Common Questions and Answers
“We carry tens of thousands of people a year and are well accustomed to all manner of requests. Remember we are here to help, so please do ask.” John
What type of boat are trips run off?
How many people are on a boat?
Our boats are coded to carry no more than 12 passengers, regardless of age, at any one time along with 2 crew members. This allows a personal tour tailored to each individuals needs and mean that all passengers can ask questions during the voyage. If there are more than 12 of you in the party then no bother! We have several vessels so we can put you all to sea at the same time. This allows great photo opportunities as you follow each other around the island often close enough to talk. Alternatively we can schedule sailings one after another if you would prefer.
Is it safe for children?
We carry babies right down to babes in arms. Our biggest concern for the little ones is wind chill so please make sure that they are wrapped up. As for looking after and understanding the small ones well we have had plenty (myself, the so called boss has 6 including 2 sets of twins) so I guess we are as tolerant as you can be! We have been sailing for over 20 years and have never experienced an accident but if you still have any concerns then staff at the booking office and the skippers on the boat can advise and suggest what would be best for you.
Do you land on Ramsey or the other Islands?
We don’t offer landings as part of our trips as our focus is on informative and guided trips. The wildlife and scenery of Ramsey is found in and around the waters of the island. You cannot experience the stunning geographical features of the island for get anywhere near as close from the island. The best way to experience the island is by boat which is why 90% of visitors to Ramsey take a voyage around the island rather than land.
Where are you located?
In the historical city village of St Davids (Britains smallest city!) on the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.
Are you open all year?
We have sailings every day from mid March until mid November. Winter sailings are more subject to weather but we tend to sail over the Christmas period and the Feb half term break. The office is open all year. Winter months it is open 9am to 5pm and in busier times from 7 am till late.
Can I book in advance?
Yes , you can book as far in advance as you wish. We may give you an approximate departure time that will be confirmed several days before departure (unless you have a specific request).
How can I book and how can I pay?
Can I just turn up and take a sailing?
Yes. A lot of our bookings are last minute passing custom. In busy times some sailings do get heavily booked so advance booking is recommended and it does help us with schedules etc. Remember that the departure point is 3 miles away from the office so you need time to get there. We do not recommend turning up to the departure point and booking as we are often fully booked and will simply be unable to accommodate you and your party.
Can I do something different?
Just let us know and we will advise on options. We may adjust a scheduled sailing to account for your wishes or you can charter the boat. If it’s a surprise or anything out of the ordinary then let us know and we will do our best.
Can I leave luggage with you or get parcels delivered?
Especially useful for back packers etc you can (within reason and if sailing with us) leave your bags in our office but entirely at your own risk.
Sometimes when on holiday you may need a package delivered. Again within reason we will take receipt on your behalf but entirely at your own risk. You must let us know in advance though.
Can I take Dogs?
We welcome dogs on our Ramsey Island Voyage. We have to be respectful of other customers so there is a bit of a vetting process for behaviour etc!
We have taken the odd cat and once a parrot!
We can offer a limited dog sitting service at our office for when you are on the boat if a cage and water bowl are provided by yourselves. Please note that we cannot always offer this service so please let us know in advance so we can accommodate.
What if my sailing is cancelled?
The main reason for cancellations is weather over which we alas have no control. If the sailing is cancelled for any reason we will offer you a full refund or an alternative sailing (your choice). See our refunds and complaints page for full details.
What if I feel unwell or have a panic attack?
If you are unsure then we would recommend the inshore Ramsey Sailings. It is extremely rare that passengers get seasick on our boats due to their design and the shape of their hull preventing the ‘bob and roll’ that some traditional vessels experience. If you really feel unhappy we will sail quickly back to shore and drop you off, we are never more than a couple of minutes from shore and every effort will be made to ensure we get there as quickly and comfortably as possible. It is something that we understand and wont make a fuss about.
I have a medical condition so can I sail?
We carry physically and other disabled people, pregnant ladies to full term etc. Our general rule is that you must let us know in the office that you have a condition. This then will be related to the boat and the shore duty officer may give advice. The sailing is always tailored to the “weakest” on board and hence it is important that the office and skipper knows of any condition. Ultimately though from our insurers “that unless there is an act of negligence that the decision to partake in the activity is that of the client and by partaking they consent.”
Please note that the vessels depart from St Justinians and there there is a short walk and a number of steps to the slipway, which could prove difficult for those with limited ability. For those in wheelchairs we do our best to make suitable or alternative arrangements but admit that this is not easy and the coast affords few alternative embarkation points. We do offer limited sailings from Porthclais Harbour, however these are very tide dependant, check out our Disabled Access page for more info.
I don’t like birds/going into caves?
Let us know as we do our utmost to take account of everyone’s wishes. There is so much to see and experience around Ramsey Island that missing out on the caves or skipping past some nesting seabirds only gives you the opportunity to see a whole host of different scenery and wildlife that you may otherwise have not visited.
Can I charter the whole boat?
Yes you can charter for as long as you wish (you can even buy a boat off us!). Charters are provided with our skippers and crews and you can go anywhere along the coast and up to 20 miles offshore. Please call for costings and information.
How are you regulated?
Our vessels are inspected by the Marine Coastguard Agency and exceed all regulations. In addition we have stringent internal audits. Skippers are qualified and all staff undergo regular training. Skippers are also WISE accredited in addition to the many personal qualifications that they have. Finally all staff are First Aid trained, even those in the booking office, and many of our crew and skippers are also RNLI lifeboat crew meaning you are in the safest hands possible when out on the water.
Who is this John?
Very kind of you to ask. If you are interested look at the BBC Documentary about John and his family – you’ll find it here. In summary John is local boy made good, married to his wonderful wife Bethan and they have 6 children (2 sets of twins !). When John and Bethan started 25 years ago they lived in a caravan in a field for 7 years as the business came first. They have a long maritime association and for many years John skippered the boat trips himself. As the business expanded his role became mainly managerial and he developed other business interests in St Davids, employing up to 30 people.
The business is now in it’s ‘second generation’ with John’s son Rhys now at the helm of running the business.