Common Travel Questions
- Do participants need a passport (or visa)?
Yes, you will need a passport that will be valid during the dates of your program for all travel to the British Virgin Islands, Leeward & Windward Islands.
Visitors from some countries may also require a visa for entry. For more information and links to relevant immigration websites, visit our Travel Info page.
- How are flight arrangements made?
We strongly encourage you to contact our travel agent, Eileen Rothschild, who has worked with us for more than ten years. She is very knowledgeable about travel to the Caribbean, connecting time allowances, and can generally secure discounted fares. Soon after you enroll with Sail Caribbean, Eileen will send you a proposed itinerary for your travel to the Caribbean. You can contact Eileen at 863-299-8967 or email her at Eileen_rothschild@yahoo.com.
Or, if you choose to make your own travel arrangements, we ask that you contact our NY office at 800-321-0994 prior to making the final reservation to ensure your son or daughter's arrival and departure times are correct. And after you confirm your itinerary, you will need to send us a copy, indicating the record locator code and whether it is an e-ticket or paper ticket. It is important that we have your travel information so we can monitor your flights, meet you at your destination, and ensure you make your scheduled departure. Here are guidelines for travel to the BVI.
We highly recommend you purchase trip cancellation/interruption insurance that covers both the cost of tuition and travel expenses, according to your specific needs. See our Trip Insurance page for more details.
- What are the arrival and departure airports for the programs?
For all of the Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Foxtrot, Tango, Sierra and Echo programs, students will arrive and depart from St. Thomas airport, St. Thomas, and then connect to Tortola via convenient ferry services. The airport code for St. Thomas is STT. Alternatively, you may fly into Beef Island Airport, Tortola. That airport code is EIS.
On our Delta programs, students arrive and depart from Sint Maarten. The airport code is SXM.
- Will there be a Sail Caribbean staff member at the airport?
Since students are departing from all over the United States and the world, it isn't feasible for us to be in every departure airport. We meet everyone at their final destinations and take them to the base for orientation.
For flights to and from our BVI programs (Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Foxtrot, Tango & Echo programs), we recommend students fly to and from St. Thomas airport (STT). We have found flying into St. Thomas and then taking a ferry over to Tortola is often less expensive than flying to Tortola through Puerto Rico. There are also several direct flights to St. Thomas from several airports in the U.S. each day. Our staff will meet you at the airport and coordinate your connection to Tortola via ferry service. If you do choose to fly to Tortola (EIS) connecting through San Juan, Puerto Rico, we will meet you on arrival at Tortola.
We also have staff members at the airport in St Martin on Delta program travel days.
- Does a Sail Caribbean staff member meet us upon arrival?
Yes, we meet all students at their final destination and provide transportation to our base.
For BVI programs, we meet you at the St. Thomas airport and assist you in making your connection to Tortola via ferry, where we will then bring you to our base. On Delta program travel days, we have staff in the St. Martin Airport to meet our students.
- Are cell phones permitted?
Cell phones can be used while in transit to and from the Caribbean, but we collect them once students arrive at their destination. Cell phones would detract from the purpose of our programs.
During the program, there are opportunities for students to call home every 3-4 days.
Parents can reach their son/daughter with messages through our base office on Tortola at 284-495-1675, and in case of an emergency, each fleet carries a cell phone. Additionally, Mike Liese is in daily contact with all our programs and can be reached during the summer 24-hours a day on his cell phone at 284-499-1759.
- How will parents know that their teen has arrived at his/her destination safely?
Students have the opportunity to call home when they arrive at their final destination and have settled in at our base. We encourage parents to discuss this with their teen to be sure that both parties are clear on whether or not a call is expected upon arrival. There will also be opportunities for students to call home as we travel from port to port.
- Is travel insurance necessary?
We highly recommend you purchase travel insurance, which will reimburse you for non-refundable costs should you have to cancel or interrupt your trip and reimburse you for any medical expenses incurred during your trip. We offer a thorough and inexpensive plan for US citizens or residents. A similar plan is available for international students through Seven Corners. For more information, visit our Trip Insurance page.