Frequently Asked Questions


If your question isn't answered here, please don't hesitate to contact us!
 

Academics

What types of students attend Class Afloat?

• 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.

Can I earn high school credits and a diploma? 

• 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.

If I register for only my Grade 11 year, will my high school credits transfer back to my school?

• 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.

Do you offer University credits?

• 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.

Do you offer a GAP Year programme? 

• Yes. GAP Year students take at least two courses (either high school or university level).

What if English isn’t my first language?

• 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.

How long is the programme? 

• 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.

What courses can I take?

• Our high school is outlined here. Our university curriculum is outlined here.

• 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.

How many hours of classroom time will I have each day?

• Depending on course selection, students will complete up to 5 hours of class work each day.


Ports of Call

How long does the ship stop in each port? 

• Our port stays vary depending on location, but, on average, the ship stops in each port for 3 - 5 days.

What do we do while in port?

• 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.

What safety protocols are in place while in port?

• 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

How many ports will I visit?

• Each academic year, we sail to over 20 ports on 4 continents.

What is the route/ itinerary?

• Our itineraries are announced each winter for the following academic year.

• They can be found on our website here.

How does Class Afloat choose the itinerary? 

• 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.


The Sailing

Is sailing experience necessary?

• Not at all! We will teach you everything you need to know to be a tall ship crew member.

What kind of ship duties are students responsible for? 

• 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.

What if there is something a student is not comfortable doing (such as climbing the rigging)? 

• Students are not required to climb the rigging. Those interested in doing so must complete a physical fitness test before climbing.

What is a typical day like on the ship while at sea?

730h: Breakfast and ready for day

800h: Colours 

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


Accommodations

What are the sleeping accommodations like?

• The ship's air-conditioned dormitory provides sleeping accommodation in fixed bunks

• The dormitory is divided into separate areas for girls and boys

What are the bathrooms/ showers like?

• Heads (washrooms) and shower facilities are modern  

Where can I see pictures of these areas?

• Images of the ship are featured here.


Meals

What is the food like?

• Meals are prepared fresh by our cooks in the a modern, state-of-the-art galley.

• Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks are served daily.

Can you accommodate special diets and allergies?

• 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.


Crew and Staff

Who are the crew and staff on the ship?

• A Shipboard Director leads a team of 5 dedicated academic faculty. 

• The ship sails with a certified professional mariner crew of 10:

- Captain

- Chief Officer

- 2nd Officer

- Bosun

- Chief Engineer

- AB

- Medical Officer

- Cook 

- Cook’s Mate

• More information about our staff and crew can be found here.


Health and Safety

What if I get sick or injured aboard the ship?

• 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.

Will I get seasick? 

• 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”

Is there risk involved in the programme?

• 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 ship.


Application Process

Where do I find information about applying?

• Detailed information about the application process and all application and pre-voyage documents are outlined here


More Information

I have more questions. Where can I find more detailed information?

• Explore our website for information about the application process, our curriculum and programme details, as well as videos, pictures and a brochure.

• 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.

• You may also connect with us on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.