Spring 2020 Voyage Prep

SP20 Voyage Demographics

Last Update: December 2, 2019



SP20 Passport Requirements

Passport Requirements 101
Spring 2020 Voyage

Your passport must be valid until October 20, 2020which is six months after the voyage end date.



PassportsObtaining Your Passport

You can find information regarding first time passport applications here or through our visa partner Travisa – CIBT here. Please note that this process can take up to six weeks and should be started immediately upon placing your voyage deposit. Using Travisa – CIBT for your passport application/renewal will expedite the process considerably. If your passport is expired or due to expire, or you lack adequate blank pages (see below), you will need to renew your passport immediately and can use the same link(s) as above.

Those voyagers that are applying for a first time passport or who need a passport renewal are encouraged to check the box for a “Large Book (Non-Standard)” in order to obtain a larger, 52 page passport. It is at the discretion of the U.S. State Department to issue large passports, and SAS cannot guarantee that a request for one will be granted. We do, however, recommend trying for a larger passport because we know that our alumni continue to travel the world after their voyage

Blank Visa Page Requirements

All participants will be required to obtain visas in order to sail on a Semester at Sea voyage. Visa instructions and requirements are released approximately 4 months prior to embarkation. Each voyager is responsible for their own remaining, blank visa pages in their passport, such that these entry requirements will be met in each sequential port of call. Semester at Sea cannot predict or be held responsible for how local immigration officials will stamp each individual passport. Please see below to determine if you have sufficient blank visa pages for your voyage or if you will need to renew your passport. NOTE: The standard United States passport has only 17 pages for visas – this means that you must have an almost entirely blank passport for your voyage (only one page can be previously used).


Spring 2020 Blank Visa Page Requirement

Total Number of Blank Visa Pages Required**16 Page


U.S. Passport*

United States/Mexico1 Page
Japan1 Page
China2 Pages
Vietnam2 Pages
Malaysia1 Page
India2 Pages
Mauritius1 Page
South Africa2 Consecutive Adjacent Pages
Ghana2 Consecutive Pages
Morocco1 Page
Netherlands1 Page


*Non-U.S. passport holders will need to budget an extra blank visa page within their passport for each additional visa that is required for their nationality.

**Passport pages reserved for Amendments and Endorsements cannot be used for visas.

***This blank visa page count will increase if a voyage participant intends to register for Field Programs which take them outside the country of port. Each voyage participant is responsible for including for these blank visa pages in their overall count. Voyage participants are not permitted to travel outside of the port country independently.

Passport pages reserved for Amendments and Endorsements cannot be used for visas.

On the left is an example of a blank visa page – count these to come up with your overall blank pages count. On the right is an example of an Endorsement page – these pages cannot be used for visas and should not be counted when determining how many blank visa pages are in your passport.

Passport Numbers for Field Programs

The passport number you enter into the MyVoyage portal is the number used to book all Field Programs and create all visa documents. This number must match the passport the participant will use during travel. Participants must promptly update this number if obtaining a new passport. Using incorrect passport information could result in the participant having to pay change fees or could result in the ability to board flights/ trains, etc. and inability to participate in the program. The Field Office is not responsible for inaccurate reservations as a result of passport information that is incorrectly entered into MyVoyage. The participant is responsible for any fees or cancellation penalties administered as a result of incorrect or outdated information.


All voyagers will require visas in order to sail. These requirements are specific to your nationality. Visa applications cannot be lodged until your passport is obtained. Visa documents are generated based on the passport information which is entered into your MyVoyage Portal. If you renew your passport, you must promptly update this information in MyVoyage. Further visa information and instructions will be released in late August 2019. Please do not apply for visas prior to this date.

If you have any questions about passport requirements, please contact programadministration@isevoyages.org.

SP20 Travel to the Ship – Students & Lifelong Learners

SP20 Travel to the Ship – Students and Lifelong Learners

Voyage Departure – Saturday, January 4, 2020 

The MV World Odyssey will dock at the Port of Ensenada, located approximately 89 miles south of San Diego International Airport (SAN). The Port of Ensenada is located in the northwest corner of Mexico, in the state of Baja California, 68 miles from United States-Mexico border.


