Custom Voyages - Educational Components

Marine and nautical sciences, basic engineering, sailing, scuba diving, team building, and leadership. Here are some examples of the educational components that we can offer your group.

Experiential STEM-Based Academics

Embarking on a custom voyage provides your group a unique opportunity to explore the world, discover new cultures and take part in the adventure of a lifetime. We believe the experience is best, however, when it is augmented by a comprehensive educational curriculum.

In our environment, combining academics with experience allows students to interact with their education. It brings the subject to life, adding relevancy and practical application to the material. Living and learning in our environment presents endless teachable moments and never-ending opportunities for growth.

Seamester is affiliated with USFMany of our low contact hour classes are not for credit, whereas our longer courses are formally credited. The University of South Florida (USF) serves as our school of record, and students can earn up to 12 credits for a full Semester, documented on an official transferrable transcript. Here is an overview of our classes.

Based on the duration of your trip, we can teach the following:

Non-accredited – Contact hours dependent on voyage duration

Our non-accredited introductory marine science class combines theory with field studies to create a hands-on experience. Most activities are designed to be practical, so students learn by doing, seeing and experiencing things that most only read about in books. We feel that this class is at its best when combined with a scuba diving option.

Typical Marine Science Modules:

  • Water: The basis for life
  • Coral Reef Evolution, Structure and Growth
  • The Reefs and Lagoons
  • Interrelationships of Marine Life
  • Sponges, Jellyfish, Crustaceans, Mollusks
  • Artificial Reefs
  • Mangrove Biology
  • Shark Biology
  • Fish Biology & Dissection

OCB 1001 – 3 Credits – 45 Contact Hours

This course is designed to introduce students to the diversity of marine life and integrate current issues and practical activities to teach biological and ecological concepts. Topics covered include the basics of ecology and evolution, the marine environment, taxonomic classification of marine organisms, a survey of major aquatic ecosystems, and marine conservation. The material will be delivered in interactive lectures, and many will be reinforced with practical activities. Ecosystems and taxonomic groups that are found locally will receive particular emphasis. Many topics will also be addressed through written assignments followed by class discussions.

OCE 1001 – 3 Credits – 45 Contact Hours

This course is designed to introduce students to essential concepts in the study of the oceans and basic oceanographic research. Topics covered include chemical, geological, physical and biological oceanography, as well as basic concepts in the management of the marine environment. The material will be delivered in interactive lectures, and many will be reinforced with practical activities. Processes that are directly relevant to sailing, navigation, and ecosystems visited will be emphasized. Many topics will also be addressed through written assignments, followed by class presentations. Students will carry out their own oceanography research projects in small groups.

PEN 2930 – 3 Credits – 45 Contact Hours

The Sea|mester Seamanship course consists of both theoretical and practical modules and gives a basic understanding of the knowledge that is required to be an active crew member on board a yacht, whether power or sail. More advanced modules are aimed at increasing a student’s nautical knowledge sufficiently to be a watchkeeper on board a bareboat yacht, or a flotilla skipper in fair weather, in daylight hours within sight of land.

SLS 2261 – 3 Credits – 45 Contact Hours

The purpose of the Student Leadership Development course is to encourage students to carefully analyze their responsibilities and commitments in the context of leadership for the common good and for purposeful change. Students will come to understand the concept of relational leadership and how it differs from traditional leadership theories. The course includes the study of leadership as well as the application of leadership theories, ideas, and skills. Students will also develop their own leadership potential through the completion of personal and leadership self-assessments, values exploration, and leadership skill applications through program activities.

Scuba Diving

Scuba diving is a fantastic sport, and the accessibility that we have to the underwater world during most voyages is incredible. For this reason, scuba is often an activity that groups select include as part of the experience.
Not only fun, scuba becomes a valuable learning tool. Learning about the marine environment while diving the reefs to observe and conduct research adds relevance to our academic studies that’s just not possible in the traditional classroom.

We are affiliated with PADI, the Professional Association of Diving Instructors and PADI is the world’s leader in scuba training education. Seamester is a PADI 5 Star Resort and depending on voyage duration, we offer courses ranging from Discover Scuba to Professional Divemaster.

Based on previous experience and voyage duration, we can teach the following:

If you want to try scuba diving, but don’t have the time or aren’t quite ready to take the plunge into a certification course, Discover Scuba Diving is for you. This is a quick and easy introduction into what it takes to explore the underwater world. Although this is not a scuba certification course, you’ll learn all the steps it takes to be a PADI certified diver.

The first big step! In this course, you’ll learn the fundamentals of scuba diving, including dive equipment and techniques. By obtaining this certification, you will be opening an entirely new world. You earn this rating by completing five confined water dives and knowledge development sessions and by making four open water dives.

Become an advanced diver, and you’ll be more experienced, feel more comfortable in the water and just enjoy diving more because you have a better understanding of the underwater environment. This certification involves five Adventure Dives, including the Deep Adventure Dive, the Underwater Navigator Adventure Dive and Night Adventure Dive.

This course is rewarding and fun. The rescue course will expand your knowledge and experience level: Rescue Divers learn to look beyond themselves and consider the safety and well being of other divers. Although the skills acquired during this course have important meaning, it is an enjoyable way to build your confidence. It is an excellent idea for every diver to take this course at some point. Rescue Diver training will prepare you to prevent problems and, if necessary, manage dive emergencies.

Take the first step in your dive career and become a PADI Divemaster. Working closely with a PADI Instructor, you’ll expand your dive knowledge and hone your skills as you become a dive professional. PADI Divemaster training develops your leadership abilities by training you to supervise dive activities and assist instructors with student divers.


Tasked with taking the helm, charting the course, trimming the sails, monitoring the systems and maintaining a safe vessel, Sea|mester students become experienced crew members by journey’s end.

No sailing experience is necessary to join the team as our course design and experienced staff help to quickly develop seamanship skills and train our students to become integral members of the crew.

We are affiliated with International Yacht Training Worldwide, Seamester is an International Yacht Training partner schooland students on longer voyages have the opportunity to work toward certifications.

Recipients of the Sea Education Program of the Year award by Tall Ships America, we’re hugely proud of our 20-year history and the sailing programs we offer.

Based on previous experience and voyage duration, we can teach the following:

The IYT International Crew course is designed for students with limited previous experience, who are looking to become an active and competent crew member aboard a power or sailing yacht. It is the level of competence that someone needs either when acting as watchkeeping crew on a yacht or as a skipper of a small vessel in protected waters where help is immediately available in calm conditions. During the class, you’ll learn sailing vessel handling skills, deck seamanship, passage planning, rope work, basic rules of the road and sail handling.

The IYT VHF Radio Marine Communications course is designed to ensure a thorough understanding of maritime radio communication at sea. It is intended for all marine environments and follows International standards. IYT`s Maritime Radio Course provides VHF Radio training for the entire spectrum of VHF radio communications for recreational and professional boating. Students will learn how onboard radios and handheld radios, EPIRBs, SARTs, AIS and DSC-enabled radios, are used effectively in marine communications.

The Navigation Master Certification is a stand-alone course designed to enable the offshore mariner to navigate extended passages using traditional methods safely. It includes practical navigation exercises and sample chartwork calculations.

Follow the experience in our 3-part Docuseries.

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