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 sheet 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.
How should we pack for my sailing vacation?
When packing, keep in mind that storage space is limited. Soft-sided luggage is required as all luggage will need to be stored in your cabin along with your personal items. Casual and breezy beach attire is certainly the order of the day on deck. Please avoid packing small appliances such as hairdryers and irons as these items will not be necessary. For evening attire slacks or a sundress is appropriate for the nights ashore. Shorts and t-shirts are also fine for dining ashore. While aboard the yacht, no shoes are worn. You will want to have a pair of shoes/flip flops for the night ashore. You may also find aquatic shoes convenient for beachcombing. Be certain to bring along plenty of protection from the sun. Suntan lotion is highly recommended as well as wide-brimmed hats or sailing caps, and loose-fitting cotton cover-ups. A windbreaker jacket is nice to have for cool evenings during certain times of the year and something that is water resistant is also recommended. All bath and beach towels are provided. For more details on how to pack for your sailing vacation, visit our recommended packing list.
Can I fish in the British Virgin Islands?
Fishing equipment is not provided on the yacht, but can be arranged in advance. Every person over the age of 16 that chooses 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 and they can assist and arrange delivery of any gear to Hodge’s Creek Marina. For more information, visit http://www.bviwatertoys.com/
Will I be able to order special diet menus or request favorite beverages?
Once your charter is confirmed, the preference sheet 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.
Which meals are not included?
Caribbean Destinations: The meal plan on the yacht includes 5 dinners, 6 lunches and 7 breakfasts. 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.
Greek Isles: Because sightseeing and dining at the many unique island restaurants is part of our Greek island charter experience, we have arranged the provisioning accordingly. The meal plan on the yacht include 1 dinner, 6 lunches, 7 breakfasts and snacks. The dinners ashore are on your own. Be certain to plan for these meals.
What activities are included in the sailing vacation and which have an additional fee?
All of the equipment for the aboard activities are provided on the yacht such as sea kayaks, snorkeling fins/masks and swim floats. Your preference sheet will ask for details specific to your needs.
If you are interested in diving while on charter, 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 (rate 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 yachts have all the basic necessities. This includes: bath towels, linens and basic toiletries. It is recommended that you bring your own personal toiletries such as toothpaste, creams and shampoo. Please note that we request that you do not bring spray sunscreen as it creates a slippery deck surface as well as stains. Please bring lotion sunscreen only. 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.
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. The base number is 284-494-6661. Additional numbers are 284-541-0287 or 284-541-3801. In some locations throughout each of our destinations, there will be internet access however it is not a consistent amenity.
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 $500/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 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. Please note for Greece charters, the island tax office and port authorities require a passport number on file prior to departure date.
What if the weather forecast prohibits me from my charter?
A myriad of weather factors is carefully considered before we ask yachts to return to the base and this could happen at any time, should the base decide it to be necessary. We do take precautionary measures so we can insure the safety of all our guests. During severe weather, guests are not allowed to remain on board, however, when on charter, the crew carefully monitors the weather and stays in contact with the base at all times. 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. b