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Relax on the sunny beaches of the Bahamas

Exploring the Bahamas’ Out Islands: Natural Wonders & Hidden History

Great Exuma, Bahamas Roundtrip - Example 8 Day Cruise aboard National Geographic Sea Lion
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Discover the wild side of the Bahamas on a cruise to some of the country's most remote islands and hear an intriguing history of pirates, pilgrims, lost civilizations, and the slave trade. Snorkel in bright turquoise waters with an abundance of sea life, kayak through waterways, and take guided hikes through nature reserves to learn about the islands' terrestrial flora and fauna. Exploring these distant islands benefits national park management and local conservation efforts such as habitat restoration, wildlife monitoring, and education to raise awareness of the Bahamas' extraordinary diversity.
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Highlights
  • Explore the coasts and creeks of remote islands
  • Visit Conception Island National Park and see nesting boobies and seabirds
  • Learn Bahamian history and culture from the native Lucayan people
  • Kayak between the mangroves of Turtle Sound
Places Visited
Activity Level: Relaxed
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: George Town, The Exumas, Bahamas

Arrive into George Town on the island of Great Exuma, and transfer to the National Geographic Sea Lion. Settle into your cabin, and meet the crew as we set off on our Bahamian adventure.

Day 2: Crooked Island | Long Cay

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning, we arrive at Crooked Island, anchoring near Long Cay. After breakfast, we’ll take Zodiacs to shore to kayak Turtle Sound, an aquamarine waterway that cuts deep into the island. The sound draws sea turtles in search of calm waters, and we may see them surfacing as we paddle. The mangroves at the water’s edge make for great birding opportunities as well. This afternoon, gear up for our first snorkeling excursion, watching for schools of amberjacks, wrasses, and maybe a sea turtle as we swim over the reefs off Crooked Island.

Day 3: Acklins Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Separated from Crooked Island by a three-mile wide channel, Acklins Island has been at different times in its history the haunt of pirates, an island of cotton plantations where enslaved people toiled, and, some say, an early stop on Christopher Columbus’s first voyage. This morning, walk across the island at its most narrow section and explore the fishing settlements on the lagoon side. After lunch on board, enjoy an afternoon of paddleboarding, kayaking, and snorkeling.

Day 4: Mayaguana

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The easternmost island in the Bahamas, Mayaguana is the name given to the island by the original inhabitants of the Bahamas, the Lucayan people. On a morning walk on this rugged and remote island, learn about its history and the lost Lucayan culture. Keep an eye out for wildlife such as Bartsch’s iguanas, West Indian flamingoes, royal terns, and Wilson’s plovers. In the afternoon, return to the magical undersea, snorkeling amid an extraordinarily diverse population of reef fish including blue tangs and princess parrotfish.

Day 5: Long Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
We’ll make our way back to the central islands of the Bahamas overnight and wake up in Long Island. Enjoy a full day of water activities here, including snorkeling, kayaking, and paddleboarding in the vast lagoon that stretches along the island’s western coast. Take Zodiac cruises along the shore, stopping to explore when we find interesting wildlife or sites.

Day 6: Eleuthera

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Measuring 100 miles long but rarely more than two miles wide, Eleuthera is an island of pink sand beaches and wild landscapes. It was settled in 1648 by a group of Brits known as the “Eleutheran Adventurers” who were escaping religious persecution. Today, visit the innovative Island School, which uses a unique, hands-on approach to teach science, conservation, and sustainability to international and Bahamian high school students. After lunch on board, choose to go snorkeling or learn about the island’s terrestrial flora and fauna while walking the trails of Leon Levy Native Plant Reserve.

Day 7: Conception Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning, land on a white-sand beach on the northeast side of Conception Island, an uninhabited island that is now a national park. Set off on an easy hike, looking for tropicbirds and boobies that nest here, as well as many other bird species. The island is laced with creeks that we can access with our Zodiacs when conditions are right. Enjoy a final chance to snorkel in the rich waters surrounding Conception. This evening, toast our Bahamian adventure with a cocktail on the beach.

Day 8: George Town, Exumas | Home

  • 1 Breakfast
Disembark after breakfast and transfer to George Town Airport for your flight home.

