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

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

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Beyond the all-inclusive resorts, the Bahamas is truly wild at heart. This archipelago of more than 700 islands—of which only about 30 are inhabited—is home to blue holes and thick mangrove forests, coral reefs, and spectacular beaches. Discover the Bahamas’ wild side on a voyage to some of its most far-flung islands and hear an intriguing history of pirates, pilgrims, lost civilizations, and the slave trade. Snorkel with abundant sea life in warm turquoise waters, explore waterways by kayak, and get introduced to the islands’ terrestrial flora and fauna on guided walks in nature reserves. Our exploration of these remote islands supports national park management as well as local conservation initiatives including habitat restoration, wildlife monitoring, and education to foster awareness of the incredible diversity of the Bahamas.
Note: Some locations are pending government approval.

Trip Name
Exploring the Bahamas’ Out Islands: Natural Wonders & Hidden History
Vessel Type: Comfortable Expedition Length: 52 metres Passenger Capacity: 62 (in twin cabins) Built: 1982 / Refurbished 2015 Twin Expedition ships, National Geographic Sea Bird & Sea Lion, can reach places inaccessible to larger ships due to their small size, yet each can comfortably accommodate 62 guests. The feeling, is often compared to that of a large private yacht, with everyone integral to the adventure. Accessibility means freedom. Our captains have decades of sailing experience in the regions we explore. They know when and where to navigate so that you feel the places we visit are all ours. Full interior renovations have been completed on these twin 62-guest ships, National Geographic Sea Lion and National Geographic Sea Bird. The extensive renovation to guest cabins, the lounge and bar, dining room, public areas and spa has transformed the ships to provide the ultimate in expedition hospitality and comfort. Nothing has been left untouched, from the sleekly framed wall photos, to the fresh paint, and new carpets throughout the ships. - The lounge and bar have been completely redesigned and reconfigured to provide an open, enhanced environment with additional seating and better flow. The modern design features new tables and chairs, upholstery of settees, overhead ceiling panels, and LED dimmable lighting. The lounge also hosts a new food & beverage area, library, and Global Market. - The dining room’s upgrade features all new tables, chairs, ceiling panels, and LED dimmable lighting. The wine bar has been replaced and features a display showcasing selections from the regions explored. - Every cabin has been completely redone and all furnishings have been replaced. Modern aged cherry bed boxes, faux leather headboards, Lindblad signature bed linens, new windows, lighting, and additional USB outlets provide a dramatic makeover for a relaxing guest experience. Bathrooms now feature new shower doors and all new hardware. - Exterior renovations include new deck furniture and outdoor awning.


Day 1 - DAY 1: George Town, The Exumas, Bahamas
Arrive into George Town on the island of GreatExuma, and transfer to the National GeographicSea Lion. Settle into your cabin, and meet thecrew as we set off on our Bahamian adventure.(D)
Day 2 - DAY 2: Crooked Island / Long Cay
This morning, we arrive at Crooked Island,anchoring near Long Cay. After breakfast, we’lltake Zodiacs to shore to kayak Turtle Sound, anaquamarine waterway that cuts deep into theisland. The sound draws sea turtles in search ofcalm waters, and we may see them surfacing aswe paddle. The mangroves at the water’s edgemake for great birding opportunities as well. Thisafternoon, gear up for our first snorkelingexcursion, watching for schools of amberjacks,wrasses, and maybe a sea turtle as we swim overthe reefs off Crooked Island. (B,L,D)
Day 3 - DAY 3: Acklins Island
Separated from Crooked Island by a three-milewide channel, Acklins Island has been at differenttimes in its history the haunt of pirates, an island ofcotton plantations where enslaved people toiled,and, some say, an early stop on ChristopherColumbus’s first voyage. This morning, walkacross the island at its most narrow section andexplore the fishing settlements on the lagoon side.After lunch on board, enjoy an afternoon ofpaddleboarding, kayaking, and snorkeling. (B,L,D)
Day 4 - DAY 4: Mayaguana
The easternmost island in the Bahamas,Mayaguana is the name given to the island by theoriginal inhabitants of the Bahamas, the Lucayanpeople. On a morning walk on this rugged andremote island, learn about its history and the lostLucayan culture. Keep an eye out for wildlife suchas Bartsch’s iguanas, West Indian flamingoes,royal terns, and Wilson’s plovers. In the afternoon,return to the magical undersea, snorkeling amidan extraordinarily diverse population of reef fishincluding blue tangs and princess parrotfish.(B,L,D)
Day 5 - DAY 5: Long Island
We’ll make our way back to the central islands ofthe Bahamas overnight and wake up in LongIsland. Enjoy a full day of water activities here,including snorkeling, kayaking, andpaddleboarding in the vast lagoon that stretchesalong the island’s western coast. Take Zodiaccruises along the shore, stopping to explore whenwe find interesting wildlife or sites. (B,L,D)
Day 6 - DAY 6: Eleuthera
Measuring 100 miles long but rarely more than twomiles wide, Eleuthera is an island of pink sandbeaches and wild landscapes. It was settled in1648 by a group of Brits known as the “EleutheranAdventurers” who were escaping religiouspersecution. Today, visit the innovative IslandSchool, which uses a unique, hands-on approachto teach science, conservation, and sustainabilityto international and Bahamian high school students. After lunch on board, choose to gosnorkeling or learn about the island’s terrestrialflora and fauna while walking the trails of LeonLevy Native Plant Reserve. (B,L,D)
Day 7 - DAY 7: Conception Island
This morning, land on a white-sand beach on thenortheast side of Conception Island, anuninhabited island that is now a national park. Setoff on an easy hike, looking for tropicbirds andboobies that nest here, as well as many other birdspecies. The island is laced with creeks that wecan access with our Zodiacs when conditions areright. Enjoy a final chance to snorkel in the richwaters surrounding Conception. This evening,toast our Bahamian adventure with a cocktail onthe beach. (B,L,D)
Day 8 - DAY 8: George Town, Exumas / Home
Disembark after breakfast and transfer to GeorgeTown Airport for your flight home. (B)
Day 9 - Please Note:
Itineraries are subject to change.

Trip Dates

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    • Snorkel little-known reefs and dazzling lagoons and explore the coasts and creeks of remote islands aboard a Zodiac
    • Kayak between the mangroves of Turtle Sound, spotting sea turtles and rich birdlife
    • Visit Conception Island National Park and see nesting boobies and other seabirds as well as wintering songbirds
    • Learn the evolution of Bahamian history and culture, from the native Lucayan people through European exploration to modern times.
    • Witness nature conservation in action on a visit to Eleuthera's innovative Island School