Sailing Training Vacations

Learning to Sail – Improving Your Sailing Skills – Building Mileage: All While on a Vacation

What a really good idea!  No, seriously; it is.


Sailing Training Vacations

Taking a sailing training vacation is simple and easy. In fact, even if you have experience, it is a good idea. Most often we get calls from people who can not quite qualify to charter a yacht on a sailing vacation – or – they do quality but are, rightly so, a little intimidated doing it the first time by themselves when transitioning from their local sailing location to an area they are unfamiliar with and in charge of a big yacht for 7-10 days with friends and family relying on them for safety. Long sentence but I did it on purpose – there is a lot to know when taking a sailing vacation. This is why going with a Caribbean or Mediterranean school is a good idea. Some schools are based in one location and some schools are traveling schools; you meet them wherever they are and take a leg of the journey where they are going.

You can go by yourself, with a few friends, with your sig other, or book out the whole boat and take the family.

Below are some Vacation Sailing Training Schools we recommend. If you are interested, we can book you into any one of them. Just let us know on this page:


  • RYA – This is a Royal Yachting Association school and conforms to the high standards of the RYA. Instructors are fully (and I mean fully) vetted and have passed very rigorous courses. You can earn your RYA Day Skipper Practical portion of the RYA Day Skipper Certificate at this school.
  • ICC – This school is able to issue an ICC (International Certificate of Competence); a license that is acceptable for yacht chartering in Europe.
  • SLC – This school is able to issue the practical competency portion of the SLC (Sailing License and Credentials); a license that is acceptable for Yacht chartering in Europe. The theory portion is done online prior to arriving to the base.
  • CAT – This school has Catamarans and will give you the confidence and competence for the operation of a Catamaran.
  • MILEAGE – This school does long distance trips so that you can learn while building miles on your resume.

Theory Requirements

Not really requirements, unless you are going for an international license certification. But highly recommended even if you are not since you will want to spend the time on the boat doing practical rather than learning theory. There are several courses we recommend for getting started. Ultimately you should aim for the Bareboat Charter Master bundle of courses which is a fully comprehensive everything you need to know (theory-wise) set of courses, but if you’re starting out, try the NauticEd Skipper course. For those who want to participate in Navigation, take the online coastal Navigation course and the Electronic Navigation course. Or, at the very least take our two free sailing courses.

For licensing purposes:

  • For RYA Day Skipper Certificate, you will need to do the RYA Day Skipper Theory Course online prior to joining the yacht. The practical portion can only be done at an RYA school.
  • For SLC qualification, you will need to complete Bareboat Charter Master courses online prior to joining the yacht at an SLC school.
  • For Catamaran endorsement you will need to complete the online Catamaran Sailing Confidence Course as well as Bareboat Charter Master prior to joining the yacht at a Catamaran listed school.


On Deck Sailing  – RYA – ICC – SLC – MILEAGE

On Deck is an RYA [Royal Yacht Association] school. Here you can gain your RYA Day Skipper course and consequently, your ICC is only an application form away. Book a berth or book out the whole boat for your family. Advantages of the RYA /ICC dual certification include worldwide recognition for those looking to charter a yacht and a progression to RYA Yachtmaster Offshore and Ocean that are globally recognized professional commercial qualifications.

On Deck do training around Antigua or offshore passages in the Caribbean, Atlantic, and Mediterranean. Build some serious miles with On Deck.
In addition, you can put any of your skills into racing in any of the main Caribbean Regattas from St Thomas, USVI down to Barbados & Grenada and all in between. Individuals or groups welcome

The British Virgin Islands

Sailing Virgins  – SLC – MILEAGE

If you’re in your 20’s or 30’s, Sailing Virgins is for you. Sailing Virgins focus on training the young and vibrant on local sailing training vacations in and around the British Virgin Islands or running up and down the Caribbean between the BVI and Martinique building miles as you go.

Tortola Sailing –  ICC – SLC

Sailing out of Frenchman’s Bay, Tortola Sailing do 5 and 7 day sailing training vacations around the British Virgin Islands. At the end, you can earn your International Certificate of Competency and/or your NauticEd SLC license.

