Emerald Bay Yacht Charter Vacation
The Exuma chain holds the gem of the Bahamas islands
Dec. 30, 2005 10:30 AM
Yacht Vacations & Charters Magazine
A secret oasis awaits yacht charter guests to an elite paradise destination called Emerald Bay. Until now the shallow waters of the Exuma Islands made navigating challenging for megayachts wanting to find refuge. For the first time in the family islands, The Marina at Emerald Bay provides dockage for vessels up to 225’ and grants access for megayachts to enjoy the serenity of Great Exuma and exclusivity of The Four Seasons Resort.
Yacht charterers can embrace the perfect charter itinerary and either begin or end their yacht charter vacation in the luxurious amenities that Emerald Bay offers guests. Just minutes north of Georgetown, The Marina at Emerald Bay will become a gateway for the yachting connoisseur and a Mecca for the discerning traveler.
The Exumas are primarily known for their pristine beaches, exciting snorkeling, sailing and fishing. Home to many boating activities like The Family Island Regatta, The New Year’s Day Cruising Regatta, and the widely revered National Out Island Regatta, these islands’ cays and hidden coves make for some of the most spectacular sailing in The Bahamas. Additionally, diving enthusiasts from around the world believe The Exumas are one of the most spectacular places in all of The Islands of the Bahamas to take in the beauty of the world beneath the ocean’s surface. Vast beds of undisturbed coral reef teeming with brightly colored schools of fish of every variety can be seen surrounding The Exumas, in addition to the Austin Smith Shipwreck. The primary watersport in Exuma is snorkeling, visitors can explore these translucent waters from the beach, a glassbottom boat or at one of the many cays. Stocking Island is a popular place for shelling, beachcombing and picnicking but if you prefer an intimate setting there are 365 islands to choose from in the Exuma chain that offer secluded beaches and lucent waters. Big game fishing is another draw to the Exumian waters. The Marina at Emerald Bay has been chosen to host the third leg of the Bahamian Billfish Championship May 14th-19th because of the extraordinary venue complete with a tournament staging area, marina facilities and Wahoo’s Waterfront Restaurant. Tournaments will be held throughout the year for social members of the club.
The Marina at Emerald Bay, a deep-water megayacht facility, has a 120 ft. entrance, 14ft. depth MLW, 800 ft. breakwater approach and is a 24-hour port of entry with notification for customs and immigration. In phase two, a dry storage area for boats up to 40 ft., high-end provisioning market and a crew area with internet will be available. The Marina at Emerald Bay provides the modern conveniences essential to the yachting community and will become a gathering place for yachtsmen, sports fishermen and social members.
The most popular for charter guests is the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park, created in 1958; this 176 square mile park was the first of its kind in the world and is famous for its unspoiled beauty, outstanding anchorages and breathtaking marine environment. It is the first marine fishery reserve in the Caribbean. Also ideal for snorkeling, Thunderball Grotto is a breathtaking hollowed out island near Staniel Cay. It abounds with tropical fish, rare sponges and corals. This setting was used for scenes from James Bond’s “Thunderball” and “Never Say Never Again,” as well as Disney’s “Splash.”
Great Exuma has buzzed with development since construction began at Emerald Bay evolving 470 acres of Bahamas Out Island into the ultimate yachtsman’s delight. CEO of EBR Holdings Ltd., Kevin Clemente has spearheaded the development of the Emerald Bay project. Residing on Great Exuma with his family, Clemente focuses on preserving the culture and ecology of this island.
The Four Seasons Resort, Great Exuma Emerald Bay, is fully operational and has luxurious amenities accessible to marina guests including the Greg Norman Golf Course with breathtaking ocean views, the incredible Four Seasons Spa, a variety of Four Seasons restaurants, exquisite boutiques and the European-style casino opening spring 2006. Captains and crew can find conveniences at the marina that currently has a temporary Harbourmaster’s office outfitted with an attentive staff, a crew lounge, billiards, restrooms and laundry facilities. This world-class facility will become the treasure of the Bahamas Islands and a sanctuary for the yachting connoisseur.