Ship/Hotel

National Geographic Sea Lion

Dining Room

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$5,590
Sea Bird & Sea Lion's Category 1 and Category 1 Single Cabin.
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Cat 1
Main Deck Cabins #300-305. Conveniently positioned between the dining room and lounge, these cabins feature two lower single beds, a writing desk and a large window.
Sea Bird & Sea Lion's Category 1 and Category 1 Single Cabin.
Select a Date
Cat 1 Single
Main Deck Cabins #300-305. Conveniently positioned between the dining room and lounge, these cabins feature two lower single beds, a writing desk and a large window.
Sea Bird & Sea Lion's Category 2 and Category 2 Single Cabin.
Select a Date
Cat 2
Bridge Deck cabins #100-104 and Upper Deck cabins #200-212, 215. These well-located cabins include two lower single beds, outside access and a window.
Sea Bird & Sea Lion's Category 2 and Category 2 Single Cabins.
Select a Date
Cat 2 Single
Bridge Deck cabins #100-104 and Upper Deck cabins #200-212, 215. These well-located cabins include two lower single beds, outside access and a window.
Sea Bird & Sea Lion's Category 3 Cabins.
Select a Date
Cat 3
Bridge Deck cabins #105, 106 and Upper Deck cabins #214, 216, 217, 219. These cabins feature a seating unit with table, outside access and two large windows. Upper Deck cabins include two lower single beds which can convert to a double bed and a pull-out

Notes

What's Included?
Aboard Ship
  • All meals and non-alcoholic beverages*
  • Your bar tab and all crew gratuities are included in the voyage price on all National Geographic Explorer, National Geographic Endurance, National Geographic Resolution, and National Geographic Orion voyages. Please call for details.
  • Your bar tab and WiFi** are included in the voyage price on all National Geographic Islander or National Geographic Endeavour II voyages. Please call for details.
  • Cappuccinos, lattes & filtered water
  • 24-hour coffee, tea & soda on demand (soda not included on Lord of the Glens)
  • Hors d’oeuvres & snacks during Recap
  • Fitness center or exercise equipment, depending on the ship
  • Fully stocked library, and other gracious public spaces
  • The guidance and company of our expedition staff
  • The services of a physician on certain ships/destinations
Ashore
  • Hotels ashore as indicated in itinerary
  • Meals on land, as indicated in itinerary
  • Sightseeing & entrance fees
  • Special access permits, park fees, port taxes
  • Transfers to and from group flights
  • The expertise of our expedition staff
Activities
  • All excursions
  • Zodiac & kayak explorations
  • Snorkeling, including wetsuits, masks, fins & snorkel where relevant
  • Presentations and guest speakers in the lounge
What's Not Included?
Airfare
  • International and internal airfare
Pre- and post-expedition
  • Additional hotel nights
  • Private transfers
  • Travel Protection Plan
  • Passport, visa, and immigration fees
  • Expedition extensions
  • Gratuities
Aboard ship
  • Alcoholic beverages (except aboard Sea Cloud, Lord of the Glens, National Geographic Orion, National Geographic Explorer, National Geographic Endurance, National Geographic Resolution, National Geographic Islander National Geographic Endeavour II); certain super-premium brands not included
  • Spa treatments
  • Gratuities (except aboard Sea Cloud, National Geographic Orion,  National Geographic Endurance, National Geographic Resolution & National Geographic Explorer)
  • Scuba diving
  • Laundry
  • Internet and phone
  • Gift shop items and any other items of personal nature
Included
  • 7 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 7 Dinners
  • 7 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Excursions and activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • The Guidance and Company of the Expedition Staff
  • Hotels Ashore as Indicated in the Itinerary
  • Sightseeing & Entrance Fees
  • Special Access Permits, Park Fees, Port Taxes
  • Snorkeling, Including Wetsuits, Masks, Fins & Snorkel Where Relevant
  • Presentations and Guest Speakers in the Lounge
  • Non-Alcoholic Beverages
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Scuba Diving
  • Passport and Applicable Visa Expenses
  • Alcoholic and non specified beverages
  • Private Transfers
     
  • Expedition Extensions 
  • Laundry 
  • Internet & Phone Charges
  • Rubber Boots: Please bring your own. 

Map

When to Go

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.

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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen

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