Floating Classroom FAQs

How many students can I take?

We can accommodate up to 42 passengers, this number includes all students, teachers and chaperones.

How long is the program?

Floating classroom programs are generally 3-hour programs. Depending on the port, 2.5 hour programs can be accommodated. Full day programs are also available

Is it safe? Do I need a life jacket?

Safety is the Captain and crew’s number one concern. Your children are in good hands when onboard! Our professional crew has been selected to combine the talents of a competent sailing team with those of a trained education staff. Your child will be very closely supervised at every point during their time onboard.

SoundWaters is a sub-chapter T United States Coast Guard inspected vessel. SoundWaters is subject to and complies with all USCG and Federal Communications Commission regulations. The Coast Guard inspects the vessel and crew annually: ensuring the seaworthiness of the vessel and the crews ability to respond to a variety of emergency situations.

The Coast Guard does not require SoundWaters passengers to wear flotation devices during their trip, but SoundWaters carries more P.F.Ds than our maximum number of passengers. If at any time a parent, teacher or school district requests that children wear life jackets we will gladly accommodate the request.

All passengers boarding SoundWaters are given a thorough safety talk by the captain prior to departure. This talk includes the setting of boundaries on the deck and the location of and method for putting on life jackets.

Where does the boat sail from?

SoundWaters homeport is Stamford, CT. The schooner SoundWaters also operates out of other ports including Greenwich, Mamaroneck, Port Washington, Oyster Bay, Port Jefferson, Bridgeport, Milford, Old Saybrook, and Greenport.

Do you sail in the rain?

Yes. We will sail in the rain; however the captain will cancel a program if hazardous weather is present. Please see “What should I wear” to insure your students are properly dressed for the rain.

Where will we go?

It depends on many variables, i.e. weather, tides, duration of program, to name a few. Some days the schooner might sail across the sound, others it might stay close to the harbor.

What should I wear?

It is extremely important that your students dress appropriately for the weather. Your students will be in the elements for the entire 3 hour program.

In the spring and fall, it can be considerably colder on the Sound. Have your students wear warm clothes, i.e. winter jackets/parkas, fleece, wool caps. Sweatshirts will not be enough, especially if it is raining. If rain is forecasted, have students wear rain jackets and if possible rain boots and pants. We do have some ponchos that students may borrow, however they do hamper mobility.

In the summer time it is important that students wear clothes that will protect them from the sun. Hat and sunglasses are also recommended as shade is not always guaranteed. Please do not wear flip flops. Be sure to bring a sweater or jacket as it does get colder on the water.

Your student’s enjoyment and learning experience will be greatly improved if they dress appropriately for the conditions. Layers can always be

What should I bring on board?

Students really do not need to bring much other than the proper clothes and a willingness to learn. Cell phones, ipads, gameboys, cameras, etc can be a distraction for the students and typically do not handle the marine environment very well. We ask teachers and chaperones to refrain from using cell phones during the program as they are a distraction to the students.

Will I get seasick?

Because SoundWaters is a very stable vessel and generally Long Island Sound is very calm, we have very few passengers get seasick. If you are afraid that you will get sick, we recommend Sea-Bands wristbands available at most drug and sporting stores.

Is the boat handicap accessible?

People with disabilities sail with us often. Some areas of the boat are not accessible to people with limited mobility or those in wheelchairs, as they are accessed via ladders or steps, this area includes the bathroom. Please note that, although the SoundWaters crew is comfortable assisting people with disabilities as they board and disembark, not all of our docks are fully accessible to wheelchairs or people with limited mobility. Please check with us to find out how we can accommodate people with disabilities aboard all of our sails.

Are there bathrooms on the boat?

Yes, we have a bathroom on board, but is for emergency use only. All passengers are instructed to use the shore restroom before boarding the schooner.

Can we eat on the boat?

No, but at most of the ports we sail from, there is a picnic area to eat lunch. There is no time during the program for lunch.

Do you take younger students out?

For education programs aboard the schooner, students must be in 2nd grade or older. Children five and older are allowed on our public sails.

What if I have more questions?

Please call or email Olena Czebiniak at (203) 406-3319, schooner@soundwaters.org with any questions or concerns.

Next Steps

Please fill out the Floating Classroom Application form and return it to schooner@soundwaters.org or fax to 203 967 8306

If you have any additional questions, would like further information, or would like to see a program in action please contact Olena Czebiniak, schooner@soundwaters.org, 203 406 3319.