Aerial view of The Exumas islands with white-sand beaches, green interiors & turquoise water, seen on a Bahamas small ship cruise.
Beautiful corals with tropical fish in a reef of the Atlantic ocean, seen while snorkeling on a Bahamas small ship cruise.
Travelers paddle kayaks in turquoise water beside green mangroves during a sunny Bahamas small ship cruise in the Out Islands.
Woman in pink shirt & bathing suit stands on white-sand beach beside turquoise sea during a Bahamas small ship cruise.
Wild flamingos about to take off from a Caribbean Sea sand bar, seen while exploring the Bahamas' Out Islands on an expedition.
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Central America Caribbean Cruise

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

On this 8-day Bahamas small ship cruise, board 62-guest National Geographic Sea Lion for a unique journey into the islands’ remarkable culture & wildness. 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, 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. Feel good knowing that 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.

Specific highlights of this Bahamas small ship cruise include: snorkeling little-known reefs and dazzling lagoons; exploring the coasts and creeks of remote islands aboard a Zodiac; kayaking between the mangroves of Turtle Sound, spotting sea turtles and rich birdlife; visiting Conception Island National Park and seeing nesting boobies and other seabirds as well as wintering songbirds; learning Bahamian history and culture, from the native Lucayan people through European exploration to modern times; and witnessing nature conservation in action on a visit to Eleuthera’s innovative Island School.

Aboard 62-guest National Geographic Sea Lion, guests are in the most excellent company. Explore under the sure guidance of an expedition leader and five veteran naturalists, including a National Geographic certified photo instructor, plus a wellness specialist. The expedition staff’s knowledge and passion for the Bahamas is the key to this once-in-a-lifetime, active cruise experience.

Read on for details about this trip, or learn more about AdventureSmith’s Caribbean small ship cruises and Caribbean trips.



Itinerary

Exploring The Bahamas' Out Islands: Natural Wonders & Hidden History Itinerary

This Bahamas small ship cruise operates round-trip from George Town, Exumas, exploring the archipelago’s wild side on a voyage to some of its most far-flung islands.

Route map of Exploring The Bahamas' Out Islands: Natural Wonders & Hidden History Bahamas small ship cruise, round-trip from George Town, Exumas, with visit to the islands of Eleuthera, Conception, Long, Crooked, Acklins, Mayaguana & Long Cay.
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Day 1
Embark George Town, Exumas, Bahamas

Arrive into George Town on the island of Great Exuma, and transfer to the ship. Settle into your cabin and meet the crew as the ship sets off for this Bahamian adventure.

Accommodations

National Geographic Sea Lion

Meals

dinner

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Day 2
Crooked Island & Long Cay

This morning, arrive at Crooked Island, anchoring near Long Cay. After breakfast, 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 they may surface during your paddle. The mangroves at the water’s edge make for great birding opportunities as well. This afternoon, gear up for the first snorkeling excursion, watching for schools of amberjacks, wrasses and maybe a sea turtle while swimming over the reefs off Crooked Island.

Accommodations

National Geographic Sea Lion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 3
Acklins Island

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.

Accommodations

National Geographic Sea Lion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 4
Mayaguana

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.

Accommodations

National Geographic Sea Lion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 5
Long Island

The ship makes her way back to the central islands of the Bahamas overnight. 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 interesting wildlife or sites present themselves.

Accommodations

National Geographic Sea Lion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 6
Eleuthera

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.

Accommodations

National Geographic Sea Lion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 7
Conception Island

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 are accessible with Zodiacs when conditions are right. Enjoy a final chance to snorkel in the rich waters surrounding Conception. This evening, toast this Bahamian adventure with a cocktail on the beach.

Accommodations

National Geographic Sea Lion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 8
Disembark George Town, Exumas, Bahamas

Disembark after breakfast and transfer to George Town Airport for flights home.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

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Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

All accommodations aboard ship per itinerary; all meals as indicated; excursions; services of expedition leader, naturalist staff and expert guides; use of equipment; expedition fees; all port charges, service taxes and airport transfers to and from ship.

Exclusions

Immigration fees; air transportation; extensions; personal items such as emails, laundry, voyage DVD, etc.; and insurance of any kind. Gratuities and alcoholic beverages excluded, except for all departures of National Geographic Explorer, Orion, Endurance, Resolution, Sea Cloud, Jahan and Lord of the Glens.

