As Earl Miller from the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism told us at the recent Monaco Yacht Show, they are continuing to add to their infrastructure in the hope of luring even more yachting visitors to this idyllic part of the world, and in doing so further cementing its reputation as a truly nautical nation.
“From the beginning the Bahamas in the late 1960s was known as the playground for the rich and famous,” he began, “and we expanded on that ever since. And of course if you look at history you know that Columbus came on his three ships and discovered the Bahamas.
“We’ve been making sure that we educate the trade and all of the options they have in cruising and chartering in the Bahamas. Because we have 700 islands we’re the closest destination to Florida, some 1600 nautical miles. So you can cruise from Abaco in the north to Inagua in the south and all in between and you can have an island to yourself all day, which a lot of the charterers are looking for.
So what is it about the formation of the Bahamas 700-plus islands that makes it such a perfect destination for superyachts?
“Well the formation is perfect because they can cruise in the Caribbean side if it’s rough on the ocean side, and if they want to go out on the ocean side they can do that also,” he said. So they have the best of both worlds,. And as you cruise you have all of these other cays, 2,000 cays to explore, pull up to the beach and have a beach to themselves all day without seeing any other cruise ships or charter yachts.
Turning to infrastructure, how do your marina facilities in the Bahamas compare to the rest of the Caribbean?
“We’ve been adding marina facilities every year,” he said, “which is a good thing for us, because we’re a nautical nation. Most people come here by boat, especially from the closest islands like Bimini and Abaco and Eleuthera.
“Right now as we speak we have about three or four new superyacht marinas coming on board. So we believe the facilities are there to welcome all of the yachts.”