General Information for all Voyages

Dietary Restrictions

The dining halls on board the MV World Odyssey will have a variety of options for each meal, including vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, and dairy free options. Each meal will also have a sign posted above it indicating if it contains any dairy, nuts or wheat/gluten. While this is sufficient for those with light allergies or sensitivities, it should not be your only resource for those with severe food allergies.

If you have any medically diagnosed dietary restrictions, please speak with a dining room steward so they can properly prepare meals. View the video below to learn more about vegan eating options on our shipboard campus!


Hawaii, Mauritius, Trinidad and Tobago – Travel Restrictions

Due to the short port calls in Hawaii, Mauritius, and Trinidad and Tobago (these are essentially fuel stops rather than Semester at Sea style port calls of 4-6 days), all students are required to be in a Field Program or required Field Class to disembark the ship.

Lifelong Learners, Faculty, Staff, and their families may have different policies. Please view your respective Voyage Prep pages for details

In-Country Finances FAQs


Where may I purchase foreign currency?

You may wish to obtain local currency of the places you are visiting prior to departure, especially when port arrival coincides with a weekend. To obtain foreign currency please consult with a financial institution, such as Bank of America, Wells Fargo or your personal bank, who can better serve you. Be sure to know which countries you are traveling to as obtaining foreign currency may not be possible for all the countries on your itinerary.

How much money should I budget for each port?

The amount of money you spend in each port with depend on your overall budget. The average voyager budget is $2,500-$3,000 in spending money for the entire voyage. Keep in mind that currency exchange rates vary from port-to-port so you may spend more money in some countries than others.

Are ATM’s available in port?

ATMs are widely available in most worldwide locations. ATMs distribute local currency and exchange rates are typically better. Please be sure to consult with your bank before using your ATM card abroad and alert them of your itinerary. Many banks place daily limits on ATM/debit cards. Be sure to check with your bank to see if you are subject to a daily limit.

Can I use my debit/credit card in port?

Visa and MasterCard are accepted in many worldwide locations and offer advantageous exchange rates. Be sure to alert your credit card provider of your itinerary as charges in several different countries could trigger a hold on your account.

Many European countries have transitioned to accept only cards with a microchip (including businesses and ATMs). It is recommended that you bring at least one card with a microchip. If your bank does not offer cards with microchip please plan to bring foreign currency as a backup.

For Debit and Credit card use, it is highly recommended that you research institutions that waive the international transaction fee, such as Capital One, military banks, and some credit unions.

How many credit cards should I bring?

You should plan to bring two credits cards for your voyage in case one is lost or stolen. When traveling with ATM/debit cards and credit cards, be sure to safeguard them and use them in legitimate establishments. You may want to periodically check your account online to verify usage. In the event your card is lost, stolen, there are fraudulent charges or you need to contact your issuing institution, write down phone numbers to use when calling from abroad.

SAS Field Program Finances

Please make sure you have read the Field Program Terms and Conditions and Cancellation Policies here.

Shipboard Accounts FAQs


How do I purchase items on the ship?

The MV World Odyssey uses a cashless system and a shipboard account is required for each participant. Any transaction or purchase onboard the ship such as field programs, snacks, bottled water, phone cards, Internet minutes, campus store, laundry, etc., will be billed through the participant’s shipboard account.

How do I set-up my shipboard account?

Participants will establish their shipboard accounts at the beginning of the voyage by registering a credit card with the ship’s Pursers Office or by providing the third-party credit card authorization form, which will be emailed to you two weeks prior to embarkation. The shipboard account balance will be charged to the registered credit card approximately once a month throughout the voyage.

We strongly encourage you to register a card that is different from the card you plan to use while in port. In the event that if the card is lost or stolen, you will still have access to your shipboard account. An itemized statement will be provided to the student at the end of each voyage segment. This statement will not be provided to parents. It is the student’s responsibility to provide the documentation to the parent if they request it and to make them aware that they will not be receiving statements.

Can I use a debit card for my shipboard account?