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of $750 is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms may apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
120 or more days – $350 of deposit retained (may be applied to future trip by trip operator)
119 to 90 days – 100% of deposit
89 to 60 days – 25% of total trip cost
59 to 45 days – 50% of total trip cost
44 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Vaccination Requirement
To join this trip, all guests 5 years and older must provide proof of being fully vaccinated (at least 14 days after your final COVID-19 vaccine shot). There may also be COVID-19 testing or other requirements to participate; your Adventure Specialist will provide details of current policies upon booking.

Arrival & Departure

The Exploring The Bahamas’ Out Islands: Natural Wonders & Hidden History cruise begins and ends in George Town, Exuamas, Bahamas (GGT). We highly recommend arriving one day prior to your trip start date in case of any flight delay, cancellation or lost luggage issues. Consult your Adventure Specialist for arrival and departure flight recommendations. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Activities

Whether you are looking for light activity options or more challenging outdoor pursuits, the ship’s crew can tailor most excursions to suit your skill level. Adventure activities may include hiking, snorkeling, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, inflatable boat/skiff excursions, photography and wildlife observation.

Room Configuration

In addition to listed Solo cabin rates, select double-occupancy cabins may be available for single occupancy with a single supplement fee. If you would like to share accommodations with another guest of the same gender, we will be happy to try to accommodate you in select cabin categories. This program allows you to pay the per person double-occupancy rate whether or not a roommate is found. Contact AdventureSmith for further details and availability.

Families & Children

Children under the age of 18 at time of travel save $500 off the double occupancy rate. Skilled staff members trained with National Geographic Education organize activities that inspire curiosity in young people of all ages. Programming for kids may include activities like photo workshops, journaling, scavenger hunts, Zodiac-driving lessons, hands-on nature and science programming and kid-friendly menu options.

Travel Insurance

Protect your travel investment with insurance. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. Coverage for a pre-existing medical condition is also available if you purchase the Travel Select plan within 15 days of the initial trip payment; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Use the itinerary as a guide only. Itineraries may be altered due to weather, wildlife, national park regulation or at the captain’s discretion. The ability to be flexible makes this type of small ship cruising unique.

Rates & Dates

Cruise Rates & Dates

Rates are variable per remaining availability and are subject to change. Please contact AdventureSmith for the most up-to-date pricing.

Dec 29 - Jan 05, 2023
National Geographic Sea Lion • 8 days
From $5590USD
Per Person
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Feb 19 - Feb 26, 2023
National Geographic Sea Lion • 8 days
From $5870USD
Per Person
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Feb 26 - Mar 05, 2023
National Geographic Sea Lion • 8 days
From $5760USD
Per Person
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Mar 05 - Mar 12, 2023
National Geographic Sea Lion • 8 days
From $5870USD
Per Person
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Mar 12 - Mar 19, 2023
National Geographic Sea Lion • 8 days
From $5760USD
Per Person
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Mar 19 - Mar 26, 2023
National Geographic Sea Lion • 8 days
From $5760USD
Per Person
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Mar 26 - Apr 02, 2023
National Geographic Sea Lion • 8 days
From $5760USD
Per Person
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Dec 29 - Jan 05, 2024
National Geographic Sea Lion • 8 days
From $5760USD
Per Person
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Accommodation

Learn About the Small Ship on Your Itinerary

Expedition Ship
National Geographic Sea Lion

National Geographic Sea Lion is a tried and true educational-based 62-guest expedition ship. Onboard experts from National Geographic make this ship, and its twin the National Geographic Sea Bird, unique.

Deals

Current Deals on This Trip

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Offer expires January 31st, 2023
Groups Save 5% On National Geographic Expeditions

Save 5% when traveling as a group of 8 or more on National Geographic expeditions in this special deal.

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Offer expires October 31st, 2022
Complimentary Airfare On Select Nat Geo Bahamas Cruises

Book your select Bahamas small ship cruise and receive free round-trip airfare between Miami and the Bahamas.

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Offer expires October 31st, 2022
4th Person Travels Free on Select 2022 National Geographic Cruises

The fourth person travels for free when booking with three full-paying guests on select 2022 departures of National Geographic cruises in the Arctic, Baja, Costa Rica, Panama, Pacific Northwest, Indonesia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands, Caribbean, East Coast and the Galapagos.

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Offer expires January 31st, 2023
Save 10% On Two Consecutive National Geographic Expeditions

Save 10% when you book two consecutive cruises aboard a National Geographic expedition ship.

Book with the confidence that comes from experience.

100+ combined years of experience, 7 continents explored, decades of expedition cruising around the world & here to help you find & book your dream trip.

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

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