Tel: +1 (268) 723 9343

Day Tours

We have answered some of the most commonly asked questions below. However, if you have a query that is not covered here, please contact us and we will be delighted to respond.

Q.How do I book a tour?
A. Please Check Availability and book directly with us.

Q. How do I pay for my tour?
A. A 50% deposit has to be paid to secure your booking by either online booking, PayPal or wire transfer.  The remainder of your payment has to be made before departure. We accept cash, credit cards, and payment as per above. You may want to bring more than one option for payment as credit and debit cards maybe rejected for a several reasons, particularly fraud protection. It is wise to advise your card issuer that you will be using your card in Antigua.

Q. Is my transport to the yacht included?
A. No. The costs for taxis to and from our starting location are not included in the tour price.

Q. Where do I have to go?
A. Tours usually start at the Crow’s Nest in Jolly Harbour. This is where you will be met. Any taxi driver in Antigua should be familiar enough with Jolly Harbour to bring you here. And of course we are happy to assist with driving instructions.

Q. What do I have to bring?
A. Towels, swim suit, sunglasses and sun block. The sun is particular intense on the water, hence we strongly recommend to bring at least SPF 30.

Q. Is snorkel gear provided?
A. Masks and fins are included in the tour price and provided by us.

Q. What menu of food and beverages are included?
A. The tour includes an open bar of local beers, white/rosé/red wine, sodas, juices and water as well as snacks throughout the day. Our standard lunch is an authentic creole chicken and rice dish with salads.

Q. How about safety on board?
A. Our boat is inspected by the Antiguan Marine Authorities on a regular basis. At the beginning of your trip you will receive a safety briefing pointing out the most important things to keep in mind while on the boat. Wearing a life vest is mandatory for kids and guests who cannot swim when leaving the cockpit of the boat. For legal reasons we will ask you to sign an Indemnity Agreement before departure.

Q. What if the tour has to be canceled?
A. That depends on who cancels. If we have to cancel for reasons beyond our control like technical defects, illness of crew, and of course weather (see below) you will receive a full refund.

In case you cancel:
– more than 7 days before the trip your deposit/payment will be refunded in full
– 48 hours before departure 50% of your deposit will be refunded
– less than 48 hours before departure, we unfortunately have to retain your deposit

Q. What if the weather is really bad?
A. Sailing is an outdoor activity and weather plays an important role. Weather in Antigua is very stable and favorable but conditions may arise that make the planned tour untenable. This decision is taken by our skipper. If he decides to cancel your trip your deposit will be refunded in full.
If you decide you do not wish to start the trip your deposit will be forfeited.
Having said that whenever possible we will try to reschedule in order to accommodate you and not let the weather ruin the experience.

Caribbean Sailing Vacations

We have answered some of the most commonly asked questions below. However, if you have a query that is not covered here, please contact us and we will be delighted to respond.

Q: How much luggage do I need?
A: Very little! Sailing in the Caribbean requires little more than shorts, “T” shirts and swimwear. You may wish to pack one outfit suitable for dining ashore, but much of what you think you may require will not get used!  We will send you more details in your joining instructions letter.

Q: How should I pack?
A: PLEASE no inflexible suitcases! A soft hold all is really all you need and, as there is limited space on board, once unpacked they can be folded and stowed. Travel light!!

Q: What should I bring?
A: Be sure to bring personal toiletries, high factor sunscreen, towels, sunglasses (Polarized recommended), a camera to record the beauty of the Caribbean PLUS your plane tickets and passports! Snorkelling and fishing gear is on board and free for you to use, however if you have fitted snorkelling gear, or favourite fishing equipment please bring this with you.

Q: What about shoes?
A: We prefer no shoes while on board, and certainly no flip flops, as this tends to be safer and more comfortable in the conditions. Non marking deck shoes on board are fine. The vast majority of people wear flip flops ashore constantly. You may prefer one pair of smarter shoes to go with your dining outfit but no more than that.

Q: What happens if my plane is delayed?
A: Then we shall wait for you! We will ask for your flight details in advance so we can monitor your arrival time. We do ask that you do everything possible to keep us informed in order to avoid a wasted journey for our driver.

Q: What if I feel seasick?
A: If you are concerned about Travel Sickness, we recommend you ask your pharmacy for advice. There are many proprietary brand remedies that are very effective – especially inquire about ‘non-drowsy’ varieties. We will do all we can to make sure everyone on board feels comfortable, and will change sailing plans if necessary.

