ISO Green Certified Vessel

Keeping our footprint small

“Semester at Sea offers more than a liberal arts education. We have an opportunity to leave a lasting legacy as the MV Explorer becomes a flagship—not only for its environmental impact but even more for environmental studies.”


The Pathway to Sustainability Initiative

Semester at Sea and the institute for shipboard education have a vision for creating an innovative, conscientious, and internationally responsible green ship environment.

  • Verify and reduce environmental footprint
  • Implement sustainable policies and programs
  • Recycling and waste management
  • Waste and emission reduction
  • Energy conservation
  • Sustainability awareness
  • Carbon offset
  • Corporate partnership
  • Integrate the Academic Program
  • Create themes around environmental issues
  • Launch longitudinal research projects
  • Integrate curricular activities
  • Install Advanced Environmental Management Systems
  • Waste treatment and management
  • Exhaust emission scrubbers
  • Ballast water management
  • Emission control initiatives
  • Create shore-side sustainable initiatives
  • R&D on visionary initiatives
  • Eco-friendly energy sources such as wind, solar, and bio-fuels
  • “Zero-discharge” environments

Green Tips: What Can You Do?

The efforts of everyone at Semester at Sea—participants, faculty, staff, and visitors—are crucial to creating a more sustainable MV Explorer campus. Taking shorter showers, keeping your cabin thermostat low, recycling, and turning off unnecessary lights—these are among the simple but meaningful acts that reduce our environmental footprint.

  • Bring your own travel mug and water bottle to the dining hall.
  • Don’t take more food than you can eat.
  • Be careful about wasting paper. In the computer lab, only print final copies of papers and print PowerPoint slides six per page rather than one per page.
  • Take your own bag when shopping in port and politely decline plastic bags.
  • Save any accumulated bags and newspapers and use them for packing material at the end of the voyage.
  • Hand over used batteries and printer cartridges to the Purser’s Desk to ensure proper disposal.
  • Conserve water in ports to minimize domestic water.
  • When you leave your cabin, turn off the lights and TV.
  • Take shorter showers and avoid multiple showers in one day.

Semester at Sea participants are in a prime position to create a culture of sustainability aboard the MV Explorer, their home campus, and multiple ports visited during a voyage.