below are a few of the most common questions
we receive specific to the arc marine
biology program. if you don’t see your question, or if you
would rather speak to us directly, please call
any time at 800.317.6789 or +1.941.924.6789.
What is the main focus of the Arc Caribbean Leadership Voyage?
The Arc Caribbean Leadership Voyage is a fast
paced adventure run aboard our 90-ft schooner, S/Y Ocean Star and offers
the possibility of 3-credits through the Florida Keys Community College for
the Student Leadership Development course. Starting in the British Virgin
Islands you'll pilot the vessel south to the island of Antigua visiting
more than 8 other islands along the way. You'll have the opportunity to learn
to scuba dive and, when ashore, we'll explore the towns, hike to the top
of the tallest mountain and cook out on the white sand beaches.
What certifications will I earn?
During the program you will complete a college level 3-credit
leadership course and your grade will be reflected on both an Arc transcript
and a transcript from the FKCC should you select additional credit from that
institution (please note that additional credits costs apply that vary with
you home state of residency). You will also gain a lot of sailing experience
aboard our modern schooner. Through International Yachtmaster Training (IYT)
you'll earn the International Crew Certificate and your sea time and miles
will also become officially logged for future use should you decide to build
on your certifications. Scuba is also included and, depending on your previous
experience, you could earn your PADI Open Water or PADI Advanced Open Water
How many people go on this program?
A maximum of 14 students and 4 staff that will sail aboard
for this voyage, split between both males and females.
What type of boat will I be on?
This voyage is run aboard our 88-foot sail training schooner
Ocean Star. Originally
launched in 1991 as a school ship for Ocean Navigator Magazine. Over the years,
she sailed the waters between Canada and the Caribbean, enabling adult students
to learn navigation and nautical skills. After an extensive refit in 1999 Ocean
Star began a new life with us, serving to train students and young adults
on the waters she knows so well.
Where do we all sleep?
From the moment you arrive, you'll move aboard and live on board full-time. If you've never lived aboard a yacht before, you'll find that there are a lot of differences to living on land! What's the head? Where's the lazarette? How do you pump the bilge?
Ocean Star has 4 dedicated sleeping areas so there's enough room for us all to sleep down below in our own bunk.
Who will be my staff?
Four professional staff members live aboard full-time. There
will be the Skipper, the First Mate and a Scuba Instructor (who is typically
a Marine Biologist) and a fourth staff member who could also be a
scuba instructor, EMT, Marine Biologist or someone with other special skills.
What's the weather like?
The short answer to this question is, GORGEOUS! Well, usually anyway! In the Caribbean the trade winds blow a steady 8-14 knots and the average summer temperature is 83°F with 76% humidity and 81°F water temperature (South Florida by comparison averages 89°F with humidity of 87%.) What's great about the Caribbean weather is that there is always a breeze, so it feels very comfortable almost all the time. Yes, it does rain now and then, but it is more of a tropical shower, lasting only a few minutes, rather than a complete day of rain.
How can parents find out what's going on aboard the program?
The easiest way is for students to place a quick call home
to let Mom and Dad in on what's going on! Sometimes this doesn't happen though
so we developed a trip update system in which, at the end of each day,
the student leader writes a few remarks in the log. At various
times (typically once every 3 or 4 days) this is typed up and posted on the
Arc Academic Expeditions website. This way, Mom and Dad can vicariously live
Do I need any specific immunizations for this program?
No special immunizations are required to these Caribbean Islands.
We do ask that all students check that their Tetanus and Hepatitis B inoculations
What about the travel arrangements?
Students come from all points of the compass! (typically, around 11 countries
and 35 states are represented), so coordinated air travel is of vital importance.
this reason, we highly recommend that students flying to the Caribbean book through
Leah Hernandez at Reservation Services International as she regularly obtain
the best fares available, arranges group seating and provides close monitoring
on travel days in case of flight difficulties. As airlines often change their
schedules, Arc Academic Expeditions cannot be responsible for the coordination
of air flights that were not booked through Leah.
For more information on flight
itineraries and travel information, please contact...
Reservation Services International
Do I need a passport or any special visas?
All students traveling to the Caribbean need to have a passport
which is valid for a minimum of six months after the date of departure from
the British Virgin Islands. Visitors from certain countries other than the
US, UK and Canada may require visas. To confirm whether or not a visa is required,
please call us or contact the Chief Immigration Officer, Government of the
British Virgin Islands, the nearest British Consulate or the nearest BVI Tourist