You’ve heard of students spending a semester abroad, but have you heard of adults spending a semester at sea? Semester at Sea is the perfect way for adventurous adults over 30 to explore the world.
This is not a vacation — this is traveling. Semester at Sea is not a relaxing cruise, it is an opportunity to learn about communities from all over the world as part of a diverse, intergenerational group.
Ready to open up your world and make your life richer? Learn more about Semester at Sea and how you can join others who love to learn and travel on the upcoming Fall 2022 Voyage below.
About Semester at Sea
What Is Semester at Sea?
Semester at Sea has offered life-changing voyages for nearly 60 years. If experiencing personal growth while traveling the globe sounds like your jam, then Semester at Sea is for you! It is called Semester at Sea because the experience lasts up to 100 days and you are traveling with students who are earning college credits on-board.
If 100 days sounds like a lot to you, there is an option to board the ship for a single segment of the voyage. Called a Spotlight Voyage, generally, these partial trips last between 30 and 45 days.
Not A Cruise
Although you do travel by ship, Semester at Sea is not to be confused with a cruise. Consider it more of a floating university campus, complete with faculty, resident directors, and a hired staff member dedicated to ensuring a great experience for Lifelong Learners.
See Several Sights
Exciting, educational itineraries include stops at once-in-a-lifetime sights such as the Taj Mahal, the Great Wall of China, a safari, the Panama Canal, the Amazon rainforest, Pearl Harbor, the Galapagos archipelago, and much, much more.
MV World Odyssey
About The Ship
At 590 feet, the MV World Odyssey offers both indoor and outdoor dining, a sun deck for group fitness activities, pools, and 10 deck areas. It also has a theater, an auditorium, a library, a gym, and a spa where you can treat yourself to a massage, haircut, pedicure, or facial. There is one fine-dining restaurant and one bar/lounge area that does not allow students.
Cabins range from individual rooms to suites, with interior and exterior facing windows. Most Lifelong Learner cabins have ocean views with a French balcony. There are also nine classrooms on-board because Semester at Sea is also a…
Floating College Campus
On a Semester at Sea voyage, you will be living, eating, and studying with 550 undergrads, as well as 100 faculty and staff members and their families. There are also 180 crew members from all over the world on board. Lifelong Learners typically reside near other adult passengers, but interact with students in the dining halls, in classes, and in port.
Lifelong Learning Program
Retirees, professionals, and adventurous travelers over 30 are invited to study with bright, enthusiastic undergraduate students from around the world in Semester at Sea’s Lifelong Learning Program. This means you get to study around the ports that you’ll be visiting, take classes with students, and join undergraduates and professors on in-port excursions. Lifelong Learners are also invited to mentor students and lead evening seminars in their area of expertise. Have a family you don’t want to leave behind for so long? Sail as a Lifelong Learner Family!
Lifelong Learners Become Lifelong Friends
Many Lifelong Learners who come for the travel and educational experience are surprised by the amazing community they find on-board. As you get older, it gets harder to make friends, but a Semester at Sea — with an eclectic and diverse group of students, faculty, and staff, and their families and other Lifelong Learners — gives you an opportunity to create close bonds.
You never know who you’ll meet! Our CEO knows someone who met their spouse aboard a Semester at Sea ship. Whether you form a relationship that lasts a lifetime or just find a travel buddy, experiencing what the world has to offer with a group of people who also treasure learning and exploring is the most rewarding part.
Solo Travelers Welcome
Since you can make friends on-board, you don’t need a travel partner to come with you on a Semester at Sea. Solo travelers can see the world safely with others and experience things they might not get to experience independently.
Single and double occupancy accommodations are available. And, single occupancy is not double the cost as it is on some cruise lines.
A Semester at Sea is a great way to travel solo — you have alone time, but you also have a built-in community so you don’t get lonely.
Extended Family Program
Lifelong Learners are invited to “adopt” students into a small shipboard family in Semester at Sea’s Extended Family Program. Not only does this help relieve any homesickness the students may experience, but it also lets Lifelong Learners pass on life and career advice to the next generation.
As you can imagine, Semester at Sea academics are amazing, with 30 full-time faculty members. Lifelong Learners have access to participate alongside undergrads in a multitude of courses offered across many disciplines of study. Subjects include world religions, oceanography, comparative politics, and public health. The available courses are announced prior to each voyage. Lifelong Learners typically sign up to participate in two or three classes.
Everyone participates in the Global Studies course. Taught daily while at sea, the course covers the people, culture, and geography of the places visited. All are also invited to attend evening programs. These lectures include topics related to upcoming ports, current events, and areas of faculty expertise.
Hands-On, In-Country Learning
What better way to learn about the world than by immersing yourself in each country? Each Semester at Sea voyage stops at 10–12 destinations, with an average of 5 days spent in each port. You are welcome to explore each port country independently or join students, professors, and trusted local experts on excursions.
A sample of one of these in-country, faculty-led programs is the Cheetah Outreach Project and Wine Tasting. Come face-to-face with majestic cats at the Cheetah Outreach project in Cape Town, which rescues and rehabilitates South African cheetahs.
From exploring a Moroccan desert on camelback to learning how to make fresh pasta in an Italian cooking class, Field Programs give Lifelong Learners the opportunity to see, learn, and experience more in each country. Field Programs can last a day, several days, or the entire port stay.
Every semester, the Field Office offers a catalog of a couple of hundred programs that you can browse and register for a few months before embarkation. Examples include everything from spending time at nonprofit organizations in Ghana or elephant conservatory in India to hiking the Great Wall of China or seeing the “big five” mammals on a South African safari. Volunteer and homestay opportunities are available as well.
Ranging from $25–$3,000, there are a variety of field programs available for different budgets and ability levels. On average, a voyager spends around $2,500 on Field Programs. Transportation, accommodations, and most meals are included.
Fall 2022 Voyage
Semester at Sea embarks on its next voyage in just a few months, but there’s still time to sign up! Its Fall 2022 Voyage starts in Amsterdam on September 9. The 105-day voyage stops in 12 cities in 12 different countries on two continents. Explore Portugal, Morocco, Spain, Croatia, Greece, Cyprus, the Suez Canal, Jordan, Kenya, and Mumbai before disembarking for good on December 22 in Dubai. Check out the full itinerary here.
Fall 2022 Spotlight Voyages
Segment 1: 30 Nights
- Embark: Amsterdam, September 9
- Itinerary: Portugal, Morocco
- Disembark: Spain, October 9
Segment 2: 31 Nights
- Embark: Croatia, October 16
- Itinerary: Greece, Cyprus, Suez Canal Transit
- Disembark: Jordan, November 16
Segment 3: 25 Nights
- Embark: Kenya, November 27
- Itinerary: India
- Disembark: Dubai, UAE, December 22
Voyage pricing is based on cabin type, as well as double or single occupancy. A variety of cabin options are available, ranging from single to spacious options that accommodate a family of four. Double occupancy rates range from $19,950–$35,950, while single occupancy rates range from $24,950–$53,925; a small price to pay for an unforgettable life-changing adventure! Here is what is included in the cost.
Here are a few requirements you may want to consider:
- Full COVID vaccination
- Yellow fever vaccination (dependent on itinerary)
- Background check
How To Book
Apply now to take part in the Fall 2022 Voyage. Other upcoming voyages include:
- Spring 2023: Asian and European Exploration
- Fall 2023: European and Asian Adventure
- Spring 2024: Asia, Africa, and Europe Exploration
Learn more about how to become a Lifelong Learner here. You can also email [email protected] or call (800) 854-0195.