Clearwater is recognized for its unparalleled environmental education programs, through which hundreds of thousands of students have investigated the ecology, history, and environmental challenges of the Hudson River. These award-winning programs, which dramatically enhance classroom learning, are all aligned to NYS learning standards and aim to create the next generation of environmental leaders.
We are thrilled to announce that our schedule for the Sailing Classroom 2023 spring season is now officially open! Please read new information below about the changes to the booking process to successfully book a sail.
About the Program
The centerpiece of Clearwater’s education program is the Sailing Classroom program. The deck of a traditional sailing ship is a uniquely powerful platform for students to learn about the river’s natural wonders and cultural significance. For many, this is the introduction to the Hudson River and environmental education that can forge a connection with nature to last a lifetime. During a typical program onboard the Sloop Clearwater, students will have the opportunity to:
Set Sail – use their bodies and brains together!
Steer the Ship – under the watchful eyes of our captain!
Explore the River – examine live fish, perform water-quality tests, and discover Hudson Valley history!
Booking a Sail
We’re streamlining our booking process this year, which we hope will improve user experience. Booking a sail will still be first come, first served.
Click Here to go to our Fareharbor calendar, where you’ll see available slots for Sailing Classroom Reservations. You will be able to see what area we’ll be sailing out of for each slot.
Select which slot you would like to reserve and fill out all required information! We’re listening, and will try to make sail times more flexible to accommodate bus shortages.
Look for a confirmation email in your inbox. This email will provide you with all of the information for your sail, as well as information about cost, payment, COVID-19, and cancellation policy.
Complete payment is due 6 weeks (30 business days) before your program date or you will forfeit your reservation. This does not apply to schools paying through BOCES.
We will follow up with your reservation request via email with a contract to sign and return to us.
Payment and Cancellation
Programs will now be offered on a sliding scale. The Sailing Classroom costs $4,500 to facilitate, but we offer the program at a reduced price for the following:
Title I Schools: $995
Public Schools (includes Public Charter/Magnet and municipally-run summer camps): $1500
Private Schools (includes Private Charter/Magnet and summer camps): $1750
Post-Secondary Schools: $2500
*Transportation costs and arrangements are still the responsibility of the group.*
Total cost is offset by the generosity of our supporters!
Complete payment is due 6 weeks (30 business days) before your sail or you will forfeit your reservation. This does not apply to schools paying through BOCES.
If you have fully paid for your sail and cancel it more than 8 weeks prior to the date of your sail, you will receive a full refund.
Cancellations made between 8 and 4 weeks before the scheduled sail date will be refunded 50%. For cancellations made by the group within 4 weeks of the date of the sail(s), there are no refunds.
For bookings made WITHIN 4 weeks, all fees will be non-refundable.
If at the time of cancellation the Group has not submitted payment for the Onboard Program(s), the Group shall be responsible for remuneration of Clearwater the above penalty as applicable.
This does not apply to schools paying through BOCES.
Thank you for helping us maximize the number of students we can take out sailing on the Hudson River!
We have increased our capacity to 45 passengers per sail (including teachers/chaperones/school nurses)
We have lifted our masking policy for passengers. Our crew will mask as preferred.
Teachers and chaperones must show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test from within 24 hours of the sail or they will NOT BE PERMITTED TO BOARD.
Don’t see a time slot that works for your group?
Fill out our standard inquiry form available to go through the traditional reservation process. Please only fill this out if you do not find a time slot that works for your group (e.g. if you would like to book an education sail on a weekend day)! We will be prioritizing groups that reserve slots through FareHarbor and will not be able to guarantee you a slot that works with the rest of the sloop’s schedule.
If you have additional questions about sailing, please review our Frequently Asked Questions below, before contacting our Vessel Logistics Manager. If you cannot find the answer to your question in our FAQs, please send your question to at sched@Clearwater.org.
Frequently Asked Questions
- BOCES provides field trip funding for public schools throughout New York State. Check with your local office for more information.
- Teaching the Hudson Valley: Offers Explore Awards for Field Trips
Clearwater is able to offer a limited number of additional $500 grants to schools and youth groups in need towards the cost of a Sailing Classroom Program.
