FAQ

Aqua Cat, offers luxury accommodations, a spacious main salon and an extremely smooth ride. Her ability to cruise at a speed of 14-knots will get you to different sites quickly while her 35-ft beam will ensure a smooth ride. The eleven passenger cabins are some of the largest of any live aboard in the world.

Each cabin has:

Private bathroom with shower and hair dryer

Oversized beds in twin, queen or king

Individually controlled air-conditioners

Port and starboard cabins have two large picture windows with shades. Cabin 11 has a skylight with a shade.

Carpeted floors

Get Acquainted

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.

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.

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.

Sample Menu
Breakfast

Fresh tropical fruits
Eggs to order
Breakfast sausages
Freshly baked croissants
Fruit Juice, Coffee And Tea

Lunch

Conch chowder
Grilled Chicken with spinach and crispy bacon
Pasta salad with mozzarella cheese and sun-dried tomatoes
Selection of assorted rolls
Chocolate Espresso Brownies

Dinner

Caesar Salad
Oven roasted potatoes
Glazed baby carrots
Grilled snapper with mango salsa
Dinner Rolls
Banana Rum Cheesecake
Lemon Sorbet

Friday Evening Cocktail Hour on the Sun Deck

Port Wine Cheddar with Assorted Crackers
Vegetable Crudites
Conch Fritters

Our dining room seats 24 guests. Because tables are unassigned, there is an informal atmosphere and a chance to get to know your fellow guests.

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 liveaboard 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.

Yes, bring your music! We have DVD, blue ray and old movies on board. Feel free to bring your favorites. We also have books for those who would like to read.

You will need enough for the crew gratuity (10-15% 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 crew gratuity to your cabin account. Aqua Cat accepts VISA, MasterCard and Discover.

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 right.

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.

Liveaboard 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.

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, stand up paddle board, 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!

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!

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, or feed the sting rays! 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.

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.

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 too.

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 liveaboard boutique offers everything you need for your cruise (swimsuits, t-shirts, shorts, sundresses, hats and toiletries).

The fees cover the government tax on liveaboards, VAT and national park fee.

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 cellular phone on board available for outgoing calls. The cost for calls is $5.00 USD per minute. Most cell phones will work in part of the area we cruise as long as we are near the cell tower. You can check with your provider to see if yours will work in the Bahamas.

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 not offer connectivity on the Aqua Cat. Your smart device may be able to connect to the internet when we are within range of the two cell towers in the central Bahamas. Otherwise, you are disconnected. Breathe, it’ll be okay! Be sure your cell provider has international service with the Bahamas before you go.

Get Wet

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.

While the Northern Exumas are only 30 miles from Nassau, there are no daily dive operators in this area. You can experience some of the greatest variety of diving found anywhere in the Caribbean. The Exumas have walls starting at 40?, as well as high speed drift dives, shallow reefs and shark feeding 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!

Divers will have the opportunity to do up to 5 dives a day Sunday through Wednesday, Thursday will have 4 dives. Two dives will be offered on Friday.  Weather is always a factor so please keep that in mind.  We aim for 25 dives per week. 

Yes! Many of our sites are frequented by Caribbean Reef Sharks and Nurse Sharks. We sometimes see hammerheads too! We normally offer at least one shark feed on each trip. This is the perfect time to see sharks up close and in action!

If you do not have your own scuba diving 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.

Regulator with octopus and gauges: $50

Buoyancy Compensator: $50

3mm two piece wetsuit: $35

Shorty wetsuit: $30

Dive computer: $50

Mask, fins & snorkel: $35

Dive light: $30/$10 per dive

Chemical light sticks (cyalumes) are required for night divers: $3/each

Between fall and spring, a wetsuit is recommended. 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.

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.

Yes. You can complete your open water checkout dives with our instructor. (Prior arrangements are desirable.) The cost is $125.00.

Our instructors are available for further training in SCUBA. Prior arrangements recommended.

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 water temps page.

*Required for divers

**Available for rent with prior arrangements

MASK, FINS AND SNORKEL *

BUOYANCY COMPENSATOR * **

REGULATOR WITH SUBMERSIBLE PRESSURE GAUGE * ** (Rental regulators have octopus and pressure and depth gauges)

DIVE WATCH OR COMPUTER *

DEPTH GAUGE OR COMPUTER * (Our rental regulators have depth gauges)

WETSUIT (Between fall and spring, a wetsuit is recommended)**

DIVE LIGHT (Required for night dives) **

CHEMICAL LIGHT STICK OR SUITABLE SUBSTITUTE (Required for night dives, may be purchased on board)

PASSPORT

DIVER’S CERTIFICATION CARD *

MONEY (Money for the night ashore, souvenirs and crew tip, 15% is recommended and can be given to the Captain at the end of the week)

Island Hiking Shoes +

DIVING EQUIPMENT SUPPLIED: Tanks, weights and weight-belts.

