British Virgin Islands

Advanced Sailing & Intro to Scuba with Watersports

For experienced sailors, there’s no better way to capitalize on your time this summer than by getting out on the water, under full sail, with the wind at your back, and the British Virgin Islands on the horizon.

Geared towards sailors with significant experience or certifications, this specialized program allows you to expand your sailing abilities while also ushering you into the mesmerizing world of scuba diving for the first time.

Not only does Polaris provide you the tools to excel both above and below the surface, but more importantly, the knowledge that you revel in the face of new challenges. Because with ActionQuest, your empowerment is the true measure of success.

  • Appropriate Age

    All teens

  • Student Groups

    Grouped aboard within +/- 12 months of age

  • Students & Staff

    12 students & 3 staff per vessel

  • Vessel Type & Fleet Size

    Monohull / 6-8 vessels

  • Fleet Itinerary

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

Session 1 Jun 15 - Jul 05
Days 21 Availability Limited Tuition $$5,970
Session 2 Jul 07 - Jul 27
Days 21 Availability Limited Tuition $$5,970
Session 3 Jul 29 - Aug 14
Days 17 Availability Open Tuition $$5,170
Dates Days Availability Tuition
Session 1 Jun 15 - Jul 05 21 Limited $5,970
Session 2 Jul 07 - Jul 27 21 Limited $5,970
Session 3 Jul 29 - Aug 14 17 Open $5,170
 
 
Share this adventure

Activities

Sailing
Scuba
Marine Biology
Watersports
Island Exploration
Requirements
  • Extensive Sailing Experience and/or IYT Crew

The Adventure

It all starts here
Sail Side Animated Map

Polaris Overview

Below you will find all the specific details about our Polaris voyage, but there’s no better way to learn more than to watch for yourself!

Watersports Summer Camp Program Bvi
Polaris 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.

Windsurf Camp Caribbean Sailing Program Bvi
Polaris 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.

Arriving to ActionQuest in the British Virgin Islands

Your adventure 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 preparing for life aboard and getting to know one another while the sun sets behind the dock.

 

Learn Advanced Sailing And Navigation Techniques Summer Camp
Polaris Activities

Advanced Sailing

Keelboat Sailing

There really aren’t any days that our Polaris students are not actively involved in advanced sail training.

The majority of the Polaris students’ sail training aims to advance their practical skills on the water as well as their theoretical knowledge in a classroom environment.  The practical days on the water find our students getting reps with their hands on the helm, practicing docking, moorage, anchoring and tactics. During the Polaris voyage they truly are full time crew members aboard a 50 ft. sailing yacht.

Slider Blocks
Polaris Activities

Advanced Sailing (cont.)

Dinghy Sailing

Alongside all the sailing they do on the “big boats”, Polaris students get to spend many hours fine tuning their tactical small boat handling skills on our fleet of RS Zest sailboats.

There’s no better way to practice your behind-the-back tiller hand-offs, roll-tacks, and stomach busting hiking techniques than on small dinghies. And is there a better place to do this than the Caribbean? We don’t think so!

Advanced Sailing Program With Actionquest
Polaris Activities

Advanced Sailing (Cont.)

Small Keelboat Sailing

On top of our permanent fleet of AQ smaller dinghies, our students also get to really up their sailing games by having a full day practicing on the small fleet of 19-24 foot keelboats that we use from the world renowned Bitter End Yacht Club in the North Sound of Virgin Gorda.

Our Polaris students get ample time on these amazing boats working on tight quarter maneuvers, advanced sail trim, and crew management.

Double Down
Tortilla Flotilla
Flotilla

Watch AQ Sailing For Yourself

As a seasoned sailor, you will advance your sailing skills on the world’s most beautiful waters under the guidance of ActionQuest’s incredible staff…

Teen Leadership Camp Abroad Program
Polaris 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.

BVI Students Cooking
Polaris 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.