After a long day in the sun enjoying the exceptional landscape, marina guests can be transported via shuttle service to the oceanfront Greg Norman Golf Course, private beach club, pool or the Four Seasons Resort. If the taste of the Bahamas is what you crave, Wahoo’s Waterfront Restaurant is located next to the marina services building in an airy screen enclosed structure serving up the traditional island cuisine. Phase two of The Marina Village to be completed in 2007 will include completion of the remaining 103 slips, dry storage building, Private Yacht Clubhouse, Members Exclusive Beach Club, Cabana Spa and Fitness Center with an infinity pool. The Club at Emerald Bay Yacht and Social Memberships incorporate a five-star, full service private yacht club with wet and dry slip memberships and member-only amenities that rival any exclusive club around the world. While under construction, the private yacht and social club memberships are available at an introductory rate.
Clemente is fulfilling his vision of creating a five star enclave on Great Exuma having every imaginable amenity that visitors, members and residents would desire and providing outstanding guest services. The true luster of Emerald Bay lies in the natural beauty of the land and its people. The preservation of both the natural resources of Exuma and the culture of its people is essential to the team at Emerald Bay, consisting of over 600 Bahamians. Clemente and his family reside in Great Exuma and have seen first-hand the evolution of the Emerald Bay project and the modernization of the overall community. The Exumians are described as the most friendly and hospitable people of the islands. The atmosphere of the island is like that of a close knit town where everyone knows their neighbors by their first name.
The Club at Emerald Bay membership program is created with the vision of establishing a very active yet elegant lifestyle with outstanding member privileges and club facilities. With social memberships starting at $5,000 refundable deposit and monthly dues of $50 per month, Social members will soak up all the amenities of The Club at Emerald Bay. The private yacht clubhouse plans to be the social center for member events, lobster fests, yacht festivals, regattas and special occasions. For a private escape, The Cabana Spa and Fitness Center provides a tropical oasis to rejuvenate the soul and has state of the art fitness equipment. The Beach Club at Emerald Bay has something for everyone whether lounging in the sun sipping a margarita or exploring the underwater splendor just off the shoreline, whatever your pleasure, being a member of The Club at Emerald Bay will satisfy the most discerning traveler.
The Exumas have evolved over time from a salt mining colony to a haven for pirates to a cotton- producing colony and all of these phases have left a mark on her shores. The Hermitage ruins are a reminder of the islands’ cotton plantation days. One of the last cotton plantations, it was originally built by the Kendall family in the late 1700s. The foundations of the main house and old tombs still remain. Another popular stop is the Salt Beacon, located in Williams Town, Little Exuma, this landmark was designed as a Tuscan Column during the first half of the 19th Century. It was built to guide ships engaged in the salt trade. The beacon stands 30 ft. high and is a favorite attraction of visitors to Little Exuma.
Georgetown is the capital, the centre of commerce and second largest settlement in The Exumas, with a population of over 350 people. It is home to the oldest church in Exuma, St. Andrew’s Anglican Church and the venue of the National Family Island Regatta, held during April in beautiful Elizabeth Harbour. If jamming to reggae and steel drums sets you free then be sure to come in March to the Bahamian Music and Heritage Festival at Regatta Park. Another prominent feature is Lake Victoria, named after Queen Victoria, it has a four foot wide canal that leads into the sea.
Rolleville is another of the larger settlements that was the primary slave settlement on the island during the time of Lord John Rolle. The descendents of Rolle still claim land from Lord Rolle’s Estate. The Rolleville Regatta is the oldest regatta in Exuma and Homecoming is held during the Emancipation Day weekend, on the first weekend in August. Rolle Town is another of Lord Rolle’s slave settlements which is located overlooking the harbour. These quaint towns are full of history for visitors to explore a world far gone.
The Bahamian Government of Great Exuma has also provided assistance in establishing Emerald Bay on the outer islands and the Government officials have consistently wanted to open up the Family Islands to expand Tourism beyond the northern Bahamian islands. The Four Seasons Resort at Emerald Bay is the first time in the history of the Bahamas that a developer has done so and will open this hidden world to travelers. All who walk her shores, taste her cuisine and bask in her splendor experience the magic of Great Exuma, Bahamas.