British Virgin Islands

Junior Advanced Scuba with Marine Biology

If you are a junior certified diver and want to raise your certification level while learning about marine biology, the Barracuda Voyage is for you.

The Junior Advanced students receive a combination of both PADI scuba certifications and tropical marine biology instruction. Not only will you gain additional diving certifications at this scuba diving summer camp, you will explore fascinating marine life. Fish and sea creature identification, reef ecosystems and fish dissections are only part of this interactive learning adventure.

After refreshing your scuba skills, the real fun begins. Our PADI Staff Instructors take you and your dive buddy – one step at a time – toward your advanced certifications. Your first night dive may seem spooky, but any apprehension will disappear as you scope out the colorful nocturnal world. Seeing the diversity of marine life on dive sites like the wreck of the RMS Rhone, voted the best wreck dive in all of the Caribbean, will blow your mind!

  • Appropriate Age

    12 - 14

  • Student Groups

    Typically grouped aboard within +/- 12 months of age

  • Students & Staff

    12 students & 3 staff per vessel

  • Vessel Type & Fleet Size

    Typically Monohull / 6-8 vessels

  • Flotilla Grouping

    Barracuda shares a basic itinerary with Vega, Quest, Carina, Polaris & Aquarius

Session 1 Jun 15 - Jul 05
Days 21 Availability Open Tuition
$6,370 $6,070
Session 2 Jul 07 - Jul 27
Days 21 Availability Open Tuition
$6,370 $6,070
Session 3 Jul 29 - Aug 14
Days 17 Availability Open Tuition
$5,570 $5,270
Dates Days Availability Tuition
Session 1 Jun 15 - Jul 05 21 Open
$6,370 $6,070
Session 2 Jul 07 - Jul 27 21 Open
$6,370 $6,070
Session 3 Jul 29 - Aug 14 17 Open
$5,570 $5,270
Use code EE2019 & save $300 before Dec 31st (prices above reflect saving)
Share this adventure

Activities

Sailing
Scuba
Marine Biology
Watersports
Service
Island Exploration

The Adventure

It all starts here
AQ Sail Side Animated Map

Barracuda Overview

Below you will find all the specific details about our Barracuda marine biology summer camp, but there’s no better way to learn more than to watch for yourself!

Scuba diving summer camp for teens
Barracuda Activities

Advanced Scuba Diving (15-18 Dives)

PADI Advanced Open Water Certification

The PADI Advanced Open Water Diver Course is the next step up from Open Water, and will increase your knowledge and safety while diving in different aquatic environments. Two of the five areas are required topics; the Deep Diving and Underwater Navigation, and we add three more topics such as Night Diving, Wreck Diving, Boat Diving and Underwater Naturalist. Experience real adventure on our marine biology camp!

ActionQuest summer program for high school students
Barracuda Activities

Advanced Scuba Diving (Cont.)

PADI Project AWARE Specialty

Project AWARE’s philosophy is to mobilize a global force of scuba divers and water enthusiasts who care about protecting the world’s water resources and choose to make a difference – one dive at a time. By earning the Project AWARE Specialist certification, you’ll be aware of the most pressing problems facing vulnerable aquatic environments and know what everyday actions you can take to help protect them.

Scuba summer trip for teenagers
Barracuda Activities

Advanced Scuba Diving (Cont.)

PADI Boat Diver Specialty

Much of the world’s best scuba diving is accessible only by boat. Whether you’ve never made a boat dive or you’ve logged dozens, the PADI Boat Diver Specialty course will benefit you because boats in various parts of the world do things differently. Scuba diving from a boat is fun and relatively easy because you usually descend directly onto your dive site.

Scuba diving teenager
Barracuda Activities

Advanced Scuba Diving (Cont.)

PADI Underwater Naturalist Specialty

Take the PADI Underwater Naturalist Specialty course and you’ll see new things, even on the most familiar scuba diving sites. Why? Because when know more about symbioses, underwater ecology, and aquatic plant and animal habitats, you notice behaviors and see creatures you may have previously missed. Learn more about the local ecosystem and take a closer look on your next scuba diving adventure.

ARRIVING TO ACTIONQUEST IN THE BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS

Your teen scuba camp begins! The majority of students will be flying to St. Thomas (STT) in the US Virgin Islands . For students flying via STT, ActionQuest’s professional staff meet them and assist with the beautiful ferry ride to Tortola then on to the entire camp which awaits you in West End, Tortola. There you will go through the formal check in process and make your way to your new comfortable and clean floating home. For those flying directly into the BVI (EIS), students are met by an airport representative.

