COIVD-19: Safe and Socially Distanced Sailing
Is sailing a safe practice amidst COVID-19?
Your primary concern when booking a sailing getaway is going to be COVID-19, and you’re going to have some questions.
Is it safe to travel, is my booking protected and what contingencies have been put in place if something related to COVID-19 happens?
On this page, we will walk you through the lot.
What protection exists for my booking?
- Travel insurance with COVID-19 cover. Almost all travel insurance providers have these policies in place now. Make sure you arrange your travel insurance at the same time as booking your trip. This way, you will be covered throughout the duration of your booking.
- Low-deposits. A useful incentive for travellers to book their sailing vacation, knowing that if something did happen, the loss of the non-refundable deposit has less of an impact.
- Trip rescheduling and rebooking. Even after the final payment has been made, most yacht charter providers offer the chance to reschedule your sailing vacation anytime in 2021 or 2022 if the cancellation is related to COVID-19. Such as a guest or hired crew member testing positive for COVID-19 or local and national lockdowns at home or your chosen destination.
- Additional Charter Deposit and Insolvency Insurance. Through EIS (European Insurance Services), we offer the chance to acquire additional insurance to recover the loss of your non-refundable deposit. On top of this, protection is also offered in the improbable case, the charter company your yacht is booked with becomes insolvent.
- Daily onboard temperature checks. By law, all yachts are likely to be required to maintain a check of all passengers’ condition on board. This will be obtained through daily temperature checks and recording of any illnesses or COVID-like symptoms. Measures are in place with port authorities and police in the case of a possible positive result onboard.
- Exceptionally high standards of cleaning. All yachts before and after your charter will be disinfected to the highest standards by professional cleaning teams. This ensures you will be boarding a safe, infection-free and hygienic environment. If you have a professional crew on board, they will maintain these cleaning standards throughout.
- Facemasks -You will be expected to bring your own facemasks with you to wear ashore in public spaces, bars, restaurants, etc. It is likely to be a locally enforced standard, but at your request, any hired crew living onboard will also wear face protection.
Reasons why a sailing yacht charter is a safe option for your next vacation
Sailing yachts are essentially a mobile, floating hotel and home. With everything you need onboard from a kitchen, shared living spaces, private cabins, en-suite bathrooms, and enough space to store all the essential equipment, appliances, food and drinks to sustain yourselves for the duration of your time onboard.
Additionally, you can book a yacht that includes a generator, an essential component powering equipment such as a de-salinizing water maker, air-conditioning, and diving compressors. With a sturdy anchor and plenty of chain upfront, a selection of ropes and lines to help tie ashore to things such as trees and rocks, there is simply no need to go ashore and take any risks if you don’t want to.
From there, you can spend the duration of your trip cooking onboard, exploring beautiful coves and impressive caves, remote beaches, and breath-taking islands. Enjoy sailing, fishing, plunging into the ocean, snorkelling, scuba diving and more, all from the safety of your socially distanced yacht.
Coronavirus Latest Updates
Caribbean Yachting Destinations – Winter 2020/21
This article is sourced from WorldWideBoat.com. Thank you.
Anguilla is currently COVID-19 free and requires the following of travellers:
- Complete a confidential pre-registration to begin the approval process.
- Take a COVID-19 PCR test, receive and present negative results within three to five days of travel. Upon arrival, all travellers will be tested again and undergo temperature screening.
- All visitors are required to wear a facial covering when arriving and departing via all ports of entry.
Antigua requires all travellers to:
- Present a negative COVID-19 PCR test, taken within seven days of departure. Travellers arriving by sea must do so at an authorized port of entry and are subject to quarantine.
- All travellers are also subject to a health assessment by Port Health Authorities, must complete a health declaration form upon arrival, and may require further testing.
- Face masks are mandatory in all public spaces, and physical/social distancing protocols are in place.
As of November 1, 2020, the Bahamas requires all travellers to:
- Obtain a COVID-19 RT PCR test five (5) days before arrival.
- Apply for a Bahamas Health Travel Visa at travel.gov.bs
- For the duration of the visit, complete a daily online health questionnaire for symptom tracking purposes.
- Take a COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test on Day 5 of the visit (unless departing on Day 5).
- Always wear a mask and social distance in public places.
- Beginning November 14, 2020, all visitors will be required to opt into mandatory COVID-19 health insurance when applying for a Health Travel Visa. The insurance will cover travellers for the duration of their stay in the Bahamas.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Visitors to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines must:
- Complete a pre-arrival questionnaire if travelling from outside of the CARICOM bubble, and present a negative PCR test on arrival taken no more than five days previously.
- Upon arrival, travellers will be re-tested and must quarantine on the yacht for 48-72 hours while awaiting results. No unauthorized persons are permitted on the yacht during the quarantine period.
- Travellers can swim or engage in water sports around the yacht but cannot visit any other yachts or anywhere onshore.
St Barth’s reopened to tourists in June 2020 and requires travellers to:
- Have a negative PCR test that is less than 72 hours old; children under 11 years of age are exempt.
- If staying longer than 7 days, travellers 11 years of age and older must take an additional PCR COVID-19 test at their own expense on the eighth day following their arrival.
- Restaurants have limited tables to parties of six (6) and encouraging social distancing. Masks are required when not seated.
- Masks are required when entering any indoor establishments and in outdoor areas when social distancing is not possible.
