Spring 2023:
Asian, African, and European Exploration

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

  • Overview:

    • 106 Days

    • 11 Countries

    • 11 Cities

    • 3 Continents

  • Embark:

    January 5, 2023, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  • Disembark:

    April 20, 2023, Bremerhaven, Germany

  • Itinerary:

    India, Kenya, Jordan, Suez Canal Transit, Cyprus, Greece, Croatia, Spain, Morocco, Portugal

  • Helpful Documents:

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 Dubai, UAE and disembarking in Bremerhaven, Germany — 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.

  1. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  2. Mumbai, India
  3. Mombasa, Kenya
  4. Aqaba, Jordan
  5. Suez Canal Transit, Egypt
  6. Limassol, Cyprus
  7. Piraeus, Greece
  8. Dubrovnik, Croatia
  9. Barcelona, Spain
  10. Casablanca, Morocco
  11. Lisbon, Portugal
  12. Bremerhaven, Germany
  1. 1

    Dubai, United Arab Emirates

    Jan 05

    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)
  2. 2

    Mumbai, India

    Jan 12 – Jan 17

    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)
  3. 3

    Mombasa, Kenya

    Jan 26 – Jan 31

    When it comes to wildlife destinations, Kenya is hard to beat. Between parks, reserves, and private conservations, Kenya is home to some of the most diverse wildlife populations on the planet. Semester at Sea ports of call in Kenya include Mombasa. Highlights include visiting the grassy plains of Amboseli National Park where elephants are silhouetted against Mount Kilimanjaro, among other animals such as giraffes, zebras, hippos, lions, cheetahs, and more. Students also have the chance to see Lake Turkana, a UNESCO world heritage site recognized for holding ancient artifacts from the oldest humans found to date.

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    • capitol Nairobi
    • language Swahili
    • religions Protestant Christianity, Catholicism, indigenous religions
    • government Republic, unitary state, representative democracy, presidential system
    • currency Kenyan shilling
    • population 53.77 million (2020)
  4. 4

    Aqaba, Jordan

    Feb 12 – Feb 16

    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)
  5. 5

    Suez Canal Transit, Egypt

    Feb 18

    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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    • religions
    • government
    • currency
    • population
  6. 6

    Limassol, Cyprus

    Feb 21 – Feb 24

    Known for having the cleanest beaches in Europe with year-round blue skies, Cyprus is an island in the eastern Mediterranean Sea renowned since ancient times for its mineral wealth, superb wines, and produce. Today, Cyprus is a popular tourist destination for visitors to experience the island’s laidback lifestyle and welcoming people. Semester at Sea ports of call in Cyprus include Limassol. Field Program options include creating clay art with a local potter as well as exploring ancient archaeological sites in Kourion. Highlights include exploring the Byzantine cultural heritage in the Troodos Mountain region.

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    • capitol Nicosia
    • language Greek, Turkish
    • religions Orthodox Christianity, Roman Catholicism
    • government Unitary state, presidential system, constitutional republic
    • currency Euro
    • population 1.20 million (2021)
  7. 7

    Piraeus, Greece

    Mar 02 – Mar 06

    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)
  8. 8

    Dubrovnik, Croatia

    Mar 11 – Mar 15

    Along the Adriatic Sea runs miles of Croatia’s strikingly beautiful landscape. This, along with 1,200 islands and 2,500 hours of sun a year, makes Croatia a perfect destination for exploring stunning nature. Many medieval towns are also to be found in abundance, making this nation a hallmark of the Mediterranean. Dubrovnik itself is an enchanting pedestrian city known for its intact city walls and towers, historic churches, and museums. Semester at Sea ports of call in Croatia include Dubrovnik. Field Program options include exploring ancient cities and joining a countryside cooking class. Highlights include swimming in clear waters and observing the abundant marine life, which makes snorkeling a popular activity.

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    • capitol Zagreb
    • language Croatian
    • religions Roman Catholicism, Orthodox Christianity
    • government Parliamentary republic
    • currency Kuna
    • population 4.047 million (2020)
  9. 9

    Barcelona, Spain

    Mar 22 – Mar 26

    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)
  10. 10

    Casablanca, Morocco

    Apr 01 – Apr 06

    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)
  11. 11

    Lisbon, Portugal

    Apr 09 – Apr 13

    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)
  12. 12

    Bremerhaven, Germany

    Apr 20

    Germany is a must-see destination for its combination of old-world charm and modern urban cities. From beautiful scenery and great architecture to lively festivals, exciting nightlife, and delicious cuisine, Germany offers it all. Semester at Sea ports of call in Germany include Bremerhaven. Highlights include overnight trips to Berlin, an ideal place to experience a buzzing European metropolis with a rich history.