Students then get to spend the rest of the first day of our scuba diving summer camp preparing for life aboard and getting to know one another while the sun sets behind the dock.

 

Watch AQ Scuba For Yourself

At our marine biology summer camp, you’ll be submerged in a completely different world – a world where “exotic” doesn’t begin to describe what’s in front of your eyes, that’s AQ Scuba…

Boogaloo
Fleet at ActionQuest
Sunset in the British Virgin Islands
ActionQuest summer
Barracuda Activities

Life Aboard AQ

Lifeworks Forum

It’s amazing how much you can learn about yourself when you are living in close quarters with a bunch of strangers…

Beyond all the exciting activities, it is this personal growth that we find equally important, and at AQ we highlight this growth through an element of all AQ programs called the Lifeworks Forum. Held at intervals throughout the voyage, the forum is designed to complement the learning that takes place through the everyday interaction aboard. Students have the opportunity to participate in – and lead – discussions on topics like personal responsibility, values, integrity, communication and goals. Of all the skills that students take from their voyages, it is the life skills that can carry them the farthest. At AQ, we feel that while building one’s life, it is important to be sure it is based on a foundation of compassion and personal integrity.

ActionQuest students having fun
Barracuda Activities

Life Aboard AQ

The Job Wheel

At ActionQuest, there are no passengers only shipmates. Being a shipmate, means that you will share the day to day responsibility of running a 50 ft. sailing vessel! While the staff are there to teach and help, your daily job will be assigned by using the famous “AQ job wheel”. Have you ever been the head chef for 15 people? You will with AQ! Each day, the wheel turns and you will get a new job, and at the end of the trip, you can truly say that you were involved in every aspect of making your adventure happen.

Wake boarding and watersports summer camp
Barracuda Activities

Watersports

Waterskiing, Wakeboarding, and Kneeboarding

Here in the BVI we travel with a full set of watersports equipment. We have six rib dinghies that are perfect for skiing so everyone gets to try wakeboarding and water skiing for the first time or master a few tricks and learn to slalom! Over the last 30 years, we have taught thousands to ski, wakeboard and kneeboard.

Laser sailing summer camp
Barracuda Activities

Watersports

Windsurfing

We also have complete windsurfing rigs with multiple sails for all wind conditions! In between scuba diving, sailing and wakeboarding you’ll get to play on the beach while you either learn to windsurf for the first time, practice that perfect water-start and jibe, or simply take the sails off and enjoy a stand up paddle board.

High school scuba diving instruction
Barracuda Activities

Marine Biology summer camp

The Marine World Through Scuba

At our scuba diving summer camp, Barracuda students get the opportunity to better understand the marine environment by putting more conservation and marine biology intention into their scuba diving and dive chats.

Alongside your time in the water you’ll be covering the following topics:

  • About environmental issues in the ocean commons and coastal zones.
  • About fisheries challenges and sustainability problems.
  • What’s happening to coral reefs and reef inhabitants.
  • Your role in protecting aquatic environments.
  • Key differences between the terrestrial and aquatic worlds.
  • Major aquatic life groupings, interactions and information that dispels myths.
ActionQuest brochure icon
  • Get Our Free Online Brochure

    Full of detailed information about our adventures, staff, and FAQs for you to access anytime.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Action Quest Summer Program For Sailing Teens

Time To Say Goodbye

There’s always a mix of emotions on departure day. The excitement to go home is always overwhelmed by the realization that the Adventure is over and that it’s time to say goodbye to the people you’ve grown so close to over the last few weeks. Day 1 will simultaneously seem like the day before and a lifetime ago as you and your crew take a private ferry for the last leg of your journey together.

“Ian learned more about himself. I think the combination of confidence in learning a fun sport, both sailing and scuba, meeting new people, and talking about life have been valuable for them. I see that he has interest in studying marine biology and that is new. For Ian this year, I think he gained confidence in himself and that is not something that can be bought or given!”

Shannon C. / Park City, UT
AQ Sail Side Animated Map

Barracuda Overview

Below you will find all the specific details about our Barracuda marine biology summer camp, but there’s no better way to learn more than to watch for yourself!

