How We are Handling Pandemic Protocols

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.). Effective August 6, 2021, all students of any age that qualify in their home State to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, must be fully-vaccinated against COVID-19 at least 14 days before their course start date. All of our resort destination partners in Florida and the BVI are open and all of our courses and events are running safely. 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). While we cannot demand that you purchase Travel Insurance, we strongly recommend that you do, and some destinations where we operate require certain medical coverages within the Travel Insurance plan. Travel requirements throughout the World may change without notice, at any time.

Offshore Sailing School’s Cancellation, Transfer and Rescheduling Policies

If you choose to cancel your course or program for any reason, 121 days or more from your start date, a 15% cancellation fee on the total amount paid will be retained.

If you choose to reschedule your Course, you may do so one time, 121 days or more before your original Course start date. A 10% date transfer fee will be charged based on the total value of the package you booked, per person, and the monies you paid, less the date transfer fee, will be applied to your new course start date which must be confirmed at the time of transfer request.  If rates for new date requested are higher than the original package purchase, additional fees are due at the time the transfer is made. Any discount applied to the original course date will NOT be applied to newly-requested course date. The transfer must be to the same course as original booking, within 12 months of the original dates, on the same boat type in the same location. Date transfers are not allowed for requests received 120 days or less prior to the program start date. This rescheduling policy is subject to change.

Here are specific updates regarding our locations:

Florida

See first paragraph above regarding vaccination requirement if effect. All four of our partner resorts are open, with staffs following CDC Guidelines.  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.

For Florida courses and programs, find more information at Travel.state.gov: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/covid-19-information.html.

British Virgin Islands

The airport on Beef Island (EIS) and the Road Town Jetty (ferry service) are open for visitors. However, the most direct and seamless entry point remains flying directly to the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport (EIS – Tortola/Beef Island). Offshore Sailing School, our Moorings/Sunsail partners and Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina  are all open for business. WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND FLYING DIRECTLY TO/FROM BEEF ISLAND (EIS) AIRPORT ON TORTOLA. Offshore Sailing School will not be responsible for any travel delays, nor ever-changing COVID testing requirements in areas outside the United States. All test scheduling and related expense are the sole responsibility of the client. If our courses and flotillas are operational and resorts are open for visitors, testing and/or quarantine requirements to return to the U.S. (where the majority of our clients reside) are the responsibility of the client.  This is why we so strongly recommend Travel Insurance with “cancel for any reason” coverage. Travel Protocols in the BVI change frequently, and without much advance notice. Currently:

View this link from the CDC regarding air travel https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/testing-international-air-travelers.html 

Review Official Government Sites for most up-to-date, accurate information on travel protocols and requirements. 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 24 hours prior to boarding flight to U.S. from any international destination.

These sites above are maintained and updated by tourism and 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. They may change frequently, without notification.

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 students have used. 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. We’ve also included a link to a recent Forbes magazine article listing various Travel Insurance Providers you may consider. 

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, but you must purchase coverage within 21 days of confirming your trip start date. 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.

  • View Forbes magazine’s list of various Travel Insurance providers here for your consideration.

For sailing entertainment in the comfort of your own home, Steve and I 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, and please . . . stay well,

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