This morning found National Geographic Sea Lion on approach to the northern Exuma Cays. Today is the first of two days that we will spend in this amazing part of the Bahamas. Established in 1959, these islands are part of the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park. This park is a protected area that prohibits fishing and the collection of any naturally occurring flora or fauna. The marine ecosystems here are relatively unspoiled by human activity, and the Bahamas National Trust is responsible for funding the protection of this area.

Our first excursion took us to a location that is aptly named the Aquarium. The snorkeling is stunning here with seemingly endless visibility and an abundance of diversity. We saw many fish and coral species that we hadn’t yet seen on our voyage through the Bahamas.

After leaving the Aquarium, we traveled south and anchored near Cambridge Cay and Rocky Dundas Island. On Cambridge Cay, guests enjoyed yet another picturesque beach with swimming, kayaking, and standup paddleboarding. The crystal-clear water and bright blue sky made for a relaxing and enjoyable beach experience. To wrap up our afternoon, guests had the option to snorkel in a grotto style cave lies below Rocky Dundas Island. Entering the water on Zodiac, these intrepid explorers snorkeled below a rock ledge where they found a natural amphitheater with a skylight above. Stalagmites and stalactites sprouted from the limestone walls and ceiling, creating a unique feeling when combined with echoing waves and whoops of joy.

Traveling back to the ship at sunset, there was a special feeling in the warm salt air as we wrapped up another fantastic day in the Bahamas.