Spend your Gap Year at Sea with Ocean Passages from Canada to Cuba!
95% Rating
(6 Reviews)

Spend your Gap Year at Sea with Ocean Passages from Canada to Cuba!

Navigate the waters of change from Canada to Cuba aboard our 131-foot sailing schooner! No sailing experience is needed, but team spirit is essential to keeping the ship on course. Each leg of your journey will explore the quickening pace of change in Cuba, a proud island neighbor now emerging from a half-century of isolation from the United States. Aboard the Harvey Gamage, you’ll navigate by the stars, snorkel on remote reefs, explore mangroves – and engage directly in the dialogue about a post-embargo Cuba. Our 2018 gap voyages sail this spring (March 18 to May 24) and next fall (Sept. 9 to Dec. 19). At a moment of historic transformation in Cuba, this is your chance as a citizen diplomat to be the change.

Locations
North America » Canada
North America » Cuba
North America » United States of America
Program Tags
Adventure Travel
Cultural Exploration
Hands-On Learning
Length
1-3 Months
3-6 Months
Timeframe
Fall
Spring
Accommodation
Boat
Inclusions
Accommodation
Activities
Meals
Transportation
Exclusions
Airfare
Primary Language
English
Age Min.
18
Age Max
24
Starting Price
$13,500.00
Currency
USD
Price Details
The tuition for the fall semester is $19,500, and the tuition for the spring semester is $13,500. This includes all food, housing and other onboard expenses. An additional fee of $350 covers all ground transportation and shore-side group meals in Cuba. The cost of required Cuba visas and Cuban visitor health insurance is also included.
Other Locations
Portland, ME

Questions & Answers

Program Reviews

  • Housing
    85%
  • Support
    98%
  • Fun
    98%
  • Value
    97%
  • Safety
    93%

Program Reviews (6)

Default avatar
Kristen
Female
26 years old
Portland, ME
University of Southern Maine

Genuine Connections on the Gamage

9/10

When our group of nursing students at USM was told at the last minute that we would be traveling to Cuba and living on a boat there, most of has no idea what to expect. But what an unforgettable and amazing experience it was! We had the opportunity to live, work, and learn side by side with fellow students and the crew members. Throughout that process, we formed deep friendships that have only grown further since our return to the U.S. We were responsible for cleaning the ship, helping with meal set up and dishes, sailing the ship, and ensuring that everyone was safe and in a good mental head space. We were always looking out for one another and willing to help with any extra responsibilities to make sure we all had a good experience. I don't think I have ever laughed so much as I did with this group of people -- being in such close quarters and going through a totally new (and exciting and exhausting) experience made it easier to bond and be on board with the whole experience. I felt like I had the opportunity to learn a lot about sailing in and of itself, but also about how to work with a team and how to take care of my own needs while being respectful of my responsibilities and those around me. I am so thankful for this opportunity and would not change it for the world. Thank you Harvey Gamage for a wonderful start to 2017 and for the lifelong friendships you helped foster!

Default avatar
Ashleigh
Female
29 years old
Portland, Maine
University of Southern Maine

Re-Defining the meaning of Family

9/10

Hey, Everyone!

For me, I heard from my professor in early November that there was potentially a chance to travel to Cuba on an old schooner (I wasn't even sure what that was, perhaps similar to a pirate ship?!) over winter break for my Tourism Major. My major at school is a pretty small, tight-knit major so I had some reservation about being able to meet the quota to make the trip happen. Luckily the nursing students, with their overwhelming numbers, were able to make the trip happen! I feel really grateful that they did come.

I am really excited that I had the chance to participate in this journey. Not only did I learn how to sail a boat and take care of a boat but I also learned the true meaning of friendship and family. Sailing the Harvey Gamage had me experience a whole range of emotions from seasick and tired to happy and fulfilled. I had always dreamed of being part of an of a group and that's exactly what the Harvey Gamage did for me, it forced us to be part of a group. Everyone had to work the boat, cleaning souls and bowls, washing the deck, helping with the dinner clean up, doing watches. We all slept in the same area, ate together and did things together. That type of experience really forces you to get comfortable with people quick. My favorite experience is when we docked the crew (meaning the boat crew and students) went out for New Year's Eve. We were waiting outside the Marina for taxis and while we were waiting all 20 of us played games like ninja and red light green light in the middle of the road. We definitely made the guards laugh with our little kid antics. We all really bonded that night! I can happily say that we still continue our friendships back home, though with school it's been hectic for us to all get-together we have had a potluck and had Harvey Gamage shirts made. We really love each other.

Ocean Passages and the Harvey Gamage is a great crew of people to be involved with. They made sure we were always safe, educated and happy. I can't say enough good things about the program. Sailing a ship may seem intimidating but you don't have to worry about it because you know people always have your back. I would just suggest bringing sea sickness meds if your not use to sailing!

How can this program be improved?

Maybe just paying a little more attention to students schedules outside of the ship and their workload there. For us we were learning the boat but also had our school programs to attend to.