ARRIVING TO ACTIONQUEST IN THE BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS

Your teen scuba camp begins! The majority of students will be flying to St. Thomas (STT) in the US Virgin Islands . For students flying via STT, ActionQuest’s professional staff meet them and assist with the beautiful ferry ride to Tortola then on to the entire camp which awaits you in West End, Tortola. There you will go through the formal check in process and make your way to your new comfortable and clean floating home. For those flying directly into the BVI (EIS), students are met by an airport representative.

Students then get to spend the rest of the first day of our scuba diving summer camp preparing for life aboard and getting to know one another while the sun sets behind the dock.

 

Watch AQ Scuba For Yourself

At our marine biology summer camp, you’ll be submerged in a completely different world – a world where “exotic” doesn’t begin to describe what’s in front of your eyes, that’s AQ Scuba…

Scuba diving summer camp for teens
Barracuda Activities

Advanced Scuba Diving (15-18 Dives)

PADI Advanced Open Water Certification

The PADI Advanced Open Water Diver Course is the next step up from Open Water, and will increase your knowledge and safety while diving in different aquatic environments. Two of the five areas are required topics; the Deep Diving and Underwater Navigation, and we add three more topics such as Night Diving, Wreck Diving, Boat Diving and Underwater Naturalist. Experience real adventure on our marine biology camp!

ActionQuest summer program for high school students
Barracuda Activities

Advanced Scuba Diving (Cont.)

PADI Project AWARE Specialty

Project AWARE’s philosophy is to mobilize a global force of scuba divers and water enthusiasts who care about protecting the world’s water resources and choose to make a difference – one dive at a time. By earning the Project AWARE Specialist certification, you’ll be aware of the most pressing problems facing vulnerable aquatic environments and know what everyday actions you can take to help protect them.

Scuba summer trip for teenagers
Barracuda Activities

Advanced Scuba Diving (Cont.)

PADI Boat Diver Specialty

Much of the world’s best scuba diving is accessible only by boat. Whether you’ve never made a boat dive or you’ve logged dozens, the PADI Boat Diver Specialty course will benefit you because boats in various parts of the world do things differently. Scuba diving from a boat is fun and relatively easy because you usually descend directly onto your dive site.

Scuba diving teenager
Barracuda Activities

Advanced Scuba Diving (Cont.)

PADI Underwater Naturalist Specialty

Take the PADI Underwater Naturalist Specialty course and you’ll see new things, even on the most familiar scuba diving sites. Why? Because when know more about symbioses, underwater ecology, and aquatic plant and animal habitats, you notice behaviors and see creatures you may have previously missed. Learn more about the local ecosystem and take a closer look on your next scuba diving adventure.

Boogaloo
Fleet at ActionQuest
Sunset in the British Virgin Islands
High school scuba diving instruction
Barracuda Activities

Marine Biology summer camp

The Marine World Through Scuba

At our scuba diving summer camp, Barracuda students get the opportunity to better understand the marine environment by putting more conservation and marine biology intention into their scuba diving and dive chats.

Alongside your time in the water you’ll be covering the following topics:

  • About environmental issues in the ocean commons and coastal zones.
  • About fisheries challenges and sustainability problems.
  • What’s happening to coral reefs and reef inhabitants.
  • Your role in protecting aquatic environments.
  • Key differences between the terrestrial and aquatic worlds.
  • Major aquatic life groupings, interactions and information that dispels myths.
ActionQuest summer
Barracuda Activities

Life Aboard AQ

Lifeworks Forum

It’s amazing how much you can learn about yourself when you are living in close quarters with a bunch of strangers…

Beyond all the exciting activities, it is this personal growth that we find equally important, and at AQ we highlight this growth through an element of all AQ programs called the Lifeworks Forum. Held at intervals throughout the voyage, the forum is designed to complement the learning that takes place through the everyday interaction aboard. Students have the opportunity to participate in – and lead – discussions on topics like personal responsibility, values, integrity, communication and goals. Of all the skills that students take from their voyages, it is the life skills that can carry them the farthest. At AQ, we feel that while building one’s life, it is important to be sure it is based on a foundation of compassion and personal integrity.

