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Frequently asked questions

Airport Transfer

Please see details for each destination under "how to get here”. Transferring by yourself to the marina from the airport or ferry dock is usually easy and trouble free. Airport transfers are not included in your charter fee.

Bad weather - what happens if this is forecasted?

Adverse weather in the Caribbean, and at our bases world-wide Rainy season in the Caribbean officially runs from 1 June through 30 November every year and the South Pacific Cyclone season runs from November to April. If you are about to travel and are concerned that your forthcoming holiday may be affected by adverse weather conditions then please read this important advice and information: At TradeWinds your safety is of paramount importance to us. We constantly monitor the weather satellites and channels all year round. While it can be difficult to predict the tracking of a weather system with perfect accuracy, we check every new Public Advisory notice and confer with our colleagues at our various bases. If you wish to check on the progress of a weather system in the Caribbean then we recommend that you check only the Weather Channel or the National Hurricane Center website - http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/ as there are many weather sites who paint very inaccurate pictures of the actual situation. Very many of our Members have taken advantage of our special summer discounts, and have had the most wonderful experiences sailing our fine shores during rainy season, however there is always the potential for bad weather. If this should occur - this is how we handle it: REVISED SEVERE WEATHER POLICY - EFFECTIVE JUNE 2018 As you are aware, we operate in regions of the world that can experience severe weather. Examples would be the Atlantic hurricane season (June to November) that can affect our Caribbean destinations and the South Pacific Cyclone season (November to April) which can affect our Southern Pacific destinations. TradeWinds puts safety first for both you and our crew. With that in mind the following policy will be adhered to from 1st June 2018. This policy overrules any prior written agreement or statement made in any communications with regards to your Membership and/or any booking with TradeWinds. Should TradeWinds cancel a charter or part of a charter due to the approach of a named storm we will inform you as soon as possible. We strongly recommend that, during these periods of potential severe weather, you monitor the weather forecasts carefully and diligently so that, irrespective of any actions TradeWinds may take you may make informed decisions with regard to your own personal safety and travel plans. You will be refunded All-Inclusive fees, Maintenance Contribution* and any Plus Points* used directly against the canceled booking on a pro-rata basis against the part of your charter interrupted by the storm passing. As examples, if you have not yet boarded we refund 100% of the fees paid and Plus Points deducted from your Membership for the canceled cruise. If your cruise is interrupted by two nights during a seven night cruise we will refund two sevenths of the fees paid and two sevenths of the Plus Points deducted from your Membership for the affected cruise. TradeWinds WILL NOT be responsible for any other direct or indirect expenses of any sort incurred by any Member, guest or any other party including but not limited to hotels, food, flight changes and new flights. We STRONGLY advise that you seek travel insurance during travel over these periods. * Maintenance Contributions and Plus Points will be returned to the Members' account that was used for the canceled or affected booking for use at a later date, however we cannot extend the usage of any Plus Points beyond the expiry date of the associated Purchase Agreement / Plus Points.

Can I bring my sleep apnea machine?

If you wish to bring aboard a sleep apnea machine, our fleet is equipped with inverters and sufficient battery banks and can supply enough energy for your sleeping device. Please note that most of our boats have 110v and/or 220v in the cabins, however the traditional boats in Croatia have only 12v.

Can we bring our children with us?

Children from 6 months to 15 years of age are welcome on TradeWinds’ Private Experiences and designated family experiences. On TradeWinds’ Shared Experiences, guests must be 16+ years of age. Conduct, safety, and entertainment of children are the responsibility of the Guests at all times. TradeWinds does not provide life jackets for children, "professionally sized" children's life jackets should be purchased prior to your vacation and must be worn at all times they are out of the cockpit when the boat is under sail. This is absolutely non-negotiable. Due to the unique nature of our experiences in Tonga, the yacht and Mandala island are not prepared for young children; this means we are unable to accommodate children under 13 years of age or offer family experiences in this destination. On Private Experiences in Tonga, children 13 years of age and older are welcome. On AQUA•TERRA and TERRA Shared Experiences, guests 16 years of age and older are welcome.

