Port of St. Petersburg
Russia, the world’s largest nation, borders European and Asian countries as well as the Pacific and Arctic oceans. Its landscape ranges from tundra and forests to subtropical beaches. It’s famous for Moscow's Bolshoi and St. Petersburg's Mariinsky ballet companies. St. Petersburg, founded by Russian leader Peter the Great, has the baroque Winter Palace, now housing part of the State Hermitage Museum’s art collection.
Port of Hamburg
As Europe's largest economy and second most populous nation (after Russia), Germany is a key member of the continent's economic, political, and defense organizations.
Location: Central Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea and the North Sea, between the Netherlands and Poland, south of Denmark
Port of Antwerp
Belgium became independent from the Netherlands in 1830; it was occupied by Germany during World Wars I and II. The country prospered in the past half century as a modern, technologically advanced European state and member of NATO and the EU. Political divisions between the Dutch-speaking Flemings of the north and the French-speaking Walloons of the south have led in recent years to constitutional amendments granting these regions formal recognition and autonomy. Its capital, Brussels, is home to numerous international organizations including the EU and NATO.
Port of Le Havre
France today is one of the most modern countries in the world and is a leader among European nations. It plays an influential global role as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, NATO, the G-8, the G-20, the EU, and other multilateral organizations.
Location: Western Europe, bordering the Bay of Biscay and English Channel, between Belgium and Spain, southeast of the UK; bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Italy and Spain. Also includes, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte and Reunion
The Republic of Ireland occupies most of the island of Ireland, off the coast of England and Wales. Its capital, Dublin, is the birthplace of writers like Oscar Wilde, and home of Guinness beer. The 9th-century Book of Kells and other illustrated manuscripts are on show in Dublin’s Trinity College Library. Dubbed the "Emerald Isle” for its lush landscape, the country is dotted with castles like medieval Cahir Castle.
Port of Lisbon
Portugal is a southern European country on the Iberian Peninsula, bordering Spain. Its location on the Atlantic Ocean has influenced many aspects of its culture: salt cod and grilled sardines are national dishes, the Algarve's beaches are a major destination and much of the nation’s architecture dates to the 1500s–1800s, when Portugal had a powerful maritime empire.
Port of Cadiz Bay
Spain’s diverse landscape, architecture, art, and cuisine make the country rich in culture and charm. We will dock in Barcelona, one of the Mediterranean’s busiest ports, where you can explore the spectacular architecture of the Catalan capital, including Antoni Gaudí’s Sagrada Familia church. Sports enthusiasts enjoy a visit to Camp Nou, Barcelona’s soccer stadium and home to the Barca team. On the outskirts of the city, you will find the Montserrat mountain range as well as beautiful beaches.
Port of Casablanca
Morocco is an immensely rich cultural center point of north-western Africa that exudes influences of all of the proximal regions, including Spain and the Mediterranean, Egypt, the Sahara Desert, and the Atlas Mountains. The port of Casablanca, established in the 20th century, is a busy metropolis and home to the Hassan II Mosque, the second largest in the world after Mecca. Teaming with colorful bazaars and exotic culture, Casablanca and nearby Rabat, Fez and Marrakech will give voyagers a taste of a culture far different from any other place.
Takoradi Harbour: Oct 15 - 16, Tema Harbour: Oct 17 - 18
Located in West Africa, the nation of Ghana is of rugged, sub-saharan beauty bursting with a unique and thriving culture. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy treks through the Accra plains and neighboring reserves, while those seeking an authentic village immersion experience can make homestay arrangements through SAS field programs. Tour the infamous Cape Coast Castle and Slave Dungeons for a historical African perspective on the 17th century slave trade.
Port of Cape Town
Whether hiking Table Mountain for one of the world’s best views, riding horseback on safari, or engaging with local entrepreneurs in Cape Town, students always fall in love with South Africa. Full of adventure and captivating sights, Cape Town offers countless opportunities for cultural and natural exploration. Cape Town is also home to world-renowned social rights activist Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who students just may have the opportunity to meet as he is a member of the Institute for Shipboard Education Board of Trustees… and a big fan of Semester at Sea!
Port of Buenos Aires
In 1816, the United Provinces of the Rio Plata declared their independence from Spain. After Bolivia, Paraguay, and Uruguay went their separate ways, the area that remained became Argentina. The country's population and culture were heavily shaped by immigrants from throughout Europe, with Italy and Spain providing the largest percentage of newcomers from 1860 to 1930. Up until about the mid-20th century, much of Argentina's history was dominated by periods of internal political conflict between Federalists and Unitarians and between civilian and military factions.
Port of Rio de Janeiro: Nov 20 - 22, Port of Salvador da Bahia: Nov 25 - 27
Bursting with exotic wildlife, the Amazon River, and lush rainforests, Brazil is an environmental wonderland. One of Semester at Sea’s most popular excursions in Brazil is an overnight riverboat cruise down the Amazon River where students visit local villages along the way and sleep in hammocks at night. The ship will dock in the city of Salvador, once the capital of Portugal’s New World colony. Explore the bustling city where you can learn about capoeira, explore 17th- and 18th-century architecture, and see firsthand the preserved African culture through art, music, and dance.
Port of Havana
The native Amerindian population of Cuba began to decline after the European discovery of the island by Christopher COLUMBUS in 1492 and following its development as a Spanish colony during the next several centuries. Large numbers of African slaves were imported to work the coffee and sugar plantations, and Havana became the launching point for the annual treasure fleets bound for Spain from Mexico and Peru.
Fidel CASTRO led a rebel army to victory in 1959; his authoritarian rule held the subsequent regime together for nearly five decades.President OBAMA to re-establishment diplomatic relations with the Cuban government, which were severed in January 1961, the US and Cuba reopened embassies in their respective countries on 20 July 2015.