Custom Voyages - FAQs

Over the years we’ve been asked hundreds of different questions, so here are the answers to a few of the most common!

We know that questions spark questions, so we’re sure that you’ll have a lot more. Don’t hesitate to contact us as we’d love to have the opportunity to discuss your specific needs in greater detail.

About Sea|mester

Sea|mester is part of the Global Expeditions Group (GXG). Through challenging course design, we create environments that promote self-discovery as well as social, emotional and intellectual growth.

For over 40 years, Sea|mester, ActionQuest, and GoBeyond have consistently delivered outstanding experience based adventure and service programs. By combining hands-on learning, cooperative living and adventure travel throughout the world, we have successfully ignited the inherent leadership skills within thousands of participants.

This is what we do, yet what really sets us apart is how we do it and the results that we achieve. To understand who we are and what drives us, you need to dig a little deeper into the sum of our parts so we would encourage you to visit the individual web pages of each of our programs to learn more.

Sea|mester – College and gap year voyages at sea
ActionQuest – Sailing & scuba diving summer adventures for teens
GoBeyond Student Travel – Global service adventures for high school students

Quite a long time!

For us, it all started in the mid-1970s when Jim Stoll (founder of the original company) began a high school aboard two large schooners. Twelve years later, with children of his own, Jim moved back ashore to develop motivational programs for young adults. In the mid-eighties he once again headed to the water, to run the teen program ActionQuest.

In 1995, Jim was joined by Mike Meighan. A recent oceanography and marine biology graduate, Mike dreamed of creating a truly interactive educational experience. Using the principles of experiential education, Mike developed Sea|mester in 1998. Over the past 20 years, Sea|mester has operated more than 113,000 student days, issued over 16,000 academic credits, sailed in excess of 250,000 nautical miles and circumnavigated the world four times.

Sea|mester staff are dedicated experiential educators as diverse as the destinations they travel.

They come from all different backgrounds – Captains, Marine Engineers, Marine Biologists & Oceanographers. Some of our team came to Sea|mester to study abroad in college and found their way back realizing that their life’s work was right here. Regardless of how they arrived or where they came from, they all share a strong desire to teach, inspire, discover and evolve.

Learn more about our team

Managing risk is an enormous responsibility and something we take seriously.

The Sea|mester experience is designed to be adventurous, so to say that there are no risks would be misleading. However, awareness of these inherent risks is the first step in actively managing them. Our goal is to weave risk management throughout every activity, every day and we rely on our students to do the same, taking responsibility not only for their own safety but for the safety of their fellow crew mates.

Learn more about risk management

About Our Custom Trips

Our programs span the globe, so at any given moment we have vessels in two or three international locations.

Having said that, most of our shorter custom voyages are offered in the Caribbean Lesser Antilles, the chain of islands that run from the British Virgin Islands in the north to Grenada in the south.

The Caribbean offers fantastic ecological, geological and cultural diversity over such a small geographic area and it’s so close to North America that it is hard to beat.

Call us to learn more about where our vessels will be during your time frame, and we will present options.

That depends a lot on your group’s educational goals, time constraints, and budget!

We can offer a trip as short as just a few days to as long as you like. We cut our teeth running full school years aboard and regularly offer college semesters of 80 or 90 days that cross one of the world’s major oceans.

You dream it, we’ll create it.

Yes, yet that depends on the duration of the voyage and academic option package that you select.

We are affiliated with USF, the University of South Florida, and we are able to offer four 3-credit college-level classes in:

  • Nautical Science
  • Marine Biology
  • Oceanography
  • Student Leadership Development

Depending upon your academic interests and goals, we can teach any number of these classes to your students. Additional costs will be dependent upon your choices. Please understand that since each course consists of a minimum of 45 contact hours, it’s not usually possible to offer accredited classes during Nano and Micro|mesters.

We own and operate three vessels, Ocean Star, Argo, and Vela, each capable of carrying between 16 and 26 students and chaperones.
Depending on enrollment we may even charter a smaller monohull or catamaran to sail alongside as part of a small flotilla.

Call us, and we will suggest options on how we can accommodate the size of your group.

That depends on certain factors such as:

  • Voyage duration
  • Group size
  • Itinerary choices
  • Academic and/or scuba package inclusion

Call us to discuss your time frame and budget, and we will try to create an itinerary to meet your needs.

All voyages, irrespective of duration or location include the following:

  • Supervision & Instruction
  • Full room & board
  • Sailing instruction
  • Island exploration
  • Team building & leadership

In many cases, yes.

For reasons of safety and risk mitigation, we have a set of comprehensive Essential Eligibility Requirements that all participants (students and chaperones) must meet to join the vessel. These can be reviewed by clicking the link below.

If you are unsure whether our adventure is suitable, please call us to discuss your needs, and we will work towards accommodating them if we can.

Review our eligibility criteria

About Life Aboard

The only thing that’s typical about a day with Sea|mester is that it’s going to be anything but typical!

Throughout the voyage you should expect each day to be unique and unrepeatable, holding opportunities to witness, experience and learn about the world, about others and about yourself.

Learn more about Life Aboard

We own and operate three vessels, Ocean Star, Argo, and Vela. Depending on enrollment we may even charter a smaller monohull or catamaran to sail alongside as part of a small flotilla.

While each vessel varies in size and design, over the course of a voyage, the vessel becomes much more than just a mode of transportation, just the classroom or even just a home. Our students often tell us that the vessel in many ways becomes part of the team, part of themselves. Taking pride in how she looks and how she feels, the vessel becomes as equally important as any one of the living crew.

Learn more about our vessels

Ready to learn more?