CLOTHING TO BRING:  The atmosphere on board the Aqua Cat is always relaxed and casual. Several bathing suits, shorts, long pants, several t-shirts, blouse/shirt and wind breaker all packed in soft luggage. Also deck shoes, sandals, suntan lotion (non-oil) and sunglasses. In winter, sweatshirts or sweaters are advisable. Personal items such as aspirin and decongestants.

+ 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!

Get There

Effective February 2016, all drones/UAV in the Bahamas MUST file an application for admittance with the Ministry of Aviation. You can apply at www.bcaa.gov.bs. On this page, the button for drones is RED and you must create an account first. You will receive an email with an access code to do so. Apply for a drone entry form. This takes time and must be done well in advance of travel. Bring the approval letter from the Ministry of Aviation with you to the Bahamas along with the purchase receipt to show value.

Be aware of Customs regulations. Visitors to the Bahamas are allowed an exemption of $100. Anything in excess will be made to leave a deposit equal to 45% duty plus 7.5% VAT. In the case of drones, this is to insure that you are not leaving it or selling it in the Bahamas. Bring the receipt of purchase to calculate value. If you do not have the receipt, you can print a price from a web seller like Amazon.

 

This deposit must be cash. USD dollars are acceptable. No credit cards accepted for this deposit. If you pay this by credit card, you will not get it back. It will be considered DUTY. Upon your departure from the Bahamas, you can reclaim your cash deposit from the customs desk in their office at the airport. You must show the customs receipt (Don’t lose it!) for your deposit and the physical drone to the agent to get your deposit back. Do not check your luggage before reclaiming your deposit. An officer will escort you to either the airline check in counter if it is being shipped as baggage or to U S customs if it is something carried on the person and the deposit left would then be refunded with the owner of the goods signing the reverse of the receipt to acknowledge receipt the funds.

 

Note: If your drone uses a camera that is a separate entity, the camera is duty free/deposit free. The drone is subject to the deposit duty and VAT. If your drone has a built in camera purchased as one unit, it is not necessary to leave a deposit equal to Duty but must pay VAT as a deposit.

 

For example. A drone that uses a GoPro camera attached valued at 1,000.00
1,000.00 less $100.00 allowable is valued at 900.00.
Deposit equal to 45% duty is 405.00
VAT of 67.50 based on value is on top of that!

 

Note: UAV operators must not fly within five nautical miles of any airport; at a height above 200 feet; or within 150 metres of any congested or populated area; over or within 150 meters of an organized open-air assembly of more than 100 persons; within 50 metres of any vessel, vehicle or structure which is not under the control of the person in charge of the aerial vehicle, without special permission of the owner; or within 50 metres of any person.

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.

Individuals The deposit is $750 with the balance due 60 days prior to departure.

CANCELLATION POLICY*
Individuals:
1) More than 9 months prior to departure there is a full refund.

2) More than 90 days prior to departure, a full refund less $250.00.

3) 90-61 days prior to departure, the deposit is forfeited.

4) Less than 60 days, no refund.

Groups:

1) More than 9 months prior to departure there is a full refund.

2) More than 60 days prior to departure, the deposit is forfeited.

3) Less than 60 days, no refund.

* If the trip departs full, we will refund all deposits and payments.

Policy for trip interruption due to a named storm. We offer a future credit for any days missed due to a named storm. We know many people have busy schedules so we don’t place a time limit on the use of this credit.

INSURANCE

It is recommended that all divers have diving accident and travel protection.

Diveassure: For annual combination trip and dive accident insurance.

Divers Alert Network: For annual combination trip and dive accident insurance.

Travelex: For trip insurance for a single trip.

VACCINATION REQUIREMENTS: Most visitors to The Bahamas do not need special vaccinations before entering the country. However, travelers over age one must provide a YELLOW FEVER VACCINATION CERTIFICATE, if they are coming from countries with the risk of infection such as Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Venezuela. They must be vaccinated 10 days before entering The Bahamas. Information can be found on the following sites:

For flight planning, boarding is at 6 pm on Saturday. We offer a welcome briefing, dinner and an important safety briefing immediately afterwards. It is important that you are there for this informative meeting! Please plan your flights accordingly.

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 require that you disembark Saturday by 9:00 AM. You may leave your bags at the boat if you have a late afternoon flight.

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 across to the median 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.

We have a list of hotels that we can recommend. Let us know what you want to do and see while you are there and we’ll do our best to steer you in the right direction. Click the link for HOTELS in NASSAU or check out the page under the DETAILS tab.