Voyages

Fall 2023:
European, African, and Asian Adventure

Exploring countries in Europe, Africa, and Asia, this voyage gives participants a truly impactful study abroad adventure on our floating college!

  • Overview:

    • 105 Days

    • 11 Countries

    • 11 Cities

    • 3 Continents

  • Embark:

    September 9, 2023, Antwerp, Belgium

  • Disembark:

    December 22, 2023, Laem Chabang, Thailand

  • Itinerary:

    Morocco, Malta, Spain, Greece, Suez Canal Transit, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, India, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand

  • Helpful Documents:

Explore, Learn, and Grow

Join Semester at Sea as we sail to countries in Europe and Asia. You’ll experience a wide range of cultures and histories, setting sail from Amsterdam, Netherlands and disembarking in Tokyo, Japan — with a whole lot in between — all while living and learning aboard a ship you’ll call home with a community that’s designed to build friendships for life.

Make the Voyage Your Own

With guided Field Programs and plenty of opportunities for in-country travel on your own or with fellow SAS voyagers, you’ll explore your interests and deepen your understanding of the world. Bring a sense of adventure and a willingness to discover the unknown.

Itinerary
Itinerary
  1. Antwerp, Belgium
  2. Casablanca, Morocco
  3. Valletta, Malta
  4. Barcelona, Spain
  5. Piraeus, Greece
  6. Suez Canal Transit, Egypt
  7. Aqaba, Jordan
  8. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  9. Mumbai, India
  10. Penang, Malaysia
  11. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
  12. Laem Chabang, Thailand
  1. 1

    Antwerp, Belgium

    Sep 09

    Despite being one of the smallest countries in Europe, Belgium is widely known for its rich history and serene beauty, making it a highly sought after travel destination. Nestled between several mountain ranges and the North Sea coast in Western Europe, Belgium also neighbors France, Germany, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. As one of Europe’s best kept secrets, Belgium has a lot to offer travelers including medieval castles, modern architecture, a world-renowned fashion scene, and delicious cuisine!

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    • capitol Brussels
    • language French, German, Dutch
    • religions Roman Catholic
    • government Federal Parliamentary Democracy under a Constitutional Monarchy
    • currency Euro
    • population 11.59 million (2021)
  2. 2

    Casablanca, Morocco

    Sep 16 – Sep 21

    The Kingdom of Morocco is an immensely rich cultural center point of north-western Africa. 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. This enormous structure, resting at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, was built by 30,000 workers over a period of five years, officially opening in 1993. Semester at Sea ports of call in Morocco include Casablanca. Field Program options include multi-day trips to the Sahara Desert, where students can ride camels to their campsite and sleep under the stars. Highlights include visiting Chefchaouen, otherwise known as the blue city, eating popular Moroccan dishes such as couscous and tagine, and drinking mint tea.

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    • capitol Rabat
    • language Arabic, Tamazight, Tachelhit, Tarifit, French
    • religions Islam
    • government Monarchy, unitary state, parliamentary system, constitutional monarchy
    • currency Moroccan dirham
    • population 36.91 million (2020)
  3. 3

    Valletta, Malta

    Sep 27 – Oct 01

    Malta is an island country located in the central Mediterranean Sea. The country comprises five islands—Malta (the largest), Gozo, Comino, and the uninhabited islets of Kemmunett (Comminotto) and Filfla—lying some 58 miles (93 km) south of Sicily, 180 miles (290 km) north of Libya, and about 180 miles (290 km) east of Tunisia, at the eastern end of the constricted portion of the Mediterranean Sea separating Italy from the African coast.

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    • capitol Valletta
    • language Maltese, English
    • religions Roman Catholicism
    • government Unitary Multiparty Republic
    • currency Euro
    • population 502,653 (2019)
  4. 4

    Barcelona, Spain

    Oct 04 – Oct 07

    Spain’s diverse landscape, architecture, art, and cuisine make the country rich in culture and charm. Semester at Sea ports of call in Spain include Barcelona, Valencia, and La Coruna. Field Program options include explorations of the art, culture, and architecture of the two diverse regions. Highlights include overnight trips to Sevilla, Granada, and Madrid, with opportunities to explore the cathedrals, gardens, palaces, and other cultural sites that reflect Spain’s Moorish and Islamic heritage.

