is a small ship cruise like? Small
ship cruising is an appealing alternative to conventional land
tours and larger cruise ships. We offer a richer travel experience
- one that goes beyond the typical tourist sites. Imagine sinking
your toes into sugar sand, snorkeling/diving among the lemon sharks
and sting rays, or hiking the trails of pirates and bootleggers
of years gone by. The ideal way to explore the world is on a small
ship, enjoying access to places of natural beauty not possible
any other way. Small ship cruising appeals to travelers who prefer
a relaxed, comfortable travel style with the emphasis on the destination.
Aqua Cat takes you beyond the confines of conventional tourism
for meaningful experiences with people and places.
What is our itinerary? You will have a great time exploring
the 365 mostly uninhabited islands of the Exumas with their many
beautiful beaches. In addition to the incredible scuba diving
and snorkeling, you can beach comb, kayak, explore the islands,
or take advantage of all the great photo opportunities like feeding
the iguanas on Allan's Cay. While in Nassau and Paradise Island,
you can enjoy shopping, casinos, and nightlife.
type of adventures can I look forward to experiencing on my cruise?
Eco-adventurers enjoy the many opportunities offered
aboard the Aqua Cat and the Sea Dog. The Sea Dog is our 28’
launch that can take you to isolated beaches where you can sunbathe,
explore, kayak, snorkel or fish. You will enjoy feeding and photographing
the iguanas on Allan’s Cay. You can visit the headquarters
of the Exumas Land & Sea Park on Warderick Wells and explore
the many trails. Be sure to check out the whale bones on the island.
Don’t miss the blow hole! You can also kayak the creeks
that meander through Shroud Cay. These creeks are nurseries for
many varieties of fish and sharks. For those interested in bird
watching, the Exumas are a nesting area for many species of seabirds
including White-Tailed Tropicbirds, Audubon Shearwaters, Brown
Noddies, and Bridled and Sooty Terns. The possibilities are endless!
What is the minimum age for passengers on the Aqua Cat?
If you charter the full boat, there is no minimum age but keep in mind that water savvy children will most enjoy this type of vacation. Children under the age of 15 must be under the supervision of a parent or guardian at ALL times. Our crew is most gracious and good with all ages however, the crew will not provide child care services or supervision at ANY time. Families that wish to join us are welcome. It is recommended that children be divers or snorkelers to fully enjoy the activities on board.
What do I need to participate in the eco-adventures of the Exumas?
The Exuma Cays offers many opportunities to go ashore and explore and enjoy the uninhabited beaches. For these occasions, we highly recommend proper footwear for these eco adventures. Flip flops are not suitable. We suggest water shoes or TEVA type sandals. Sneakers are fine but they might get wet!.
should I bring? The atmosphere on board the Aqua Cat
is always relaxed and casual. You’ll spend your days in
bathing suits and casual wear. Bring shorts or jeans, T-shirts
and a windbreaker. Also bring a pair of sandals, hat, suntan lotion
(non-oil) and sunglasses. In winter, a sweatshirt or sweater is
advisable. Our ship’s boutique offers everything you need
for your cruise (swimsuits, t-shirts, shorts, sundresses, hats
are the meals like? All meals, beverages/bar and snacks are included! We serve three gourmet meals a day. Snacks and fresh fruits are always available. Most meals will be a combination of Bahamian and American cuisine. A selection of complimentary beverages is always on hand; from soft drinks, juices and lemonade, to beer, wine and rum drinks. Dinner is ashore Friday evening. Click here to view a sampling of our menu!
How do I get to the docks? With prior arrangements, we provide
complimentary transfers to/from the boat and the Nassau International
Airport on Saturdays. We must have your trip application with current
flight information to make these arrangements for you. We have
contracted with Island Escape Tours to provide this service. They will
be outside and to the left when you exit the airport terminal. If you
don't find them immediately, just ask. Everyone knows Mr Wright, our
favorite driver! The Aqua Cat departs from Hurricane Hole Marina on
Paradise Island. It is just east of the Paradise Island Bridge. The
local phone number for the marina is 242-363-3600.