Can we charge our cameras and reading devices?

We have electrical outlets onboard where you can charge your electrical devices.

Can we fish?

We have a fishing rod on each yacht and often catch fish as we sail between each small Island. When possible you may bring the fish up and your Captain will assist you. Your catch may become that night's dinner, fresh off the yacht's barbecue. Fishing is not permitted in British Virgin Islands due to local restrictions in the marine regulations, in order to help safeguard the fish population, but we promise to bring you places to enjoy the fishes through the lens of your snorkel mask.

Can you accommodate special dietary needs?

Yes we can. Nowadays we see more and more guests with special needs such as lactose free, gluten free, vegan, no fish, no red meat etc requests - and we can cater to all these needs as long as you let us know in detail at the time of your booking.

Crew gratuities

Gratuities are at your own discretion and if you feel that your crew have done a wonderful job then a gratuity would be most welcome! The suggested guidelines from the industry standard is 15% to 18% of the all inclusive rate.

Do we wear shoes onboard?

Don’t worry about footwear, you will spend most week onboard barefoot! It’s a good idea to bring a pair of TEVA style sandals that sit good on your foot if you want to hike and sightsee the Islands. Flip flops for shore excursions are also suggested. For those members cruising with us in French Polynesia, please make sure that you have footwear that is suitable to enable you to walk over the rocky areas which often reach right to the edge of the shoreline.

Do you provide a hairdryer?

We can provide a hairdryer onboard. Please request this prior to arriving at the base.

Emergency contact numbers?

All yacht Captains carry cell phones and each yacht has a VHF radio onboard. Contact numbers are listed under each destination.

Full-face snorkel masks

TradeWinds strongly discourages the use of full-face snorkel masks due to the safety risks they represent to our guests. More information can be found at http://www.snorkelsafetystudy.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/SSS-Interim-Report_July2020-FINAL.pdf

How do we know if we will get along with the other guests onboard?

This is a common question or thought. We have found, after more than two decades of providing charters, that people who are drawn to this kind of quality adventure are usually outgoing and friendly people, who may have traveled extensively already, and are keen to experience a different kind of vacation. Surprisingly, many of our guests have never sailed on a boat before, and find they love it. Our shared charters are very popular and most enjoyable, and our guests meet and make new friends each week.

Is internet access available?

Internet is not available except at certain Internet cafes along certain routes. Allow yourself to ‘unplug’ from the grid during your sailing week, and enjoy a true vacation. Your Captain has a cell phone for emergency use so you are not totally disconnected.

Is smoking permitted?

Smoking is not permitted inside the yacht. Smoking is only allowed on the back steps, where the smoke drifts away and will not disturb the other guests.

Is there air conditioning on the yacht?

We are fortunate to experience the most precious unpolluted waters and cherished environments in the world, which includes the important responsibility of protecting it for your future experiences. We believe we have a good balance in place which minimizes environmental impact while offering guests a level of comfort during their vacation. First and foremost, guests are encouraged to appreciate and enjoy the natural breeze by opening the hatches. This is the same sea breeze that allows us to sail in the first place! From the 2023 season onward, the following applies towards AQUA experiences aboard ALL Yacht classes (CRUISING, LUXURY, FLAGSHIP & SUPERYACHT): Air conditioning can be offered in the evening while guests prepare for dinner (around 5pm - 7pm), through the night from when the first guest goes to bed until 7am, and while on the dock. Running the air conditioning requires a generator that depends on the size and usage, which also runs in the morning for charging batteries and operating the water maker. PLEASE NOTE: Due to the complex nature of marine air conditioning, if the AC system fails, the crew will make an effort to fix the equipment, although often a specialist technician is required. No compensation will be offered in the unlikely event of air conditioning failure or due to the sound from running the generator.

Land accommodation before and after our cruise?

We have our own land resorts and there are many other hotels and resorts which we can recommend in the area of your cruise. You can find more information in our website, or you can ask the Reservations consultant who is helping you.