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    • capitol Madrid
    • language Castillian Spanish, Catalan, Galician, Basque, Aranese
    • religions Catholicism
    • government Monarchy, unitary state, parliamentary system, constitutional monarchy
    • currency Euro
    • population 47.35 million (2020)
  5. 5

    Piraeus, Greece

    Oct 15 – Oct 19

    With more ancient sites than any other country in Europe, Greece is an archaeological treasure. Philosophers and theologians have long been drawn here to explore the roots of modern thought. Even so, it is the vibrant blues and rugged beauty of the Greek Islands that beckon many visitors away from the crowds of Athens and the Acropolis. Santorini’s picturesque town of Oia is a whitewashed, blue-domed beauty. The sea-side cafes, windmills and nightlife of Mykonos are also draw for many of our participants. Sandy beaches can be found on Skiathos.

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    • capitol Athens
    • language Greek
    • religions Orthodox Christianity
    • government Republic, Parliamentary system, Constitutional republic
    • currency Euro
    • population 10.72 million (2019)
  6. 6

    Suez Canal Transit, Egypt

    Oct 23

    The Suez Canal is one of the most important waterways in the world, separating the African continent from Asia. This artificial sea-level waterway provides the shortest maritime route between the east and the west due to its unique geographical location. This transit canal runs north-south across the Isthmus of Suez in Egypt and connects the Mediterranean and the Red seas, extending 193 km (120 miles) between Port Said (Būr Saʿīd) in the north and Suez in the south.

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    • capitol
    • language
    • religions
    • government
    • currency
    • population
  7. 7

    Aqaba, Jordan

    Oct 25 – Oct 29

    Jordan, centered in the heart of the Middle East, is a peaceful and stable country that warmly welcomes visitors. With countless treasures — from Petra to the Dead Sea to ancient Roman ruins — there are many places to explore. Jordan is a young state that occupies an ancient land, one that bears the traces of many civilizations. Jordan is an integral part of the Arab world and thus shares a cultural tradition common to the region. Semester at Sea ports of call in Jordan include Aqaba. Highlights include visiting one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, the Red Rose City, otherwise known as Petra. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is well known for its rock-cut architecture and water conduit system.

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    • capitol Amman
    • language Arabic
    • religions Sunni Islam
    • government Parliamentary system, unitary state, constitutional monarchy
    • currency Jordanian dinar
    • population 10.2 Million (2020)
  8. 8

    Dubai, United Arab Emirates

    Nov 07 – Nov 11

    Dubai is the most populous country in the United Arab Emirates, and it is the capital of the Emirate of Dubai. Known for its mixture of cosmopolitan and local culture, Dubai boasts the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa. Located in the eastern region of the Arabian Peninsula, Dubai is a safe and stable country and a popular destination for tourists and business travelers from around the world.

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    • capitol Dubai
    • language Arabic, English
    • religions Islam
    • government Constitutional monarchy
    • currency UAE dirham
    • population 9.89 million (2020)
  9. 9

    Mumbai, India

    Nov 16 – Nov 21

    As one of the most populous nations in the world, India is bustling with a vibrant culture influenced by a variety of religions, including Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism. Semester at Sea ports of call in India include Cochin and Mumbai. Field Program options include multi-day trips to Mumbai, the Taj Mahal, New Delhi, and more. Highlights include exploring the Taj Mahal, one of the world’s seven wonders, or traveling to the holy city of Varanasi on the Ganges River. Get a taste of how 70% of Indians live by visiting the rural, traditional Chendamangalam village.

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    • capitol New Delhi
    • language Hindi, English
    • religions Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism
    • government Parliamentary system, federal republic, parliamentary republic, constitutional republic
    • currency Indian rupee
    • population 1.38 billion (2020)
  10. 10

    Penang, Malaysia

    Nov 30 – Dec 04

    What makes Malaysia worth visiting is the country’s diversity. Within this one country, you get to explore thriving, modern cities while exploring colonial architecture. At the same time, you have the option to relax on some of the world’s most beautiful beaches and trek in lush green jungles home to orangutans, leopards, tigers, elephants, and more. Semester at Sea ports of call in Malaysia include Penang. Field Program options include visiting Kuala Lumpur and taking Malaysian cooking classes. Highlights include a multi-night trip to Malaysia’s Peninsula, exploring rainforests and cities, and staying with a local family.

