This powerful current of water is around 45 miles wide and moves north at around 2.5 knots.

Plan your route accordingly if you decide to cross the Gulf Stream in a sailboat. The strong current will push a sailboat 2.5 nautical miles to the north each hour.

Patience is important when deciding on the best time to cross this expanse of water. The best time to cross the Gulf Stream is when winds are blowing from the south at no more than 15 knots. Crossing when strong northerlies are present can be dangerous and should be avoided.

Remember, plan your route carefully so you arrive safely at the grand Bahama banks.

Bahamas Cruising Guide


Bimini Islands

When cruising to the Bahamas, Bimini will be the first stop for many travelers. At just over 50 miles from Miami, this is the closest access to the Bahamas from the US mainland.

Bimini is famous for big game fishing, nightlife, and for being a retreat for author Ernest Hemingway. Apart from its beautiful beaches and rich history, Bimini has restaurants, marinas, and a Hilton hotel. There are some anchorages when the weather is calm, but it is best to use marinas while visiting.


When you have enjoyed everything Bimini has to offer, your next destination in the Bahamas is Andros. The largest island in the Bahamas, Andros is popular with divers for its reef access and the Blue Holes. Anglers looking for world-class bonefish or deep sea fishing beyond the reef flock to this island. Promoted as virtually untouched, Andros is an excellent escape from the more developed parts of the Bahamas.

Crossing the Great Bahama Bank from Bimini to Andros requires preparation and a close eye on weather forecasts. You need to account for the draft of your vessel, as Bahamas water depth can vary substantially. Parts of the Bank can be extremely shallow, so plan your route carefully.

One benefit to the shallow bank comes during periods of calm weather. Boaters can anchor almost anywhere along the Great Bahama Bank at night. However, we suggest you dock at a marina or another protected site during a front.

The Berry Islands

While some boaters prefer to head east to Nassau, other adventurous souls set course for the Berry Islands and Chub Cay. Andros may offer untouched island nature, but the Berry Islands offer remoteness and excellent fishing. Want a glimpse into how the Bahamas used to be? The Berry Islands offer a laid back island vibe and some of the best fishing in the Bahamas.

Most adventures in the Berries start at Chub Cay. You can cruise north, relaxing and exploring around 30 islands. Great Harbour Cay (northern part of the islands) has a marina, supplies, and lodging for weary travelers.

We suggest you keep a close eye on the weather when in the Berries. A lack of good anchorages means you may need to retreat to the protection of a marina during bad weather.


Nassau Bahamas

The beating heart of the Bahamian government, Nassau has a population of more than 250 thousand people! This is by far, the most popular destination in the country. The amount of people in Nassau can surprise those who have spent time cruising less populated Bahaman islands.

Paradise Island to the north connects to Nassau via two bridges. This island is packed with resorts like Atlantis Bahamas and the Paradise Island Golf Course. If you want the amenities of the big city and world-class nightlife, Nassau and Paradise Island are great options.


East of Nassau you can journey to Eleuthera. This long, thin island is famous for pink sand beaches and excellent diving. Harbour Island features attractive New England style architecture in its only population center, Dunmore Town. Known for being a getaway for the famous, Harbour Island offers a touch of civilization with a relaxed island atmosphere.

Many of Eleuthera´s places of interest are connected to land. The best attractions are Cathedral Cave, Queen´s Bath, the many Blue Holes, and the Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve. Eleuthera is a nice stopover for boaters who have spent many days cruising the Great Bahama Bank.

The Abacos

Heading north from Eleuthera will take you to The Abacos. This special place is known as ‘The Boating Capital of the Bahamas’. This 120 mile chain of islands attracts travelers who seek crystal blue waters and uncrowded beaches. You won´t find any casinos or amusement parks, only incredible beaches and beautiful New England architecture.

The center of much activity here is the Abaco Beach Resort and Boat Harbour Marina. This is the perfect place to buy fuel and supplies while exploring the great attractions of The Abacos.

Grand Bahama

Heading west from The Abacos you will find the island of Grand Bahama. This island is a great place to end (or begin) a Great Bahama Bank adventure. The island is located just 55 miles from Florida at it´s closest point.

Freeport is the second most populous city in the Bahamas after Nassau and is a good base while exploring Grand Bahama. Like many areas in the region, Grand Bahama is still recovering from Hurricane Dorian in 2019. However, Grand Bahama has seen plenty of development during the last few years. After spending time cruising the Great Bahama Bank, this can be a welcome change of pace.

Great Bahama Bank for Boat Owners

cruising the Bahamas Islands

Experience in navigating open waters is a must for boat owners planning to travel from the US to the Bahamas. Cruising the Great Bahama Bank involves preparation and excellent boating skills. Waters can be as shallow as 7 feet, so owners of deep draft vessels need to take extra precautions.

Best Yacht Rental with VS Yachting

The best option is to have an experienced crew navigate the Great Bahama Bank for you! Your family & friends can have the time of their lives, while our staff and crew pamper you. We offer you a huge selection of first-class yachts and unbeatable Bahama packages.

Great Bahama Bank Adventure

We´ve only covered a fraction of what the Bahamas has to offer boaters visiting the area. There are many destinations to choose from when planning to cruise the Great Bahama Bank.

If you love resorts and want to see grand commercial development, visit Paradise Island and Nassau. On the other hand, if you prefer remote and uncrowded natural beauty, the Berry Islands is for you.

If you would like to experience the best of the Bahamas, we recommend you start planning the trip of a lifetime. The Bahamas Islands have so much to offer. We hope our yacht adventure guide has been helpful and has activated your ‘travel bug’. Give our friendly staff a call now, we will help you choose the best boat for cruising Bahamas waters.