Caribbean & Atlantic Exploration

2,500 Nautical Miles via Antigua, Dominica, Barbados, Aruba, British Virgin Islands, Bermuda

This is the trip for the adventurer who’s looking for more – a full semester’s worth of credits and 2,500 miles more. Miles you’ll navigate through tides and currents with strangers turned friends; passengers turned crew. Along the way, you’ll explore the Lesser Antilles, The ABC Islands, the British Virgin Islands, and a long passage to Bermuda. You’ll scuba dive (day and night) among century-old shipwrecks, writhing reefs, and glowing bioluminescence. You’ll hike one of the world’s only two boiling lakes and inside ancient volcanoes–absorbing the history, geography, and culture of the islands along the way. Sailing full circle, you’ll complete this incredible voyage back where it started, at the historic Nelson’s Dockyard in English Harbour, Antigua.

  • Days
  • Credits
  • Students
  • Term
  • Availability
  • Tuition (USD)
Feb 10 - May 10, 2021
  • 90
  • 12 credits
  • 24
  • Spring
  • Limited
  • $26,770

Life Aboard

Sails Up Anchors Down

USF Accredited Academics

Certification Courses

Activities

  • Scuba Diving & Snorkeling
  • Educational & Cultural Tours
  • Hiking & Trekking
  • Service
  • Personal Time

The Voyage

Your Adventure Starts Here
Welcome aboard!

The journey begins at the historic Nelsons Dockyard in English Harbor, Antigua. It won’t be hard to find our 112-ft schooner, S/Y Vela, tied alongside the dock with an eager crew of 6 staff waiting to help you with your luggage. After dropping your bags in your cabin, it’s time to take a breath, look around and realize that this beautiful schooner floating atop crystal clear Caribbean waters is now your home and classroom for the next 90 days as you embark on the voyage of a lifetime.

passage

Learning the Ropes
8-10 days

After spending a couple of days exploring the rich history of Admiral Nelson’s Dockyard, we cast off our lines and the journey truly begins. As with all Sea|mester voyages, the first week to ten days of the program is a crash course on how to be successful in your new environment. With the guidance of our staff, you’ll learn the in’s and out’s of how to live, work and learn in such close quarters with others – from sailing to cooking and everything in between.

Those new to scuba diving will spend quite a bit of time underwater working towards the PADI Open Water Certification. Those arriving with more experience will get reacquainted with the underwater world by taking a few refresher dives.

During the first week, you’ll also have your first lectures for each of the four college-level courses. While the structure of the syllabi might look familiar, you’ll quickly find that learning from the deck of a boat couldn’t be more different.

Sample Trip Itinerary*
Area Ports of Call
Leeward Islands Antigua, British Virgin Islands
Windward Islands Dominica, St. Lucia, Barbados, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Grenada
Netherlands Antilles Bonaire
Atlantic Basin Bermuda
Please note that all destinations are weather dependent and subject to change.
Play Video
DCIM103GOPRO
Rite of Passage
Island Hopping and Passage Making

It’s amazing to realize that a 112 ft. schooner is your new home, classroom, and mode of transportation, however, once this starts to settle in and become your new normal, you truly begin to fine-tune your skills in sailing on this voyage throughout the Caribbean Basin. From here on out, the distances between ports will range from half-day adventures to 3-5 day nonstop passages. Regardless of the length, each passage will bring the crew closer together as you share the responsibility of piloting S/Y Vela over the open sea. Make no mistake, as a Sea|mester student you are not a passenger, you are the crew responsible for making the ship sail. You’ll be an integral part of a watch team sharing the responsibility of navigation, bow watch, engine checks, sail trim, and steering the ship to its intended destination.

study-abroad-semester-antigua
Antigua
(14 days)

Your adventure begins at the very British Nelson’s Dockyard in Antigua.  This is one of the world’s only fully restored Victorian era dockyards, which provides an amazing backdrop to your time spent in Antigua.  While here, you’ll enjoy a steel drum and reggae concert at Shirley Heights, walk the historic ramparts of English Harbor and dive the crystal blue waters while anchored outside of Green Island.

> Next stop: Dominica
adventure-study-abroad-caribbean-martinique
Dominica
(3-5 Days)

Although you can see Dominica from Les Saintes, the cultures of these neighbors might as well come from different sides of the planet. Nicknamed the Nature Isle of the Caribbean, Dominica is often considered one of our students’ favorite islands of the voyage.  With the help of our good friends, local Dominicans Pancho and Sea Cat, you’ll hike through the rainforest to the world’s largest boiling lake, all while refreshing yourself in one of its dozens of natural hot springs.