Q: Can we amend our vacation as we go?
A: Providing conditions and timing permit, you can alter plans at any time if you would prefer to spend more or less time in one location. This is your charter and you call the shots!

Q: What about alcohol?
A: We have no problem with alcohol, there is insufficient space to stock a full bar to cater for all preferences. We ask that you specify your anticipated requirements in advance and we shall source on your behalf. You will be charged for these at cost which is quite low in the Caribbean!

Q: What about smoking?
A: There is no smoking aboard our yachts.  You may smoke off the yacht or at your skipper’s specific permission. 

Q: Where do I find my yacht?
A: You do not need to! We will send you specific information in your joining instructions.

Q: What about immigration formalities?
A: These apply if we leave the coastal waters of our island to sail to another island outside the nation state. In Antigua, Barbuda is an exception as it is part of the Antigua nation. Elsewhere your skipper deals with all formalities ashore and you may not go ashore until these are completed. You may need to relax after we arrive and this is the perfect opportunity!

Q: What about insurance?
A:  We highly recommended you take out Personal Travel Insurance to ensure members of your party are covered for these activities.

Q: How do I book?
A: Simply email or call us. We operate a “1st come, 1st served” booking policy. To secure your booking a minimum 25% deposit is required. Payment can be made through the online booking, PayPal or Wire Transfer. Bank charges will apply. Once payment is cleared we will confirm your booking and all other details by e-mail. Balances are paid not less than 14 days prior to the date of your cruise.

Q: What happens if we cancel?
A: A full refund of your deposit is given if cancellation is confirmed by e-mail or telephone not less than 30 days prior to commencement of cruise. For cancellations less than 30 days, but more than 14 days before commencement, 25% of your deposit will be retained to cover administration and probable loss of business. There will be no refund of deposit if cancellations are notified less than 14 days prior to commencement.

Q: What happens if Miramar Sailing cancels my booking?
A: If, due to circumstances beyond our control, we find it necessary to cancel your cruise, we shall arrange alternative land based accommodation in order that you can at least continue with your holiday, unless you choose otherwise. Cost of accommodation will be for your account but any monies paid to “Miramar Sailing” will be refunded in full. You are strongly advised to invest in Travel Insurance.

Q: What happens if the weather is bad?
A: We cannot control the weather and must make decisions accordingly. The Skipper’s decision will be final. Original sailing plans may be upset but you can be sure we shall make the best of it!

RYA Sailing School

What to expect on a Miramar Sailing course

We have answered some of the most commonly asked questions below. However, if you have a query that is not covered here, please contact us and we will be delighted to respond.

Q: How do I know I will be safe?
A: Our training vessels are inspected annually by an RYA Inspector for conformance with the code of practice for small commercial vessels and meet all requirements as set down by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA). At the heart of the RYA Training Scheme is the total emphasis on safe practice and procedures. Your Instructors have a duty of care and have followed this ethos from the very beginning of their training. They understand its value and adhere to it rigidly.

Q: How long is my course?
A: With the exception of the “Start Yachting” and “Essential Navigation & Seamanship” courses, which are 2 day “tasters”, Day Skipper Practical, Coastal Skipper Practical, and Day Skipper Theory courses last for 5 days. Coastal Skipper & Yachtmaster Offshore Theory lasts 6 days. Yachtmaster Preparation Weeks last 5 days with an additional 2 days for examination.

Q: Fees: What is included?
A: Virtually all of the usual ancillary costs of Course Notes, safety gear, accommodation on board for Practical courses etc., are included, but this may vary between different courses. Fuel and docking costs in marinas are also included depending on your specific trip details.

Q: Fees: What is excluded?
A: You will need to arrange and pay for: your travel to and from the yacht; your accommodation during your stay in an island not covered by your practical course dates, accommodations during your theory/classroom courses, provisioning, and all meals ashore. Where relevant, travel and subsistence costs of examiners for Yachtmaster Coastal; Offshore, and Ocean and not included. The examination fee for yachtmaster Exams is n included.

Q: What are the payment terms?
A: To secure a place on a course we require a 25% deposit upon booking. Balances are due 6 weeks before the course start date. When the course start date is less than 6 weeks from booking, full payment is required when booking.

Q: What about accommodation?
A: For on board accommodation on Practical Courses, we limit course numbers to 4 students plus our instructor, although this cannot be guaranteed. This not only ensures greater comfort on board but also allows for more effective instructor / student ratio. Generally speaking, couples and friends will share double cabins. In cases of individuals attending a course on their own, they would not be expected to share a cabin with a member of the opposite sex. For on shore accommodation we have negotiated very competitive rates locally for booked students. Please see Accommodation Suggestions for details.