Introduction To Scuba Camp
Polaris Activities

Intro TO Scuba Diving

PADI Open Water Certification

During the Polaris voyage students get the opportunity to breathe underwater for the first time.  The Open Water certification takes students through a slow and steady path to becoming a fully confident and certified scuba diver.
Your diving experience begins as you first learn about your scuba equipment in a classroom environment.  From there, you will start with your confined water dives, practicing a set of diving skills in water shallow enough to stand up in. Once you master these fundamental skills, you will progress to a shallow depth just above your head, and finally 4 dives later in water around 40 feet deep.

Learn To Scuba Dive Summer Camp
Polaris Activities

Intro TO Scuba Diving

PADI Coral Reef Conservation Specialty

All Polaris students, along with their Open Water Certification, will have the opportunity to earn a very cool PADI specialty card.

Everyone likes to scuba dive or snorkel in warm, clear water on a vibrant coral reef, yet many people know little about what they’re seeing or the importance of reef ecosystems. The AWARE – Coral Reef Conservation Specialty course helps you appreciate the complexity of these habitats and teaches you how you can help conserve these vital systems.

AQbrochureCTA
  • 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.
Best Summer Camps In The World

Time To Say Goodbye

The best way to explain what it means to say goodbye on the Polaris adventure is to use the words of one of our past students, parents or staff members…

My second year at ActionQuest was even more memorable than the first, and I truly didn't think that was possible. This camp has made me feel so many amazing things about myself and I have started really appreciating the little things in life. Nobody could have done it without you and the amazing staff members. ActionQuest is truly unforgettable. You are so incredibly inspiring to everyone at AQ. It's the most accepting place on the planet. I have learned so much about diving, sailing and life in general that I will carry on for the rest of my life. You utterly care for everyone at this camp and it is so amazing and your love for people and your job is something I really look up to. Thank you for changing my life.”

Sophie L. / New York, NY
Sail Side Animated Map

Polaris Overview

Below you will find all the specific details about our Polaris voyage, but there’s no better way to learn more than to watch for yourself!

Arriving to ActionQuest in the British Virgin Islands

Your adventure 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 preparing for life aboard and getting to know one another while the sun sets behind the dock.

 

Learn Advanced Sailing And Navigation Techniques Summer Camp
Polaris Activities

Advanced Sailing

Keelboat Sailing

There really aren’t any days that our Polaris students are not actively involved in advanced sail training.

The majority of the Polaris students’ sail training aims to advance their practical skills on the water as well as their theoretical knowledge in a classroom environment.  The practical days on the water find our students getting reps with their hands on the helm, practicing docking, moorage, anchoring and tactics. During the Polaris voyage they truly are full time crew members aboard a 50 ft. sailing yacht.

Slider Blocks
Polaris Activities

Advanced Sailing (cont.)

Dinghy Sailing

Alongside all the sailing they do on the “big boats”, Polaris students get to spend many hours fine tuning their tactical small boat handling skills on our fleet of RS Zest sailboats.

There’s no better way to practice your behind-the-back tiller hand-offs, roll-tacks, and stomach busting hiking techniques than on small dinghies. And is there a better place to do this than the Caribbean? We don’t think so!

Advanced Sailing Program With Actionquest
Polaris Activities

Advanced Sailing (Cont.)

Small Keelboat Sailing

On top of our permanent fleet of AQ smaller dinghies, our students also get to really up their sailing games by having a full day practicing on the small fleet of 19-24 foot keelboats that we use from the world renowned Bitter End Yacht Club in the North Sound of Virgin Gorda.

Our Polaris students get ample time on these amazing boats working on tight quarter maneuvers, advanced sail trim, and crew management.

Watersports Summer Camp Program Bvi
Polaris 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.

Windsurf Camp Caribbean Sailing Program Bvi
Polaris 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.

