Made up of hundreds of tiny islands and atolls, the Bahamas is your chance to dive with tiger, lemon and hammerhead sharks up close at Tiger Beach.
The Bahamas sits between Florida, Cuba and the Turks and Caicos in the West Atlantic Ocean. The archipelago is made up of atolls and coral cays with hundreds of different islands around them. Many of these islands are uninhabited making perfect isolated dive spots for diving cruises. Most diving liveaboard itineraries in Bahamas are around 6-7 days long, allowing you to make the most of the variety of sites on the atolls.
The sailing boats Morning Star and Sea Explorer are perfect for the adventurous types who don’t mind skipping the home comforts. These ships have a real feel of being on a diving boat rather than a floating hotel. If you want a little more space and comfort, then the Bahamas Aggressor and Aqua Cat have roomier cabins with private bathrooms. Both of these motor yachts also have rooftop sundecks and the Aggressor even has its own hot tub.
Sharks are a big attraction in the Bahamas, there are many different kinds and ample opportunities for a close-up. However you feel about baiting, it is commonplace in the Bahamas and means you can get up close to lots of different sharks. The lemon sharks here are very large due to feeding and they are very tame as well. Caribbean reef sharks and the more ferocious tiger sharks can be found in large numbers near Tiger Beach in the Bahamas, a common stop-off for diving cruises. Dolphins and turtles are also a favourite for divers in the Bahamas especially in shallow dive spots.
There are also some fantastic wrecks in the Bahamas as well, many of which are in very shallow water, which are great for long easy dives. The wrecks are normally full of fish life like wrasse and snappers but the Hesperus wreck also houses a few loggerhead turtles as well. The Hesperus is on a sand bank and only 15 ft. (4.5 m) deep. There are also caves and blue holes that can be dived in the Bahamas near to Abaco with stalagmite forests full of shrimps and lobsters.
BEST TIME TO GO
October to June
The best time to dive in the Bahamas is October to June when the risk of hurricanes is lower. November to May is the time when the most sharks are found in the Bahamas. This period is also the hot and dry season for the islands and it is worth noting that in this high season, the Bahamas is in huge demand. The wet season June to October means more rain and risk of bad conditions although the visibility stays pretty much the same. The water temperature varies from 75-86° F (24-30°C) between winter and summer.
Most diving liveaboards in the Bahamas depart either from Nassau port on Nassau island or Freeport on Grand Bahama. Both islands have international airports with flights from the USA and further afield. Both airports are a 10-15 minute drive from the departure point by taxi, transfers are not normally provided by dive operators in this region.