ActionQuest students having fun
Barracuda Activities

Life Aboard AQ

The Job Wheel

At ActionQuest, there are no passengers only shipmates. Being a shipmate, means that you will share the day to day responsibility of running a 50 ft. sailing vessel! While the staff are there to teach and help, your daily job will be assigned by using the famous “AQ job wheel”. Have you ever been the head chef for 15 people? You will with AQ! Each day, the wheel turns and you will get a new job, and at the end of the trip, you can truly say that you were involved in every aspect of making your adventure happen.

ActionQuest brochure icon
  • Get Our Free Online Brochure

    Full of detailed information about our adventures, staff, and FAQs for you to access anytime.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Wake boarding and watersports summer camp
Barracuda Activities

Watersports

Waterskiing, Wakeboarding, and Kneeboarding

Here in the BVI we travel with a full set of watersports equipment. We have six rib dinghies that are perfect for skiing so everyone gets to try wakeboarding and water skiing for the first time or master a few tricks and learn to slalom! Over the last 30 years, we have taught thousands to ski, wakeboard and kneeboard.

Laser sailing summer camp
Barracuda Activities

Watersports

Windsurfing

We also have complete windsurfing rigs with multiple sails for all wind conditions! In between scuba diving, sailing and wakeboarding you’ll get to play on the beach while you either learn to windsurf for the first time, practice that perfect water-start and jibe, or simply take the sails off and enjoy a stand up paddle board.

Action Quest Summer Program For Sailing Teens

Time To Say Goodbye

There’s always a mix of emotions on departure day. The excitement to go home is always overwhelmed by the realization that the Adventure is over and that it’s time to say goodbye to the people you’ve grown so close to over the last few weeks. Day 1 will simultaneously seem like the day before and a lifetime ago as you and your crew take a private ferry for the last leg of your journey together.

“Ian learned more about himself. I think the combination of confidence in learning a fun sport, both sailing and scuba, meeting new people, and talking about life have been valuable for them. I see that he has interest in studying marine biology and that is new. For Ian this year, I think he gained confidence in himself and that is not something that can be bought or given!”

Shannon C. / Park City, UT

Need More Information?

Certifications

At our scuba diving summer camp, on top of all of the other fun adventure sports and activities, during the Barracuda Adventure, you’ll have the opportunity to earn these certifications:

Padi Logo

Scuba Certifications

  • Advanced Open Water Diver Certification

    Exploration. Excitement. Experiences. That’s what the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course is all about. You don’t have to be “advanced” to take it – it’s designed to build confidence and expand your scuba skills through different Adventure Dives…
    Learn More >

    • Project AWARE Specialist

      Project AWARE’s philosophy is to mobilize a global force of scuba divers and water enthusiasts who care about protecting the world’s water resources and choose to make a difference – one dive at a time…
      Learn More >

    • Boat Diver Specialty

      Much of the world’s best scuba diving is accessible only by boat. Whether you’ve never made a boat dive or you’ve logged dozens, the PADI Boat Diver Specialty course will benefit you because boats in various parts of the world do things differently…
      Learn More >

    • Underwater Naturalist Specialty

      During this course you’ll see new things, even on the most familiar scuba diving sites. Why? Because when you know more about symbioses, underwater ecology, and aquatic plant and animal habitats, you notice behaviors and see creatures you may have previously missed…
      Learn More >

Need to know

Is this adventure right for me?

If you are between ages 13 and 15, already hold a basic scuba certification and want to dive, dive, dive, then the Barracuda outdoor adventure camp is the perfect choice for you. You’ll also learn a ton about the underwater world, as there is an introductory Marine Biology component to this program, too. Outside of the diving, you’ll sail, water ski and wakeboard. Off the water, we’ll visit the islands, explore the towns, cookout on the white sand beaches and hike to the top of the tallest mountain.

What scuba experience do I need to join this Adventure?

Since the Barracuda teen scuba camp includes advanced certification training, joining the program ready to dive is important. While you don’t need a whole lot of experience, you need to have your Jr. Open Water scuba certification from a diving agency such as PADI, NAUI, SSI, CMAS or BSAC completed prior to the trip. Please note that this needs to be a complete Jr. Open Water Certification as even the PADI Jr. Scuba Diver Certification does not meet this minimum requirement.

If you’re not able to complete the full certification but still want to join this Adventure there may be an opportunity to sign aboard with a valid PADI Diving Referral. A referral is when a student performs the Academic and Confined Water (swimming pool) training at home, then we finish the course by completing the Open Water dives during the first couple of days of the Adventure.

