Voyages

Fall 2024:
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

    • 10 Countries

    • 11 Cities

    • 3 Continents

  • Embark:

    September 9, 2024, IJmuiden, The Netherlands

  • Disembark:

    December 22, 2024, Bangkok, Thailand

  • Itinerary:

    Portugal, Morocco, Ghana, South Africa, Mauritius, India, Vietnam, Hong Kong

  • Helpful Links:

Explore, Learn, and Grow

Join Semester at Sea as we sail to countries in Europe, Africa, and Asia. You’ll experience a wide range of cultures and histories, setting sail from Amsterdam, Netherlands and exploring Morocco, Jordan, transit the Suez Canal and more before disembarking in Laem Chabang, Thailand. You’ll have this adventure 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.

Voyage Map

Itinerary
Itinerary
  1. IJmuiden, Netherlands
  2. Lisbon, Portugal
  3. Casablanca, Morocco
  4. Tema & Takoradi, Ghana
  5. Cape Town, South Africa
  6. Port Louis, Mauritius
  7. Cochin, India
  8. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
  9. Hong Kong, HK Special Administrative Region
  10. Bangkok, Thailand
  1. 1

    IJmuiden, Netherlands

    Sep 09

    With a rich artistic heritage, progressive attitudes, and picturesque countrysides, the Netherlands is a must-see destination in Europe. The nearby city, Amsterdam offers unconventional restaurants, a bike culture, charming canals, and world-class museums that make this city a vibrant and exciting place to explore. Highlights include visiting the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, along with many other museums. You can bike along the canals or explore the waterways via boat. Or if it is tulip season, visit Keukenhof, which claims to be the world’s largest flower park and boasts an endless land of multicolored tulips.

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    • capitol Amsterdam
    • language Dutch
    • religions Roman Catholicism, Protestantism
    • government Unitary state, constitutional monarchy, monarchy, hereditary monarchy, parliamentary system, federacy, representative democracy
    • currency Euro
    • population 17.44 million (2020)
  2. 2

    Lisbon, Portugal

    Sep 15 – Sep 20

    Emerging as one of Europe’s unsung destinations, Portugal is an energetic and vibrant country with a centuries-long history. Semester at Sea ports of call in Portugal include Lisbon and Oporto. Field Program options include exploring the city by Tuk Tuk along with taking in Lisbon’s street art. Highlights include taking a Portuguese cooking class or embarking on an overnight trip to southern Portugal where you can kayak along natural waterways.

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    • capitol Lisbon
    • language Portuguese
    • religions Roman Catholicism
    • government Republic, unitary state, parliamentary system, democratic republic
    • currency Euro
    • population 10.31 million (2020)
  3. 3

    Casablanca, Morocco

    Sep 23 – Sep 28

    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 and Tangier. 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)
  4. 4

    Tema & Takoradi, Ghana

    Oct 08 – Oct 13

    Ghana is a sub-Saharan beauty bursting with a unique and thriving culture. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy treks through the Accra plains and neighboring reserves. Semester at Sea ports of call in Ghana include Tema and Takoradi. Common Field Programs include visiting the Cape Coast Slave Dungeons for a historical Ghanaian perspective on the 17th-century slave trade, easily accessible from Takoradi. Additional highlights include an authentic village immersion experience or an adventurous canopy walk.

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    • capitol Accra
    • language English
    • religions Christianity, Islam, Indigenous religious beliefs
    • government Unitary state, presidential system, constitutional republic
    • currency Ghanaian cedi
    • population 31.07 million (2020)
  5. 5

    Cape Town, South Africa

    Oct 22 – Oct 28

    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. Semester at Sea ports of call in South Africa include Cape Town. Field Program options include overnight trips to a safari park, seeing lions, giraffes, hippos, zebras, and more. Highlights include taking an aerial cableway up Table Mountain and visiting the Apartheid Museum.

