Outside of required Field Classes, voyagers have the option of participating in Semester at Sea-designed Field Programs or to independently arrange their own travel. Semester at Sea believes independently-arranged travel experiences (designed responsibly and with health and safety in mind) play an important role in achieving our mission and desired learning outcomes. We believe the time in each country is best spent with a thoughtful and intentional combination of both!
Responsible Travel Best Practices
Semester at Sea is committed to responsible and sustainable travel. During all travel, voyagers are expected to follow the Semester at Sea *Responsible Travel Guidelines:
- Honor your hosts
- Protect our planet
- Support local economies
- Plan ahead and make informed decisions
- Be self-aware & respectful
*Guidelines adapted from the “Tips for a Responsible Traveler” developed by the World Committee on Tourism Ethics.
Expectations for Independent Travel
- Follow the Responsible Traveler Guidelines
- Read and utilize the Independent Travel Planning Guide
- Abide by all policies in the Voyager’s Handbook (Especially note: XV. TRAVEL POLICY, pg. 60-62.)
- SAS strongly advises against the participation in experiences (especially those promising free alcohol) where voyagers are being aggressively recruited (usually via social media.) Regardless of whether it is an organized company, a fellow voyager, an SAS Alum or other, these types of experiences are not safe and have harmed previous voyagers.
Independent Travel Planning Timeline
With limited resources available on the ship and many competing priorities, we advise voyagers to arrive at embarkation with a rough idea of plans for every country.
Step 1: Go inward first! Before making plans, reflect and consider personal preferences (Nature or city? Beach or mountains? A lot of people or a few people? Being spontaneous or sticking to a plan? etc.). Experiences designed with intention from this foundation set voyagers up for the most fun, impactful, and fulfilling experience.
Step 2. Use the in-country planning worksheet as a template (FA18 example). Students and Faculty: start by penciling in required Field Classes to plan around. (Do not make any independent travel plans the same day as a Field Class.)
Step 3. Building off of steps 1 and 2, start researching, dreaming and brainstorming! (Thinking about adventure travel? Make sure you know the exclusions and limitations of the SAS-provided Comprehensive Travel Health Insurance before making plans.)
Step 4. Connect with other like-minded voyagers. However, every voyager should take ownership over their own planning and should not blindly trust others. Do not take-on the travel coordinator role for others.
Step 5. Book any must-see/must-do experiences before embarkation.
Step 6. Arrive at the ship with a rough outline of plans for each country. Be prepared to complete and submit an independent travel form prior to each port that is used in case of emergency.