Our most Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ

Jolly Parrot Sailing is an RYA Recognised Training Centre offering the full range of RYA Theory and Practical courses in Gibraltar throughout the year.  We are a Gibraltar registered company with offices in UK and Gibraltar.

We provide our clients with the highest quality, professional and thorough tuition taught in a fun, friendly, 'plain English' manner.  We teach to the highest standards in order to help you stay safe on your course and in the future.

We also try to offer our students that 'little bit extra' to promote good seamanship skills.

The Jolly Parrot Head Office, RYA Training Centre and training yachts are based at Queensway Quay Marina in Gibraltar.

Our address is: 

The Tower

Queensway Quay Marina 

Queensway Quay

Gibraltar 

GX11 1AA

It's easier to fly straight to Gibraltar.  It's only a 30 minute walk, or a 5 minute taxi ride to the marina.  

 

Alternatively, you can fly to Malaga.  

 

From Malaga to Gibraltar it takes approximately 2 hours.  The onward options to Gibraltar are:

- Blands, a Gibraltar based bus service provide a twice daily shuttle to and from Malaga Airport. This service costs £35 one way or £70 return and can be booked online Blands Shuttle Bus.  The drop off point in Gibraltar is a simple 10 minute walk from Jolly Parrot Headquarters.

- Hire a car and drive to and from Gibraltar - usually very cost effective if there is more than one person traveling

- Get a public bus from Malaga to La Linea,  (Gibraltar border) cost around €15 each way.

- Taxi / Private transfer. Costs around £90 each way for up to 4 people.

 

We can arrange a private transfer upon request. Contact us for details.

Sometimes due to flight disruption or timetables being changed you may need to stay an extra night before or after the course. If so then Contact Us, subject to availability, we can usually provide accommodation for you onboard for £30 per night.

 

For more details see How to Get Here

 

Updated on 26th July 2020 at 09:00

Travel restrictions have been lifted and we are open and ready to deliver courses.  

You will be aware that from midnight on 25th July 2020 the UK Government announced that anyone returning from Spain will need to self isolate for 14 days.  With this in mind we have decided, that whilst we can still sail in Spanish waters, we will no longer be entering Spanish ports and will return to Gibraltar every night.   Gibraltar has an air bridge in place with the UK, so no quarantine period is necessary on return to the UK. 

We want you to have peace of mind when booking your course with us.  So if you are considering making a booking, please do!  Since 14th May, any deposits and balance payments made to us were fully refundable in the event of flight cancellation or government lockdown specifically due to Coronavirus.  We are continuing with this policy for all bookings made throughout July and August. 

Below you will find the measures we are putting in place.  Please do bear in mind that it is simply not possible to completely socially distance from fellow crew whilst on the training yacht.  

At the moment, we would only allow a maximum of 4 people from different households, plus the Instructor on board.  However, as soon as government guidelines allow, we will return to the normal 5 people, plus the Instructor as soon as is safely possible.  On our mile builder and racing events there may be more people on board. 

Please ensure you bring your own face mask.  Whilst it is personal choice to wear a face mask in Gibraltar, it is compulsory that face masks are worn all the times whilst in Spain.

 

Frequently asked questions: 

Can I have my own cabin?

The boat layout is generally 3 double cabins, and the saloon.  One of our boats has 3 double cabins and a bunk room.  You will either have a cabin or the saloon to yourself.  We do have an 'own cabin' option that you can select when booking, that will guarantee you your own cabin for the duration of your course. 

How many people will be on board? 

Currently we have reduced the number of people on board.  There will be a maximum of 4 people in most cases, plus the Instructor.  We will allow the following: 

  • 4 people from 4 different households, plus the Instructor
  • A couple from the same household who would share a cabin, plus 2 people from 2 different households and the Instructor
  • 2 couples from different households sharing a cabin, plus 1 other and the Instructor
  • 5 people from the same household, plus the Instructor

Do I have to sleep on the boat? 

