What is a typical day at sea for a Class Afloat student?
The truth is, no two days look the same when you’re spending a semester or year at sea with Class Afloat. While one of the benefits of Class Afloat is the fact that we’ve got a different way of doing things, your daytime schedule will in some ways mirror that of a traditional classroom.
Here’s a sample of what life looks like when you’re studying at sea with Class Afloat.
07:30 – Breakfast Time
Rise and shine! Get dressed and join us in the galley for some breakfast.
08:00 – Colours
Community life on board starts with a short assembly where all crew start their day with announcements about classes, club and activity meetings, birthday celebrations, sea position and weather reports, planned sail maneuvers, and any other community news.
08:15 to 09:00 – Cleaning Stations
Affectionately referred to as “Happy Hour”, these are essential daily cleaning routines that make the vessel ship-shape for the day. It’s sort of like making your bed back home.
09:00 to 12:00 – Classes and Day Watch
Each student attends up to 5 scheduled academic classes each day. Each class is 80 minutes long. Students also partake in 2-hrs of day watch, during which time they work alongside the marine crew to sail and maintain our beautiful tall ship.
12:00 to 13:00 – Lunch Time
Hungry yet? Time to eat.
13:30 to 17:30 – Classes and Day Watch
Back to work! Academics and day watch resume.
18:30 to 20:00 – Dinner Time
Freshen up! It’s dinner time. Unless you’re on Galley Duty, of course.
19:30 to 20:00 – Study Hall
Don’t worry, study hall isn’t mandatory unless your mark falls below a 70%. Study hall also provides space for independent study alongside faculty members who make themselves available for one-on-one consultation.
20:30 to 22:30 – Evening Activities
Get involved in student clubs, meet ups etc. On board you’ll find everything from student-run language clubs and pilate classes to organized coffee houses, movie and karaoke nights. Warning: Class Afloat students (really) love to dance.
20:00 to 09:00 – Night Watch
On a rotating basis, students stand 2 hours of night watch. Don’t worry, you learn to love it.
Free time! Every student has 2hrs of free time in their daily schedule. When students are not in class or on watch, they are free to rest, study, socialize with friends or help out with sailing,
Class Afloat provides a comprehensive and rigorous, fully-accredited school 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 classrooms. 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 11 and 12 earn credits that may be transferred back to their home school. Our 12 students are prepared are prepared to matriculate with a high school diploma either from the Nova Scotia Ministry of Education or from their home school.
University students earn Acadia University in Nova Scotia, Canada. University courses are ‘distance learning’ courses from Acadia with facilitation by Class Afloat faculty on the ship. Gap year students may choose to enrol in secondary school and/or university courses.
Our port visits vary by location and planned activities, but on average, the ship stops in each port for 3-5 days.
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 faculty will align port programs with relevant curriculum.
Students are also given shore leave (free time) to explore the port in groups. More info about shore leave is outlined below.
The Class Afloat sail training program aboard the Gulden Leeuw engages students in every aspect of tall ship sailing, from voyage planning and navigation, to setting a course, organizing watch duties, setting sails, steering the ship and starting and monitoring the engines. No sailing experience is required to enrol as a Class Afloat student. When we are underway, there is a student at the helm for the entirety of our 18-20,000nm (40,000km) school year voyage.
The goal of the sail training program 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 all aspects of the ship.
In 2013, the Gulden Leeuw won a Sail Training International (STI) award for its innovative sail training programme.