Q: Who does the catering?
A: We all do! It is part of your training that you learn the basics of life on board a yacht. This does not only cover catering, but also brings in clearing up, cleaning and general good housekeeping. The Caribbean is a whole new culture to many people and it is all part of the experience to sample the local cuisine ashore in the evenings.

Q: What should I bring?
A: You are more than likely travelling from overseas to join us, so the usual “old chestnuts” are: passport, travel tickets, insurance policies; local currency (US$ or EC$ are both accepted in Antigua). You will also need your G15 Log Book and any previous certification you have achieved in the RYA Scheme to date. Please do not forget however, that your stay with us is not “all work and no play” and there is an element of Caribbean Holiday to it all. For this you will need lightweight clothing – tee shirts and shorts are fine – the Caribbean is not at all formal; and some lightweight footwear such as deck shoes or flip flops. Please note flip-flops may not be worn on board due to deck hazards, and all soles should be NON marking. It is not obligatory, but bare feet on board are usually the order of the day! The Caribbean may be paradise but it is a tropical climate. A lightweight waterproof jacket is recommended and there is no need for heavy duty wet weather gear or sailing boots. You will also need personal toiletries, swim shorts/bikinis; a hat; sunglasses, sun cream, personal electronic devices. You know the usual stuff for a holiday in the sun! Soft holdalls only please for all luggage. There is insufficient space for rigid suitcases.

Q: Do I need to bring snorkelling equipment?
A: There will be opportunities during breaks for swimming and snorkelling.  We have some basic gear on board you are willing to try, but if you are passionate about it, we suggest you bring your own! 

Q: What about toilet facilities?
A: There are 2 toilets (heads) on board with fresh water and shower facility. There is also a fresh water shower on the transom. Some nights may be spent at one of our Antiguan marinas, and all have shore side facilities.

Q: Where will I be sailing?
A: That depends on your course! For the novice and intermediate levels we tend to cruise the calm west coast of Antigua with the occasional foray southeast into Atlantic conditions. For the advanced levels we may well sail between neighbouring islands. All sailing plans will be governed by weather and sea conditions at the time.

Q: Can I use electronic devices on board?
A: Bring a camera to capture your experience. Mobile phone coverage will be limited unless close to land and international providers will be expensive. You can bring your Laptop / Tablet if required. 12 volt cigarette lighter chargers only please.
None of the above are requirements for the course.

Q: May I smoke?
A: Smoking onboard is not allowed for safety and comfort. You may smoke when we are in marinas or off the boat. Specific permission may be granted by instructors/skippers depending on the circumstances.  NEVER smoke below decks!!

Q: What is a Yachtmaster Preparation Week?
A: Once you have achieved your Coastal Skipper Practical, and Coastal Skipper & Yachtmaster Offshore Theory Course Completion Certificates, there is no official RYA Yachtmaster Practical Course. By this time you should have taken your knowledge to sea, logged miles, acquired experience and gained further skills to make you ready for your Yachtmaster Coastal or Yachtmaster Offshore examination. It is a tough examination and our “Prep Week” is designed to highlight, and practice, those elements of the exam you will be expected to be competent in. The “Prep Week” immediately precedes the examination so you undertake this final stage fully prepared and focused.

Q: What is a “Mile Building Passage”?
A: There are experience criteria that must have been logged before you are eligible to undergo a Yachtmaster Coastal or Yachtmaster Offshore examination. Our Mile Building Passages are a week of intensive sailing by day and / or night, during which we cover as many miles as possible to help build up the miles and skippering experience required in your Log Book.

Q: I just want to go sailing! Why do I have to take a course?
A: You don’t! Although we try to offer priority places on our courses to our genuine students, if there is a space on board and you are not interested in taking a course, you are more than welcome to join us. We would, however, request that you are not disruptive to the fluency of the training of our students. You never know, it may be the lowest cost Caribbean sailing experience you will ever find!!

Q: What about sea sickness?
A: If you are a serious sufferer of sea sickness you may wish to reconsider the sailing life. However, many famous sailors persevered despite this ailment, and there are many proprietary anti sea sickness products available. We recommend you discuss with your doctor which is the most appropriate for you. If possible opt for one of the “non-drowsy” solutions.

