For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Semester At Sea program let me provide you with a brief overview. The Semester At Sea program began in 1963 and is described as a “state-of-the-art floating campus…that provides a unique opportunity to create new perspectives and to tap into every individual’s passion for learning and understanding” You can learn more about the program and its history at www.semesteratsea.org. In a very simple sense, SAS it is a college on a cruise ship. The program and academics are through The University of Virginia and Fall/Spring voyages require a minimum of 12 credits. Students are in class while at sea and have opportunities for field study excursions while in each port.
I sail August 24 to December 14, 113 days and 11 countries!
My itinerary is as follows:
Norfolk, Virginia. USA – August 24: The staff board and reposition the ship to Canada to meet our students
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada – August 28: The students board and the journey officially begins
Cape Town, South Africa
Port Louis, Mauritius
Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam
Hong Kong / Shanghai, China
Yokohama / Kobe, Japan
Honolulu / Hilo, Hawaii, USA
San Diego, California, USA
The journey that I will be on is the 100th voyage so it makes the opportunity that much sweeter. I am incredibly fortunate to be apart of this experience and hope to share with you as much as I can. I imagine that points of the journey will be challenging and others rewarding and meaningful beyond words but I hope to do my best in writing about my experience.
The ship (not a boat) is named the MV Explorer, was built in 2002 and is “one of the safest ships afloat” being in the U.S. and international health and safety ratings 99th percentile. Thankfully, with all this pirate activity, the MV Explorer is also one of the fastest passenger ships of its kind in the world! You can tour the ship here http://www.semesteratsea.org/our-ship/overview/aboard-the-mv-explorer.php
The ship can serve as home to 836 people and travels at a max speed of 28 knots or nearly 30 miles an hour. With 30,000 sq. ft. of outside deck space, 6 passenger decks, 7,500 sq. ft. pool area, three dining decks, plus a faculty and staff lounge (with happy hour every night) I’ll have plenty to explore before the students board.