Sail Caribbean: COVID-19 Information
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Sail Caribbean, COVID-19

Updated: 03/25/2021

Sail Caribbean is committed to ensuring the safest possible experience in Summer 2021, even as the COVID-19 pandemic persists. We are confident that a combination of pre-travel testing, on-arrival testing, onboard precautions, and quarantine and isolation protocols make Sail Caribbean among the safest options for teen travel this summer.

Sail Caribbean has the unique benefit of having a staff member as our Epidemiologist and Risk Management Consultant for our COVID risk-management plan. Sara Stone has served as Sail Caribbean Captain and Sailing Director and is our Wharton School Leadership Expedition Director, so she is very familiar with our unique programs. Sara now works as an independent consultant, focused on risk management and strategic decision-marking during health emergencies. She holds a Master of Science Degree in the Control of Infectious Diseases from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, worked as a Health Education Fellow at Harvard University, responded to the 2014-2015 Ebola Outbreak with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and served as an intern in the Division of Health Security and Emergencies for the World Health Organization (WHO).


Sail Caribbean’s COVID-19 Protocols for Summer 2021

Sail Caribbean’s COVID plan will adhere to guidelines set by the British Virgin Islands Government and be based on the technical protocol of the World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the American Camp Association (ACA). Our plan will evolve and gain details over the next few months, alongside new research, vaccinations, and travel regulations. We will continually update this page with any significant changes, as well as e-mail this information to families who are joining us. It is impossible to create a risk-free environment, but we are working hard to minimize risk across our programs.


All students and staff should plan for a 10-day pre-trip precautionary period. During this period, students and staff will be asked to adhere to the COVID-19 regulations in their local jurisdictions, refrain from activities with increased potential for exposure to COVID-19, and self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19.

Activities with increased potential for exposure include gathering with friends, eating in restaurants, participating in gym sports, etc. The goal of this precautionary period is to reduce the risk of a participant being exposed to COVID-19 and becoming infected themselves, and to reduce the chance of becoming a close contact of a positive case. Within 72 hours of departure, participants must receive and provide documentation of a negative PCR/NAAT test. If participants receive a positive test result or have close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID in this time period, they will not be permitted to travel and join their program, as per current guidelines.

Arrival in the BVI:
As of February 1, 2021, the BVI Government requires that all travelers take a COVID test upon arrival into the territory, and another test 4 days later. Anyone who tests positive upon arrival or during their program, will be immediately isolated in a hotel room and supervised and cared for by Sail Caribbean staff for the remainder of their program. We will have pre-arranged response protocol in coordination with local medical services to provide the best care possible. Parents will be welcomed to join their child in a nearby room, and consideration for travel back home will be determined by BVI and international travel rules. Parents will be responsible for the costs associated with BVI COVID-19 entry requirements, including mandatory testing and contact tracing (approximately $175).

Onboard the boats:
Each boat with staff and crew will form their own “pod,” being in close contact only with fellow crew members. Open hatch ventilation below and sleeping on deck will be prioritized. Mask wearing will be determined based on best practices as summer approaches. Staff will administer and record daily temperature and symptom checks. Any interactions and activities between boats will take place outside, with risk-mitigating practices such as social distancing and mask-wearing as determined.

Positive test procedure:
Anyone who tests positive upon arrival or on Day 4 will be immediately isolated in a hotel room and supervised and cared for by staff for the remainder of their required isolation. If staff or students develop symptoms of COVID-19 at any point during their program, they will be isolated and tested as soon as possible. In the event of a positive test result, Sail Caribbean will work closely with BVI officials and medical professionals to ensure appropriate documentation of the positive test result and subsequent isolation requirement to aid in insurance claims. Parents will be welcomed to join their child in a hotel, and consideration for travel back home will be determined by BVI and international travel rules. Crewmates will quarantine together in their ‘pod’ with increased symptom monitoring, as health guidelines require. While the crew is in quarantine, they will adhere to BVI restrictions while enjoying all program activities except for scuba diving. Parents will be responsible for all costs associated with isolation and quarantine requirements.


At this time, travelers may only enter the BVI by flying into Tortola (Beef Island International Airport). Seaports, including the ferry from St Thomas to Tortola, are scheduled to re-open on April 15, 2021, though this is subject to change.

Prior to booking flights, we recommend you check your airline’s rebooking terms and/or refund policy to ensure you feel comfortable should your plans or the program be changed. Most airlines have very flexible change fees and policies at this time! Sail Caribbean is not responsible for any fees associated with travel.

If you have any questions or would like to speak with someone on our team, please do not hesitate to reach out at 800-321-0994 or info@sailcaribbean.com.

Refund, Insurance and Cancellation Policies

The deadline for a full tuition refund is April 1, 2021. After that point tuition will not be refunded. In the unlikely event of the BVI issuing new tourist restrictions prohibiting running a program, or if Sail Caribbean cancels a program, we will fully refund tuition. In this case, we would notify you by email and with an update to our website. You would have the option to apply paid tuition to another trip in 2021, roll over your tuition to the summer of 2022, or receive a full tuition refund.

Trip insurance is a MUST for all 2021 programs! The BVI Government is requiring that any visitor must have travel medical insurance. We offer travel insurance through a travel protection plan from Trip Mate, which is available to US residents. This plan includes trip cancellation coverage, which reimburses non-refundable program expenses if you cancel your program due to a covered reason, such as sickness. Plans also include missed connection, trip interruption and travel delay coverages. COVID-19 is treated the same as any other sickness under the terms of the plan. Trip insurance through Trip Mate is only available prior to, or at the time of, full tuition payment. Coverage must be purchased for the entire tuition cost.

For further protection, families may add the Cancel for Any Reason Benefit (CFAR) to their plan at an additional cost. If you are eligible to add CFAR, this reimburses up to 75% of your non-refundable program expenses if you cancel your program until two days before your scheduled trip departure date for any reason not otherwise covered by the plan, including fear of contracting COVID-19 during the program. CFAR does not cover: 1) penalties associated with any air or other travel arrangements not provided by Sail Caribbean; or 2) the failure of Sail Caribbean to provide the bargained for travel arrangements due to cessation of operations for any reason. CFAR is not available to residents of New York. You can review the Trip Mate plan here. Click here for important disclaimers regarding the plan. For pricing and further information please contact us at 800-321-0994 or info@sailcaribbean.com.