Will I be on the catamaran with people I don't know?
When you book a cabin on one of our vessels, we ask that you complete a preference form. Our preference form helps to outline the types of activities that you like to participate in and the type of experience you are looking for on your vacation. We use this information to combine like guests when possible. Our crew are all very in tune with ensuring each individual guest personality meshes while on the board. They strive to do their very best to make certain the needs of every guest are met.
Will I get sea sick?
The majority of our sails will be short distances (30-45 minutes) from point to point, in very well protected waters. The longest sail you will complete is 2-3 hours depending on the winds. We never sail at night and plan our itineraries to be at ideal anchorages well before dark. Because the catamaran has two hulls, the experience is very comfortable with very little motion in the evenings other than a gentle rocking. If you do have tendencies for getting seasick, our crew can help you with some fool proof remedies they've learned through the years. There are also over the counter medications available that you can bring to help with any motion sickness.
How much physical activity is involved in a crewed sailing vacation?
Our trips can be best described as light adventure and suited best for those in good physical condition. Because we anchor at night and rarely pull up to docks other than at our base locations, boarding and disembarking the boat is primarily done via dinghy. There is some physical activity and dexterity required in doing this. For a substantial portion of the time, our guests are swimming and climbing in and out of the water from the catamarans swim ladder. The dinghy is used to take guests into shore at the various stops.
How should I plan my flight arrangements?
Please plan your flight arrangements according to your charter’s departure date. You will board the yacht at 5:00PM the first night of your charter and depending on guest arrival times, often we will not sail until the morning following your arrival. You disembark the yacht at 9:00AM on the last day of your charter.
What travel documents do I need?
All U.S. citizens must have a valid passport. Other citizens should check entry requirements with their home country's consulate.
How should we pack for my sailing vacation?
When packing, keep in mind that storage space aboard is limited. Soft-sided luggage is strongly recommended, as all luggage will need to be stored in your cabin along with your personal items. There are standard electrical outlets on board for your electronics and C-Pap machines. We request that you avoid bringing hair dryers, flat irons and curling irons as you find you won't use it often. Should you feel it is a necessity - please bring one with low wattage. All bath and beach towels are provided. If you are planning on diving, you will also want to make sure that you bring your certification card. Please do not forget your passports! They are a requirement for entering the British Virgin Islands. The items on the following list are packing suggestions for your trip.
- Soft-sided luggage
- Sunscreen. Please bring lotion, spray sunscreen can make the boat deck slippery.
- Sundresses/shorts/t-shirts for dinners ashore, a windbreaker for cooler evenings
- Waterproof bag
- Any personal medications
- Personal toiletries. Be sure to adhere to airport rules and regulations regarding allowed liquids in carry-on luggage!
- Wash cloths or loofas (Bath and beach towels are provided onboard.)
- Wide-brimmed hats or sailing caps
- Sandals or flip-flops for ashore (shoes are not worn on board).
- It's also recommended to have your arrival letter on hand. You should receive this letter approximately 2 - 3 weeks prior to your departure date. This letter contains addresses as well as emergency contact phone numbers to our base. If you would like to go ahead and download a copy today, click here.
Can I fish in the British Virgin Islands?
Fishing equipment is not provided on the yacht but can be arranged in advance. Every individual over the age of 16 who would like to fish from the yacht is required to have a permit in the British Virgin Islands. You may purchase the necessary permit through Island Surf & Sail. Once you have purchased your permit, they can assist and arrange delivery of any gear to Hodge’s Creek Marina. For more information, visit www.bviwatertoys.com.
Will I be able to order special diet menus or request favorite beverages?
Once your charter is confirmed, we ask that you fill out a preference form. The preference form will ask for specific details relating to your meals and beverages during your charter. Each charter comes with a standard stocked bar featuring liquors, soft drinks, wine and beers.
The menu featured is set in advance with a wide variety of meals. We do ask that you notify us of any allergies or special dietary requirements which can be accommodated by our crew. A sample menu can be reviewed here.
Which meals are not included?
The meal plan includes 5 dinners, 6 lunches and 7 breakfasts. On the night of arrival, you will also enjoy a welcome reception with heavy hors d'oeuvres. There are two dinners throughout the week when dining is ashore, on your own or as a group. Be certain to plan for these meals.
What activities are included in the sailing vacation and which have an additional fee?
All equipment for the onboard sport activities is provided on the yacht. You can expect items such as a sea kayak, stand up paddle board, snorkeling fins/masks and swim floats.
If you are interested in diving while aboard, we can arrange for a local dive company to meet the boat while on charter. The fee would be paid directly to the diving company, at the rate of approximately $90-$120 per dive for certified divers. Rates and conditions to be confirmed at the time of diving. You will need to have your valid certification card with you to present to the dive operator.
What is included onboard the yacht?
Just as you would expect in a fine resort hotel, our luxury catamarans have all the basic necessities. This includes: bath towels, beach towels and linens and basic toiletries. It is recommended that you bring your own personal toiletries such as toothpaste and shampoo. Please note that we request that you do not bring spray sunscreen as it creates a slippery deck surface and can cause stains. Please bring lotion sunscreen only.
What is the cancellation policy?
For those who choose not to purchase CSA Travel Protection, our payment and cancellation policy for all reservations are as follows:
A 50% deposit is required for reservations outside of 90 days of departure.
Balance of charter amount is due 60 days prior to departure.
A 100% deposit is required for reservations made inside 90 days of departure.
Cancellations within 24 hours of the time the reservation is made there is no penalty.
Cancellations up to and including 90 days of departure will pay a $300 cancellation fee/ cabin.
Cancellations 89 days up to and including 60 days of departure date will forfeit 50% of charter price.
Cancellations inside 60 days of departure date will forfeit the entire charter amount
Will I be able to make and receive telephone calls or have internet access?
There will be internet access during the majority of your week aboard, however it is not a consistent amenity. Most carriers offer a temporary International plan that is available once you enter the BVI itinerary. You will likely be able to receive calls from home, but please leave the base phone number, 1-284-544-6661, in case of emergencies. We will be certain to reach you in case of an emergency. WiFi is available at an additional cost of $140 per yacht per week.
How much should we tip our crew?
It is customary to tip the captain and chef at the end of the charter. Suggested gratuity is $800 - $1000 per cabin for the crew combined. Crews can accept gratuities in cash or via credit card. For more on tipping, see our blog post here.
What if the weather forecast prohibits me from my charter?
A myriad of weather factors are carefully considered before we ask yachts to return to the base. This could happen at any time, should the base deem it necessary. We do take precautionary measures to ensure the safety of all our guests. During severe weather, guests are not allowed to remain on board. When on charter the crew carefully monitors the weather and always stays in contact with the base. In the unlikely event that extreme weather conditions occur, Festiva Sailing Vacations will make the decision to recall yachts to the base or delay charter starts. Guests who have purchased a Trip Insurance Protection plan through CSA Travel Protection are eligible for trip delay reimbursement based on the plan.
Is Travel Protection Insurance Available?
Yes! Festiva Sailing Vacations offers superior coverage through a partnership with CSA Travel Protection. CSA offers 24-hour emergency assistance services, concierge services and on demand medical care. CSA offers exception customer service to their clients.
Please visit our Travel Insurance page here for more information.