How We are Handling Pandemic Challenges

The well-being of our clients and our employees is our highest priority. Our staff  follows CDC and State/Government guidelines (masks, temperatures, washing hands and cleaning surfaces, etc.). The majority of our HQ and instructional staff have been fully-vaccinated. All of our resort destination partners in Florida are open, and Offshore Sailing School has been safely conducting on-water instruction at these locations since June 2020 without incident. Terms and Conditions signed with your course activity deposit or full payment outline our cancellation policies. We stand by our cancellation policies, no exceptions will be made. Please purchase Travel Insurance with “cancel for any reason” coverage for your protection (see below for some suggested companies). Offshore Sailing School has received the RESTART SWFL Seal of Confidence. Please view our safety pledge here.

Offshore Sailing School’s Transfer and Rescheduling Policy

If you choose to reschedule your Course, you may do so one time, up to 90 days before your original Course start date. A 10% date transfer fee will be charged based on the total value of the package you booked, and the monies you paid, less the date transfer fee, will be held as “money on account” to put toward your new course start date which must be confirmed at the time of transfer request.  This rescheduling policy is subject to change. Here are specific updates regarding our locations.

Florida

All four of our partner resorts are open. Our team and the staffs at the Hampton Inn & Suites in downtown St. Petersburg; The Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina on Ft. Myers Beach; South Seas Island Resort on Captiva Island; and the Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village are following all CDC guidelines, practicing social-distancing, wearing masks, and routinely sanitizing all high-touch areas. Our employees and customers are also asked to wear masks and take temperatures daily. If you are planning to fly to one of our locations, click on these airport links to find out what Regional Southwest International Airport (RSW – Fort Myers) and Tampa International Airport (TPA – Tampa) are doing to protect customers and employees.

British Virgin Islands

This small island nation reopened its border to air travelers on December 1, 2020. The Road Town Jetty reopened in April 2021. However, we strongly recommend flying directly to the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport (EIS – Tortola/Beef Island) as the easiest way to enter the Territory. Offshore Sailing School, our Moorings/Sunsail partners and Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina  are all open for business. We have adjusted our Course Schedules until further notice, to comply with the required BVI Government-issued Protocols (see links below). There are different quarantine requirements for fully-vaccinated travelers, versus non- or partially-vaccinated travelers. Therefore, until further notice, we will be asking for vaccination status as we cannot mix students in same course with different vaccination status. We require that fully-vaccinated students provide us with the date of vaccination. We continue to monitor changing requirements with our BVI resort and charter partners, and the Government. There are literally three different quarantine rules depending on one’s vaccination status.

  • All travelers are required to take a COVID-19 test at point of entry into the Territory.
  • For fully-vaccinated travelers, there is a one-day quarantine required until negative test results are received, then you are free to move about the Territory, wearing masks inside and social-distancing.
  • For partially-vaccinated travelers, there is a four-day quarantine required until negative test results are received, then you are free to move about the Territory, wearing masks inside and social-distancing.
  • For unvaccinated travelers, there is a seven-day quarantine required until negative test results are received, then you are free to move about the Territory, wearing masks inside and social-distancing.
  • For children age 7 to 17 with parents, they must follow parents’ quarantine AND children must get 2nd PCR test in Territory on day four
  • *Vaccinated travelers with partially- or unvaccinated members in their own party, must follow those respective protocols.

Fines for breaking protocols are to be expected, and can cost $100,000 per person, per offense and up to 10 years in prison!

Review Official Government Sites for most up-to-date, accurate information on travel protocols and requirements. The links below are the official sites for travel information from the U.S. State Department and the British Virgin Islands Government. The CDC in the U.S. has an Order in place requiring anyone entering the U.S., regardless of vaccination status or citizenship, to have a negative COVID-19 test result no more than 3 days prior to boarding flight to U.S. from any international destination.

For Florida courses and programs:

For BVI courses and BVI flotilla:

  • bvi.gov.vg: https://bvi.gov.vg/travel-protocols
  • Effective May 15, 2021, fully-vaccinated travelers will follow travel protocols and still get a COVID-19 test upon arrival in the Territory. If the result is negative (notified within 24-48 hours typically), the traveler will no longer be required to quarantine or get another COVID-19 test during their stay

For other 2021 Colgate Sailing Adventures® flotilla vacations:

These sites are maintained and updated by government officials and are the most accurate source of information we can recommend at this time. They are where we get our information and although we check as often as possible, we cannot interpret the content for you. Please take the time to review the advisories and rules that are posted.

WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND YOU PURCHASE TRAVEL INSURANCE WITH “CANCEL FOR ANY REASON” COVERAGE!

While matters related to COVID-19 remain fluid, here is the latest information from two travel insurance providers whom Offshore Sailing School has recommended to our students. During these uncertain times, certain destinations, such as the British Virgin Islands, require all incoming visitors to provide proof of insurance that would cover expenses related to contracting COVID-19 or having to quarantine due to exposure, by a physician’s order.

Note: There are no date changes nor refunds allowed for course cancellations or interruptions once you arrive for your course in the BVI or Florida. This is why we so strongly recommend that you obtain Travel Insurance for cancellations and trip interruption during these ever-changing times. Below are just two companies with whom Offshore Sailing School has worked.

  • Redpoint Travel Insurance: “If a traveler becomes ill with COVID-19 while on a covered trip, they could be covered for Medical Expense and Trip Interruption benefits through the Comprehensive Travel Insurance if there is a confirmed diagnosis, including proof of illness from a doctor. These coverages are subject to the terms and conditions of the insurance policy. Regarding transport, although limitation 1.4.4 within the Ripcord and Cavalry Member Services Agreement may apply, we encourage travelers to contact Redpoint’s Travel Services team at the first sign they are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19. Redpoint’s team will coordinate with the traveler to provide all services described by the Member Services Agreement, however, any assistance Redpoint provides will be subject to government regulations, quarantine mandates, or other restrictions specific to COVID-19. A medical transportation could only be performed once all applicable quarantine mandates are met. Hospitalization is required to trigger evacuation services through Ripcord and Cavalry. If a traveler does not meet the triggers, they could have coverage for additional transportation expenses through Trip Interruption benefits.”
    • View Redpoint Travel Insurance options here. To learn more and speak with a Redpoint representative, call 415-481-0610.

  • Travelex Insurance Service: “The Travelex Travel Select and Travel Basic plans cover Covid-19 as any other illness. So if a traveler contracts the illness after their policy is in effect, this is an eligible reason to cancel or interrupt their trip as long as it is certified by a physician. The Travel Basic plan has $15,000 for emergency medical expenses and the Travel Select plan has $50,000. If a traveler is quarantined certified by a physician this is also an eligible reason to cancel or interrupt their trip.”
    • View Travelex updated COVID-19 policy here. Please use Offshore Sailing School’s location code “09-0141 CF” if you choose a Travelex policy. To learn more and speak with a Travelex representative, call Travelex Customer Solutions at 800-228-9792.

We want you to know that all of us at Offshore Sailing School are here for you. We look forward to welcoming you to the joys of sailing and boating when the time is right.  In the meantime Steve and I have produced 70 short “home-made” video vignettes with Steve and sometimes me talking about our sailing experiences all over the world. These #DocksideChatswithSteve are on our Facebook page and YouTube channel. 

Come sail away with Offshore when you are ready, and please . . . stay well,

Doris Colgate
President and CEO
Offshore Sailing School, Ltd., Inc.