What time can we board? You may board any time after 6:00 PM on
Saturday. If you are arriving earlier, you may drop bags off at the boat
prior to 6:00 PM. The Aqua Cat returns to Nassau Friday afternoon. You
will be responsible for dinner ashore Friday evening. We ask that you
disembark Saturday by 9:00 AM. You may leave your bags at the boat if
you have a late afternoon flight.
is the snorkeling? The reefs are perfect for snorkeling
with gin clear waters and lots of fish, both small and large!
You can snorkel anytime the boat is anchored! We offer a variety
of snorkeling adventures- drift Wax Cut, mangrove nurseries, feed
the sting rays and swim with Lemon sharks at the Land and Sea
Park! You need to bring mask, fins and snorkel. If you don’t
have them, we have some available for rent. If you have not snorkeled
before, the crew will be happy to instruct you.
I go fishing? Yes, as long as you aren’t in the
Exumas Land & Sea Park. We have the Sea Dog, our 28’
launch that is used for trolling, or taking fisherman to shores
or coves. We furnish all of the fishing gear.
I scuba dive? Yes, if you are a certified diver. If not,
you may take a full certification course (prior arrangement required)
or a Discover Scuba Diving course. The minimum age is 10 years
old for scuba courses. We have Scuba gear for the younger set
is a Discover Scuba Diving course? For a fee of $99.00,
our dive instructor will teach you the skills to safely enjoy
shallow scuba dives. You will then be able to make two scuba dives
with your instructor on the Aqua Cat. (This course does not make
you a certified diver). Equipment is included.
is the diving like? While the Northern Exumas are only
30 miles from Nassau, there are no daily dive operations in this
area. You can experience truly virgin diving. The Exumas have
walls starting at 40', as well as drift, reef, and shark dives.
There is a large Blue Hole between Nassau and the Exumas. For
over 30 years, much of the northern Exumas has been a National
Underwater Park with no fishing, spear fishing or collecting allowed.
Because of these laws, there are miles of undersea gardens in
which coral, sponges and fish abound. Turtles, rays and sharks
are seen regularly on most dive sites. Goliath grouper truly are
gargantuan in the Exumas!
I see sharks? Yes! Many of our sites are frequented by
Caribbean Reef Sharks and Nurse Sharks. You can also see Lemon
Sharks at the Land and Sea Park! We normally offer at least one
shark feed on each trip. This is the perfect time to see sharks
up close and in action!
many dives per day? Divers will have the opportunity
to do up to 5 dives a day Sunday through Thursday, including night
dives, as long as weather is not a factor. Two dives will be offered
Is Nitrox available? Yes. Nitrox is available on board for
$150 per week per diver. Nitrox is 32%. If you are not Nitrox
certified, we can help you accomplish this on board. The course
is $150 and then you receive a $50 credit for fills.
I do open water checkouts? Yes. You can complete your
open water checkout dives with our instructor. (Prior arrangements
are desirable.) The cost is $125.00.
I take advanced certification or specialty courses on board?
Our instructors are available for further training in SCUBA. Prior
dive gear do I need to bring? Certified scuba divers
need snorkel, fins, mask, and regulator with pressure gauge, buoyancy
compensator, u/w watch, and depth gauge. For night dives, a dive
light and cyalume stick (or substitute) is required. We provide
tanks, weights and weight belts. Between fall and spring, a wetsuit
is recommended. See, “Do I need a wetsuit” below.
I rent dive gear? If you do not have your own equipment,
we have "top of the line" ADV/BCs, wetsuits, dive lights
and regulators with octopus and gauges available for rent. All
rentals must be arranged prior to departure.
with octopus and gauges
two piece wetsuit
fins & snorkel
$10 per dive
light sticks (cyalumes) are required for night divers
I need a wetsuit? Between fall and spring, a wetsuit
is recommended. The chart below will give you a general idea of
the water temperatures and what weight wetsuit you will need.
When deciding which wetsuit works for you, consider that you will
have the opportunity to dive as many as five times a day and it
takes your body a while to warm up. Wetsuit needs are different
for everyone. A general guideline follows.