TradeWinds provides guests with masks, snorkels, and fins. In destinations where SCUBA diving from the yacht is permitted for certified divers, regulators, BCDs and weight belts are also provided. Where diving is outsourced due to regulations, the local operator provides all gear. TradeWinds does not provide accessories such as wetsuits, dive computers and lights. Guests who prefer to bring their own personal gear are most welcome to do so.? Scuba divers can typically enjoy 2-3 dives per TradeWinds Experience. (Weather permitting)? Divers must hold a complete certification (PADI Open Water or equivalent). Partial certifications are not sufficient. TradeWinds does not offer instructional scuba dives, because our crew are dive masters and not permitted to "teach" or certify scuba. In destinations where diving is permitted from the yacht with a TradeWinds’ Dive Master legally leading the dive, the cost is $100 USD per person per dive for non-Members.?In these destinations, diving is FREE for Members and Guest of Members.? In destinations with regulations where diving is not permitted from the yacht, the TradeWinds' team coordinates dives with a local permitted dive school / operator, with all guests paying the dive fee directly to the operator. This typically ranges from $75-$120 USD per person per dive. In some destinations, two-tank and nitrox dives may be available for a different price. When specifically diving with the local dive schools / operator with instructor, introductory dives for non-certified divers may also be offered. Read all diving details and rules https://www.trade-winds.com/diving-whilst-on-charter

Travel Insurance

We strongly recommend you purchase a fully comprehensive travel insurance, as the relatively small cost of this will cover eventualities from loss of luggage to accommodation due to flight delays etc. Please click travel insurance details. Alternatively contact your local travel agent.

Water skiing/ Jet ski

Water skiing/Jetski is not usually available at our Caribbean destinations, as many Caribbean governments do not allow motorised high speed sports near the beaches, in order to preserve them and keep noise pollution down. Some destinations have outside vendors offering jet skiing possibilities.

What about sea sickness?

All our yachts are catamarans (with two hulls) making them so much more stable than a monohull boat. The waters are generally calm, and our guests rarely suffer from sea sickness. If you are concerned, please bring some form of prevention. These days you can get tablets like ‘Dramamine’. Alternatively, schedule a visit to your local GP can prescribe a seasickness patch containing ‘Scopolamine’ which you place behind your ear. These seem to work very well and are recommended by the users.

What if our flight arrives after 5 pm on Saturday?

You can still join us later on the same day of boarding, but we highly recommend that you arrive in time to board for 5 pm. It's too much fun to miss out on!

What is included in our cruise and what is not included?

The best thing with an all inclusive TradeWinds vacation is that once you have booked and paid your charter there are no hidden fees or added surprises.

Cruising and Luxury Class;

A double cabin with a full or queen size bed with a private ensuite bathroom with WC and shower, the provision of a professional Captain and a First Mate/Chef, all meals and beverages served onboard (breakfast, lunch and dinner) fresh fruit is available to snack on between meals, an open bar with good quality brand names, soft drinks, juices, beers, wines and liquors. All bed linens and towels, including beach towels. All taxes, cruising permits, snorkel equipment and kayak. Provided no local government restrictions are in place, diving is included free of charge to the majority of our members (please check with your reservations consultant as to whether you qualify or not).

Not included are; two evening meals taken ashore, for which each guest is responsible for the cost thereof. Scuba diving for certified divers is charged at $75 per person per dive for Members and at $100 per person per dive for Non Members.

Crew gratuities are not included.

Flagship Class;

A stateroom with an Island-style queen size bed with a private ensuite bathroom with WC and separate shower, the provision of a professional Captain, a Chef and a First Mate, all meals and beverages served onboard (breakfast, lunch and dinner) fresh fruit is available to snack on between meals, an open bar with good quality brand names, soft drinks, juices, beers, wines and liquors. All bed linens and towels including beach towels. All taxes, cruising permits, snorkel equipment and kayak. Provided no local government restrictions are in place, diving is included free of charge to the majority of our members (please check with your reservations consultant as to whether you qualify or not).

Not included are; two evening meals taken ashore, for which each guest is responsible for the cost thereof. Scuba diving for certified divers is charged at $75 per person per dive for Members and at $100 per person per dive for Non Members

Crew gratuities are not included.

What kind of entertainment is available onboard?