Q: What about drugs?
A: Unless they are legally prescribed for a medical condition, FORGET IT! Be warned that despite common perceptions to the contrary, Caribbean islands are zero tolerant of illegal substances and penalties can be harsh. ANYONE found in possession of ANY illegal substance in ANY quantity on board ANY of our yachts, or premises for which we are responsible, will be reported to the local authorities and immediately discharged without recompense of any kind. This is non-negotiable.

Q: What Currency will I need?
A: US Dollars & EC Dollars are widely accepted but Euros will be needed in French West Indies Islands of Martinique, Guadeloupe and St. Barths.

Q: What about alcohol?
A: Beer & wine in moderation is permitted in the evenings after the yacht is secured. We call these “Anchor Beers”. No alcohol is to be consumed on board or ashore during the daytime or at any time you are sailing or will be going back out sailing (for a night sail for example)   Spirits are not permitted on board at any time during the course. You are advised to moderate drinking spirits ashore in the evening. Hangovers are not acceptable, and you will receive no sympathy!

Q: What about immigration formalities?
A: These apply if we leave the coastal waters of our island to sail to another island outside the nation state. In Antigua, Barbuda is an exception as it is part of the Antigua nation. Elsewhere your skipper deals with all formalities ashore and you may not go ashore until these are completed. We are happy to advise on visa requirements if required.

Q: What about insurance?
A:  We recommend you take out Personal Travel Insurance to ensure that you are covered for these activities. Please check with your card issuer if cancellation insurance is offered when paying by credit card.

Q: Are there age limits?
A: The RYA set age limits as follows:
Competent Crew – no minimum / Day Skipper – 16 / Coastal Skipper – 17 / Yachtmaster Offshore – 18.
However at Second Star Sailing School we prefer:
Under 15 – must be part of a group of family and friends occupying a yacht solely / 16 and 17 must be accompanied by a parent or appointed chaperone / Single students 18+.

Yacht Racing

We have answered some of the most commonly asked questions below. However, if you have a query that is not covered here, please contact us and we will be delighted to respond.

Q. What happens if my booked yacht does not race?
A. There are many variables in sailing, not least technical failure, or weather conditions. If we are unable to provide your spot on the booked yacht, we will endeavor to place you on an alternative yacht, or refund your payment as you choose.

Q. What happens if I am unable to race?
A. Our cancellation clauses vary with each yacht. You are strongly advised to check out the booking contract we offer prior to signing or paying a deposit. In all cases concerning cancellation we strongly recommend you take out Holiday & Cancellation Insurance before your trip.

Q. Do I need Insurance?
A. In addition to the Holiday & Cancellation Insurance mentioned above, it is recommended you also take out insurance for racing, medical issues and loss or theft of possessions.

Q. Do I need any previous experience?
A. This is always useful as it means we shall be able to race more competitively. However, all our yachts have a professional skipper on board who will take responsibility for training in the first one or two days of our Charter Package.

Q. Is accommodation on the yacht included?
A. Where possible yes, but it is allocated on a “1st come, 1st served” booking basis. Some of our yachts require more crew than there is accommodation for, in which case late bookers will need to find alternative accommodation.

Q. Is provisioning included?
A. This depends on the yacht and event. Full provisions are provided on Offshore Events.

Q. Is travel to and from the yacht included?
A. No. It is up to you to make your way to the embarkation location. We do offer travel and accommodation packages but these are on a bespoke basis and charter fees will reflect these accordingly.

Q. Who will I be sailing with?
A. There will definitely be one of our professional and experienced skippers on board, and subject to the event, he/she may be supported by a first mate. Other crewmembers come from all walks of life; with different levels of experience. Generally there is a balance in gender, and an eclectic mix of nationalities.

Q. Can I book a single berth?
A. Single berth bookings are available on some yachts, in some events. We are racing to win and need full crew compliments to give us the best chance of achieving this. Single berth enquiries, for those yachts seeking whole yacht charter only, are offered a place on our reserve list. If, as the event approaches, we still feel we need to increase the crew, places will be offered on a “1st come, 1st served” basis. We usually always offer single berth places on our Mile & Experience Building Passages.

Q: How do I book?
A: Simply email or call us. We operate a “1st come, 1st served” booking policy. To secure your booking a 15% deposit is required. Payment can be made by Visa/Mastercard or Wire Transfer. Bank charges will apply. Once payment is cleared we will confirm your booking and all other details by e-mail. Balances are paid not less than 30 days prior to the date of you joining the yacht.