Learn more about scuba referals

How many people go on this adventure?

On our marine biology summer camp, you’ll sail with up to eight boats in a flotilla, each with 10 to 12 students aboard. It’s a lot of fun sailing as part of a larger fleet, where you can interact with many other teens and staff from all over the world.

How do you split up the ages across the boats?

Given that we have a number of yachts sailing together, this allows us to berth teens aboard based upon their age and grade. We try to make this as appropriate as possible and typically you can expect to be aboard with other students within about a year of your own age (plus or minus). Please contact us if you have any specific considerations in this regard.

What type of boat will I be on?

The Barracuda aquatic summer camp typically runs aboard traditional single-hulled yachts (monohulls). We use only the finest charter yachts available, all of which are in the 50-foot range. Each vessel has 5 cabins, a large salon which converts to a 6th cabin, and 4 full bathrooms (heads). The world’s largest charter company, Moorings/Sunsail, maintains all of our yachts to the highest standard.

ActionQuest adventure program sailing monohull

Learn more about our vessels

Where do we sleep?

From the moment you arrive, you’ll move aboard your yacht and live on board full-time. It’s true to say that living on a boat is A LOT tighter than living at home. With up to 12 students and 3 staff living together, it can feel cramped for those not used to it, yet this close community environment is where so much of the experience is created.

All of our vessels have 5 cabins and a large salon that converts to a 6th. While there’s just about enough room for everyone to sleep down below should it rain, on our typical clear and dry evenings many of us like to sleep out on deck, swinging in a hammock under the stars.

Who will be my staff?

AQ is proud to attract and recruit the best in our field. Our summer staff includes professional maritime captains, professional PADI dive instructors and medical professionals.  Above all, we hire responsible and experienced facilitators and educators. All members of our team are dynamic, multi-talented, and passionate individuals with a devotion and commitment to the safety and experience of our students.

What's the food like?

At AQ we strive for nutritious, and delicious meals. Student chefs of the day prepare meals onboard with help from the staff using a mixture of goods we have imported and local fresh food we pick up onshore every few days. On occasion throughout the trip, students will have the option to eat at a restaurant during shore time to sample the local offerings. Living onboard a boat for three weeks in the British Virgin Islands poses its own difficulties in terms of provisioning and cooking but when it’s all said and done, meal-time is often a highlight of each day.

During the application process, families can inform us of any dietary allergies or restrictions. We are usually able to accommodate vegetarians, vegans etc., as well as various food allergies. However, if your student has a severe allergy to peanuts or other common substances, please call our office to discuss the options.

Sample Menu Download

What do I need to bring?

Given that all students will be living aboard a sailboat for the duration of their adventure, we recommend that you keep things simple and avoid over packing. Students are given the opportunity to do laundry once in the middle of the trip, so there’s no need to pack several weeks’ worth of clothing.

Our hope is that families will have minimal purchases prior to the trip, so we’ve compiled our packing lists in a way that you’ll find most of what you need in your closet at home. Around mid to late March, we make available our Pre-Trip Packet to enrolled students, which contains a detailed packing list for this year’s adventures. If you’d like to see last year’s packing list as an example, you can download it here.

Packing List Download

Nitty Gritty

Flights

Are flights included in the tuition?

Since students join us from all over the world, the cost of transportation to and from the British Virgin Islands is not included in the program tuition.

Who should we contact to book travel?

Helping to coordinate our students’ travel is of vital importance – and a mammoth task! For this reason, we strongly suggest that all families start by contacting our travel coordinator:

Leah Hernandez – AQ Travel Coordinator
Tel: +1.281.528.7727
Toll Free: 800.329.9000
Email: leahctn68@hotmail.com

Even if you are not originating in the U.S., Leah will be able to provide options and guidance.

How do we get there?

Our recommended route is via St. Thomas (STT) in the USVI although students also have the option of flying to Beef Island (EIS).

Does AQ provide support on travel days?

Yes. We understand that travel days can be stressful for both parents and students, so no matter what time of the day or night, our office team actively monitors and supports our participants during travel. We require students to travel with a mobile phone with domestic data capability so we can monitor their progress and communicate directly if necessary.

For students flying via St Thomas, ActionQuest arranges for a staff member to assist with the transfer to Tortola via ferry. After arrival in Tortola, students are met at the ferry dock by more of ActionQuest’s professional staff, then collectively continue onto a taxi that takes them to the boats.