Double Down
Tortilla Flotilla
Flotilla

Watch AQ Sailing For Yourself

As a seasoned sailor, you will advance your sailing skills on the world’s most beautiful waters under the guidance of ActionQuest’s incredible staff…

Introduction To Scuba Camp
Polaris Activities

Intro TO Scuba Diving

PADI Open Water Certification

During the Polaris voyage students get the opportunity to breathe underwater for the first time.  The Open Water certification takes students through a slow and steady path to becoming a fully confident and certified scuba diver.
Your diving experience begins as you first learn about your scuba equipment in a classroom environment.  From there, you will start with your confined water dives, practicing a set of diving skills in water shallow enough to stand up in. Once you master these fundamental skills, you will progress to a shallow depth just above your head, and finally 4 dives later in water around 40 feet deep.

Learn To Scuba Dive Summer Camp
Polaris Activities

Intro TO Scuba Diving

PADI Coral Reef Conservation Specialty

All Polaris students, along with their Open Water Certification, will have the opportunity to earn a very cool PADI specialty card.

Everyone likes to scuba dive or snorkel in warm, clear water on a vibrant coral reef, yet many people know little about what they’re seeing or the importance of reef ecosystems. The AWARE – Coral Reef Conservation Specialty course helps you appreciate the complexity of these habitats and teaches you how you can help conserve these vital systems.

AQbrochureCTA
  • 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.
Teen Leadership Camp Abroad Program
Polaris 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.

BVI Students Cooking
Polaris 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.

Best Summer Camps In The World

Time To Say Goodbye

The best way to explain what it means to say goodbye on the Polaris adventure is to use the words of one of our past students, parents or staff members…

My second year at ActionQuest was even more memorable than the first, and I truly didn't think that was possible. This camp has made me feel so many amazing things about myself and I have started really appreciating the little things in life. Nobody could have done it without you and the amazing staff members. ActionQuest is truly unforgettable. You are so incredibly inspiring to everyone at AQ. It's the most accepting place on the planet. I have learned so much about diving, sailing and life in general that I will carry on for the rest of my life. You utterly care for everyone at this camp and it is so amazing and your love for people and your job is something I really look up to. Thank you for changing my life.”

Sophie L. / New York, NY

Need More Information?

Certifications

On top of all of the other fun adventure sports and activities, during the Polaris Adventure, you’ll have the opportunity to earn these certifications:

Padi 3 Column

Scuba Certifications

  • Open Water Diver Certification

    The PADI Open Water Diver course is, by far, the world’s most popular scuba certification. Millions of people have started diving as certified PADI Open Water Divers…
    Learn More >

  • Coral Reef Conservation Specialty

    Everyone likes to scuba dive in warm, clear water on a vibrant coral reef, yet many people know little about what they’re seeing or the importance of reef ecosystems, this course tells you more…
    Learn More >

IYT Media

Sailing Certifications

  • AQ Advanced Sailing

    This is a certificate specially crafted by AQ and is designed for students with previous experience who wish to develop those skills needed to eventually take command of their own yacht…
    Learn More >

  • IYT VHF Radio

    The IYT VHF Radio Communications course is designed to ensure a thorough understanding of the entire spectrum of maritime radio communication…
    Learn More >

Need to know

Is this adventure right for me?

Polaris is the adventure for anyone with extensive experience sailing and an interest in learning to scuba dive for the very first time. During the program, there is a big emphasis on other water sports, such as water skiing, windsurfing, and wakeboarding. Off the water, we’ll visit the islands, explore the towns, cook out on the white sand beaches and hike to the top of the tallest mountain. Polaris is a real all-rounder and has a lot for everyone.

How many people go on this adventure?

Polaris is one of our largest programs and you’ll sail with up to eight boats in a flotilla, each with 8 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?

Polaris runs exclusively 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 sailing vessel is much tighter than being at home, 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, so in a pinch there’s room for us all to sleep down below if it should rain, but, for the most part, the evenings are clear and dry and most 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.

Two or three staff members live with you aboard your vessel full-time. There will be your skipper, your first mate who is typically your diving instructor, and a third staff member who could also be a diving instructor, EMT, Marine Biologist or someone with other special skills.

Learn more about the team

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 Grity

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. $51)
  • 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 14 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. $51)
  • 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 14 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!