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    • capitol Kuala Lumpur
    • language Malay
    • religions Islam, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism
    • government Democracy, parliamentary system, constitutional monarchy, elective monarchy
    • currency Malaysian ringgit
    • population 32.37 million (2020)
  11. 11

    Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

    Dec 10 – Dec 15

    Vietnam is known for its lush, emerald green mountains, outstanding cuisine, and welcoming citizens. Here you can explore the Cu Chi Tunnels where Viet Cong soldiers lived and fought, travel by boat through the Mekong Delta, sample world-class pho, or bike through small villages. Students often enjoy a three-day trip to Cambodia from Vietnam to interact with an NGO that educates and trains disadvantaged locals in rural areas for employment in the hospitality industry. Semester at Sea ports of call in Vietnam include Ho Chi Minh City. Field Program options include cruising down the Mekong Delta or having a homestay with a local family. Highlights include a multi-day trip to Ha Noi and Ha Long Bay.

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    • capitol Hanoi
    • language Vietnamese
    • religions Atheism, Daoism, Buddhism, Confucianism
    • government Unitary state, communist state, socialist state
    • currency Vietnamese đồng
    • population 97.34 million (2020)
  12. 12

    Laem Chabang, Thailand

    Dec 22

    Thailand has emerged as one of the most visited travel destinations in the world. Travelers flock to this warm destination for the tranquil beaches, delicious cuisine, magnificent temples and scenery, colorful history, and archaeological sites. Affectionately nicknamed as “a land of smiles”, Thai locals are known for being warm and welcoming, and their hospitality is considered to be world class.

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    • capitol Bangkok
    • language Thai
    • religions Theravada Buddhist
    • government Constitutional Monarchy
    • currency Thai baht
    • population 71.6 million (2021)
  1. 1
    Antwerp
    Belgium
  2. 2
    Casablanca
    Morocco
  3. 3
    Valletta
    Malta
  4. 4
    Barcelona
    Spain
  5. 5
    Piraeus
    Greece
  6. 6
    Suez Canal Transit
    Egypt
  7. 7
    Aqaba
    Jordan
  8. 8
    Dubai
    United Arab Emirates
  9. 9
    Mumbai
    India
  10. 10
    Penang
    Malaysia
  11. 11
    Ho Chi Minh City
    Vietnam
  12. 12
    Laem Chabang
    Thailand

Diversion Ports

As we have been operating shipboard voyages since 1963, we’ve learned that itineraries are subject to adjustment. More than half of our voyages have required some deviation from the planned itinerary. The need to change an itinerary prior to and/or during a voyage can arise due to a number of factors: weather, political unrest, and other health and safety considerations. Should there be a need to adjust our published plans, we have identified potential diversion ports in each region of our expected travel. These ports are selected based on a number of factors including safety, educational value, and accessibility. These diversion ports simply serve as a backup should anything prevent us from traveling to our planned itinerary.

Other ports may be added as required. Just as our world is dynamic, this list of potential ports is also subject to change. Every destination must pass a comprehensive health and safety assessment, regardless of being a planned or diversion port.

Fall 2023 Diversion Ports

  • Porto, Portugal
  • Brest, France
  • Funchal, Madeira, Portugal
  • Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Spain
  • Valencia, Spain
  • Thessaloniki, Greece
  • Limassol, Cyprus
  • Mahe, Seychelles
  • Muscat, Oman

Voyage Curriculum

The Perfect Mix of Classroom and Field Education

Semester at Sea’s global comparative study abroad program is enhanced by a robust academic program led by a team of academic experts from renowned institutions around the world. During the 100+ day voyage, students can earn 12-15 credits from Colorado State University, while taking major or elective courses, drawn for 20-25 fields of study. Each class also includes academically required Field Work courses, which are developed by faculty and allow for experiential in-country learning throughout the voyage.

Field Programs

Semester at Sea Field Programs 

When Semester at Sea arrives in each country, voyagers will either explore via required Field Work for their classes (for voyagers enrolled in academic courses), participate in optional Semester at Sea-designed Field Programs, or they can plan their own travel experiences.

Looking to Sail as a Lifelong Learner?