All yachts have CD players with i-pod connectors, so feel free to share your favourite music onboard. A limited selection of books and board games is available.

What should we bring with us?

CLOTHING: Please pack as lightly as you can. Most of our guests wear only a fraction of what they bring! All you really need are shorts, tee shirts and beachwear - and possibly a light wrap or sweater for the evening. In addition to this, perhaps something a little more dressy for the two evenings you will be dining ashore - such as a shirt with a collar (to go with the shorts) for the gentlemen and a sun-dress for the ladies. A casual, enjoyable evening out!

SHOES: Most of the week you will be barefoot, though hiking sandals or sneakers are also good for shore excursions. Some guests also like wearing water shoes at times.

TOWELS AND TOILETRIES: All towels (including beach towels) are provided by TradeWinds. However, we do not provide toiletries, (only bathroom tissue). Please bring your preferred toiletries such as shampoo, conditioner, etc. Travel size is usually good for the week, and some cruisers like to bring bar versions to consolidate on liquids for carry on.

SKIN / SUN PROTECTION: Packing sun protective clothing, along with reef friendly sunscreen, a good hat and sunglasses are a MUST. Also, a long-sleeve rash guard is helpful.

LUGGAGE: Soft luggage is preferable if you have it. We have some limited storage onshore for your empty bags, but please bring as little as you are comfortable with.

Snacks: Between meals, fresh fruit is available. If you like to eat more between meals then please feel free to bring snacks with you.

BEVERAGES: Yachts and properties are stocked with a variety of beverages, including sodas, beer, wine and liquor - though if you have a preferred or favorite brand you are welcome to bring it with you.

What time should we arrive and depart?

All sailing charters start on Saturday at 5 pm and end on Saturday at 9 am (except for our Lefkas, Greece, destination which begins on Sunday at 5 pm and ends on Sunday at 9 am). At all our sailing destinations you are welcome to check in during the day, drop off your luggage and then relax at a nearby café/bar or go and sightsee in the local area. Boarding is at 5 pm on Saturday evening (at 5 pm on Sunday evening in Lefkas, Greece). The following Saturday morning, after a delicious breakfast you are invited to disembark at 9 am. If you have an early flight out then this can be accommodated, as your yacht will be back in port on Friday night.

For land-only destinations, please check the individual resorts for check-in/check-out times.

Who Can’t Sail and Why

In an ideal world, we would like to invite absolutely EVERYONE to come sailing with us, but the reality is that some people are very vulnerable at certain times in their lives, and a sailing vacation at those particular times is just not wise. One example of this is those women who are beyond 26 weeks into their pregnancy. Past this point, both local and international airlines will refuse to carry you, and we do not have the facilities nor the medical expertise to care for you - should any complications arise. If you are expecting a baby then we will be delighted to welcome you onboard, provided that you end your cruise at a maximum of 26 weeks into your pregnancy. In the warm, tropical or sub-tropical climates which most of our bases enjoy, their are risks posed towards young babies whose immune systems are not yet properly developed. We do not have the facilities nor the medical expertise to care for these infants, should they become unwell, and it could be many miles to the nearest medical facility. Please note that only babies who are at least 6 months of age (at the time of cruising) are permitted to cruise with us. You don't have to be a superfit athlete to sail with us, but please note that this is not a cruise ship complete with facilities for the disabled, and it is essential that our guests possess a certain degree of fitness, vision, hearing and agility. You will have to be able to climb in and out of dinghies, and up and down ladders, with only minimal assistance. Unfortunately we cannot cater for guests who depend on wheelchairs or personal "scooters". For safety reasons, should there be an emergency onboard, the crew need to ensure that all aboard can climb through the bottom hatches and await rescue, or, alternatively, access the life raft safely.

Will my cell phone work?

Please contact your provider to find out if you need to make upgrades for the region where you are sailing in order to be connected. We recommend that you ‘unplug’ for your week's sailing experience.

Will the bugs/mosquitos be a problem?

Unfortunately, bugs are around - even in paradise! We have bug spray onboard, but you may prefer to bring along your own (environmentally friendly spray please).


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