No.  You can organise your own nearby accommodation if you wish.

Will food be prepared on the boat? 

Yes, as it usually would.  Extra attention should be paid to hand washing.  Liquid soap and hand sanitizer gel is provided. 

Can I use the toilet? 

Yes you can.  Plenty of liquid soap and hand sanitizer gel is provided, along with paper towels for drying hands.  Cleaning sprays are also provided to wipe down surfaces before and after each use. 

Do I have to wear a face covering? 

No, this is not required on the yacht or in Gibraltar.  However you should bring one to use.  It is compulsory in Spain to carry one at all times when in a public place. 

What happens if someone shows corona symptoms whilst on the course? 

Lets hope this doesn't happen, but it you were unlucky enough to show symptoms you would be asked to leave the yacht and self isolate.  

Will you still provide life jackets and wet weather gear?

Yes.  We will rotate life jackets and wet weather gear so you will not be wearing ones worn by people on the previous course. 

Will the boat be cleaned before I arrive? 

Each boat will get a thorough clean before and after your course by professional cleaners.  Jolly Parrot boats have always been cleaned to a high standard, so no change in procedure here. 

COVID-19 and your booking

 

As from Tuesday 24th March 2020 Gibraltar was officially in Lockdown.  The Gibraltar Government have now issued their plan to Unlock the Rock.

The Jolly Parrot office is currently open but we are unable to deliver practical courses.  We are however, able to offer RYA online theory courses.  We are busily working hard on our exciting 2021 calendar to give us all something to look forward to.  We have also added extra Coastal Skipper, YM courses and sailing adventures from June for those needing to reschedule, and these are filling fast which is great news!

With the easing of lockdowns in Gibraltar, Spain and the UK, and because of customers re-scheduling due to COVID-19 we are finding our courses for the rest of the year are filling fast.  

For all new bookings, we want you to have peace of mind when booking your sailing course/adventure, and not be worried about losing your deposit in this time of uncertainty.  So, between now and the end of June, if your flights are cancelled because of a continuation of lockdown and you’re unable to reschedule, we will refund any monies paid.  

Our position for existing bookings is as follows:

  As per our Terms and Conditions we strongly recommend that you take out  a travel insurance policy.  These vary greatly and you should be satisfied that you are adequately covered in the event that you need to cancel your booking.

  Should government decree that travel should be curtailed or prohibited which prevents you attending a pre booked course, you may be able to claim on your travel insurance policy.  We will happily liaise with your insurance company or provide a letter if you want to claim on your personal travel insurance. 

  Should you be need to self-isolate or become ill for any reason you should be covered for loss by your travel insurance policy.

•  Should you simply wish to re-schedule for a later date, we will change this free of charge. You can change the date as many times as possible with no charge. If you do not know a future date, you can just leave your course 'on ice', we will apply any monies paid by you as a credit on your new booking once confirmed.  This offer is NOT time limited and if you wish to re book for 2021 just contact us and let us know.  

•  If you would like us to issue you with a fully transferable voucher to the value of money already paid, with no end date that you can use on any Jolly Parrot Sailing course, adventure or event let us know.

•  Should you reschedule, the final balance payment will be due 30 days before the new course start date.

Obviously this is an ever changing situation so please check back regularly for any updates.

Updated 15:53 GMT on 14/05/2020

 

If you have any further concerns or need clarification on any points please feel free to call or email us.

Best wishes

Team Jolly Parrot

Yes you can!  We know that flight times can often be a bit tricky, so if you need to stay an extra night onboard, subject to availability this can be arranged for £30 per night.  Just let us know as soon as you can.  The earlier we know, the easier it will be to try and accommodate you. 

It's a simple 30 minute walk from the airport or a 10 minute bus ride on the No: 10 bus to Queensway Road.   There are also plenty of taxis available outside the airport. 

Why wouldn't you!  Gibraltar is considered one of the best areas to complete an RYA Sailing course in the Mediterranean due the fact that it is in tidal waters, the only port in the Mediterranean that is!