- Primary, Secondary, Undergraduate, and Graduate Students, as well as continuing education groups.
- The Sailing Classroom does not accommodate groups younger than fourth (4th) grade. Consider a land based, Tideline Discovery Program for a younger group featuring Clearwater’s award-winning curriculum.
Groups in grades 4 through 12 must be accompanied by at least one chaperone 18 years of age or older.
Clearwater reserves the right to end any program or sail prior to the listed end time for any reason, including failure of any passenger to cooperate with any reasonable requests of the Captain or crew or to maintain a reasonable standard of behavior. Passengers acknowledge that they are responsible for the behavior of all passengers in their respective groups and are responsible for intervening when behavior is deemed unsafe or may be in violation of the vessel Captain’s determination.
Passengers will also respect the personal boundaries and space of all crew members and fellow passengers in order to ensure a sail that is safe and enjoyable for everyone. What does this look like? If you need help from a crew member or fellow passenger, make sure to ask first. Of course, this also means no pushing, shoving, grabbing, or horseplay. Crew will provide additional guidance about maintaining safe boundaries on the day of your sail.
Each individual or group (including, but not limited to individual ticket holders, charterers, members, student participants, chaperones, and teachers) acknowledges that the vessel’s Captain has full authority to determine rules of behavior aboard the vessel and other matters relating to activities and conditions aboard the vessel. Each passenger assumes full responsibility for ensuring that they or their group cooperate with the requests of the Captain and Crew. Passengers must acknowledge that the vessel’s Captain reserves the right to terminate an Onboard Program at any point in the event that the Group is unable to comply with the rules of behavior aboard the vessel.
As always, we are committed to providing you and your students a safe, unforgettable sailing experience on the Hudson River. We have many COVID-19 protocols in place, including, but not limited to the following:
- All crew members are required to be vaccinated (including boosters) against COVID-19.
- Below decks spaces will not be used in programming at this time.
We will make sure to discuss these and other protocols with you in our pre-trip communications and will communicate any changes in our policies.
We sail under most weather conditions except for those that are deemed unsafe, such as thunder/lightning, sheeting rain, and/or extremely high winds, so please check the forecast the day of your sail and be sure to dress for the weather. We do not cancel sails based on weather forecasts, so cancellations usually occur the day of the scheduled sail, although we make every effort to provide as much notice as possible of a cancellation.
For public sail passengers: Should the weather be questionable, you may call 845-265-8080 x7142 to check on the status of your sail. In case of a weather-related cancellation, you will be contacted by a crew member at the cell phone number you provided. Should we cancel a sail due to weather, your sail fee will either be refunded or your reservation transferred to another sail of your choosing, and as availability allows.
For group sails: Should the captain cancel your sail, you will be contacted at the number you provided on your sail program information sheet. You will then have the option of participating in a dockside education program (at a 40% discount of your sail rate, and weather dependent); having your sail rescheduled (as availability allows during the same season or the following season); or of receiving a full refund. Unfortunately, we cannot schedule rain dates in advance. Should you choose to cancel your sail due to concerns about the weather and our captain deems the weather safe to sail, you will not receive a refund or be eligible for a rescheduled sail.
Here is the list of docks we typically sail out of (North to South): Rensselaer, Coxsackie, Hudson, Kingston, Poughkeepsie, Beacon, Cold Spring, Ossining, Piermont, Yonkers, NYC (W79th St Boat Basin).
Have a look at our Sloop Tracker to see in which town the boat is currently docked. Clearwater’s crew is always happy to say hello, and loves to show folks around the decks as time allows, but please note that, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, visitors will not be able to step aboard for a deck tour. Please do not approach the crew without a mask on.
To find out the most convenient time for a deck tour, please contact the Sail Program Coordinator.
We love running programs out of the 79th Street Boat Basin, but they are preparing to undergo a complete reconstruction, so we will not be able to dock there. While we will miss using this dock, we look forward to the new and improved 79th Street Boat Basin, which will expand access for boaters and education and will also be climate resilient. Learn more about the reconstruction here. In the meantime, we are looking forward to spending time at other NYC docks, like One15 Marina in Brooklyn Bridge Park and Dyckman Marina in Inwood Park!
