I spent two years as Master Captain on board the S.S. Universe Explorer and ten years as Master on board the MV Explorer, so this is the second time with Semester at Sea that I am doing a ship’s final voyage. For me it is always a sad moment when the voyage is coming to the end. Spending 12 years of life with commitment to those two ships and the program is a big part of anybody’s career. I have to admit that the 12 years that I have spent in command of those two ships are the best memories that I will have (after 33 years at sea I think that I can say that!).
Having students on board as passengers is a really unique experience that cannot be compared with a cruise ship environment. It is amazing the transformations that are happening throughout the voyage in their understanding of the people and different cultures. For most of them their understanding of life, real values, cultures, and people in general is changed for the better after the voyage. They are the future leaders and I am certain that the voyage helped them to understand our world better. I have no doubt that they will make a positive impact in future.
Semester at Sea is a unique program that is helping all of us to better understand the world and priorities in life. I am positive that the program will continue for many years to come. I am really honored that I have worked for and with the program for 12 years.
I will finish with my favorite quote from Mark Twain: “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”
I am sure that after the many Semester at Sea voyages that we sailed in the past 10 years more than few found out their “why.”