While we strongly discourage the use of debit cards and cash, they are acceptable options to fund shipboard accounts. If a participant prefers to settle their shipboard account in cash, then the participant must maintain a $500 credit balance on their shipboard account for the entire voyage. Registering a debit card for use on a shipboard account is not recommended because of the daily transaction limits required by banks. With additional field trip sales and other shipboard purchases, the participant’s monthly charges will likely exceed the debit cards daily limits and result in a declined transaction. If this is your only option, please contact your bank for an increase to your daily limit prior to departure.

What happens if the form of payment on my shipboard account is declined?

Non-payment of Shipboard Accounts, or declined credit card transactions will result in the participant’s shipboard account being frozen until payment is rendered. If a participant’s account is frozen then purchases aboard the ship are not possible (this includes registering for Field Programs) If the balance-owed reflects unpaid Field Programs, participants are given a 14 day grace period to pay the balance before they will be cancelled from the program(s). On day 15, participants WILL be cancelled from all registered (but unpaid) Field Programs and not allowed to participate. Standard cancellation fees still apply (this means a participant could still be responsible for paying for some or all of a program he/or she is not allowed to participate in.). If there is an unpaid shipboard balance at the end of the voyage, students’ transcripts will be held until payment in-full is received and the bad debt will eventually be  reported to the credit bureau. ISE does not accept payments for shipboard accounts in their home office. All shipboard account payments must be made on the MV World Odyssey.

The Institute for Shipboard Education (ISE) reserves the right to close a student’s shipboard account for reasons including, but not limited to: unpaid shipboard account balances, delinquent tuition account payments, or disciplinary issues. Should you have any questions regarding policies and procedures regarding shipboard accounts please feel free to contact the ISE business office at 1.800.854.0195.



Fuel Surcharge

From time to time fuel costs for our ship the World Odyssey may spike in price for any number of reasons beyond Semester at Sea’s control.  We make every reasonable effort to control fuel pricing, including efficient itinerary management and annual port bunker planning.  However, Semester at Sea may regrettably be required to assess an additional fuel surcharge to all revenue-paying passengers, to defray excess costs when such spikes appear imminent for an upcoming Semester Voyage.

But to assist in long-term planning, and beginning with the Fall 2019 Voyage, Semester at Sea will identify and bill a “Fuel Fee,” which shall be Semester at Sea’s best estimate for voyage fuel costs.

And then, no later than 30 days in advance of each Semester Voyage, Semester at Sea will assess the near-term pricing outlook for the two types of maritime fuel required for our Vessel: IFO 380 (so-called “heavy fuel”) and MGO (“marine gas-oil”), or any substitute such as ULSD (“ultra-low sulfur diesel”).  If the blended/weighted pricing of these two types is still expected to exceed $381 per metric ton for the upcoming Semester Voyage, then a fuel surcharge may be properly noticed (net of the pre-billed “fuel fee” previously invoiced and collected) to all participants on a pro-rata basis to defray these expected excess costs.  We base our pricing outlooks primarily on the Rotterdam and Singapore markets for IFO380 and MGO (and other substitute fuels such as ULSD) maritime fuels, which are the markets most closely resembling the majority of our fuel acquisition needs.

Special Accommodations Acknowledgement

ISE seeks to provide a welcoming and inclusive shipboard environment for all participants regardless of sex, gender identity, race/ethnicity, disability status, veteran status, or religious identity. We also understand that some participants may need additional accommodations (in regards to cabin placement, in order to be successful throughout the voyage. These accommodations may include but are not limited to students who identify as transgender, students with physical disabilities or limited mobility, students needing religious accommodations for the academic schedule, or students needing additional mental health support.

If you identify with any of the special circumstances listed or you need any other special accommodations, please log in to MyVoyage and agree to the Special Accommodations Acknowledgement. You may also directly contact Laura Roth, Director of Student Life, at Laura will be in touch with you to discuss our ability to accommodate your requests for your upcoming voyage.