Bringing your classroom to the world.


No two days are the same when you are a Class Afloat student, but in order to give you a sense of what to expect aboard the vessel, here is a typical shipboard schedule:

– Breakfast, Ready for the Day

- Colours. (A short assembly for the entire crew where we discuss daily announcements about classes, club and activity meetings, birthday celebrations, sea position and weather reports, and any other community news.)

08:15 to 09:00
- Cleaning Stations. (Essential daily cleaning routines that make the vessel ship-shape for the day.)

09:00 to 19:00
Academic Timetable. (Students attend up to 5 hour-long scheduled academic classes each day.)

Day Watch. (Two hours of Day Watch are built into the timetable.  Students take an active role in sailing manoeuvres and ship maintenance.)

Free Time. (When students are not in class or on watch, they are free to rest, study, socialise with friends, or help out with the sailing.)

12:30 to 13:30 - Lunch
17:30 to 18:30 - Dinner and Galley Duty

19:30 to 22:00 - Evening Activities. (Studying, socializing, club meetings, and other organized activities such as coffee houses, movie and karaoke nights.)

22:00 – Lights Out

20:00 to 08:00 – On a rotating basis, students are assigned to 2 hours of night watch

Class Time

Class Afloat provides a comprehensive and rigorous, accredited school curriculum for secondary school, Cégep, first-year university and gap year students. Students attend up to 5 hours of class time per day in our shipboard classroom. Our class sizes are small, ensuring personalized attention to meet each student’s unique learning needs. CESL and English immersion classes are offered.

Fully accredited secondary school curriculum is delivered by our faculty. Students enrolled in a Grade 12 programme are prepared for a Nova Scotia Ministry of Education High School Diploma.

University students earn credits through Acadia University in Nova Scotia, Canada. Distance learning courses are taken through Open Acadia with additional in-person shipboard instruction from our faculty. Gap year students may choose to enrol in secondary school and/or university courses. 



In class group work

Port Programs

Group Shot


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

Our Field Studies Coordinator coordinates port programmes in consultation with our faculty. Port visits are filled with unique and life-changing activities, including local cultural experiences, visits to important historic sites, voluntary service projects and activities such as hiking, snorkelling and surfing. Where possible, our Field Studies Coordinator will align port programmes with relevant curriculum.

Students are also given shore leave (free time) while in port, where they can explore the port in groups. More info about shore leave is outlined below.

sail training

Class Afloat’s sail training programme aboard the Gulden Leeuw engages students in every aspect of tall ship sailing, from voyage planning to setting a course, organizing watch duties, setting the sails, steering the ship and starting and monitoring the engines. No sailing experience is required prior to enrolling as a Class Afloat student.

The goal of the sail training programme is to equip students with the knowledge and skills required to take full command of the ship under the watchful eye of our captain and professional crew. Students perform 2 hours of day watch and 2 hours of night watch each day, during which time watch groups are responsible for operating the ship.

In 2013, the Gulden Leeuw won a Sail Training International (STI) award for its innovative sail training programme.


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.

Safety is paramount in all aspects of the Class Afloat programme. 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.


Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks are prepared fresh by our cooks in the ship’s spacious, modern and fully equipped galley. Food is replenished during port visits to ensure fresh ingredients are on hand while at sea. Vegetarian meals are easily accommodated and our cooks are able to cater to most other dietary needs. Students with special dietary needs should advise Class Afloat at the time of application to ensure that these needs can be met. 


Free Time

Whether at sea or during port visits, sharing fun times and laughter with fellow adventurers is an important part of the Class Afloat experience.

On board, students spend free time participating in student-led activities such as student club meetings, movie nights and coffee houses, or on their own or with crewmates studying, reading, playing musical instruments, or games.

In addition to organized port programmes, students are granted shore leave (free time) while in port to explore their new surroundings and engage in local activities such as snorkelling, shopping, surfing and sampling local cuisine.

Students follow clear policies for shore leave, including curfews and minimum group numbers for outings.