As of November 1, 2020, St Maarten requires all travellers to:
- Take a COVID-19 PCR test and receive negative results within 72 hours before arrival. Children under 10 years of age are exempt from testing.
- If arriving by air, visitors will undergo a mandatory temperature check upon landing and complete a health form.
- A local registered agent is required for all vessels and should be contacted in advance to arrange your arrival and discuss protocols.
- Adhere to social distancing guidelines, and wear a mask when social distancing isn’t possible.
Kitts & Nevis. Kitts & Nevis reopened to travellers as of October 31, 2020. Visitors are required to:
- Complete a Travel Authorization Form before arrival. Travellers will receive an approval letter that must be presented on arrival.
- If arriving by sea, a PCR-test is required for those staying less than 14 days.
- Yachts are required to dock at one of six approved ports and submit the maritime declaration of health to the port health officer.
The British Virgin Islands
The British Virgin Islands will reopen to international guests on December 1, 2020.
- Covid test results uploaded to the entry website before arrival & entry approved.
- Health insurance will be required for travellers
- Covid test on arrival in the territory.
- Government-approved transport from the airport/ferry docks to the approved quarantine site (yacht).
- Charter guests may quarantine aboard the yacht.
- Quarantined yachts may do so in designated quarantine anchorages.
- Yachts may navigate between designated quarantine anchorages during the quarantine period.
- 3rd Covid test after 4-day quarantine.
- After passing the quarantine charter, guests free to roam the islands.
- Travellers will be required to wear a tracking wristband while in the BVI.
The US Virgin Islands
The US Virgin Islands requires all travellers to:
- Have either a negative PCR test (oral or nasal) valid from the previous five days or a positive antibody serology (blood) test from the previous four months. Anyone ages 5 and up must complete the online travel screening portal within five (5) days of their arrival date to obtain their travel certification.
- The US Virgin Islands are open to international travel, but a list of excluded countries remains. Any travellers who have been in one of these countries in the last 14 days will not be granted entry.
- Restaurants and bars are open for limited dining and service.
Turks & Caicos
Turks & Caicos reopened its borders on July 22, 2020. Travellers are required to:
- Provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test result from an accredited laboratory for visitors ages 10 and up (antigen and antibody tests will not be accepted).
- Purchase medical/travel insurance covers COVID-19 medical costs, full hospitalization, doctors’ visits, prescriptions, and air ambulance/medevac.
- Complete a health screening questionnaire and apply for a TCI Travel Authorization Form five days before arrival to be granted a travel certificate.
- A mask or face covering is required to be worn at all times in public, and six feet of physical distancing is required in public spaces.
Other Yachting Destinations
Australia is currently closed to international travellers. A reopening date has not been specified.
Travellers to Belize must:
- Download the Belize Health App and complete all required information within 72 hours of arrival to receive a unique traveller ID.
- Take a COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours of travel.
- Undergo a health screening upon arrival and verify certified PCR test results.
- Check-in with the Belize Health App daily.
As of August 15, 2020, visitors to the Galapagos must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test completed within 10 days of arrival. Quick tests are not accepted.
The Maldives have reopened their borders to international travellers. Visitors must:
- Have a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours to present upon arrival.
- No quarantine is required,
Mexico does not require a negative COVID-19 PCR test or rapid test for entry. All visitors must:
- Complete a Health Declaration Form before entering the country.
- Check if your country requires a visa to visit Mexico
- Follow all mask and social distancing policies
- Visitors are encouraged to purchase travel insurance that covers COVID-19
Travel to Tahiti reopened on July 15, 2020. Visitors must:
- Provide proof of a negative RT-PCR test carried out within three days before arrival.
- Present the negative result on the Electronic Travel Information System platform.
- Self-test four days after arriving in the Islands of Tahiti.
Thailand is currently closed to international travellers. Only foreign nationals holding a valid work permit or permission from a Thai agency to work in Thailand are permitted to enter the country. A reopening date has not been specified.
For the most up-to-date information, check with your preferred destination’s foreign ministry offices to determine what’s allowed and if any further restrictions are in place for your travel dates.
If you have a booking for a country with a travel ban or restriction, please contact your charter broker to learn more about cancellations and re-bookings.
What happens if I need to cancel my yacht charter because of the Coronavirus?
In general, most yachts do not offer cancellations. Yet, most will offer a complimentary rebooking if your travel will be disrupted due to a travel ban. This might include bans on incoming flights into the country of charter embarkation or bans on departing flights out of the country of disembarkation or the country of residence.
In the majority of cases:
- Rebooking Is Complimentary – Many yachts are waiving fees for rebooking and will help make any adjustments as stress-free as possible. Typically, you can rebook for another date during the 2020-2021 charter season. One exception: If you are rebooking for a more expensive part of the charter season, a surcharge may be required.
- Contracts for New Bookings Will Be Updated – Many yachts have updated their contracts to include clauses about coronavirus cancellations. This protects both you, the charter guest, and the boat owner. These clauses typically include provisions for no- or low-cost cancellations.
- Updated Charter Insurance Policies – A variety of travel insurance policies are being created to protect travellers against coronavirus cancellations. On all new bookings, we highly recommend choosing an updated insurance policy.
If you have any further questions relating to the impact of Coronavirus, your booking or anything else, please do not hesitate to send us an email;