>Next stop: Grenada
study-abroad-caribbean-grenada
Grenada & The Grenadines
(5-7 days)

From Dominica, you’ll embark on your longest passage yet, 3 days of beautiful downwind sailing to the islands of St Vincent and the Grenadines. During your time in the Grenadines, you’ll get the chance to tour the unique whaling culture of Bequia or swim with turtles in the bluest water you’ve ever seen in the Tobago Cays or maybe a hike to the top of the epic Seven Sisters Waterfalls in Grenada sounds good to you?

> Next stop: Bonaire & Aruba
Play Video
scuba-semester-abroad
Exploring the Underwater Realm
20-25 Dives

Whether in Dominica or Bermuda, students onboard Vela during the Caribbean Exploration voyage will experience some of the world’s best scuba diving. Over the course of the 90-day voyage, you’ll become an experienced diver, completing between 20 and 25 dives. However, the novelty of breathing underwater won’t disappear.

Whether working towards a new certification in 15 feet of water, researching on a barrier reef, or just exploring a wreck at 100 ft. – you’ll gain a lifetime worth of stories from places few people get to see.

If you’re new to diving, you’ll earn the PADI Open Water Dive Certification as well as the Advanced Open Water Dive Certification. Depending on time, conditions, and student interest, many groups also earn the PADI Rescue Diver certification. If you’re already an experienced diver, you can work all the way up to the professional Divemaster certification. If you feel that scuba diving is a passion, this is definitely the voyage to consider.

adventure-travel-ecuador-service-teens-768x512

Giving Back
20-30 Service Hours

Creating an opportunity to give back to the amazing communities that welcome us is a component of any Sea|mester voyage. While projects vary from voyage to voyage, in the past we’ve done anything from collecting data underwater for local marine parks to building new structures in schools. Our students have also done a little teaching themselves, working in schools to teach local students a little about marine biology and why protecting their environment is critical.

Regardless of the project, making time to give back is a great way to connect on a deeper level to the Caribbean community.

bonaire_15
Anchors Down – Bonaire and Aruba
(2-4 Days)

The ABC islands might be just off the coast of Venezuela but life onshore is closer to life in the Netherlands. Windsurfers from all over the world flock to the windward side of Bonaire where the conditions are ideal for experts and beginners alike! The island also offers some of the best deep diving, wildlife, and pristine reefs – and it’s all accessible directly from the beach! Aruba is a short hop away and a necessary stop-off point for our vessel and her crew to not only restock the ship’s provisions but also spend some time relaxing on the Marina’s private island with a local population of flamingos

>Next stop: British Virgin Islands
plane-dive-semester
Anchors Down – British Virgin Islands
(7-14 days)

The British Virgin Islands have long been regarded a sailor’s paradise and diver’s dream. Situated at the very top of the Caribbean island chain, this cluster of 36 small islands consist of steep lush hills and white sandy beaches surrounded by the electric blue waters of the Sir Francis Drake Channel. This idyllic setting is perfect for a wide range of activities and what is often referred to as “nature’s little secrets.”

> Next stop: Bermuda
Photo 1580841835291 725127daf42a
Anchors Down – Bermuda
(5-10 days)

Located out in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, Bermuda has been a mystical and historical destination for centuries. Made up of over 150 limestone islands, there is plenty to explore. Students will plant their feet in the idyllic pink sand beaches, and explore the underwater world in what is considered some of the worlds best visibility for diving.

Time to Say Goodbye

The best way to explain what it means to say goodbye after such an incredible experience is to use the words from someone who had to do just that…

“On this nostalgic evening, we begin to say farewell to each other. After 89 days of non-stop action and adventures of a lifetime, we have begun to reminisce over this amazing adventure. Some of us have begun to hold back tears during the farewell presentations; others already have plans for the next step upon arriving home. The day was spent cleaning up our bunk rooms and keeping Argo looking new. Once cleanups were finished, we all found ourselves remembering arrivals and were astonished how fast the three months went by. For our final night, the crew plans to have a nice dinner at a local restaurant then off to the award ceremony to cheer as loud as possible for Argo! ”
Welcome aboard!

The journey begins at the historic Nelsons Dockyard in English Harbor, Antigua. It won’t be hard to find our 112-ft schooner, S/Y Vela, tied alongside the dock with an eager crew of 6 staff waiting to help you with your luggage. After dropping your bags in your cabin, it’s time to take a breath, look around and realize that this beautiful schooner floating atop crystal clear Caribbean waters is now your home and classroom for the next 90 days as you embark on the voyage of a lifetime.