Looking for more detailed information on travel?

Visit the travel page

Travel Docs & Vaccinations

Travel Docs & Visas

All students traveling to the BVI need to have a passport which is valid for a minimum of three months after the date of departure from the BVI. Visitors from certain countries other than the US, UK and Canada may require visas.

For the most up-to-date and thorough information, please visit travel.state.gov. Students traveling on non-U.S. passports should verify passport and visa requirements for your nationality by contacting your local British embassy or consulate or the nearest BVI Tourist Board Office.

One important point to mention is that most students joining us in the BVI do so by flying via St. Thomas, which is part of the US Virgin Islands. This means that those students not flying on a US or Canadian passport need to consider whether they need to apply for a U.S. visa or ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization). Please call us with any questions.

Vaccinations

For visiting the BVI, the CDC recommends that all travelers are up-to-date on routine vaccinations that most of us had as children (measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine.

That said, we understand that families have varying opinions on vaccinations. Some greatly desire the precaution; others prefer to avoid possible side effects of certain medications. Coupled with the fact that each student has unique medical considerations known best by his or her doctor, AQ does not supply medical advice. For this reason, we recommend that all families refer back to the expertise of the CDC from time to time (wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel), their health care providers, and/or a travel clinic to gain the most up to date information.

Tuition

AQ Tuition Covers the following:

  • All accommodation and group meals once the adventure is underway
  • Vessel charter and related government fees
  • Staff, local guides, and tips
  • The use of all sailing, scuba and water sports equipment (except for wetsuits, if needed)
  • Sailing and scuba diving certification costs

Not included in the AQ tuition:

  • Air transportation and related travel expenses (baggage, taxes, visas etc.)
  • DAN Membership (Divers Alert Network) for any student diving with us (est. $35)
  • PADI required course books and materials (est. $94)
  • Personal spending money

Discounts and Savings

  • A one-time total tuition fee deduction of 5% is granted for any two adventures or for two or more students from the same family.
  • Any two consecutive programs may be joined to form one extended course. In the interim between programs, students stay with staff. The total cost is determined by combining the cost of each program and subtracting the 5% extended course discount. (This discount also applies toward any trips adjoining our sister program GoBeyond.) ActionQuest and/or GoBeyond enrollment for any two programs in the same summer will be considered as a single extended program in the event of withdrawal or dismissal from the trip at any time.

Itinerary

Fleet Sailing

Beyond the strong friendships that naturally form while living aboard a sailing vessel, one of the truly great and unique parts of AQ is the experience of sailing as part of a larger fleet, or ‘flotilla’ of boats.

A flotilla is defined as a group of yachts that voyage together and there are many reasons why sailing in this way may be preferable for both a novice and more seasoned sailor. While 90% of all activities are done with your tight-knit team of 10 to 13 aboard, being part of a larger group is a ton of fun when we are ashore to explore, for a beach BBQ or party night! Plus, we’ll get some friendly competition going between all the boats on our race days too! Flotilla sailing also offers the big advantage of having backup support if necessary. It allows us to have medical staff, trained to a higher level than would otherwise be possible, to be on site, traveling with the group full-time. It also allows our directors to interact with all of our students and staff, maintaining our high level of professionalism, teaching and safety standards throughout the entire program.

Living in the moment

Though the fundamentals of our adventures don’t change, specific logistics evolve as we get closer to the summer and then day by day based on weather. The animated map along with the adventure overview portions on this page should give all families a basic understanding of the kinds of activities we do on the voyage. We also suggest looking through last summer’s Trip Logs for a more detailed travel log created by the students.

With this in mind, we encourage all participants to “live in the moment”. Traveling by boat requires flexibility and a willingness to accept adversity and change. We hope you’ll take any bumps in your stride, and enjoy the adventure!

Are flights included in the tuition?

Since students join us from all over the world, the cost of transportation to and from the British Virgin Islands is not included in the program tuition.

Who should we contact to book travel?

Helping to coordinate our students’ travel is of vital importance – and a mammoth task! For this reason, we strongly suggest that all families start by contacting our travel coordinator:

Leah Hernandez – AQ Travel Coordinator
Tel: +1.281.528.7727
Toll Free: 800.329.9000
Email: leahctn68@hotmail.com

Even if you are not originating in the U.S., Leah will be able to provide options and guidance.