Gibraltar is renowned for its warm wind and clear blue sea which makes for ideal sailing conditions almost permanently.  Marinas in and around Gibraltar offer the common 'stern-to mooring' which makes this a perfect training ground for any novice skipper or crew looking to bareboat or flotilla charter in the Mediterranean in the future.

Take a look at Where we Sail for more info.

Also see our Blog articles:

Yes we do!  We offer RYA Day Skipper theory, RYA Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster Offshore theory and also Yachtmaster Ocean theory.

Online theory classes are perfect if you're not able to commit to theory in our classroom here in Gibraltar.  You can study at your own pace in your own environment and even take the final exams at home! 

Yes they are!  The Mediterranean Sea in which we typically sail is tidal waters. 

Temperatures can rise above 30°C in summer.  Gibraltar has an average of 300 days sunshine a year and the climate is Mediterranean.  The sub-tropical sun of North Africa is tempered by gentle sea breezes in summer. In January, daytime temperatures are usually around 16ºC to 18ºC and it is quite possible to top up a tan. 

Yes.  Passports are required by all visitors to Gibraltar, except EU nationals who hold a valid national identity card.  However, passports are preferable as the national identity card may limit some of the destinations we sail to.  There is no Visa requirement if you hold a full UK passport.

As a general rule, if you require a visa for entry into the United Kingdom, you will also require a separate visa for entry into Gibraltar.  Gibraltar is outside the Schengen area.  To check if you need a visa to enter Gibraltar, click here

The official currency is the Gibraltar Pound (GIP). UK notes and coins are also accepted and have the same value, but Gibraltar Pounds are not accepted in the UK. Euros will also be required for overnight stops in Spanish and Moroccan ports.  Credit cards are accepted in the majority of places. 

Travel insurance is not essential, but we do recommend that you have it.  You may find that your existing travel insurance will cover your RYA sailing course.

If you don’t have any travel insurance you may find this link useful; Topsail Insurance.

Also read our article: Do I need Travel Insurance for an RYA Sailing Course?

There are many hotels in Gibraltar, or across the Boarder in Spain to choose from.  

Click here to see a list of local hotels.

We have limited secure parking available for £10 per day.  Please contact us for availability. 

No. We are proud to be a non-smoking sailing school.  Smoking and vaping is not permitted on the boat. 

Breakfast and lunches are provided on board, with most evenings ashore for dinner.  Breakfast consists of cereal, toast, jam, eggs, bacon, sausages, beans etc.  Lunch is more of a picnic lunch which could include pasties, quiche or a selection of sandwich/wrap with fillings such as cheese, salad, ham or similar.  The two dinner's on board provided during your practical course will be chilli and a pasta dish or similar.   Knowing that, we hope makes it easier for you to plan your requirements.

We always go out of our way to cater for those with declared food allergies and will do our best to make sure the offending items are not on your boat.  If you have a food intolerance (lactose, gluten, etc.) we again will do our best to accommodate, however, we are restricted somewhat by what the supermarkets in Gibraltar have available.

If you just have a dietary preference (vegan, vegetarian, pescetarian, etc.) we are again constrained by what the supermarkets can provide.  As you know best what you will/won't eat, it's often the best idea to bring your own food or try the shops yourself to find what you require. 

Remember that most dinners are in restaurants, and so far, we haven't had any problems with crew not being fully satisfied after a night ashore! 

As long as you have the required prior experience specified for the RYA course you want to book, you can join us to gain further experience or extra tuition. We actively promote 'sailing for fun'. Unlike many other more regimented sailing schools.

We have several courses for complete beginners.  You can join us regardless of experience for a few fun days on the water, under the guidance of a professional skipper.

Click here see our range of Sailing Adventures.

Yes you can!  Our Gift Vouchers make the ideal gift

A Jolly Parrot gift voucher is the ideal present for a birthday, Christmas or any other special occasion. Each voucher is redeemable in full or part against our RYA sailing courses, Combined courses or Sailing Adventures. So maybe you have a loved one who has always wanted to learn to sail, or maybe they'd like to experience the thrill of sailing in a race, this could be the ideal gift!

