YachtCharterFleet brings you the latest information on the current state of the Bahamas and up-to-date advice on where you can still charter a yacht in the region.
It’s been just over a week since Hurricane Dorian made landfall across the Bahamas, hitting the northern portion of the region the hardest- as it stands, Grand Bahama and the Abaco Islands look to be the worst affected by the category 5 storm.
But the many islands which make up the Bahamas are spread over 259,000 square kilometers, and the majority of the islands in the region have not felt the catastrophic effects of the hurricane.
Even so, the destruction caused by Hurricane Dorian is expected to cost billions of dollars, and the Bahamas economy relies heavily on tourism- which includes crewed yacht charters.
Before Dorian, the Bahamas was on track for a record year of tourism; now the future of the vital sector is uncertain.
In a press release, the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation has said; “The best thing they can do for the country, now more than ever, is simple: visit The Bahamas.”
With this in mind, it’s crucial that yachts choose to return to the Bahamas’ cruising grounds in the coming weeks and months.
Below, you can take a look at all the places you should consider visiting in the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian.
Airport: Exuma International Airport
Marinas: Highbourne Cay Marina, Emerald Bay Marina, Staniel Cay Yacht Club, Compass Cay
The Exumas escaped the worst of the storm, reporting heavy winds and rain in the north of the region but no serious damage to infrastructure.
Marinas including Highbourne Cay, Staniel Cay Yacht Club and Compass Cay Marina remain open for business, and Exuma International Airport is operating at full capacity.
The Exumas offers plenty to see and do when exploring the area by yacht, including the famous Pig Beach, Pablo Escobar’s Sunken Plane and the Thunderball Grotto.
Airport: Lynden Pindling International Airport
Marinas: Atlantis Marina, Nassau Yacht Club, Nassau Yacht Haven Marina
The Bahamian capital of Nassau felt some strong winds and a powerful swell during the storm, but is still open for business in the wake of Dorian.
However, be aware that the international airport is busier than usual, with many displaced individuals looking to return to the US for respite.
Nassau is also experiencing a shortage of supplies, which have been sent over to affected areas as part of relief efforts. However, the island reports it still has fuel, groceries and everyday yachting needs. The shortage is expected to ease in the coming weeks.
Attractions in the area include the Ocean Club Spa and Atlantis Paradise Hotel.
Harbour Island and Eleuthera
Airport: Governor’s Harbour airport
Marinas: Valentines Resort and Marina, Cape Eleuthera Resort and Marina
Eleuthera was minimally affected as a result of Dorian, with only some infrastructure damage reported in the north of the island.
Part of the dock was torn down at Valentines Resort and Marina and Cape Eleuthera Resort and Marina had a power outtage for several days. However, both are now up and running, and say they are ready to welcome yacht-goers back to the Bahamian cruising grounds with open arms.
Most bars and restaurants across the island are open as usual, and the famous Pink Beach is still in pristine condition, as is the Glass Window Bridge.
Airports: Chub Cay International Airport
Marinas: Chub Cay Resort and Marina , Great Harbour Cay Marina
The Berry Islands were battered by tropical force winds and rain, but luckily sustained no long-term damage.
Chub Cay Resort and Marina is currently busier than usual, as it is acting as a safe drop drop-off point of entry for supplies heading to the Abacos and Grand Bahama.
The marina will be assisting in the storage and secure movement of all donated goods via air and sea.
Airport: Andros Town International Airport
Marinas: Kamalame Cay Marina, Lighthouse Yacht Club and Marina
Lying on the west of the Bahamas, Andros Island didn’t feel the brunt of Hurricane Dorian.
As the largest island in the Bahamas, Andros has been crucial to organising relief efforts for the devastated areas. However, this hasn’t affected day-to-day running on the island, and all marinas and airports are open as usual.
Airport: New Bight Airport
Marinas: Hawks Nest Resort and Marina, Fountain Bay Resort and Marina
Known for being a pristine paradise, Cat Island has not felt the wrath of Hurricane Dorian. All major airports and marinas are running at full capacity, and all amenities across the island are open as normal.
Airport: Stella Maris Airport
Marinas: Flying Fish Marina, Stella Maris Marina
Long Island was not hit by Hurricane Dorian, and reports business as usual across the island. The island’s animal shelter has accepted a huge number of displaced dogs and cats from neighbouring islands.
Airport: South Bimini Airport
Marinas: Browns Marina, Bimini Blue Water Marina
Scattered across the most westernly part of the Bahamas, the Bimini islands didn't feel the effects of Dorian. The area is remote, and doesn't see many crewed yacht charters; but you should consider visiting for its excellent sportfishing opportunities and crystal clear waters.
The islands hit the hardest
Grand Bahama and the Abacos
Both Grand Bahamas and the Abaco Islands have been devastated by Hurricane Dorian, and it’s recommended that yachts steer clear of the area until further notice.
Emergency relief efforts are underway to provide the local people with food, shelter and medical aid, and several superyachts are delivering hurricane relief supplies to the Bahamas after Dorian.
While the future of the islands is unclear, it’s hoped that once the clean-up efforts are underway the islands will be able to welcome luxury yachts back to the Bahamas later in the winter season.
While donations are crucial for helping the Bahamas get back on its feet, tourism is vital for the region’s long-term sustainability. Consider booking a yacht charter in one of the unaffected areas by viewing all Bahamas luxury charter yachts.
Alternatively, you can make a donation to YachtAidGlobal, a not-for-profit organisation that helps coastal communities in times of crisis.
Header image credit: Valentine's Marina Harbour Island
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