How do we get there?

Our recommended route is via St. Thomas (STT) in the USVI although students also have the option of flying to Beef Island (EIS).

Does AQ provide support on travel days?

Yes. We understand that travel days can be stressful for both parents and students, so no matter what time of the day or night, our office team actively monitors and supports our participants during travel. We require students to travel with a mobile phone with domestic data capability so we can monitor their progress and communicate directly if necessary.

For students flying via St Thomas, ActionQuest arranges for a staff member to assist with the transfer to Tortola via ferry. After arrival in Tortola, students are met at the ferry dock by more of ActionQuest’s professional staff, then collectively continue onto a taxi that takes them to the boats.

Looking for more detailed information on travel?

Visit the travel page

Travel Docs & Visas

All students traveling to the BVI need to have a passport which is valid for a minimum of three months after the date of departure from the BVI. Visitors from certain countries other than the US, UK and Canada may require visas.

For the most up-to-date and thorough information, please visit travel.state.gov. Students traveling on non-U.S. passports should verify passport and visa requirements for your nationality by contacting your local British embassy or consulate or the nearest BVI Tourist Board Office.

One important point to mention is that most students joining us in the BVI do so by flying via St. Thomas, which is part of the US Virgin Islands. This means that those students not flying on a US or Canadian passport need to consider whether they need to apply for a U.S. visa or ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization). Please call us with any questions.

Vaccinations

For visiting the BVI, the CDC recommends that all travelers are up-to-date on routine vaccinations that most of us had as children (measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine.

That said, we understand that families have varying opinions on vaccinations. Some greatly desire the precaution; others prefer to avoid possible side effects of certain medications. Coupled with the fact that each student has unique medical considerations known best by his or her doctor, AQ does not supply medical advice. For this reason, we recommend that all families refer back to the expertise of the CDC from time to time (wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel), their health care providers, and/or a travel clinic to gain the most up to date information.

AQ Tuition Covers the following:

  • All accommodation and group meals once the adventure is underway
  • Vessel charter and related government fees
  • Staff, local guides, and tips
  • The use of all sailing, scuba and water sports equipment (except for wetsuits, if needed)
  • Sailing and scuba diving certification costs

Not included in the AQ tuition:

  • Air transportation and related travel expenses (baggage, taxes, visas etc.)
  • DAN Membership (Divers Alert Network) for any student diving with us (est. $35)
  • PADI required course books and materials (est. $94)
  • Personal spending money

Discounts and Savings

  • A one-time total tuition fee deduction of 5% is granted for any two adventures or for two or more students from the same family.
  • Any two consecutive programs may be joined to form one extended course. In the interim between programs, students stay with staff. The total cost is determined by combining the cost of each program and subtracting the 5% extended course discount. (This discount also applies toward any trips adjoining our sister program GoBeyond.) ActionQuest and/or GoBeyond enrollment for any two programs in the same summer will be considered as a single extended program in the event of withdrawal or dismissal from the trip at any time.

Fleet Sailing

Beyond the strong friendships that naturally form while living aboard a sailing vessel, one of the truly great and unique parts of AQ is the experience of sailing as part of a larger fleet, or ‘flotilla’ of boats.

A flotilla is defined as a group of yachts that voyage together and there are many reasons why sailing in this way may be preferable for both a novice and more seasoned sailor. While 90% of all activities are done with your tight-knit team of 10 to 13 aboard, being part of a larger group is a ton of fun when we are ashore to explore, for a beach BBQ or party night! Plus, we’ll get some friendly competition going between all the boats on our race days too! Flotilla sailing also offers the big advantage of having backup support if necessary. It allows us to have medical staff, trained to a higher level than would otherwise be possible, to be on site, traveling with the group full-time. It also allows our directors to interact with all of our students and staff, maintaining our high level of professionalism, teaching and safety standards throughout the entire program.

Living in the moment

Though the fundamentals of our adventures don’t change, specific logistics evolve as we get closer to the summer and then day by day based on weather. The animated map along with the adventure overview portions on this page should give all families a basic understanding of the kinds of activities we do on the voyage. We also suggest looking through last summer’s Trip Logs for a more detailed travel log created by the students.

With this in mind, we encourage all participants to “live in the moment”. Traveling by boat requires flexibility and a willingness to accept adversity and change. We hope you’ll take any bumps in your stride, and enjoy the adventure!