Default avatar
Colman
Male
Maryland
Other

More than Amazing

10/10

Sailing to Cuba and back with Ocean Passages was incredible and I will never forget it. Those six months aboard Harvey Gamage changed my life! When I joined the ship just after Thanksgiving we headed south from Maine, ice was falling from the rigging as we sailed from Portland and I admit those first few, cold days made me wonder what I had got myself into. But looking back, I would not change a single thing about that trip. Cuba was so amazingly unique and experiencing it aboard a traditional wood schooner added a special dimension. It was so much more than just sailing: we’d sail into port and the Cuban people would greet us; they were so sincere and welcoming. More than once, a family invited me back to their house and showed me, with extraordinary pride, their home. Coming from a big city, it was quite a contrast and opened my eyes to another way of life. Being part of a ship’s crew – anchoring in a cove and snorkeling on reefs, diving into crystal clear turquois blue water, taking an entire day to buy 550 eggs for the galley, waking up at 4 am to put a reef in the main and fore while its blowing 30 knots – all of it made me closer to my shipmates than anyone I’ve know in my life. On a boat there is no room to shrug your duties – your learn to depend on each other – that lesson and all the memories of Cuba and its people and the sea will stick with me for the rest of my life.

How can this program be improved?

I wish I could spend more time down there!!!

Default avatar
Titch
Female
55 years old
SoPo Maine
University of Southern Maine

Opportunity Knocks Aboard the Gamage

10/10

Opportunities like working and living aboard a schooner do not come along often for most people, add Cuba and its newly opened doors to Americans and you have an opportunity you cannot refuse. I have traveled a great deal and have provided adventure/education experiences; Ocean Passages is top notch. The platform the Harvey Gamage provides of being apart of the crew and its responsibilities invests and immerses you in the experience of teamwork, shared goals and satisfaction of a job well done. The Gamage crew is competent, personable and able to engage everyone in a positive way. I was able to be pushed outside my comfort zone to learn about myself and how I could accomplish things I never thought were possible. Cuba's landscape and people are a treat. We explored the area, introduced ourselves and worked with the local university, the first for Americans in Cienfuegos to learn about their successful healthcare system. The Gamage rebooted my life's focus in a very positive way, I can't wait to give back what I learned in return. Pay it forward.

Default avatar
Dan
Male
portland maine
University of Southern Maine

Harvey Gamage

9/10

What started out as a trip to the Dominican republic quickly turned into something unexpectedly great. Due to a national emergency our trip with USM to the DR, this resulted to within a month and a half a switch to Cuba on the Harvey Gamage. This is a very different trip than any of us expected or imagined. What was going to be a nursing trip to open clinics for people in need turned into a trip of international cooperation between USM and the Cuban healthcare system. We got the privilege to visit and connect with a Cuban nursing school and several hospitals all over Cuba and it was only possible with this ship. That itself was life changing but living on this ship brought this to a whole new level. What started out with a group of 20 or so people who did really know each other changed over time on this boat to not only a group of friends but to a family of which all our lives were changed forever. This boat was definitely not a cruse ship everything to make a schooner run requires work around the clock and I literally mean around the clock. We literally while learning nursing in a different culture got to learn how to sail a ship. The crew was amazing and were great teachers there was no shaming and they all taught by example but also expected us to pitch in and help as part of the crew you got to be well... part of the crew. By us all diving in and working together we grew as people, as a community, and as family. I loved my time on the harvey gamage the boat was an amazing experience the crew were even more fabulous. If you take a trip on this boat I guarantee you won't regret it and that if you let it and are willing it will change your life. Happy Sailing!

How can this program be improved?

The only thing that could have been improved was more structure to our trip but I will tell you for putting this trip together in a month and a half I was impressed!

Default avatar
Amanda
Female
1 week old
Cape Neddick, Maine
University of Southern Maine

Home Sweet Harvey

10/10

A little over 2 months post-trip and I still struggle to find the right words to describe all that this trip was. The Harvey Gamage and Cuba helped me to learn more about myself that any other experience in my 22 years here on earth. Living on a ship, working together to live day by day created unbreakable bonds between myself, my fellow peers, and the ship's one-of-a-kind, incredible crew. Having been responsible for caring for one another, caring for the ship, and caring for the country around us was a surreal experience that was both challenging and utterly rewarding. We kept the ship clean, we sailed the ship, and we made sure the ship and ourselves stayed safe. Everyone was always willing to lend a helping hand. It was always so comforting knowing if there was something you felt you could not do yourself, there was someone behind you willing to teach you and help you accomplish any task at hand. Cuba and Harvey G is something that I will never forget. I am so grateful for the people and the places that are now some of the fondest of memories. I hope one day to return to Cuba and to the Harvey Gamage. I think everyone needs to live through an experience like this one...I mean...you haven't lived until you know the true meaning of "soles and bowls"! Until next time Cuba!

How can this program be improved?

It's perfect already.

About The Provider

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Ocean Passages was formed in 2015 to offer world-class sailing education in Cuba’s marine environment, which is currently undergoing historic change. After a million-dollar overhaul of the wooden schooner Harvey Gamage, we offer a full 2017-2018 voyage program for gap students. Our Maine office is

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