We have increased our capacity to 45 passengers. The passenger count must include all teachers, chaperones, caterers, musicians, and infants, regardless of age or type of participation.
As it is generally a few degrees cooler out on the water than it is on land, but there is very little shade on the decks of Clearwater, we recommend dressing in layers and wearing plenty of sun protection- Hats, sunblock, and sunglasses are all useful. In case of rain, rain jackets are preferable to ponchos, as they are less problematic in the wind. Flat, comfortable footwear is recommended.
Hydration is extremely important while sailing: We strongly suggest that all passengers bring reusable water bottles when they come onboard. There are no refreshments available for purchase onboard. For public sails and private charters, you are welcome to bring whatever you’d like to eat or drink on your sail, including wine or beer. Please note that all alcohol consumption takes place at the captain’s discretion.
All of our sails, unless otherwise noted, depart from and return to the same dock. Which direction we sail in and how far we travel is dependent on the tide, current, and wind. Sailing onboard Clearwater centers the experience of being on the water and experiencing the Hudson River from that perspective.
It is very rare for passengers to become seasick while onboard. Clearwater was designed to navigate the kinds of inland waters we sail in. Broad of beam and very low to the water, the sloop is extremely stable.
In the event of motion sickness, the medical officer on duty is available to provide assistance.
For educational group sails, the youngest children we sail with are fourth-graders. We do provide educational group sails to mixed-age groups, but children younger than the fourth-grade level must not make up more than one quarter of the total number of passengers, and extra chaperones may be required.
For public sails, children of all ages are welcome onboard with proper adult supervision. Clearwater has a limited number of infant/toddler life jackets onboard: Please verify their availability with the Outreach and Engagement Manager prior to sailing, or feel free to bring your child’s own P.F.D.
You are in good hands when onboard! Clearwater’s professional crew has been selected to combine the talents of a competent sailing team with those of a trained education staff. Volunteers and interns augment the work of Clearwater’s licensed captain, crewmembers, and educators. The ratio of crewmembers to passengers on any sail is approximately 1:4, which means that you and/or your child will be very closely supervised at every point during your time onboard.
Clearwater is a sub-chapter T United States Coast Guard inspected vessel. Clearwater is subject to and complies with all USCG and Federal Communications Commission regulations, and is inspected for safety annually: the inspection examines the ability of the crew to respond properly to an emergency and assesses the appropriateness of the vessel’s safety equipment, including fire extinguishers and personal flotation devices. Clearwater is also inspected by the US Coast Guard bi-annually to gauge the integrity of the vessel itself by examining the hull and other physical features of the vessel.
The Coast Guard does not require Clearwater’s passengers to wear flotation devices during their trip, but Clearwater always carries enough P.F.Ds for our maximum number of passengers.
All passengers boarding Clearwater are given a thorough safety talk by the captain prior to departure. This talk includes the setting of boundaries on the deck, the proper method for climbing the ladders leading below decks, and the location of and method for putting on life jackets.
Many of our docks have public facilities on site, and we encourage our guests to avail themselves of them prior to boarding. Below decks spaces, including the two heads (boat toilets) on Clearwater will NOT be available during the 2022 season.
People with disabilities sail with us often. Some areas of the boat are not accessible to people with limited mobility or those in wheelchairs, as they are accessed via ladders or steps. These areas are: Below decks (including the heads, not available in 2021), and the quarterdeck. Please note that, although Clearwater’s crew is comfortable assisting people with disabilities as they board and disembark, not all of our docks are fully accessible to wheelchairs or people with limited mobility. Please check with the Vessel Logistics Manager via email at email@example.com to find out which docks would be most appropriate and to find out how we can accommodate people with disabilities aboard all of our sails.
Can I bring a large group onboard a public sail? Do you offer a group discount on public sail tickets?
We do not offer group discounts, and ask that groups larger than 12 wishing to sail together for a special event instead consider a private charter.
With every season comes change to the river and to Clearwater. After twenty-three wonderful years of coming to the Hudson to provide an additional platform for our unique education programs, the Mystic Whaler’s captain-owners have a new destination in mind: retirement. It has been an honor to work with John, Pat, and the Mystic Whaler over the years and we at Clearwater wish them a happy retirement.