Name of Port: Port of Ensenada
Berth: TBD

Departure Flight

Check-in on embarkation day will begin as early as 0600. Due to the early start we strongly recommend that you arrive in San Diego  between January 2-3 in order to account for potential flight delays and/or baggage issues. The ship will not delay departure to wait for late-arriving participants.

Hotel Accommodations in San Diego, CA

Semester at Sea has a dedicated room block from January 1-6, 2020 at the Springhill Suites San Diego Downtown/Bayfront.  Standard rooms are available for $149 per night plus applicable taxes. Make reservations online.  Participants must reserve a room by December 2 in order to obtain the discounted rate.

Embarkation Day Bus Service The morning of January 4, 2020, shuttle service to ship will be provided by Semester at Sea (at no additional cost) from the Springhill Suites San Diego Downtown/Bayfront to the Port of Ensenada, Mexico. Participants are not required to stay at the Springhill Suites San Diego Downtown/Bayfront on the night of January 3 in order to take shuttles. Shuttle check-in on January 4 will be from 0530 – 0900 in hotel conference space on the 5th floor.

Please note that family members and other non-sailing guests are not permitted to join on the shuttles, nor will any non-sailing guests be permitted entry to the Port of Ensenada on January 4.


Voyage Return – Monday, April 20, 2020

The MV World Odyssey will dock at the Passenger Terminal Amsterdam, located approximately 18-20 minutes by car or metro north of Amsterdam Airport (Amsterdam Airport Schiphol; AMS). Expected arrival time to the pier is 0800 on Monday, April 20, 2020.


Name of Port: Port of Amsterdam
Berth: Passenger Terminal


Return Flight

Book your return flight from Amsterdam, The Netherlands AFTER 1700 on April 20, 2020. Although the ship will arrive to Amsterdam at 0800 on April 20 each passenger must go through customs and immigration upon arrival before anyone can disembark from the ship. Timelines for this process are out of Semester at Sea’s control and can take several hours. Disembarkation order for passengers will be determined and announced onboard the ship towards the end of the voyage and no early disembarkation exceptions will be allowed for individuals who choose to book a flight prior to 1700 on April 20.

Disembarkation Day Transportation & Accommodations

Taxis will be plentiful and available immediately outside the ship terminal for those traveling to the airport or other destinations. For those traveling regionally, Amsterdam Centraal, Amsterdam’s main downtown train station, is located 2 miles West of the cruise ship terminal. Voyagers should NOT book train service prior to the mid-afternoon hours of April 20. 

Left Luggage

Baggage remaining unclaimed on arrival of the Ship at destination or left on board the Ship after you depart, will be either 1) delivered to Customs and stored as designated by the Customs authorities at your sole risk and expense; 2) delivered to the port agent and stored as designated by the port agent at your sole risk and expense; or 3) delivered to a freight forwarder and shipped to you at your sole risk and expense. For security reasons, unclaimed baggage or baggage not marked with your full name, contact information and the name of the ship, may be opened, inspected and removed from the Ship.

If you have any questions as you finalize your preparations for sailing, please contact our office at 1.800.854.0195 or operations@semesteratsea.org.

SP20 Medical Requirements

Medical History Form

All participants must be medically approved to sail prior to embarkation. You will not be allowed to board the ship without medical approval. All confirmed voyagers will receive the Medical History form along with detailed instructions on how to submit the form via email in August 2019. This form will also be available via MyVoyage.

Medical History Form Deadlines

  • Faculty, Staff and Dependents –  October  1, 2019
  • Students and Lifelong Learners –  November 1, 2019

Malaria Prophylaxis

The Spring 2020 voyage will be entering areas where malaria is likely to be present which could present health risks for you. Be sure to talk with your physician regarding malaria prophylaxis and make sure you bring adequate medication with you. The CDC publishes recommendations you can review with your physician. Please also review the Semester at Sea Travel Medical Concerns document developed specifically for your voyage.

CDC and international health requirements strongly suggest malaria prophylaxis. The spring voyage will be entering areas where malaria is likely to be present, which could present health risks for you. Malaria prevention should be discussed with your physician based on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) requirements and recommendations. Make sure you bring adequate medication with you as malarial drugs are not available onboard except for emergencies.