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    • capitol Cape Town (legislative), Pretoria (administrative), and Bloemfontein (judicial)
    • language Ndebele, Pedi, Sotho, Swati, Tsonga, Tswana, Venḓa, Xhosa, Zulu, Afrikaans, English
    • religions Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, traditional African religions, and Judaism
    • government Parliamentary republic, constitutional republic
    • currency South African rand
    • population 59.31 million (2020)
  6. 6

    Port Louis, Mauritius

    Nov 05 – Nov 07

    An island nation in the Indian Ocean, Mauritius is a tropical paradise and the wealthiest African nation. With a unique blend of cultures, welcoming people, and being known as one of the safest nations in Africa, Mauritius is a popular destination for travelers. The capital city of Port Louis, home to the mountain known as Le Pouce, was first summited by Charles Darwin and is well worth the hike for great panoramic views of the island. Semester at Sea ports of call in Mauritius include Port Louis. Field Program options include ziplining and exploring several of the many beaches this island has to offer. Highlights include exploring the volcanic wonders of Mauritius and swimming with wild dolphins.

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    • capitol Port Louis
    • language English
    • religions Hinduism, Christianity, Islam
    • government Parliamentary republic
    • currency Mauritian rupee
    • population 1.266 million (2020)
  7. 7

    Cochin, India

    Nov 15 – Nov 20

    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)
  8. 8

    Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

    Nov 30 – Dec 05

    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)
  9. 9

    Hong Kong, HK Special Administrative Region

    Dec 10 – Dec 15

    Hong Kong was governed by Great Britain for decades but retained many traditional Chinese features. Semester at Sea ports of call in Hong Kong include Hong Kong. Highlights include visiting some of the monuments, heritage buildings, and historical sites that help give Hong Kong its unique atmosphere. Explore the famous local markets, including the Yuen Po Street Bird Garden, Flower Market, and Jade Market. The Man Mo Temple dates back to 1847 and is the oldest temple in the city. Visit Aberdeen, home to hundreds of people living on fishing junks juxtaposed against a modern high-rise community. Ride the tram up to Victoria Peak for a bird’s eye view of the city before taking the funicular tram downhill.

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    • capitol City of Victoria
    • language Chinese, English
    • religions Chinese Folk Religions, Buddhism, Taoism, Protestantism, Catholicism
    • government Hong Kong Government or HKSAR Government
    • currency Hong Kong dollar
    • population 7.482 million (2020)
  10. 10

    Bangkok, 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
    IJmuiden
    Netherlands
  2. 2
    Lisbon
    Portugal
  3. 3
    Casablanca
    Morocco
  4. 4
    Tema & Takoradi
    Ghana
  5. 5
    Cape Town
    South Africa
  6. 6
    Port Louis
    Mauritius
  7. 7
    Cochin
    India
  8. 8
    Ho Chi Minh City
    Vietnam
  9. 9
    Hong Kong
    HK Special Administrative Region
  10. 10
    Bangkok
    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 2024 Diversion Ports

  • Cadiz, Spain
  • Malaga, Spain
  • Las Palmas, Canary Islands, Spain
  • Walvis Bay, Namibia
  • Mombasa, Kenya
  • Victoria, Seychelles
  • Male, Maldives
  • Penang, Malaysia
  • Singapore

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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

How long will it take to hear about my admission?

Once the Office of Admission has received your completed application, you will receive a reply in about 7-10 business days. It is advisable to follow up and verify that all components of your application have been received.

I am a first semester Freshman. How do I submit my academic record?

You should follow the Traditional Undergraduate application process for admission to your voyage. You will need to upload your current course enrollment on the application, under transcript, and email your high school transcript to your Admissions Advisor.

Is the program open to students in all majors?

Yes, students from all majors regularly enroll in Semester at Sea. More than 40 majors are typically represented on any given voyage.

When do voyages fill?

It varies. Voyages typically fill one to four months prior to sailing. We encourage you to submit your application early but please contact our office if you have a last-minute opportunity to join our program for the semester.

When should I apply?

Semester at Sea operates on a rolling admissions basis, meaning there are no application deadlines for specific semesters. However, it is recommended that you begin the application process 12 months before the semester in which you would like to participate. Applications will continue to be accepted until approximately one month before the start of the voyage.

Ready to Set Sail?

Take the first step on the journey of a lifetime.