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Little San Salvador Island

2017 April 21
by Greg Long

There are a couple ways to see the Bahamas by boat. One is to sail from island to island, meeting locals, exploring amazing sites, with no particular time pressures other than those dictated by wind and whim.

The other way is to join with 2,500 of your best friends on a floating city, anchor alongside a private island owned by the cruise ship company and be ferried into a resort beach setting complete with beach bar, air conditioned straw market and beach umbrellas set up next to lounge chairs.

As we sailed past Little San Salvador island, owned by the Holland Cruise Lines, we had a chance to chat on the radio with one of the officers of the cruise ship hovering (too windy to anchor) just off the island. He was very friendly and informative about how their one stop in the Bahamas was conducted. Even told us about how they ferry in all the island staff from nearby Eleuthera each morning before the ship arrives at 8 am and then take them all home at 5 pm after the ship sails off for it’s next port of call. Each day they set up a one stop, faux Bahamian settlement! Amazing!

The officers life was actually more interesting. The ship is out of Holland, moved across to Port Everglades for a season, then was headed down to the Panama Canal to go through to the Pacific Northwest and then up to Alaska for their cruise season. Then from there back to the Med, down to the Bahamas/Florida and around and around they go. We had a very friendly bit of back and forth when I pushed him about living a pretty plush life and he responded with how he was actually doing it for work while we were sailing along from beach to beach enjoying ourselves with no schedule. Touch√©! At our speed of 7 kts, we had quite a bit of time to chat.¬†When two whalers would meet in mid-ocean they would pull alongside and “speak” each other. That was called a gam. No idea where the word came from, but I guess we had a gam with the cruise ship. Just 2 boats passing in the day!



You can see the cruise ship long before the island itself comes into view!


The thing is huge! And it has computer controlled stabilizers and thrusters allowing it to hover in one spot with very little rocking. All the comforts!


The little resort settlement put together for the cruise passengers to sample Bahamian life.

But if not…

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