Covid 19, the coronavirus

Here’s what you need to know about what we are doing.

Updated March 20, 2020

  “Anxiety thrives on uncertainty.”

safe vacations aboard the maine windjammer schooner Mary Day to avoid crowded places

Uncertain about your travel plans this summer?  We get it. Who isn’t uncertain about summer travel today? Putting your life on hold is not easy. We are also determined to keep putting one foot in front of the other and adjusting our lives as necessary. Below we share some thoughts and our plans based on the latest information and advisories so that you can make informed, smart choices about your travel options. For many of you, Maine is only a day’s drive away from home. Make a plan to get here and get away from life ashore. We will continue to update this page as things develop and we learn more. If you have any questions you can always give us a call here at the global headquarters. 800-992-2218

“You are living proof that when a group of friends sacrifices together for a common good they can become family.”

You, our friends, our families, and our community are our top priorities. Jen and I are incredibly concerned about your health and welfare. We have family here too. We are all in the same boat… no pun intended… so the health and welfare of every person onboard is our first priority. Along with the crew we are working just as hard as you are to keep exposures to an absolute minimum and stop the spread of COVID-19.

Here is what we know.

stay away from the crowds aboard a maine windjammer schooner Mary Day
Morning coffee with plenty of space to spread out and enjoy the scenery.

The CDC has not published any domestic travel advisories. The CDC is advising travelers to stay away from large crowded areas. Airports, cruise ships, sports and concert venues, indoor arenas, etc. Since Maine is a day’s drive for many of our guests we think getting here shouldn’t be too hard. But what about a schooner? Isn’t that a cruise? Aren’t we supposed to avoid cruise ships? Mary Day is not a cruise ship. We are nothing like a cruise ship where people largely spend their time in large crowds in enclosed spaces. Shore trips are not at crowded popular destination ports. Here is what we know and what we plan to do to keep us all safe:

Don’t Panic

  • We are optimistic but realistic about the Maine summer sailing season. Fit-out is in full swing as we get the schooner ready for the season more than 2 months away. Some healthcare professionals expect that like any seasonal virus things could taper off as more people get outside. But no one really knows and the dire predictions are only that, predictions based on what little we know about a “novel” coronavirus. If it wasn’t “novel” we would behave like it was any other seasonal influenza except that we do not have a coronavirus vaccine. Yet.
  • Currently: Local, state and federal agencies are making some great recommendations to avoid large crowds, practicing social distancing, and being smart about interacting with others as we try to slow the spread of COVID-19. We personally think being outside in the wind and fresh air aboard a sailboat is a pretty good idea. The remote nature of Maine’s coast and islands sounds better than a theme park to us. We have revised our reservation/cancellation policy to make the reservation process a little easier. We have always strongly recommended purchasing trip cancellation insurance immediately after booking your cruise. Eventually, COVID-19 will ease up but other emergencies can arise. Ask very specific questions about your concerns while purchasing this protection. This link provides some useful answers from one of the many highly regarded travel insurance companies. 

Here’s what we need you to do.

  • Be smart.    Think about protecting your health and the health of others: If you are at high risk for carrying (transmitting) or have a pre-existing condition that puts you at risk from COVID-19 then traveling may not be your best choice. If you have any symptoms or know you have been closely exposed to someone with COVID-19, stay home. Chances are many of us will get coronavirus no matter how hard we try not to. Some health officials have wondered if some of us will have it and not even know. Everybody responds differently to COVID-19. So let’s do the best we can to avoid getting sick and avoid bringing the virus to others as we travel. Implement excellent hygiene practices above and beyond your normal habits, get plenty of rest, eat well, hydrate often and get some exercise.

Here’s what we are doing.

For all June and early July cruises (thru 7/10-3 day)

  • Revised Reservation/Cancellation Policy.   For as long as COVID-19 is a public health emergency we are temporarily implementing a revised reservation/cancellation policy.
    • Rates – Our rates will remain the same. 
    • Reservations – Deposits continue to be $300 per person when you make your reservation. Balances are now due 10 days prior to sailing (instead of 6 weeks prior to sailing). 
    • Cancellation Policy – All reservations may be canceled up until 10 days before your cruise departure. Cancel anytime up until then and we will refund your money no questions asked – no cancellation fee or give you a raincheck applying your deposit to a future cruise during the 2020 or 2021 seasons. 
    • Rainchecks – if you cancel within 10 days of your departure date we will offer you a rain check, valid for 2020 or 2021 sailing season.  A reservation may be switched from one cruise to another with no additional fees. Funds paid from the current reservation will be applied to the new cruise of your choice. Please understand cabin assignments may be different as the bookings will be on a first-come, first-serve basis. Flexibility is the key here. 

At the beginning of June we will reassess and update the above reservation/cancellation guidelines as they apply to the remainder of the season.

OUR PLAN

  • About 10 days before each cruise we will be sending out a questionnaire regarding your health and known exposures to COVID-19. Think ahead before you leave home. Of course, we’ll be vigilant with the health of our crew. Aboard the schooner, we have hand sanitizer in the entrances to the main cabin and galley. Additional hand sanitizers will be located in each of the companionways. Our on-deck hot freshwater outlet is conveniently located next to the galley entrance with hand soap for washing before you go down into the main cabin. We will be instituting additional passenger cabin and public area sanitizing practices consistent with recommendations provided by the CDC. Several times a day we will be sanitizing the cabin houses and above decks public spaces. Meals can be served buffet style allowing folks to eat on deck. We clean the heads disinfecting them 5 times a day. We are also dedicating 4 additional cabins, for a total of 6 private single cabins on our June and early July cruises at no extra cost to you. We will handle August reservations as the time gets closer. We will not ask people to share the bunk bed accommodations with people they do not know. Current cabin assignments will be tweaked to reflect that planning. Jen will contact folks who previously reserved a cabin with someone they do not already know.

Haul away together!

With all of that said there are no guarantees in life but that doesn’t mean we don’t make plans and dream about getting away to Maine’s remote islands for a little fresh air and a chance to unplug. We are looking forward to seeing you on deck with the warm summer breezes, the smell of salt air, some good home-cooked meals and those fabulous Maine sunsets.  

Useful Links:

US Center for Disease Control

Maine Center for Disease Control