Sailing Experience

Will I be on the catamaran with people I don't know?

When you book a stateroom on one of our vessels, we ask that you complete a preference form prior to sailing with us. Your preference form will outline the types of activities that you like to participate in and the type of experience you are wanting from your trip. We use this information to combine like guests when at all possible. Our crew are all very in tune with ensuring that individual personalities mesh while onboard and will do their very best to make certain each guests needs are met.

Will I get sea sick?

Each of our sailing destinations varies in terms of the types of waters in which you will be sailing. The longest sail that we would do during any one day would be 3-4 hours. This longer length of sailing is only in certain destinations. The majority of our sails will be short distances (30-45 minutes) from point to point, in very well protected waters. 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 sea sick, 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?

Based on your charter destination, please plan your flight arrangements according to your charters departure date. For specific details, visit the corresponding destination section on our website and click on arrival information. You will board the yacht at 5 pm 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 am on the last day of your charter. View more on arrival details for each destination below.

British Virgin Islands Itinerary

When traveling to the British Virgin Islands, you may choose to fly into St. Thomas, USVI or Beef Island, Tortola.

For those that fly into St. Thomas (STT), you will need to take a 10-minute taxi ride to the Blyden Ferry Terminal located in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas. Once there, you'll take a 50-minute ferry ride to Road Town, Tortola. The last ferry leaving from St. Thomas to Tortola is at 4:00 p.m. Please plan your flight accordingly. 

For those that prefer to see the BVIs by air and fly into Tortola directly, you may choose to fly into Terrence B. Lettsome International Airport (EIS) via San Juan, Puerto Rico (SJU). From San Juan, you will take a short flight to the Islands. To view carriers that fly in to SJU airport, click here.

Once you’ve arrived in the British Virgin Islands, you’ll need to taxi to the marina. We recommend looking for Sebastians Taxi Transport (drivers wear bright orange shirts) to transfer you to our base in Hodges Creek Marina. The ride is approximately $10 per person. Hodges Creek Marina is located in East End, Tortola.


Greece Itinerary

International flights should be booked into Athens International Airport Greece which offer service by British Airways, American, Delta and Olympic. The airport is located 1 hour from downtown Athens. On the day of your charter, your transfer to the marina will be at 14:30. Please be ready at the reception 10 minutes prior to your departure. Payments for additional services/extra accommodation/transfers etc. can be paid at the base in Lavrio by credit card or cash.

Upon your arrival in Greece, you have one transfer included (from the hotel to the marina at the start of your trip). If you require additional transfers (airport to hotel), it must be prebooked at an extra cost. We require the following information: time of arrival, flight number, names and number of passengers.

What should I pack?

When packing, keep in mind that storage space is limited. The items on the following list are packing suggestions for your trip. 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. 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 all of our sailing destinations to enter the Islands.

1. Soft-sided luggage

2. Swimsuits

3. Sunscreen-please bring lotion. Spray sunscreen can make the boat deck slippery.

4. Sundresses/shorts/t-shirts for dinners ashore

5. Water proof bag

6. Any personal medications

7. Personal toiletries-be sure to adhere to airport rules and regulations regarding allowed liquids in carry-on luggage.

8. Wash cloths or loofas (bath and beach towels are provided onboard)

9. Wide-brimmed hats or sailing caps

10. Sandals or flip-flops for ashore

11. Sunglasses

12. 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 those today, click on your sailing itinerary below. 

The British Virgin Islands

Plus, check out our Pinterest page for neat and inventive ideas and ways to pack a bag efficiently!

Pintrest Bubble

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 for more information.

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CSA Travel Protection

Protect your vacation investments with a single plan

No matter where you take your well-deserved vacation, the last thing you want to do is think about something going wrong on your trip. Still, sometimes the unfortunate happens – flights are delayed, people get sick or injured, baggage is lost or stolen and natural disasters can strike. Be sure to get travel protection so you can fully relax and enjoy yourself. CSA Travel Protection is dedicated to providing sound, valuable insurance coverage and assistance services to safeguard your vacation. Our Travel With Me plan is designed to protect your diverse traveling needs.

With CSA you get:

• Award-winning customer service
• 24/7 Emergency assistance hotline from anywhere in the world, plus concierge services to help schedule tee times, make dining reservations, get tickets to a show and more
• Efficient, in-house claims processing
• A company with more than 20 years’ experience that understands you

Trip Cancellation for Any Reason Coverage *Temporarily unavailable*

Available as an optional add-on coverage with the Travel With Me plan, this coverage can provide reimbursement of up to 75% of non-refundable trip cost if you cancel for any reason. Must be purchased within 24 hours of initial deposit. Other conditions apply, please see your Description of Coverage or Policy for details. This coverage is not available to residents of New York.

About CSA Travel Protection:

CSA Travel Protection, a Europ Assistance company, is dedicated to providing valuable travel insurance and emergency assistance services to protect travelers’ valuable travel arrangements and provide the peace of mind one deserves while traveling. CSA has developed a reputation for standing behind its customers and by offering products and services to meet their needs. Through excellent customer service, extensive experience and industry-leading innovation, CSA is with its clients every step of the way, whenever and wherever they are needed.

After we book, what's next?

Congratulations on your upcoming reservation!

We hope the excitement is setting in that you are going to be sailing to exotic destinations, pampered by experienced crew and relaxing in some of the most stunning locations. We want to take a moment to tell you what to expect next from us…

You will receive an E-confirmation within 24 hours of booking. An attached Charter Agreement as well as helpful link like information on your preference form and a trip protection program are included in the confirmation.

Charter Agreement

The next step in the reservation process is the completion of a charter agreement. We must receive your charter agreement within 10 business days of making your reservation. Forms can be submitted to Tammy Stone, our Director of Guest Experience, faxed to 828.348.2510 or can be mailed directly to the following address:

Festiva Sailing Vacations
One Vance Gap Rd
Asheville, NC 28805

Final Payments

Remaining balances are due no later than 60 days prior to sailing. A reminder will be emailed to the email address on file when this payment is due. You may also contact us at 1-866-575-3951 ext. 2 to make a payment.

Preference Forms

We pride ourselves on accommodating your dietary needs and preferences so that you are comfortable while onboard. The preference form assists the crew in preparing for your charter and gives a snapshot of your interests prior to arrival. Please complete this form at least 30 days prior to your sailing date.

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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 order a special diet menu or request favorite beverages?

Once your charter is confirmed and prior to your trip with us, we ask that you fill out your preference form. Your 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 that can be provisioned in that specific location.

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.

Will I be able to make and receive telephone calls or have internet access?

Each of our crew is equipped with limited cellular phone service. You can give your family the base telephone number to leave at home in case of emergencies. The base manager will pass on any information to you. In some locations throughout each of our destinations, there will be internet access however it is not a consistent amenity. WiFi is available at an additional cost of $140 per yacht per week on our British Virgin Islands charters.

How much should we tip our crew?

Although tipping is standard in the charter industry, we sometimes find that guests, especially those sailing for the first time, approach to tipping is occasionally misunderstood. It is customary to tip the captain and crew at the end of the charter. The amount of tip runs in line with the way you would tip at a restaurant. Tipping is percentage based and can be determined on the total amount paid for your charter. Customary tip in the crewed yachting industry ranges from 15-20% of your charter’s retail rates. For example: if you are sailing with us during our high season with a retail rate of $5,095, 15-20% gratuity would be $750 - $1,000.Crews can accept gratuities in cash or via credit card. For more on tipping, see our blog post here.