Education

Conservation Travel FAQ

What does the program fee include?
What is the refund and cancellation policy?
Will I need a passport to travel on the boat?
What type of background experience do I need to have to participate?
Do I need snorkeling experience?
Will I need to purchase any snorkel equipment?
Are there any fitness requirements?
What are the minimum and maximum age limits in order to participate?
Do I have to participate in all the activities on the boat?
Do I need to be dive certified to participate?
Do I have to attend the pre- and post-trip portions of this program if I live out of state?
Where do we fly into to meet the boat?
Do we live on the boat during the entire trip?
What are the amenities available on the boat?
What are the sleeping arranements like on the boat?
What does the boat experience include?
Will I have any additional expenses beyond the program fee?
What if I have more questions?

What does the program fee include?
The program fee includes the pre-trip class, room and board on the R/V Coral Reef II and post-trip dinner. All meals on the boat trip are included. The fee does not include airfare or travel to and from the Nassau airport.

What is the refund and cancellation policy?
No refunds will be issued unless Shedd Aquarium cancels the program. Shedd Aquarium reserves the right to cancel the event for any reason. If your event is cancelled, you will be informed via phone as soon as possible. In the event of a cancellation, you will be fully refunded within 30 days. Your refund method will be based on your original method of payment.

Will I need a passport to travel on the boat?
Yes, a valid passport is required for this program.

What type of background experience do I need to have to participate?
No extensive background experience is needed in order to participate in the program. You will need to be comfortable with swimming/snorkeling, living on a boat with other individuals and be able to tolerate hot temperatures.

Do I need snorkeling experience?
First-time snorkelers are welcome. There will be an optional snorkel practice scheduled in April before the trip, if interested. During our first snorkels in the Bahamas, we will work with you to make sure you are comfortable with your new skills.

Will I need to purchase any snorkel equipment?
You may purchase or bring your own snorkel equipment (mask, snorkel and fins). Purchasing your own equipment is best, as you will have the best fit to your face for your mask. Although, you may also borrow snorkel equipment from Shedd for no fee.

Are there any fitness requirements?
This program does involve swimming/snorkeling and hiking on uneven ground in hot temperatures.  You will need a doctor’s signature saying that you are cleared to participate in these activities.

What are the minimum and maximum age limits in order to participate?
The minimum age limit is 21 years of age with no maximum requirement. Participants must be comfortable swimming/snorkeling and hiking on uneven ground in hot temperatures. 

Do I have to participate in all the activities on the boat?
We encourage everyone to experience the variety of activities on the boat, but you are not required to participate in everything. 

Do I need to be dive certified to participate?
No, you do not need to be dive certified to participate. We will not be diving during this trip. We will only be snorkeling.

Do I have to attend the pre- and post-trip portions of this program if I live out of state?
We highly encourage everyone to participate in the pre- and post-trip portions of the program, but understand that distance can be a constraint. If you are not able to attend the pre- or post-trip portion, we will work with you to find additional ways to connect you with preparation materials for your experience.

Where do we fly into to meet the boat?
Participants will fly into Nassau, Bahamas and meet at the boat. The boat is located at Prince George Wharf, which is the common cruise ship docking area. At the end of the trip you will disembark at this same wharf.

Do we live on the boat during the entire trip?
During the boat trip portion of the program, we will reside solely on the R/V Coral Reef II, Shedd’s 85 foot research vessel.

What are the amenities available on the boat?
The R/V Coral Reef II is not a luxury cruise ship, but does include your basic amenities. There is air conditioning, double occupancy guest cabins, common showers and bathrooms, a live-aboard chef, ready to grab snacks, a common social area, a freshwater deck shower and an outside sitting space to enjoy the beautiful Bahamas view.

What are the sleeping arrangements like on the boat?
Each guest will have a cabin that includes a set of bunked beds and small storage space for your gear. There are two people per cabin. Men and women will be in different cabins, unless you are traveling with a friend, relative or spouse and choose to share a room with them.

What does the boat experience include?
The boat experience includes a variety of activities including: swimming, snorkeling, island hikes, engaging discussions, a visit to the Exuma Island Land and Sea Park, stewardship activities, boat excursions and much more. Activities are flexible based on the participants’ interest.

All meals are included on the boat with one dinner and one lunch taking place on the islands.

Will I have any additional expenses beyond the program fee?
Additional expenses that you may incur during the program are passport fees (if you don’t already have a valid passport), taxi transportation to and from the Nassau airport, Bahamas exit tax and the cost of alcoholic drinks. Alcohol is allowed on the boat, but not supplied by Shedd. During our island dinner and lunch, your meal is covered, but any alcoholic drinks must be purchased by the individual. There is also a gift shop at the headquarters of the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park that sells t-shirts, books, postcards, etc.

What if I have more questions?
If you need more information, please contact us at adults@sheddaquarium.org.

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