Follow the link to buy your Jolly Parrot Sailing Voucher  and make someone's day! 

Booking a sailing course with Jolly Parrot couldn't be easier!  

We have a secure online booking system that is so simple to use.  You just select the course date you want.  Click on book, confirm that this is the course and date that you want, and then complete your details on our online booking system.  A 25% deposit is all that's needed, with the balance payable 30 days before your course starts. 

 

Yes. We accept all debit cards and most major credit cards, and you can book online!  

Booking online is easy!  We have a secure online booking system that is so simple to use.  You just select the course date you want.  Click on book, confirm that this is the course and date that you want, and then complete your details on our online booking system.  A 25% deposit is all that's needed, with the balance payable 30 days before your course starts. 

Our primary training yachts are Bavaria 36's, Bavaria 37's and Bavaria 46 alongside a Beneteau First 40.7 which can accommodate up to 8 people, although for personal comfort and safety our RYA training courses have a maximum of 5 students.  Have a look at our boats here

We have a maximum of 5 students onboard when participating on a RYA Course.

Quite possibly.  Occasionally the group dynamic may mean that cabin sharing is essential.  In most cases this is avoided unless it is a preference.

If you want to ensure that you have a cabin to yourself, we have added selected dates for you to book on all our courses, that will guarantee you your own cabin.

 

Yes you will.  Sleeping bags, pillows and towels are included.  There is also a hair dryer onboard.  Sleeping on board is all part of the adventure of yachting!

Not all of our RYA courses and Adventures are residential.  You may prefer to find yourself some accommodation ashore each night, however you need to be mindful that we cannot guarantee the boat will return to the same place for the duration of your course.  If you choose to stay ashore, this would be at your own cost and there would be no reduction in the course fee.

There's no age limit.  However, children under the age of 18 years must be accompanied by an adult.  As long as you're healthy, you'll be able to join one of our sailing courses.

Read our Blog article: What Age Limits Exist on RYA Yachting Courses?

All our training yachts have a toilet and a shower.

Once you've completed your online booking, you'll be sent Joining Instructions.  These can also be found on the webpage of the course you have booked.  The Joining Instructions give useful information so that you can get the best out of your time with us.  They also provide a list of recommended items to bring with you. Bedding, towels and waterproof clothing is provided. There is also a hairdryer on board each yacht.

You should wear comfortable, sensible, casual clothing. It is important to bear in mind that you will be spending your time outdoors.  It is very hot during the summer months, so sunscreen is essential.  

You should also bring a water bottle. This can be refilled from the tap water on the boat.   As part of our ongoing commitment to reduce single use plastics, we do not provide bottled water onboard.

Read our Blog article: What should I wear on an RYA Sailing Course?

Our training yachts are coded by the Maritime Coastguard Agency for commercial use.

This means they are inspected annually, which includes a full service of all safety equipment. Our yachts also undergo a full out of the water inspection every year.

The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) are the governing body for recreational water sports in the UK. They set the course syllabus, issue certificates and guidelines for Training Centres.  RYA sailing certificates are internationally recognised.

For further information please see their website: Royal Yachting Association also read our Blog article: Who are the Royal Yachting Association (RYA)

With mobile phone plans now offering roaming at no extra charge it's even easier to stay in touch.  Wifi can also be found in most marinas, restaurants and bars.

During your time with Jolly Parrot Sailing we will endeavour to visit as many and varied ports of call as possible. From the bustling maritime hub of Gibraltar through to the sleepy laid back fishing village of La Duquesa, we really do have it all!  Almost every week we cross the second busiest waterway in the world to visit the African continent and spend an evening soaking up the ambience.