Sample Trip Itinerary*
Area Ports of Call
Leeward Islands Antigua, British Virgin Islands
Windward Islands Dominica, St. Lucia, Barbados, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Grenada
Netherlands Antilles Bonaire
Atlantic Basin Bermuda
Please note that all destinations are weather dependent and subject to change.
passage

Learning the Ropes
8-10 days

After spending a couple of days exploring the rich history of Admiral Nelson’s Dockyard, we cast off our lines and the journey truly begins. As with all Sea|mester voyages, the first week to ten days of the program is a crash course on how to be successful in your new environment. With the guidance of our staff, you’ll learn the in’s and out’s of how to live, work and learn in such close quarters with others – from sailing to cooking and everything in between.

Those new to scuba diving will spend quite a bit of time underwater working towards the PADI Open Water Certification. Those arriving with more experience will get reacquainted with the underwater world by taking a few refresher dives.

During the first week, you’ll also have your first lectures for each of the four college-level courses. While the structure of the syllabi might look familiar, you’ll quickly find that learning from the deck of a boat couldn’t be more different.

Play Video
DCIM103GOPRO
Rite of Passage
Island Hopping and Passage Making

It’s amazing to realize that a 112 ft. schooner is your new home, classroom, and mode of transportation, however, once this starts to settle in and become your new normal, you truly begin to fine-tune your skills in sailing on this voyage throughout the Caribbean Basin. From here on out, the distances between ports will range from half-day adventures to 3-5 day nonstop passages. Regardless of the length, each passage will bring the crew closer together as you share the responsibility of piloting S/Y Vela over the open sea. Make no mistake, as a Sea|mester student you are not a passenger, you are the crew responsible for making the ship sail. You’ll be an integral part of a watch team sharing the responsibility of navigation, bow watch, engine checks, sail trim, and steering the ship to its intended destination.

study-abroad-semester-antigua
Antigua
(14 days)

Your adventure begins at the very British Nelson’s Dockyard in Antigua.  This is one of the world’s only fully restored Victorian era dockyards, which provides an amazing backdrop to your time spent in Antigua.  While here, you’ll enjoy a steel drum and reggae concert at Shirley Heights, walk the historic ramparts of English Harbor and dive the crystal blue waters while anchored outside of Green Island.

> Next stop: Dominica
adventure-study-abroad-caribbean-martinique
Dominica
(3-5 Days)

Although you can see Dominica from Les Saintes, the cultures of these neighbors might as well come from different sides of the planet. Nicknamed the Nature Isle of the Caribbean, Dominica is often considered one of our students’ favorite islands of the voyage.  With the help of our good friends, local Dominicans Pancho and Sea Cat, you’ll hike through the rainforest to the world’s largest boiling lake, all while refreshing yourself in one of its dozens of natural hot springs.

>Next stop: Grenada
study-abroad-caribbean-grenada
Grenada & The Grenadines
(5-7 days)

From Dominica, you’ll embark on your longest passage yet, 3 days of beautiful downwind sailing to the islands of St Vincent and the Grenadines. During your time in the Grenadines, you’ll get the chance to tour the unique whaling culture of Bequia or swim with turtles in the bluest water you’ve ever seen in the Tobago Cays or maybe a hike to the top of the epic Seven Sisters Waterfalls in Grenada sounds good to you?

> Next stop: Bonaire & Aruba
Play Video
scuba-semester-abroad
Exploring the Underwater Realm
20-25 Dives

Whether in Dominica or Bermuda, students onboard Vela during the Caribbean Exploration voyage will experience some of the world’s best scuba diving. Over the course of the 90-day voyage, you’ll become an experienced diver, completing between 20 and 25 dives. However, the novelty of breathing underwater won’t disappear.

Whether working towards a new certification in 15 feet of water, researching on a barrier reef, or just exploring a wreck at 100 ft. – you’ll gain a lifetime worth of stories from places few people get to see.

If you’re new to diving, you’ll earn the PADI Open Water Dive Certification as well as the Advanced Open Water Dive Certification. Depending on time, conditions, and student interest, many groups also earn the PADI Rescue Diver certification. If you’re already an experienced diver, you can work all the way up to the professional Divemaster certification. If you feel that scuba diving is a passion, this is definitely the voyage to consider.

adventure-travel-ecuador-service-teens-768x512

Giving Back
20-30 Service Hours

Creating an opportunity to give back to the amazing communities that welcome us is a component of any Sea|mester voyage. While projects vary from voyage to voyage, in the past we’ve done anything from collecting data underwater for local marine parks to building new structures in schools. Our students have also done a little teaching themselves, working in schools to teach local students a little about marine biology and why protecting their environment is critical.

