Official Vessel of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Students and attending staff are divided into three watch groups, each under the direct supervision of a ship’s watch officer and crew. The Watch on DeckStudents are given a complete orientation to the vessel, including safety and emergency procedures. They receive continual training in line handling, sail handling, navigation and other seamanship duties. Each group is on watch twice daily in a rotation of four to six hour shifts. While on watch, students work together with the regular ship’s crew to perform all the necessary functions of running the ship. As students increase their seamanship skills, they will be assigned responsibility as "junior officer" on a rotating basis.Crab Trap Overboard

Individual watches work as teams to solve problems and answer questions posed by the group. They utilize the ship and equipment along with talents they bring with them onto the ship to address questions, design experiments, collect data and develop answers.

Classes are held twice daily, in mid-morning and mid-afternoon. These are "all-hands" events. Microscope WorkStudents are relieved from deck duty to attend class. The ship’s staff facilitate class explorations in marine science, literature and history as per a curriculum syllabus tailored to the special interests of the particular group. Classes are structured as group discussions, in which students are encouraged to respond to the subject matter and the seafaring experience on board, and to express their questions or ideas to the group. An evening session is specifically designated for a wrap-up and reflection of the day’s activities.

Our Seamanship Manual used on multiple-day programs is available in pdf format for downloading.  (2.15M)

Multi-day program rates are $3,000 per day for the first three days and $2,500 per day for each subsequent day. The participant capacity on the ship is 24 (including group leaders). Schooner Ernestina sails from many of the ports of New England and beyond and, if the schedule allows, will attempt to tailor the itinerary to the needs and interests of the group.


If you would like to arrange for a program you can call the Schooner Ernestina office at 508-992-4900 especially if you would like to explore various options for dates, funding, etc. Otherwise you can download a Program Application, fill it out and send it in to the Schooner Ernestina office and we will be in touch..

If you have already arranged for a sail you may need to download one of the following forms:

Copyright 1997-2002
Schooner Ernestina
89 North Water Street, P.O. Box 2010, New Bedford, MA 02741-2010
phone 508.992.4900 -- fax 508.984.7719