Covid 19, the coronavirus

Updated May 18, 2020

Hours of sewing, contemplating how, when, will this all end. Never thought I’d be thankful for my mother who left me…

Posted by Jen Martin on Saturday, April 11, 2020

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

  “Anxiety thrives on uncertainty.”

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

With COVID-19 in our lives, we know you are uncertain about your travel plans this summer?  We get it. Who isn’t uncertain about summer travel today? Putting your life on hold for coronavirus is not easy. We are determined to keep putting one foot in front of the other; adjusting our lives as necessary. Below we share some thoughts and plans based on the latest information and advisories. 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). 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 guests getting here shouldn’t be too hard. But what about the 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.
  • Currently: Maine’s Governor Mills recently published guidelines for the “soft” reopening of restaurants and lodging facilities. The 14-day quarantine requirement is still in place until the end of August but the Governor’s plans are fluid. The Maine Windjammer Association is currently working on a proposal for the State to consider that would allow us to re-open without the 14-day requirement. But that proposal depends on your willingness to cooperate with some basic guidelines that will be part of our proposal. Since this situation is so rapidly evolving we don’t believe anything is carved in stone yet. We are still hoping to be sailing by early July.
  • We think being outside in the wind and fresh air aboard a sailboat is a pretty good idea. Some medical professionals believe that our immune systems can handle a few virus particles, called virions. In the sun and wind, the coronavirus is diluted, literally. We also know that UV-C from the sun will kill the coronavirus. By following proper behavior and sanitizing procedures, we can greatly reduce the virus load that guests will be exposed to. Nothing is 100% guaranteed and that is why we will be asking guests to self-select based on their medical history, recent exposures and pre-trip health monitoring.
  • Our revised reservation/cancellation policy now applies through the end of August. We have always strongly recommended purchasing trip cancellation insurance immediately after booking your cruise. Eventually, moving about in this COVID-19 landscape will become easier 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, stay home. Wear a mask and use hand sanitizer in situations where social distancing practices become impractical. That will offer you partial protection and prevent others from getting coronavirus from you if you are an asymptomatic carrier.

Here’s what we are doing.

For all cruises thru the 2020 season:

  • Revised Reservation/Cancellation Policy.   For as long as COVID-19 is an unmitigated 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 we can 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. 

OUR PLAN

  • About 10 days before each cruise we will be sending out a screening 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. The heads are cleaned and disinfected 5 times a day. 4 additional cabins, for a total of 6 private single cabins, are available on our June and early July cruises at no extra cost to you. 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. 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 heart-warming home-cooked meals, and fabulous Maine sunsets.  

Useful Links:

US Center for Disease Control

Maine Center for Disease Control