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Bringing Together the World's Best Minds


Faculty, Staff, and Lecturers

An Academic Community of Experts

The Semester at Sea experience is fueled by the best and brightest minds in education, giving students unparalleled access to faculty, staff, in country experts and unique experiences.

All faculty members hold doctorates or other terminal degrees from accredited universities and have international experience and expertise in one or more of the regions visited on a given voyage. Most faculty have been honored with teaching and advising awards at their home institutions, and many have also been recognized at the national and international levels.

Voyage Leadership Team

Every voyage sails under the leadership of an executive dean, academic dean and dean of student life. The executive dean is the chief administrator of the voyage, while the academic dean oversees faculty and curricula. The dean of student life promotes and ensures student learning and development in a safe, inclusive community.


At the core of the Semester at Sea academic experience is a team of innovative, stimulating educators who are passionate about international education.

  • Semester at Sea attracts nationally renowned, award winning faculty. Our voyages include faculty who are internationally recognized experts in our varied fields of study on Semester at Sea voyages. Our faculty are selected not only for their accomplishments in the field, but for their excellent teaching skills and ability to connect with students both inside and outside of the classroom.
  • Semester at Sea faculty move beyond the confines of the ivory tower. With the world as their classroom, SAS professors teach in a global context and excel in the field of experiential learning. Almost without exception, faculty members find the voyage to be so professionally and personally rewarding that they apply to sail again.
  • Semester at Sea faculty are selected for their teaching excellence and rigor. 100% hold doctorates or other terminal degrees and 100% have international experience and expertise in one or more of the regions visited.
Learn More About Sailing


The shipboard Semester at Sea voyage staff focuses on developing a dynamic and synergistic relationship between academic instruction and co-curricular learning. Our voyage staff includes a student life team, medical team and administrative team. The home office of the Institute for Shipboard Education serves as both a guiding organization and an extension of the shipboard team.

A History of Amazing Speakers

World Leaders and Special Guests

Semester at Sea has long-standing relationships with leading international universities, businesses and individuals who bring renowned world scholars and lecturers into the classroom. World figures, leaders and Nobel Laureates have been a part of many Semester at Sea voyages.

Notable lecturers and guests have included:
  • Fidel Castro, former Cuban President and Prime Minister
  • Anwar Sadat, former Egyptian President
  • Indira Gandhi, former Indian Prime Minister
  • Mikhail Gorbachev, final leader of the USSR
  • Corazon Aquino, former President of the Philippines
  • SHRM King Mohammed VI, King of Morocco
  • HRH Moulay Rachid, Prince of Morocco
  • Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Laureate
  • Mother Teresa, Nobel Laureate
  • Nelson Mandela, First President of South Africa, Nobel Laureate
  • Arthur C. Clark, Author of 2001: A Space Odyssey
  • Pete Peterson, First U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam
  • C.H. Tung, first Chief Executive of Hong Kong after British colonial rule ended in 1997

Interport Students and Lecturers

Interport students and lecturers are visiting members of the shipboard community that join a voyage in the port prior to the student or lecturer’s home country. While aboard, they orient voyagers to the unique and diverse cultural elements of that country or region. Both Interport Students and Lecturers are natives of the country and have significant experience living and working there.

Interport Students interact with the shipboard community in a number of ways. They participate in informal discussions with individual students, faculty, and staff, give interactive presentations about cultural or geographical topics of significance, host crash-courses in local languages, and provide insights in classroom settings on a variety of topics from a local ‘peer’ perspective – their lived experiences as a resident of that country.  

While on board, the Interport Lecturers present on their home countries in the core course of Global Studies. They are invited by the faculty to guest lecture in  classes and during their segment at sea, they offer one Evening Seminar to the full shipboard community related to their area of expertise. Finally, the role of the Interport Lecturer is to informally engage with the students and other participants over meals and in between classes. Upon arrival in country, the Interport Lecturer often joins one of the field programs with the students to provide additional in-depth country expertise.  

Both Interport Students and Lecturers are recruited through long-lasting partnerships with local universities, businesses, nonprofits, and professional networks.

Voyage Partners

Semester at Sea provides access to remarkable organizations that help enhance the voyage experience both on the ship and in the countries visited.

  • TEDx
  • The United Nations Association
  • Clinton Global Initiative
  • TOMS
  • Global Grins
  • Global Mamas
  • City of Refuge
  • Heifer International
  • NOAA
  • American Foreign Service Association
  • The National Society of Collegiate Scholars
  • Association of International Educators
  • Colorado State University
  • Overseas Security Advisory Council
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • National Geographic
  • Rotary Club
  • The $100 Solution
  • U.S. Department of State
  • American Council on Education
  • National Society of High School Scholars
  • Unreasonable Institute
  • FrontierMEDEX
  • Association of Public and Land Grant Universities


Expertise in Shipboard Education

Since 1963, the the Institute for Shipboard Education has sailed over 100 voyages with more than 63,000 individuals. ISE comprises more than 40 dedicated employees in its Fort Collins, Colorado headquarters, a senior management team and Board of Trustees who use their expertise to ensure a successful voyage.

Learn More About:

Our Organization
Our History