Exposure will vary for each participant depending upon individual travel plans. Having an idea of what regions you plan to visit and how far you plan to travel outside the port city will greatly help your physician provide accurate medical advice concerning vaccinations and disease risk.

In general, we also recommend that you contact the CDC and/or your physician to learn the current recommendations for immunizations in the countries you will visit. Be advised that inoculation requirements may be imposed at any time by the governments of countries on our itinerary. The Institute for Shipboard Education (ISE) cannot advise regarding the prescription of inoculations or be held responsible for unannounced health requirement changes.  

Yellow Fever Immunization

The Yellow Fever Vaccination is required for entry into Ghana during your voyage. You must bring your signed, original Yellow Fever Card (International Certification of Vaccination or Prophylaxis ICVP) with you to the ship, as you will not be able to board the ship without it. If you are not able to receive the yellow fever vaccination for medical reasons, this exemption must be documented in your medical health form and the Medical Contraindication section of the Yellow Fever Card should also be completed. Not having the vaccination could restrict your ability to leave the ship in some countries. Note: To find a clinic that is approved to provide Yellow Fever vaccine, please visit the CDC website: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yellow-fever-vaccination-clinics/search/.  

Unfortunately, there has recently been a shortage of Yellow Fever vaccine & there are only a small number of clinics that have been designated to dispense the vaccine. Stamaril is an accepted alternative to the Yellow Fever vaccine. Clinics that provide Stamaril can be found on the CDC link above. You will receive the yellow fever card as documentation & this is a legal document—treat it as carefully as you do your passport!

As some clinics will not give the Yellow Fever vaccine until closer to your date of departure, you may be unable to complete this vaccination prior to the deadline for the medical history form. Please schedule an appointment for the Yellow Fever vaccine and note this date on your medical history form. Please schedule this appointment as soon as possible as you will not be able to board without the Yellow Fever Card.

Foreign Travel Health Information

The CDC has health information and recommendations for foreign travel that is available 24 hours a day with the use of a touch tone phone by calling 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747). Callers may select any one or all of the informational messages by following the instructions which are given. The information will be updated as needed.  

Similar health advisory information is available on the CDC Traveler’s Health Information Page.

Comprehensive Travel Health Insurance

All voyage participants are enrolled in a World Class Coverage Plan through Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI), a world leader in travel insurance. This plan is included as part of participant program fees, and is in effect upon arrival to the ship through disembarkation at the end of the voyage. Please click here for detailed policy information.

Health Clinic/Counseling Office

All visits to the shipboard medical clinic and counseling office during clinic hours are included in your program fees. Should a participant require medication (e.g. prescription or otherwise) and/or medical-related services (e.g. x-rays, casting, sutures, blood work, etc.), a nominal fee will be billed to the participant’s shipboard account. Participants taking prescription medication should plan to bring a sufficient supply to last the duration of the semester and make sure their personal primary care physician notes the prescription on their medical history form.


All medical information is current as of this writing – any changes in health requirements will be communicated to participants.

SP20 Visa Requirements

Spring 2020 Visa Requirements

Did you know you need travel visas for your upcoming voyage?

Visas are travel documents placed in the traveler’s passport that prove the traveler is allowed entry to a specific country for a specific period of time. It is every participant’s responsibility to obtain all pre-voyage required visas prior to embarkation. Visa regulations are subject to change and ISE cannot be held responsible for incurred fees, fines, detainment or deportation due to missing visas. Additionally, should we have to reroute our itinerary for health & safety concerns, ISE cannot be held responsible for any required visa fees.

Ready to get your visas?

View requirements, deadlines, important policies and tutorials by clicking the button below!


SP20 Staying in Touch

SP20 Staying in Touch

While on Semester at Sea, you have several options for staying in touch with family and friends. Additional information about these services will be provided to you on the ship.

Voyage Email Account

All voyagers are provided a free shipboard email address with which they can send and receive email messages on and off the ship. The email accounts will be in the format of firstname.lastname.SP20@semesteratsea.org (i.e. jane.doe.SP20@semesteratsea.org). Instructions for how to set up your voyage email account will be available approximately 1 month prior to embarkation.

Technology at Sea

For information about Mobile/Cell Phone Service, Onboard Wireless Network, Internet Access Policies and all technology at sea resources are available online here.

