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State of the Institute Q&A session – Sept. 2020



Director of Marketing and Communications
Oct 8, 2020


State of the Institute Q&A session – Sept. 2020

On September 30, ISE President and CEO Dr. Scott Marshall shared another State of the Institute message with updates regarding our financial situation, operational flexibility, and our resiliency as a program thanks to overwhelming support from our alumni community.

Below is a follow-up Q&A which was held live Wednesday, October 7 on our Facebook page. Additional questions and answers can be found on Semester at Sea’s Facebook page.

For the September 2020 State of the Institute update, click here.


One Comment

  1. Crispin Batten
    November 21, 2020 at 10:36 am

    This is a very welcome and honest set of answers to pertinent questions. The whole cruise industry is in disarray and many participants may well not survive. SAS for now seems to have managed the financial pressures. However, there are many more fundamental pressures ahead.
    There are several words in the President’s comments that stick in my mind:
    Uncertainty, Health & Safety, Early Action:

    On UNCERTAINTY: There is a probability approaching certainty, that the Fall 2021 voyage will not take place. The war against the virus has not yet been won, the vaccine has not yet been administered – and it is doubtful that it will be in all the countries on the itinerary – many ports are still closed or may be closing at short notice.
    On HEALTH & SAFETY: The recent experience of SeaDream in the Caribbean has shown that despite multiple testing, only debarking on isolated islands, and precautions on board the virus cannot be kept off the ship. The so-called successful voyages of Costa and MSC in the Mediterranean fail to give assurance. When those re-started they only took Italian passengers and only went to Italian ports. Costa “Deliziosa,” has a capacity of 2,200 passengers but sailed with only 500-600 to ensure social distancing. The SAS president is thinking about an 80 percent occupancy, which will not allow social distancing. Moreover, such distancing will rob passengers of one of the attractions of the voyage, i.e., socializing, in addition to no longer providing cultural immersion via independent travel or home-stays.
    On EARLY ACTION: The President spoke about the early cancellation of the Fall 2020 voyage. There is an argument for early action now, i.e. canceling the Fall 2021 voyage. SAS has already created disappointment by shortening the Spring 2020 voyage and canceling Fall 2020. Actively recruiting for the Fall 2021 voyage in view of (see above) the high probability that it will not happen would just enlarge the number of disappointed prospects.

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