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    • capitol Berlin
    • language German
    • religions Roman Catholic, Protestant
    • government Federal republic, representative democracy, Parliamentary republic, constitutional republic
    • currency Euro
    • population 83.24 million (2020)
  1. 1
    United Arab Emirates
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  5. 5
    Suez Canal Transit
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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.

Spring 2023 Diversion Ports

  • Bordeaux, France
  • Brest, France
  • Funchal, Madeira
  • Valencia, Spain
  • Marseille, France
  • Civitavecchia, Italy
  • Thessaloniki, Greece
  • Safaga, Egypt
  • 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, 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

Field programs give a sense of community and allow you to connect with different people on the ship who you wouldn’t normally connect with

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.

I really liked not knowing anyone going into the program. It’s pretty early in the voyage and it was nice to get to know different people. This program definitely allowed me to break out of my comfort zone and meet new people.

Stepping off the ship in Morocco, I really had no expectation of what my experience would be like. We stuffed our backpacks to the brim, mounted our own camels, and set off to trek to a nomad camp across the Sahara. Arriving far past sunset, we stood at the top of the immense sand dunes looking down at our desert camp. We had the privilege of eating the most delicious Moroccan food and celebrating the experience with traditional musicians all night long. It was one of those “how crazy is my life” moments. Unbothered by the absence of cell service, my heart has never been so full as when I was dancing away under the full moon in the middle of the desert with the best of friends.

Our four Semester at Sea voyages as Lifelong Learners have been life-changing events for our whole family. Being part of an incredible living-learning community for 100 days all over the world has provided us with priceless quality time as a family and instilled our two boys with a love of and comfort with international travel. We can wholeheartedly recommend Semester at Sea for young and old.


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.

How can I prepare for my health and well-being on the voyage?

A health team (physician, PA/NP, counselors) are available on the ship. The medical capabilities while at sea are focused on urgent care and temporary stabilization of emergency medical and mental health conditions using basic medical supplies and equipment with a limited formulary. Very limited medications may be available; voyagers are expected to bring a sufficient supply of current medications for the duration of the voyage.

Counseling services typically focus on short-term, solution-oriented intervention to address situational issues. Due to the unique semester schedule (divided between port and sea days), counselors cannot meet with voyagers on a week to week basis or its equivalent. Extended psychological or psychiatric services are not available on the ship and are limited in quantity and quality in different ports.

In some regions there may be no access to emergency evacuation. While in port, local health care system resources are utilized, which can vary widely in capabilities.

How do we anticipate future voyages will look different?

While we can’t predict the trajectory of this pandemic nor how the science will evolve to inform decision-making, we can all assume that the next SAS voyages will look different than past voyages.

Even in the presence vaccines, we are planning for the following:

The capacity of the ship will be reduced to a smaller number than normal to allow for appropriate social distancing.
Social distancing will be very important at all times when on the ship so capacity in all public spaces and rooms will be reduced to allow for a minimum of 1.5 meters/5 feet of social distancing.
Masks will be mandatory when not outside on the decks, in your cabin, or eating in the restaurants.
There will be required and ongoing education and training of all crew and passengers regarding signs and symptoms of significant illnesses, reporting them in a timely manner, and how to prevent and reduce the spread of illness.
Dining hall tables will be spaced for proper social distancing and meal seating times may be assigned to voyagers.
The MV World Odyssey has ample outdoor dining options which will be utilized as much as possible. 
Public areas and cabins will have continuous fresh air exchange and a Merv 13 filtration system will be installed.
Field Programs and Field Classes will be carefully planned with approved Tour Operators to ensure safe protocols are in place in each port including hygiene, mask wearing, social distancing and venue/activity planning.
The potential for modifications to the program structure to allow for more effective contact tracing and exposure management.

As evidenced by our decision to cancel two voyages, ISE is committed to running a program that exceeds health and safety standards and stays true to our mission. SAS will sail again. It will look different (just as everything in our lives is now looking different), but it will still be the transformative adventure of a lifetime. Semester at Sea is committed to remaining the leader in comparative, international experiential travel.

Do I have to apply for a specific semester?

Yes, however, you can transfer your application to a different voyage without reapplying. You will be required to provide updated transcripts to be considered for admission to the later voyage.

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. We advise purchasing the largest passport book available. Specific passport requirements are available for confirmed Lifelong Learners via the voyage prep portal.

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.

How do I contact your office?

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

Ready to Set Sail?

Take the first step on the journey of a lifetime.