Frequently Asked Questions


For the safety of our student crew, we regrettably had to suspend the 2020-2021 school year.

The 2021-22 school year is taking place with COVID precautions and protocols in place.  These include:

  • All students and crew aboard the ship will be fully vaccinated.
  • An itinerary planned around ports with lesser COVID-19 risk.
  • Most ports on the voyage itinerary are islands with high vaccination rates and more control over the management of COVID community infection.
  • The program will begin with students following local protocols in their place of residence before departing, followed by a negative PCR test as required by airlines and country entry requirements.
  • The first two weeks of the program will be a quarantine session in the mountains of Andalusia, Spain, before travelling as a group to board the ship in Amsterdam.
  • Ship and port protocols, including regular testing, will be in place to manage COVID-19 infection risk.
  • COVID-19 protocols will be managed by the Ship physician, Captains and the Shipboard Director

A tall ship is well suited for forming a community ‘bubble’ of protection for our students, faculty and mariner crew.  Activities off the ship will be controlled to avoid contact while in port.  A regime of regular testing will take place whenever students and crew have been off the ship in a port.

It is important to note that many COVID-19 protocols that are common on land, including social distancing, are not possible when studying and working as a team to sail a tall ship.  The emphasis will be to avoid contact with people outside the ship ‘bubble’ backed by regular testing to avoid COVID infection.

Yes, simply go into your profile and edit your application to reflect the 2022-2023 or future school year. If you need help, please email us for help at

We are accepting applications for:

Limited spaces for Semester Two of the 2021-22 school year.  Semester Two will begin in Barbados January 2022.

The 2022-23, 2023-24 and other future school years.

Once you’re ready to apply, you can do so here:


Academics FAQs

Our crew is made up of students from around the world! On average, our crew is 55% Canadian and 45% international, with students representing up to 14 nationalities. Students are generally between the ages of 16-19 and are enrolled in the final two years of secondary school (Canadian grade 11, 12), the first year of university or have chosen to take a gap year after high school. Successful applicants have 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 have been 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 program, these credits may be transferred to a degree program 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 many 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.
  • Our class will start their journey with a land based program in European destinations then board the ALEX-2 for their sea voyage.  The 2021-22 program will finish with a land based program three European locations (Switzerland, Poland, Germany) where our community will continue classes, explore the local area and spend some time reflecting on their amazing community journey on land and at sea.

  • Our high school courses are 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.

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

Ports of Call FAQs

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

  • Port program activities are scheduled for the students. These activities can include community service projects, museum tours, cultural events, hiking trips, homestays, camping trips, surfing, snorkelling, etc.
  • All port program activities are included in our program 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. Read more about Health and Safety at sea and in port.

  • Usually in each academic year, we visit about 20 land locations and ports on 4 continents.
  • In 2021-2022 the school year will start on land at an Eco Lodge in Andalusia, Spain.  The last 6 weeks of the school year will take place on land at four locations in Europe: Switzerland, Poland and Germany.  Classes will be held on a regular schedule and students will have the opportunity to explore the surrounding area.
  • The 2022-23 school year will have a similar format with a land based exploration and a 6 month tall ship sailing voyage.

  • In the past our voyage itinerary takes us to 20 ports on up to 4 continents.
  • The program will usually start in a European port, sail into the Atlantic or Mediterranean before visiting Morocco and Dakar Senegal (homestay and community service) on the African coast.  From there the ship will do its first transatlantic crossing to the Caribbean or to South America and South Africa.
  • We may explore the Caribbean into Columbia, Costa Rica and Mexico before visiting Samana, DR, for our second homestay and community service project, Cuba, Bermuda, then embark on our second Atlantic crossing back to ports in Southern or Northern Europe.
  • The South Atlantic route takes us to Buenos Aires, Argentina then east to Cape Town, South Africa via the most remote inhabited island in the world Tristan da Cunha then back across the Atlantic to the Caribbean and onward to a fourth Atlantic crossing back to Europe.
  • Our itineraries are announced each year for the following academic year.
  • They can be found on our website here.
  • In 2021-2022 the school year will start on land at an Eco Lodge in Andalusia, Spain.  The last 6 weeks of the school year will take place on land at four locations in Europe: Switzerland, Poland and Germany.  Classes will be held on a regular schedule and students will have the opportunity to explore the surrounding area.
  • The 2022-23 school year will follow the same format although land locations and ports of call will vary.

  • 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 FAQs

  • Not at all!
  • We will teach you everything you need to know to be a tall ship crew member.
  • For even the most experienced keel boat sailer, learning to sail a tall ship is a whole new experience.  All students learn to sail their ship together regardless of their sailing experience.

  • 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, taking the helm (the steering wheel), hoisting sails from the hundreds of lines running down to the deck, climbing the rigging to drop or stow sails, 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.

0730h: Breakfast and ready for day
0800h: Colours, our morning assembly, Day Watch  Begins
0830hrs: Classes Begin
1130h -1230 : Lunch and galley duty
1730 : Classes End
1800 : Dinner
1830 – 1930 : Study Hall
2000 : Clubs & Special Events, Night Watch Begins

Accommodations FAQs

  • Students will share a 4 bunk cabin.
  • Each cabin has its own head (toilet) sink and shower.
  • Students will have storage closets to store their gear.
  • Cabins are designated as male or female.

  • Each student cabin has its own Heads (washroom), including a toilet, sink and shower.
  • All head facilities are modern.

  • A schematic diagram and Images of the ship are featured here.

Meals FAQs

  • Meals are prepared fresh by our cooks and students in the a modern, 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.

Crew & Staff FAQs

  • A Shipboard Director leads a team of 6 dedicated academic faculty.
  • The ship sails with a certified crew of 22 professional mariners, including:
    • Captain
    • 3 Navigational Officers: 12, 2nd, 3rd Mate
    • 3 Watch Leads
    • 1 Bosun
    • 3 Engineers
    • 3 ABs
    • 6 Ordinary Seamen O/S
    • Medical Officer
    • 3 Cooks
  • More information about our staff and crew can be found here.

Health & Safety FAQs

  • A fully certified physician (Ship Doctor) is on duty in the ship hospital at all times to provide care in cases of sickness or injury.
  • The ship hospital stocks a supply of medications and medical supplies that are available to the Ship Doctor.
  • 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 happens when the body, inner ear, and eyes all send different signals to the brain, resulting in queasiness.
  • Seasickness can appear in the first week at sea and 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 program, 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 FAQs

  • Detailed information about the application process are here.

More Information FAQs

  • Explore our website for information about the application process, our curriculum and program 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.