Wetsuit needs vary from individual to individual. These are approximates.
Do you have a DVD and VCR on board? Yes, we have
a DVD and VCR monitor with U.S. and European formats. We have
a collection of movies on board. Feel free to bring your favorites.
electricity available? All guest cabins, main salon and photo table on the dive deck have US outlets for 120 volts/ 15 amps. Passengers joining us from abroad should bring adaptors and/or converters depending on country of residence to transform power to 220 volts. We do have one UK type G terminal strip(4 outlets) in the photo lab on the third level of the vessel.
much spending money do I need? You will need enough for
the crew gratuity (15% recommended), spending money for an evening
ashore (shopping, drinks, souvenirs), and dinner ashore Friday
evening. The Bahamas currency is Bahamian dollars, which are equivalent
to the U.S. dollar and are interchangeable. If you have US dollars,
there is no need to exchange currency. You can charge your specialty
classes, boutique purchases, and film processing and crew gratuity
to your cabin account. Aqua Cat accepts VISA, MasterCard and Discover.
What is the recommended gratuity? The live-aboard business
is a service industry, and although the general public is seldom
aware of it, gratuities are a major part of a crewmember’s
salary. Few other recreational activities rely so heavily upon
the professionals in charge for your enjoyment and safety. A gratuity
of 15% is customary, but many leave more when they feel the service
was outstanding. If you are disappointed with the service, you
should inform the Captain of your feelings right away so he may
rectify the situation. Leave no more gratuity than you feel is
if I need to be contacted in an emergency? If someone needs to get
in contact with you because of a true emergency, they may contact our
office and we will relay the message. We have a Satellite phone on board
available for outgoing calls. The cost for international calls is $5.00
USD per minute. Most cell phones will work in part of the area we
cruise. You can check with your provider to see if yours will work in
do we spend our port nights? The first and last night
will be spent in Nassau/Paradise Island. Dinner the first night
is a casual BBQ on the alfresco deck followed by introductions
and ship’s orientation. You are free to explore the island
that evening. Enjoy shopping, casinos, and nightlife in Paradise
Island and Nassau! We shove off for the Exumas very early…around
4 AM on Sunday morning! Once we leave port, you’ll escape
the hustle and bustle of the city to the pristine Exumas! Enjoy
incredible sunsets and breathtaking scenery. We return to Nassau
on Friday afternoon. The Captain’s Farewell Cocktail party
is at 6 PM. Dinner on Friday evening is your responsibility ashore.
Go play or stay aboard. Reservations and recommendations can be
made by the crew.
What travel documents are needed?
All travelers to the Bahamas need a current passport. Be sure to book your air tickets with your name as it appears exactly on your passport. Check with the Bahamas Embassy for visa requirements if citizenship is not US by clicking on this link. Bahamas Entry Requirements.
Individuals – A $500.00 per person deposit is due within
ten days of the reservation. The balance is due 60 days prior
10 days of booking
months prior to departure
months prior to departure
60 days prior to departure full payment is due.
For every 8 paying passengers, the 9th goes free!
Individuals – More than 90 days prior to departure, we’ll
refund your deposit less $250 per person cancellation fee. Within
90-61 days of departure, the deposit is forfeited. Less than 60
days prior to departure, all monies on hand are forfeited.
– More than 60 days prior to departure, the deposit is forfeited.
Less than 60 days prior to departure, all monies on hand are forfeited.
*If the trip departs full, we will refund all deposits and payments.
- It is strongly recommended that all passengers purchase
trip insurance to protect you in the event that you may need to cancel
your trip. It is also recommended that all divers have diving accident
insurance. You can request a brochure from our office or go to:
Diveassure : Annual combination trip & dive accident insurance.
Travelex : Trip insurance for a single trip or yearlong coverage. Choose SELECT policy and add ADVENTURE PACKAGE to ensure diving coverage.
Divers Alert Network : For annual combination trip & dive accident insurance.
of Payment - MasterCard, Visa, and Discover, personal
check, money order and wire transfers are all accepted.