Semester at Sea’s Lifelong Learning program provides adult educational travel to people at least 30 years of age who are seeking an opportunity to travel and learn as part of the Semester at Sea community. There are opportunities to sail on a full or partial (Spotlight) voyage.

Program Fees Overview

A Study Abroad Experience Is a Significant Investment, and Also One of the Best Investments for a Student’s Future.

In addition to earning 12-15 transferable college credits from Colorado State University, student program fees include many amenities and benefits to support students before and during their study abroad experience.

A look into what’s included:
  • Semester’s tuition and travel
  • Housing, meals, and amenities
  • Academic Field Classes
  • Email account
  • Starter Internet package
  • Comprehensive travel health insurance
  • Pre-voyage advisement and on-site residential student services staff
  • Fuel fee — subject to change depending on global cost fluctuations

Hear From Past Voyagers

Before embarking on my SAS journey I had no idea just how intense college courses would be. I am so grateful that I decided to do this program before entering my first year of college. It really provided me with an idea of what to expect in the fall.

My experiences prepared me for life, not just for college. After SAS, I was academically, socially and emotionally more than ready for college…I realized several aspects of my personality, and during SAS, my true personality showed up, and I was exposed to a whole new spectrum of myself…I loved it so much that I came back for another voyage, and I’m positive that I will sail again in future, not just once, but multiple times. MV Explorer is home for me.

One of the most valuable things I took away from my experience was the relationships I made aboard the MV Explorer, some of which I continue to connect with. They were all current college students, and offered me great advice when I began my freshman orientation during the fall after my summer voyage.

We learned a lot [about] how to live with others who are completely different [from each other] and still have respect and a lot of fun together and still hold our friendship until this day.

On SAS, I had the opportunity to feel a bond and closeness with people with whom I wouldn’t have otherwise had a connection. I learned about their lives, their children’s lives, their daily struggles, their most significant times of joy and began to really care. As I traveled, I became more connected not only to the people I met, but all people everywhere. We are all the same and every human life is important.

Admissions

Semester at Sea welcomes curious, engaged students of any sex, gender identity, race, disability status, veteran status, nationality, or ethnicity to apply to travel the world as part of our living and learning community.

Gap Year Students

Recent high school graduates who are interested in sailing before enrolling full-time at an undergraduate institution

Undergraduate Students

Students who are enrolled full-time in a degree-granting program at an accredited 2- or 4-year college or university

Recent College Graduates

Students who have recently completed their undergraduate studies and wish to extend their learning

Frequenty Asked Questions

Everything you need to know about joining a Semester at Sea voyage.

Are faculty and staff allowed time to travel while in port?

Yes. However, some staff positions require the individual remain within a certain proximity of the ship for a portion of time. This individual shares in a rotating duty schedule and is available to the shipboard community in cases of emergency. Faculty members lead in-country field work for each course taught. When scheduled for such field work, faculty are not able to undertake personal travel. Otherwise, personal travel is permitted.

Are there age or physical fitness restrictions?

We welcome trip participants over 10 years of age to join us. While there is no maximum age, all participants must be physically fit, active, and in good health. Certain itineraries are better suited for families, and we encourage you to reach out to a Semester at Sea staff member to inquire about your own personal needs. Please refer to the program brochure for trip-specific requirements.
Any condition that requires special medical attention or assistance must be reported at the time a reservation is made. The individual trip brochures will provide specific details on the rigors of individual trips. If you have concerns about your ability to participate, please feel free to call us.

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.

Are there medical facilities in each port that can treat COVID-19 should I acquire it during the voyage?

Through our contract with CISI (Cultural Insurance Services International), Semester at Sea receives medical capability briefings for each country prior to arrival from AXA Assistance. These briefings provide lists of preferred medical facilities that indicate they have been vetted by their local representatives to provide quality and reliable care. These preferred facilities also have an established direct-bill arrangement with AXA to assist with prompt care and logistical response.

In the event that on-site medical care does not meet the needs of an individual (related to COVID-19 or otherwise), AXA would coordinate a transfer to another facility that can meet the needs.

Are there payment plans?

We do not offer payment plans for the Parent and Family Trips at this time. Full payment is required upon registering for the trip. You may use a credit card or mail a check (specific payment details are listed in each trip).

Ready to Set Sail?

Take the first step on the journey of a lifetime.