On a typical 5 day RYA Sailing Course you will cover at least 100 Nautical miles criss-crossing the busy Straits of Gibraltar or maybe even sailing around toward Cadiz, passing right over the scene of the famous battle of Trafalgar! Below is a small selection of our regular ports with a brief description of what to expect.

Have a look to see where the Jolly Parrot Yachts are now! 

Queensway Quay Marina

Our home base and the most prestigious marina in Gibraltar by far! With a selection of Gibraltar's finest restaurants and surrounded by exclusive properties set at the base of the Rock of Gibraltar, this really sets the scene for your sailing course!

Marina Bay

Marina Bay is Gibraltar's largest marina. It's currently undergoing extensive development and is now the home to a multi million pound floating hotel and many new and exciting bars. Situated immediately next to the Airport it's probably as close as a person can get to an aircraft taking off without being in it!

Alcaidesa Marina

Alcaidesa Marina is known locally as 'La Linea marina' because it is located in the border town of La Linea.   Although only 3 miles from our home marina of Queensway Quay,  the town offers a taste of real Spain, with little tourism it is a real working Spanish hub.
The marina is large and accommodating and we have permission to practice our power handling exercises here. During an RYA Sailing course we almost always spend some time here honing our skills and boosting our confidence at 'parking' the yacht.

Ceuta

Ceuta is a Spanish enclave on the rugged North Moroccan coast.  Ceuta is almost exactly the same size and population as Gibraltar. While the enclave is Spanish it has a very Moroccan feel to it with a large selection of bars and restaurants dotted around you can be sure to find some authentic Spanish or Moroccan fare.
The marina is quite small and makes an ideal port for a night entry with some tricky pilotage and requires a good level of boat handling and skippering skills to berth the yacht efficiently.  Ideal for our Day Skipper and Coastal Skipper students!

Puerto Sotogrande

Sotogrande has always been and still is the playground of the rich and famous. Home of the infamous Santa Maria Polo club and only a stones throw from several world class golf courses such as Valderrama. With such a rich heritage it's not unusual to see a celebrity or two drinking in one of the bars or simply cruising through en route to their luxury villa!  The marina has excellent facilities and has a whole series of canals hidden away behind the main harbour which allows us to practice manoeuvres even in the worst of conditions.

Puerto de La Duquesa

Duquesa is always a favourite with both Skippers and students. The pretty marina has excellent facilities and a vast selection of restaurants and bars. In the Summer months we often indulge in a 'Sundowner and tapas' at one of the many beach bars adjacent to the marina. The little Spanish town of Sabinillas is a few minutes walk along the coast path where a whole host of Spanish bars and shops can be found if time permits. The layout is typical of most Mediterranean marinas and provides us with many options for mooring the yacht in a fairly tight spot!

Puerto Estepona

Estepona is a typical Spanish town. The port is still a working hub with a constant stream of trawlers and 'Pot men' hurtling in and out day and night.The marina is well appointed with great facilities and plenty of hostelrys for a cheeky beverage after a long day sailing. Once again the layout is typical of a Mediterranean marina providing great scope for training.
The main town of Estepona is a short walk along the seafront but is well worth the effort to stretch the legs and have a wander around the old town with a whole host of plazas and pretty streets.

Other Ports

This is not intended as an exhaustive list of ports of call but merely a sample of the ports we regularly visit. Other ports we visit include:

  • Marina Smir (Morocco)
  • Tangiers (Morocco)
  • Barbate (Spain)
  • Puerto Sherry (Spain)
  • Cadiz (Spain)

Jolly Parrot Sailing only provides yachting courses within the RYA Sail Cruising scheme.

To find an RYA Dinghy Sailing Centre please contact the Royal Yachting Associaltion by clicking here.
 

Jolly Parrot Sailing only provides yachting courses within the RYA Sail Cruising scheme.

Please click on either RYA Motorboat Training or Powerboat Training to find courses & further information. 

Sorry, we do not currently offer multi-hull sailing courses. 

We are really sorry to hear that you are having problems with our website.  Please get in touch to let us know the problems you are having.