About Class Afloat
If your question isn't answered here, please don't hesitate to contact us!
• Students enrolled in the final two years of secondary school (Canadian Grade 11, 12), Gap year or first year university.
• Students are generally between the ages of 16 – 19
• Students with a strong academic profile and involvement in their school and community.
• Yes. Students follow a Canadian (province of Nova Scotia) high school curriculum.
• Class Afloat is fully accredited by the Ministry of Education in Nova Scotia, Canada. Credits can be transferred back to the student’s home high school.
• Students who complete the Grade 12 year will issued an internationally recognized Nova Scotia high school diploma.
• Yes. Our experience is that high school credits from Nova Scotia, Canada are transferred to high schools worldwide. Each student must check with their guidance counsellor to ensure proper credit transfer.
• Yes. Students who meet entrance requirements can earn university credits through Acadia University in Nova Scotia, one of Canada’s top-ranked undergraduate institutions.
• Upon completion of the programme, these credits may be transferred to a degree programme at a university of the student’s choice.
• Yes. GAP Year students take at least two courses (either high school or university level).
• All students must be able to converse in English and complete courses with instruction in English. Each year we have students from many countries who speak diverse languages.
• All courses are offered in English, providing an immersion in the language.
• ESL classes are offered for those looking for extra assistance.
• The academic year is divided into two semesters (September – January and January – May).
• Students may attend a full academic year or one semester. Some students choose to attend multiple years.
• In collaboration with their guidance counsellor, students submit their course selection preferences to Class Afloat.
• High school students take 3 – 5 courses per semester.
• University students take 2 – 4 courses per semester.
• Depending on course selection, students will complete up to 5 hours of class work each day.
• Our port stays vary depending on location, but, on average, the ship stops in each port for 3 - 5 days.
• Land practica activities are scheduled for the students. These activities can include community service projects, museum tours, cultural events, hiking trips, homestays, camping trips, surfing, snorkeling, etc.
• All land practica activities are included in our programme fees.
• Students also have time to enjoy shore leave (free-time) in each port, travelling in groups of four.
• Safety is of paramount concern for Class Afloat.
• Our safety practices and school policies are outlined in our Parent and Student Handbook posted on our website here.
• Each academic year, we sail to over 20 ports on 4 continents.
• Our itineraries are announced each winter for the following academic year.
• They can be found on our website here.
• Itineraries are developed based on sailing conditions, climate, safety, political stability, and academic suitability. Class Afloat reserves the right to change or modify ports of call.
• Not at all! We will teach you everything you need to know to be a tall ship crew member.
• Students perform 2 hours of day watch and 2 hours of night watch each day.
• The watch group is responsible for operating the ship, under the direction of the professional mariner crew.
• Duties can include navigation, hoisting sails, climbing rigging, working in the galley, performing maintenance work or standing watch.
• Students are not required to climb the rigging. Those interested in doing so must complete a physical fitness test before climbing.
• The SS Sørlandet is a majestic 210-foot Class A fully-rigged tall ship.
• It was built in Norway in 1927 and completely refurbished with modern amenities in summer 2012.
730h: Breakfast and ready for day
815h: Ship cleaning stations
900h: Classes and day watch
1230h: Lunch and galley duty
1330h: Classes and day watch
1730h: Supper and galley duty
1900h: Study hall, club meetings, special events
2200h: Sleep and night watch
• The ship's air-conditioned, open-area ‘banjer’ provides sleeping accommodation in fixed bunks or comfortable canvas sea hammocks.
• The banjer is divided into separate areas for girls and boys
• Heads (washrooms) and shower facilities are modern and were completely rebuilt in summer 2012.
• Images of the ship are featured in our video, presentation and brochure posted here.
• Meals are prepared fresh by our cooks in the Sørlandet’s state-of-the-art galley.
• Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks are served daily.
• Yes, we are able to cater to most dietary needs. Vegetarian meals are easily accommodated.
• Students with special dietary needs should advise Class Afloat at the time of application to ensure that these needs can be met.
• A Shipboard Director leads a team of 5 dedicated academic faculty.
• The Sørlandet sails with a certified professional mariner crew of 12:
- Chief Officer
- 1st Officer
- 2nd Officer
- Chief Engineer
- 3 ABs
- Medical Officer
- Cook’s Mate
• More information about our staff and crew can be found here.
• A certified Medical Officer is on duty at all times to provide care in cases of sickness or injury,
• The ship stocks a supply of medications and medical supplies that are available to the Medical Officer.
• In the case of a serious medical emergency, the ship will sail to the nearest port or, if a more urgent need for hospital care is required, perform a medical evacuation airlift procedure.
• Seasickness can occur during the first week at sea. It happens when the body, inner ear, and eyes all send different signals to the brain, resulting in queasiness.
• Seasickness usually disappears without medical treatment within a few days, as your brain learns to compensate for the movement of the boat and you get your “sea legs”
• Safety is paramount in all aspects of the Class Afloat programme, however, there is risk involved in sailing as there are in all types of adventure and sport activities.
• A structured process of training is conducted to educate students about all safety matters and procedures aboard the ship.
• Our management team, faculty, medical officer and professional mariner crew ensure that safety is the first and foremost concern for everyone aboard the Sørlandet.
• Detailed information about the application process and all application and pre-voyage documents are outlined here.
• Explore our website for information about the application process, our curriculum and programme details, as well as videos, pictures and a brochure.
• Our school policies and procedures, as well as detailed information about preparing for the voyage and life as a Class Afloat student are outlined in our Parent and Student Handbook posted here.
• Please do not hesitate to contact the Class Afloat office - we would be happy to answer your questions.
• If you are interested in talking to an alumni or alumni family member, please contact us and we will connect you.