There are multiple ways to support the work of Ocean Passages.

Through our affiliated foundation, tax deductible contributions can be made to underwrite diversity in our educational programs.  The non-profit foundation called the Dirigo Marine Learning Center (the name, meaning “I Lead,” derives from the Maine flag which depicts the state’s strong ties to the sea) has three scholarship programs:

  • Dirigo operates a special memorial scholarship fund for students interested in maintenance and repair of traditional schooners. Named in memory of Chris Nelson, a beloved shipwright and graduate of Yale University and the Landing Boat School in Maine, the program provides assistance to U.S. students who serve as engineers or shipwright apprentices.

  • Dirigo partners with international foundations willing to assist the youth of Cuba in marine skills training.

  • The foundation also manages direct contributions to underwrite the tuition costs for gap program students with demonstrated need.

In addition, we offer a variety of avenues for corporate investment, including:

  • Corporate sponsorships: from logo branding to product placement aboard the ship; at shore-side sites in Cuba; at training venues in the U.S. and Cuba; on our website; in press outreach, promotional documents and social media outreach; and in documentary films of the voyages and training sessions; and

  • Donations of in-kind goods and services for the safe and economical provisioning and operation of the ship and crew – including air travel, car rental, hotel rooms, food, satellite time, medical supplies, foul weather gear, and uniform clothing, as well as the full range of ship equipment, provisioning, and tools.

We particularly appreciate the generosity of Suzuki Marine for underwriting outboards for our excursion boats and Pettit Marine Paint for donating high-quality hull and bottom paint — all to help ensure safe and productive student programs in Cuba.  To make a financial contribution or for more background, please contact us at