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Frequently Asked Questions


Is the COVID-19 vaccine required to sail?

Yes. The COVID-19 vaccine is required for all passengers and crew on all foreseeable voyages.

What learning opportunities are there for Lifelong Learners on Semester at Sea?

Pending faculty approval, Lifelong Learners are welcome to participate in undergraduate courses and up to one associated field class per voyage. Additional enrichment opportunities include the Lifelong Learner Daily Seminar, Evening Seminars, Pre-Port Sessions, On-Arrival Diplomatic Briefings, Post-Port Reflections, and the in-country programming. The average Lifelong Learner sailing the full voyage actively participates in 2-3 courses, including the Global Studies course.

May I audit an undergraduate course for credit?

Unfortunately not. Our Lifelong Learners participate in a course by attending class periods, completing the readings, and participating in the discussions. Lifelong Learners are not expected to take exams or complete assignments or papers.

What type of cabin choices do I have?

Please view the cabin and rates page to explore all cabin options. Voyage pricing is based on cabin type and single or double occupancy. Some cabin types may be sold out, as indicated on the cabins and rates page at the bottom. Pricing is listed at the bottom of the page and can be found by clicking the blue bar for the appropriate voyage.

Is there a safe in the room?

Yes, each cabin has a small safe in which you can store cash and other valuables. Each cabin also has a small refrigerator, hair dryer, television, and phone.

Can I sail with my family?

Yes! Many families sail together on Semester at Sea to experience an nontraditional travel opportunity. Check out this video! We have a variety of cabin options, including large suites for families with young children, or cabins across the hall from each other should you need a little separation. Email to discuss your particular situation.

What is it like living on a ship?

It is a unique and exciting experience! You are encouraged to visit the Life at Sea section of our website. Sea basics will help you familiarize yourself with important voyage terminology. We also encourage you to visit the Semester at Sea Youtube page, which features many videos about life at sea, including this one about sailing as a Lifelong Learner.

Do I need a passport? What about visas?

Yes, if you do not already hold a passport you should apply for one now. If you do have a passport, you should check its expiration date. Your passport needs to be valid for six months beyond the end of the voyage. Please click here for more information about passport requirements on Semester at Sea voyages.

Visa requirements vary depending on the countries included on the itinerary. Typically, you will need to secure two or three visas individually. Some of the group visas will be obtained by ISE.

What is the application/reservation process?

You can begin your journey by selecting a voyage, and then choosing a cabin type. Once you’ve made those two important decisions, fill out the online reservation form. Once it’s submitted, you’ll receive a follow-up email from the Director of Lifelong Learning with instructions on completing an online background check (required of all adult passengers on our voyages). Once that comes back, you’ll need a $2,500 per person deposit to hold your cabin. Once you’ve paid your deposit, you’re confirmed for the voyage! Full payment is due 90 days prior to the start of the voyage.

Want to talk to a former Lifelong Learner?

The Lifelong Learner Council is a group of dedicated Lifelong Learners who are happy to answer any questions that you might have. Email and we’ll match you with someone immediately!

Are there discounts for alumni?

At this time, we offer a Loyalty Award to alumni (of any kind) who are sailing a full voyage as a Lifelong Learner. Read more here.

How do I contact your office?

You may email  or call (800) 854-0195 if you have additional questions.