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 charter preference form which outlines the types of activities that you like to participate in and the type of experience you would most like your trip to be. 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 on the boat 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 and this is only in certain sailing destinations. The majority of the time we are sailing 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 large 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, plan your flight arrangements according to your charters departure date. For specific details visit the corresponding destination section of this site and click on arrival information. You will board the yacht at 5pm 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 9am on the last day of your charter.

What should I pack?

When packing, keep in mind that storage space is limited. Please keep in mind many of the items on the following list are suggestions. There are standard electrical outlets on board for your chargers, laptops, e-readers, and music players.  There are also connections for you music players.  We suggest bringing a standard 1/8 in. audio cable as well to connect your player.  We request that you avoid bringing items such as hair dryers or irons as they will not be needed.  If you are planning on diving, you will also want to make sure that you bring your certification card.  Don’t forget those passports!


2. Soft-sided luggage

3. Swimsuits

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

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

6. Water proof bag

7. Any personal medications

8. Personal toiletries-keep in mind airport rules and regulations as far as carry on luggage and liquids. We strongly suggest if you bring a hair dryer, bring a low wattage dryer (ie. travel size). Curling and flat irons are not allowed onboard.

9. Wash cloths or loofas-bath and beach towels are provided on boat

10. Wide-brimmed hats or sailing caps (optional)

11. Sandals or flip-flops for ashore

12. Sunglasses

13. 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
St. John

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 as well as exceptional customer service.

Please visit our Travel Insurance page for more information.

Get a Quote Bubble


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 really 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:

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!

As the excitement sets in that you are going to be sailing to exotic destinations, pampered by experienced crew and relaxing in the most sought out places. We wanted to tell you what to expect next from us…

Upon receiving a confirmation email from our reservations manager, you will see a link to a charter agreement, preference form and a trip protection program.

Charter Agreement

The next step in the reservation process is the completion of a charter agreement. We must receive your charter agreement 10 business days after reservation. Submission can be done via scan/emailed to Tammy Stone, our Reservations Manager, faxed at 828.254.2285 or can be mailed directly to the following address:

Festiva Sailing Vacations
One Vance Gap Rd
Asheville, NC 28805

*For more specific details, please ask our charter reservationist for a copy of our charter agreement.

Preference Forms

It is important to us that your experience is the best it can be. We pride ourselves on accommodating your needs, specifically your dietary requirements. The preference form will help us prepare your charter will everything that you need to have a wonderful experience. Please keep in mind that your preference form must be received 30 days prior to your departure date.

Preference Bubble

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 special diet menus or request favorite beverages?

Once your charter is confirmed, 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 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 on our British Virigin Islands charters. If you would like to add WiFi, additional information can be found here.

How much should we tip our crew?

Although standard in the charter industry, we sometimes find that guests, especially first-time guests, 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 with the percentage based on the total amount paid for your charter, or in the case of Cruise Club members or RCI exchangers, the tip should be based on the normal retail charter rate. On average you can expect to tip $600/cabin (good service) - $1,000/cabin (superior service) which would be split between the captain and chef. Crews can accept gratuities in cash or via credit card.

What is your COVID-19 cancellation policy?

As of 9.25.20

As news regarding COVID-19 continually changes within the travel industry, we are closely monitoring updates to ensure the health and safety of our guests, crew and staff. Your vacations are important to us and we want you to know we understand the uncertainty this situation can bring when it comes to traveling. Our current cancellation policy for COVID-19 is below:

  • We are currently assessing upcoming charters taking place within a thirty-day window to ensure we have the most up-to-date requirements for entry into the Islands. If a guest chooses to cancel outside of our thirty-day assessment window, our standard cancellation policy will be in effect. View our standard cancellation policy below.
  • If your travel date is outside of our thirty-day window, please be patient as we work hard to communicate efficiently with our upcoming guests.  
  • If travel to one of our charter destinations is restricted, guests can reschedule their charter for a future date.
  • If no travel restrictions are in place, we will operate our charters as planned. For those still wishing to cancel, our standard cancellation policy will be in effect under these circumstances. View our standard cancellation policy below.

We understand that these circumstances create a unique situation for all our guests. Please be on the lookout for emails, Facebook posts and website updates from us as news changes.  If you have any questions, please reach out to us at