Course cost is $2,988 per person per week.
What is included?
Everything really. Instruction, food on board, accommodation on board, certification, even tips. It’s easier to ask what isn’t included.
Well yes, there’s no foot-tapping on a 20% loading at Sailing Virgins. However although there’s no expectation, if you feel like giving something to thank your instructor, it will always be greatly appreciated!
OK, so what isn’t included?
When we dine out each person pays for themselves. That’s about it.
How long are the courses?
Seven days. They start on a Sunday morning and finish the following Saturday midday.
When are the courses?
Generally speaking it goes like this:
The Bareboat Skipper courses begin on the first and third Sundays each month
The Awesome Crew course begins on the second Sunday each month
The Advanced Coastal Cruising course begins on the fourth Sunday each month
Here is a calendar of courses.
When do they start?
Courses start at 9.30am on Sunday morning.
When do they finish?
Courses finish at midday on Saturday.
If I have to go early is that OK?
Yes, we can be flexible for flights leaving earlier than midday Saturday.
When should I fly in?
If you arrive on the Saturday you will be fine. You can arrive on the Sunday of the course if you must, but you may miss out on the briefings at the beginning.
When should I fly out?
You can fly out anytime after your course finishes (midday Saturday). If you’re flying out from St Thomas, the least stressful option is to choose a flight on the next day (Sunday).
What’s the boat like?
The Sailing Virgins boats are awesome. We love sailing and believe the machine has a lot do with it. Our main training yacht is Libertas. Read more on her here.
Who are the other people on the boat?
Our typical instructor to student ratio is 1:4. People who choose Sailing Virgins are overwhelmingly like you: adventurous, intelligent, in their 20s-40s, out to meet new people. So rest assured you’re going to meet some cool new friends.
Where do I sleep at night?
On the boat. Our training boats have 3 or 4 double cabins, and 1 or 2 singles.
Where do I go to start the course?
In the BVI you will go to the Fish N Lime Inn, which is a five minute walk from the ferry terminal (ask anyone there and they will point you in the right direction).
In Martinique you will go to Marina du Marin, in the south of the island.
How do I get there?
In the BVI you can fly to St Thomas (STT) and take a ferry to West End. You can also fly to Tortola (EIS) but the frequency and cost of flights to STT makes it the better option.
In Martinique you will likely fly through San Juan (SJU) or Paris (CDG) and take a taxi to Marina du Marin.
What’s it like living on the boat?
It’s great! It’s adventurous. Nevertheless space is always a precious commodity on a boat.
What should I bring?
Generally speaking, less is more. Just a couple of t-shirts, shorts, flip-flops, underwear, swimwear.
Will I get seasick?
If you do have a tendency for motion sickness, there are good pharmaceuticals, wrist bands and ear patches you can look at to deal with this. Lord Nelson suffered seasickness. Don’t lose heart.
Do I need to bring any sailing equipment?
You can if you like but we supply everything required for the course.
Is there an exam at the end?
For the ASA courses, yes. For the NauticEd courses you do the exams in your own time.
Do I have to do the full week?
Pretty much. We are flexible on the odd day here and there, but the course is intense so you will be missing out if you can’t do more than one day.
Do you have short courses?
Not unless they are private courses.
What if I’ve never sailed before?
No problem, do the Awesome Crew course to begin with.
What if I have done some sailing before?
Look at the Bareboat Skipper course.
How should I prepare for the course?
Pre-reading of about 20-30 hours is a fantastic way to prepare. If you don’t have the time, don’t stress. But if you can make the time, do it, you’ll be happy you did.
Who is my instructor?
One of the people in the Your Instructors section of the website. All have worked with James for several seasons. All are awesome. 🙂
What about tipping?
There is no requirement for tipping at Sailing Virgins. If you really like your instructor, 5% of course fee would be a lovely gesture.
What is the currency in the BVI?
Is there cell coverage everywhere?
Do we really get professional photos per course?
Yes you do!
Like, the ones we can put in Tinder?
If that’s your jam, yes.
Do I need global roaming?
If you’d like internet. You may wish to have a week off the drug though, just suggesting…
What is the power in the BVI?
US plugs, 110 volts. Basically it’s the same as the US.
Is there power on the boat?
Yes, in a limited wattage (ie. laptops, phones, no problem, but power hungry devices such as hairdryers don’t work on the boat)
When is the best time of the year to go?
It’s great in the BVI for about nine months of the year, between November and June.
Can I talk to any past students?
Sure, ask us and we’ll put you in touch.
Is drinking allowed on the boat?
We’re sailors. What do you think.
Do I need trip insurance?
Yes it is a requirement. Here is a link to World Nomads if you’re looking for a decent firm.
Do you ever sail at night?
For the Island Adventure and the Advanced Coastal Cruising, yes. For other courses, no.
When are the hurricanes?
They generally happen during the summer months (July – October).
Are hurricanes a problem?
No; we have sufficient warning and everyone has trip insurance which covers cancellation due to named storms.
Do I need any vaccines?
Generally no but make sure your tetanus is up to date.
Is there a bathroom on the boat?
Yes there is, in a boat fashion (read: small). However during the day there will always be a time to use the toilets on shore.
Can I bring my hairdryer?
Where will I shower?
You can shower on board. Boats have a shower off the back and one in the heads (aka toilet).
Do we go to a new place every day?
Yes, most days we use to explore different bays.
Who will I sleep with?
Normally we are pretty relaxed, in true sailing style, but if you’d prefer your own cabin, that’s not a problem, just let us know.
Are there cash machines on the islands?
Not really. Better to bring cash. Most restaurants/bars take Mastercard & Visa.
How safe is the BVI?
Very safe, particularly compared to other Caribbean islands
How safe is Martinique?
Martinique is another of the safer islands, which is why we like it so much.
What language is spoken in the BVI?
What language is spoken in Martinique?
What happens if I get injured?
We are always close to land plus the areas we sail have rescue organisations such as VISAR in the BVI and its equivalent (COSMA).
Can I bring music?
Absolutely. Just no EDM before 5pm. Them’s the rules.
Do you party during the week?
If there is a chance to, yes.
Will I find the love of my life on the course?
Yes you will.
What if I fall overboard?
We will go through the Man OverBoard (MOB) procedures so you know what happens during an MOB situation. While this is a potentially serious incident, we have never had an unintentional MOB happen on any of our courses.
Is it a problem if I can’t swim?
No there is no problem, just be open about it and let people know so they can keep an eye on you.
Why are you the most highly rated sailing school in the Caribbean?
Shucks, we don’t know, maybe just luck. Hashtag humblebrag