Canada, British Columbia

Vancouver Sailing Club and Vancouver Sailing School – SLC – CAT – MILEAGE

Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced Instruction and certification. Chief Instructor is RYA Yachtmaster Offshore (MCA) and RYA Cruising Instructor certified, NauticEd Captain Rank, VHF Radio Operator Course Instructor.

Sail BC’s  Inside Passage
– Gulf Islands Cruise Learn 7 day Cruise & Learn
– Desolation Sound Cruise & Learn 7, 14 and 21 day cruises
– Discovery Islands 7 days
– Broughton Islands 7,14 and 21 Days


BlueFoot Travel – SLC – MILEAGE

Both Neil Collier and Samantha (Sam) Burrough have a love of sailing and the unique peace and excitement that can be found at sea. They also love traveling and the discovery of new shores and friendships along the way. As well as eating, cooking, and outdoor adventures. Learn to sail while exploring the islands and the food in the Caribbean with Sam and Neil.


Mahina – SLC – MILEAGE

Master ocean sailing in a dynamic learning environment aboard Mahina Tiare III, a Hallberg-Rassy 46 withJohn and Amanda Neil. This is a globally roaming school. If you are ever considering sailing across an ocean, you should train with John and Amanda. They have over 500,000 sailing miles under their keel. They teach you everything. You will even be sewing up sails while underway, taking engines apart … These guys are the real thing.

Florida – Keys

Middle Keys Sailing – SLC

Drive to the Keys or fly to Miami and scoot down the coast to the famous Florida Keys. Explore for a few days on land, have a cheeseburger in paradise, jump a boat for 5 days or so and learn to sail in the amazing Keys. Whether for serious training or for a family sailing/learning vacation this is a top place in the USA. No passports required!



Sailing Virgins  – SLC – MILEAGE

If you’re in your 20’s or 30’s, Sailing Virgins is for you. Sailing Virgins focus on training the young and vibrant on local sailing training vacations in and around the British Virgin Islands or running up and down the Caribbean between the BVI and Martinique building miles as you go.

Mediterranean – Croatia


A premier yacht charter company in Croatia as well as an RYA sailing school. Fly into split and take a 45 minute drive along the coast to the historic town of Šibenik (pronounced Shib-e-nek). Get your RYA day skipper practical done with NCP which qualifies you for your ICC.

Mediterranean – Greece

Sunsail – Lefkas – RYA- ICC – SLC

Earn your international sailing licenses in the gorgeous environment of Greek waters, villages, food, and people.

Mediterranean – Italy

Just-Sailing – Genoa –  RYA- ICC – SLC

Genoa, Italy is an ideal setting for sailing training. Sail by day and visit the towns and villages of northern Italy by night.

Mexico – Baja

Rock Star Sailor – SLC

Mix an arid desert environment with an ocean teeming with dolphins and whales and a great sailing training vacation experience and you have Rock Star Sailing in Puerto Vallarta.

St. Vincent

Sail Grenadines – RYA – ICC – SLC

Based on the gorgeous island on Bequia 5 miles south of St. Vincent, Sail Grenadines is a RYA Training Center and a yacht charter company. They specialize in tailoring your learning experience to what you want, whether it is just you or your whole family.

US Virgin Islands

Virgin Islands Yacht Charters – SLC – CAT

Virgin Islands Yacht Charters have a dedicated NauticEd qualified sailing instructor able to cater a sailing training experience for what you desire. You and a few friends or your whole family. At the end of a 5-day training, as long as you qualify, you will be issued the NauticEd SLC practical competency mark needed to gain the SLC license. Or if you’re not up for school just yet, they can do captained charter as well.

You decide!

Check out these companies then come back to book with us at We don’t charge you a fee and if you mention this site when you book we will give you 20% off NauticEd online sailing courses. YAY win-win.

To prepare you adequately, you should take the theory courses prior to showing up to the base. In this manner, you spend more time doing practical training that downstairs learning the theory and taking tests at night. All that is done beforehand so that you can enjoy the warm evenings under the stars.

Take NauticEd Online theory training courses here.

Start your SLC international sailing license here.







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My vision for NauticEd is to provide the highest quality sailing and boating education available - and deliver competence wherever sailors live and go.
Grant Headifen
Last updated on September 27th, 2022