Ship at night

Ship FAQ

How do I decide what cabin category to choose?

It is really up to you. Keep in mind that ship cabins tend to be small. Students spend most of their time outside their cabin. Some students prefer having a window/porthole and are willing to pay the extra cost.

How many students are on board?

As many as 720 undergraduates sail each fall and spring voyage.

Is there Internet access on the ship?

Internet service on the ship is available from an onboard computer lab. The lab is equipped with 20 computers and is available 24/7. Wi-fi access is available throughout the ship, as well, for those who bring their wireless-equipped laptops. You receive 125 minutes free Internet access as part of your paid program fees; after that, there is a per-minute cost for onboard Internet access starting at about 30 cents per minute.

Contacting the Ship

Telephone/Fax: Dial the following toll-free number: 877-266-0986 (if calling from outside the U.S.: 872-335-3265). You will be asked to provide a credit card number and charged approximately $3.95 USD per minute. A shipboard operator will answer the call and connect you directly to the phone in the participant’s cabin (note: charges initiate as soon as the shipboard operator receives the call). To send a fax, call 954-538-6163 (regular toll call). The recipient will be charged $5.00 USD per page.


Please note that mail service is unreliable in many of the countries we visit. ISE does not assume liability for lost, damaged, or undeliverable items or the costs associated with the return or forwarding of items.

If you decide to send letters, postcards, or packages, we recommend using a courier that will provide a guaranteed delivery date and tracking number. Please do not send any mail to the ISE headquarters in Charlottesville, Va. or to the University of Virginia for forwarding.


Due to the cost of handling and receiving packages in each port of call, the recipient’s shipboard account will be charged a fee of $10, $25, or $50 depending on the size of the package. For each package received, the recipient’s shipboard account will be charged accordingly. The fee is inclusive of imposed duties, local taxes, and any other cost associated with receiving the package. Should the sum of fees and taxes exceed $50.00, then the actual amount incurred will be charged. Fees will be assessed according to the following scale:

  • $10 fee – Small flat parcels like heavy duty envelopes
  • $25 fee – Medium parcels up to 7 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ x 14 1/2″
  • $50 fee – Parcels larger than 7 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ x 14 1/2″

Recipients also will be responsible for the payment of imposed duties, local taxes, and any other costs associated with receiving packages. Duty charges are calculated by in-country (non-ISE) officials based on the perceived value of the items enclosed or in some cases the local price. As a result, duties may exceed the value of the items sent.

We do not recommend that you send any of the following items: food (snacks, chocolates, candies, etc.), electronics, medication, credit cards, currency, or valuable items.

Important Reminder: Mail to those aboard the ship should be addressed as follows:

MV Explorer - Spring 2014 Voyage
ATTN: Name of Recipient
Port Agent Address

*Port Addresses can be found under the Voyage Calendar for each voyage.