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

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

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:

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.

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)

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. 

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.. Daily departures from Malaga to Gibraltar at 1100 and 2000 and Gibraltar to Malaga at 0730 and 1430. The service costs £25 one way or £45 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 travelling

- Grab 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.

 

For more details see How to Get Here

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?

It's a simple 30 minute walk from the airport or a 5 minute taxi ride.  There are plenty of taxis available outside the airport. 

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. 

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. 

We do our very best to cater for vegetarians and other dietary requirements, however we cannot cater for Vegans.  You can let us know your food preferences on our Booking Form and we can try and take care of your catering requirements. 

Our primary training yachts are Bavaria 36's, Bavaria 37's and a Bavaria 46 which can accommodate up to 8 people, although for personal comfort and safety our RYA training courses have a maximum of 5 students. 

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.

Subject to availability and for a supplementary fee, we can guarantee you a cabin of your own so you don't have to share.  If this is something that you're interested in please contact us

Yes you will.  Our RYA sailing courses and yachting adventures are fully residential. Bedding, towels and a hairdryer are provided. Sleeping on board is all part of the adventure of yachting and also an important aspect of the course. 

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.  

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.

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. 

If you are having trouble opening some of our PDF files on this website, please download a copy of Adobe Reader by clicking here.  Alternatively contact Jolly Parrot for another file format or to discuss your query.