Detailed Itinerary

View the detailed voyage itinerary.

Sending Mail to the Ship

View a  list of reliable ports for sending mail and deadlines for mailing.

Calling the Ship

Every cabin aboard the MV World Odyssey is equipped with phones that enable around the clock ship-to-shore calling (both receiving incoming calls and placing outgoing calls). Participants can make outgoing calls by purchasing pre-paid calling cards at the Pursers desk on the ship. Family members and friends can call the ship 24 hours a day by dialing the toll free number: (800) 305-9203. The caller will be asked to provide a credit card that will be charged approximately $3.95 per minute. Your call will then be connected directly to your voyager’s cabin.

SP20 Payment Options

Spring 2020 Payment Options
Students and Lifelong Learners

Full payment/last day to cancel without penalty for your voyage is October 11, 2019. If you have a balance due to Semester at Sea, an invoice will be mailed to the address listed on your MyVoyage account – consult the account summary on MyVoyage for the most recent activity and make payment for the amount listed in the Payment due section. Program fees vary depending on your cabin type. For questions about your balance please call 1.800.854.0195. Please submit payment to our office via one of the below options:

  1. Check or money order payable in US$ to: Institute for Shipboard Education or I.S.E. – make sure to include your name on the memo line. Please mail to:

Semester at Sea
2243 Centre Ave, Suite 300
Fort Collins, CO 80526

  1. Wire money to our account – contact our office for wiring instructions
  2. Online through the Payments and Financial Aid section of your MyVoyage Page.  Payments can be made via electronic check or debit/credit card (a 2.7% convenience fee is charged on credit card payments.)

Scholarships and Funding

Semester at Sea provides $5 million in aid to students each year. View Fall 2019 financial aid opportunities online.  Also, learn more about Federal Financial Aid and Outside Funding Options here.

ISE Scholarship and Funding Deadlines

  • Need and Merit Grants, Pell Grant Match – Reviewed on a rolling basis. Allow two weeks for review. These grants will remain open until two weeks prior to embarkation or until the budget has been spent; whichever comes first. Apply early!
  • All other awards – April 17, 2019 (recipients notified May 3, 2019)

Monthly Payment Plan

An interest-free installment payment plan from Cashnet can be made for 5 – 10 payments depending on when a student enrolls in the plan. There is a $55 fee to enroll in the Payment Plan. The earlier a student reserves a cabin and enrolls in the Payment Plan, the lower each payment will be.To learn more about the Payment Plan, visit commerce.cashnet.com/paymentportal, or call a Cashnet consultant at (877) 821-0625 Monday through Friday from 8am to 9pm ET.

When you enroll in the Payment Plan as a New User, please choose “Institute for Shipboard Education” from the school name drop down menu. On the next screen, please select Rolling Admission – For Students Sailing Jan (spring voyagers) or Rolling Admission – For Students Sailing Sept (fall voyagers) depending on your specific voyage.

Direct Bill Institutions

Please note that if you attend a direct bill school (the school pays Semester at Sea) then you should not enroll in the payment plan. A list of direct bill schools is available here.


If you have any questions about setting up your plan please email finance@isevoyages.org.

SP20 Program Fee Refund Plan

The cost of semester study abroad is a substantial investment.  If you are hurt or become ill and cannot complete the semester, you stand to lose thousands of dollars.

Semester at Sea’s Program Fee includes the cost of tuition (which includes required field classes), room and board, and travel health insurance–less financial aid. The Program Fee does not include the cost of Semester at Sea field excursions, on-board purchases, or independent travel.  The Program Fee is not refundable once the semester is underway.

The Program Fee Refund Plan will help to alleviate the financial loss in the unfortunate case where illness or injury forces you to leave the semester. It will provide funds which can reduce your loan obligations under government or private loan programs.

The Plan is administered by A.W.G. Dewar, Inc., Quincy, Massachusetts, now in its ninth decade of service to the higher educational community. Over 1,200 schools and colleges throughout North America offer the Plan. The Plan described below has been specifically designed for the needs of college students and parents. It offers a unique benefit of a significant refund of Program Fee when you are forced to withdraw for medical reasons at any time during the semester.

The Program Fee Refund Plan

Terms and Conditions