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.
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 silhouette 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.
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 countless places to explore. Jordan is a young state that occupies an ancient land, one that bears the traces of many civilizations. Separated from ancient Palestine by the Jordan River, the region played a prominent role in biblical history. 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 7 New 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.
Suez Canal Transit
Suez Canal Transit
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 and extends 193 km (120 miles) between Port Said (Būr Saʿīd) in the north and Suez in the south.
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 their 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.
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. Semester at Sea ports of call in Greece include Piraeus. Field program options include exploring ancient ruins in Athens and visiting UNESCO world heritage sites in Meteora. Highlights include overnight trips to the Greek Islands with their vibrant blue waters and rugged beauty.
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 this country a perfect destination for exploring stunning nature. Many medieval towns are also to be found in abundance making this a hallmark of the Mediterranean. Dubrovnik itself is an enchanting pedestrian city known for its intact city wall 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 abundant marine life make snorkeling a popular activity.
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.
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 and eating popular Moroccan dishes such as couscous, tagine, and mint tea.
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. 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 taking an overnight trip to southern Portugal where you can kayak along natural waterways.
Over our 57 year history, 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. While we don’t intend to visit these locations, should the need arise, we’ve made arrangements to allow us to travel to these ports. Again, these Diversion Ports simply serve as a back-up should anything prevent us from traveling to our planned itinerary.
Spring 2023 Diversion Ports
- Bordeaux, France
- Brest, France
- Funchal, Madeira
- Valencia, Spain
- Marseille, France
- Civitavecchia, Italy
- Thessaloniki, Greece
- Safaga, Egypt
- Muscat, Oman
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.