Parents' Frequently Asked Questions


Please review all FAQs below. If you have additional questions, we are here to help! Give us a call at 401-841-0080 or email us at 


What should my child bring?

See our Packing List! Remember that there is limited space onboard and they should only bring what they really need. Please pack in crushable luggage (e.g., duffel bags). Please do not bring a hard suitcase.

Are cell phones really not allowed?

Really! On our teen voyages, we believe that in order to provide our life changing education-at-sea programs trainees must truly be "at sea". Cell phones will be collected by the crew at the beginning of each program and returned at the end. If there is an emergency the crew will be in touch with our office and can provide a phone if necessary.

If you need to get in touch with your child, you can contact us at the office at 401-841-0080 between 9am -5pm EST. We will be able to communicate with the crew on board and arrange for your child to be in touch. 

If this is an emergency, you can contact our Executive Director, Jessica Wurzbacher, on her cell phone any time at 401-924-3435.

How can I get in touch with my child if they don't have a phone?

While we hope that is never the case, sometimes medical issues due occur.  Our highly trained crew and Medical Officer will evaluate the situation and act accordingly. As the parent, you will be notified as soon as possible and updated as frequently as needed. 

For an idea on what it's like to be on board during a medical situation, Captain Tony Arrow's recap below from July 2017 is a great review.  The program continued the next day once the trainee was cleared by medical professionals and able to stay on board! 

Provincetown Harbor, Massachusetts, At Anchor             Wednesday, July 19, 2017            Time: 1530

All is well on OHP for our unplanned stop into Provincetown.  The entirety of our crew are healthy, happy and displaying good humor.  The reason we changed our itinerary and put into port is that last night one of our crew came down with a temperature and was generally feeling sick.  On land, this is the type of sickness that you would just keep on eye on, and unless something exceptional happened, let it run its course.  However, our medical protocols underway are more rigorous.  These protocols dictate that our onboard Medical Officer, an EMT, perform a detailed exam of the patient.  Subsequently we contact our 24/7 medical service, the US Coast Guard and the parents to appraise them of the situation and receive advice.  And with that information we determine whether or not to head for port immediately, call for an evacuation, or continue on our voyage and monitor the patient.  Because of a higher temperature, we determined to head for port and monitor the patient.  With constant monitoring, and a course of Ibuprophen, that crew member is now feeling fine, but will still visit a clinic today, just for added caution.  No one else is displaying symptoms, and if none appear by morning, and the clinic gives the all clear, we will likely continue on to Bar Harbor, Maine in the morning.  I will send out an update tomorrow morning to confirm this plan.

Note: If you haven’t heard from us already, your crew member is happy and healthy!

What happens if there is a medical emergency? 

You can Track The Ship via AIS!

How can I know where my child is?

Safety is our crew's first priority. The Sailing School Vessel Oliver Hazard Perry is a US Documented vessel, inspected and certified by the U.S. Coast Guard. Safety standards for Sailing School Vessels differ from those of passenger vessels on a comparable route, because persons aboard training ships are not passengers but participants who fully share in the ship’s operation. SSV Oliver Hazard Perry meets or exceeds all safety requirements for a vessel of her size and class. You can read through the ship's Safety Standards here

What are the safety standards on board?

Bad weather can certainly happen while on program.  Our Captain and crew have access to real time weather data and predictions and may change the route and program stops and inclusions based on the severity of the situation. The safety of the trainees, crew, and ship is always our priority.  

What if there is bad weather?

If a storm or any other hindrances occur, Oliver Hazard Perry Rhode Island has the right to cancel the voyage.  We will advise as soon as a final decision is made, and will work with you to rebook your child on another program.  We highly recommend purchasing Travel Insurance to cover any costs (such as cost of program, flights or other travel costs)

Please note that if there is less than 15 trainees booked on a program, Oliver Hazard Perry Rhode Island has the right to review and cancel a voyage on a case-by-case basis. We will advise at least three weeks prior to departure. 

What if the trip is canceled? 

Where is the ship docked exactly when it's in Fort Adams? 

If getting dropped off or picked up from the Fort Adams, put 90 Fort Adams Drive, Newport RI into your GPS system. When entering Fort Adams, stay straight and head past Sail Newport on the right, playing fields on the left, and you will see the ship docked as you enter a large parking lot.  See this image for where the ship is located inside the park. 

Effective rain gear is key to enjoying a trip.  We suggest your child bring the best quality rain gear you have access to.  West Marine has good basic gear for marine use, and Helly Hansen Newport has some great higher quality gear. 

How much foul-weather gear should my child bring?

Absolutely! Check out our store to see what exclusive Oliver Hazard Perry gear you can purchase.  If you'd like it prior to the trip, please ensure you purchase with enough time for it to be shipped from our office.  If you would like it waiting for your child on their first day, please call the office so that we may take the order over the phone (and you won't have to pay shipping & handling!)

Can I surprise my child with some OHP gear? 

The crew will hold onto any items left behind for either two weeks, or one full program after you depart, whichever one is longer. If an item is found, the trainee will be charged for the cost of shipping & handling to mail the item back. So be sure your child checks their bunk before leaving! 

What if something is left on board?