Sweeping through the centre of the Bahamas is the Exumas, a chain of over 360 islands, bursting with marine wildlife and excellent conservation and biological research opportunities.
From coral cays and solitary sandbars to magical mangrove systems, the islands of the Bahamas are one of the finest environments for students to explore and experience marine biology.
Joining a liveaboard yacht in Nassau, sail south to the Exumas Land & Sea Park where groups can dive and discover the many different conservation projects and research missions continuously taking place. Students will get the chance to see unique endemic species, explore remote island communities, and even swim in the ocean with pigs!
Each week's itinerary is unique to each trip, as it is the students themselves that direct the details. As a group (weather depending) they will decide which islands to explore, which sites to dive, and where they want to sail to. The focus can be primarily on island-hopping and land excursions, with attention on the mysterious ecosystems beneath the waves, or can have a balance of the two, cruising the remote and beautiful islands of The Bahamas.
Fly to Nassau on a direct flight, arriving later the same day. Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your overnight accommodation. The rest of the evening is yours at leisure to explore downtown Nassau and arrange dinner in a local restaurant.
Today, the morning is at leisure to continue exploring Nassau, relaxing in the pool and preparing for your adventure.
Later in the morning, you will be collected from your accommodation and transferred to the Marina to board your vessel and begin your liveaboard diving adventure. You will be provided with lunch when you board and a safety briefing from the crew, which can include a marine biologist. The rest of the day will be spent sailing towards the Exumas National Park and beginning your diving.
Days 3-7 :
Over the next five days, you will get the chance to dive and explore some of the most spectacular dive sites in the Caribbean. The Bahamas are famed for their diversity, corals, shark encounters and stunning topography. Sharks and turtles are common throughout the many dive sites and there are also a few wrecks to see. The diving in the Bahamas is usually calm, clear, and suitable for all levels of diver.
There is no fixed schedule or itinerary, meaning it is a new adventure each week, tailored to your specific group. It is up to you as a group to decide the itinerary you want to follow and which activities you want to include. The feel on board is very friendly and communal. The captain will vary the itinerary to take advantage of the best weather and diving conditions and to also include any specific requests you may have – such as visiting islands for a land excursion or meeting a remote island community.
Aside from diving the coral farms, reefs and channels, there is plenty to do. There are many opportunities for snorkelling, exploring the mangroves and marine nurseries, island excursions, historical discoveries and trails, enjoying educational talks about the ecosystem, exploring uninhabited islands, encountering endemic species, and improving your biological knowledge. The boat will traverse the northern end of the Exuma Cays and can even sail over to Eleuthera to visit the internationally recognised Island School on Eleuthera where you can receive training and lectures in marine conservation and biology. You can also consider taking an extra diving certification (at additional cost) should you want to.
The last night of the trip will be spent in Nassau where you can explore the big island as a group.
This morning, after breakfast, you will disembark the liveaboard. You can leave your bags with the crew as there will be a few hours at leisure before transferring to the airport for your return overnight flight to the UK. Lunch today will need to be arranged locally.
Day 9: Arrive UK
- Destination: Bahamas
- When to go: Jan to Jul
- Duration: 9 days
- Trip type: Explorer
- Subject: Biology and Geography
- Exumas Land & Sea Park
- Eleuthera Island School
- Coral conservation
- Scuba diving
- Mangrove exploration
- Accommodation: Hotel and liveaboard
- Ideal for: Ages 15 to 16
Travellers will need:
- High level of fitness
- Appreciation for outdoor adventure
- Interest in encountering new cultures
The beating heart of the Bahamas, Nassau is the entry and exit point for most school trips. Located on Providence Island, Nassau is a city filled with life, culture and history.