Regardless of the project, making time to give back is a great way to connect on a deeper level to the Caribbean community.

bonaire_15
Anchors Down – Bonaire and Aruba
(2-4 Days)

The ABC islands might be just off the coast of Venezuela but life onshore is closer to life in the Netherlands. Windsurfers from all over the world flock to the windward side of Bonaire where the conditions are ideal for experts and beginners alike! The island also offers some of the best deep diving, wildlife, and pristine reefs – and it’s all accessible directly from the beach! Aruba is a short hop away and a necessary stop-off point for our vessel and her crew to not only restock the ship’s provisions but also spend some time relaxing on the Marina’s private island with a local population of flamingos

>Next stop: British Virgin Islands
plane-dive-semester
Anchors Down – British Virgin Islands
(7-14 days)

The British Virgin Islands have long been regarded a sailor’s paradise and diver’s dream. Situated at the very top of the Caribbean island chain, this cluster of 36 small islands consist of steep lush hills and white sandy beaches surrounded by the electric blue waters of the Sir Francis Drake Channel. This idyllic setting is perfect for a wide range of activities and what is often referred to as “nature’s little secrets.”

> Next stop: Bermuda
Photo 1580841835291 725127daf42a
Anchors Down – Bermuda
(5-10 days)

Located out in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, Bermuda has been a mystical and historical destination for centuries. Made up of over 150 limestone islands, there is plenty to explore. Students will plant their feet in the idyllic pink sand beaches, and explore the underwater world in what is considered some of the worlds best visibility for diving.

Time to Say Goodbye

The best way to explain what it means to say goodbye after such an incredible experience is to use the words from someone who had to do just that…

“On this nostalgic evening, we begin to say farewell to each other. After 89 days of non-stop action and adventures of a lifetime, we have begun to reminisce over this amazing adventure. Some of us have begun to hold back tears during the farewell presentations; others already have plans for the next step upon arriving home. The day was spent cleaning up our bunk rooms and keeping Argo looking new. Once cleanups were finished, we all found ourselves remembering arrivals and were astonished how fast the three months went by. For our final night, the crew plans to have a nice dinner at a local restaurant then off to the award ceremony to cheer as loud as possible for Argo! ”

Need More Information?

Vocational Certifications

Depending upon previous experience, students will have the opportunity to complete a number of the following certifications during their voyage.

  • Seamester is a PADI 5 Star Resort

    Scuba Certifications

    Open Water Diver
    Advanced Open Water Diver
    Rescue Diver
    Divemaster
    Learn more about scuba
     

  • Seamester is an International Yacht Training partner school

    Sailing Certifications

    International Crew
    VHF Operator
    Navigation Master
    Master of Yachts 200 Ton Offshore Theory
    Learn more about sailing

  • Seamester Safety Certifications

    Safety Certifications

    Emergency First Response - First Aid & CPR

Need To Know

What is the main focus of this voyage?

Our 90-day Global Sea|mester Voyages offer the most comprehensive experience in terms of the geographical area covered and both academic and vocational classes and certifications earned. During the program, up to 12 academic credits are offered for the Seamanship, Student Leadership, Oceanography, and Marine Biology classes taught aboard. In addition, there are several vocational courses offered for those looking to further their professional development in the maritime industry. For more information on our classes, please visit our academics page.

What Experience Do I Need?

None at all. All you need is a great attitude and a willingness to fully participate in every aspect of the experience.

Who will be my staff?

Six professional staff members live aboard full-time. There will be the Skipper, the First and Second Mate and two Marine Biologists (who are typically scuba diving instructors) and a sixth staff member who could also be an EMT or someone with other special skills. Take a look through our team page for more information.

Meet our team

What's the weather like?

The short answer to this question is, great! Well, usually anyway! In the Caribbean, the trade winds blow a steady 8-14 knots and the average temperature is 80 Degrees Fahrenheit with 76% humidity and 79 Degrees Fahrenheit water temperature. What’s great about the Caribbean weather is that there is always a breeze, so it feels very comfortable almost all the time. Yes, it does rain now and then, but it is more of a tropical shower, lasting only a few minutes, rather than a complete day of rain.

How do I communicate with home?

When we are ashore or close at anchor there will be plenty of opportunities to communicate with friends and family at home. That said, while aboard we have guidelines as to when it is appropriate to use your personal communications devices. The environment we strive to create relies heavily on each individual remaining focused on the group and our experience. Being tied to the modern world of “instant communications” can, in certain circumstances, be a hindrance to the personal and group processes aboard.

Cell Phones: Check with your provider before you go, but so long as you have a sim card, your cell phone will likely work in most global locations.

Internet: While our vessels are not wifi equipped, another way to communicate is by email, text, Facetime or Skype using shore side internet. The internet is often free or available to purchase in most of the locations that we visit.

What is the food like?

Both on the vessel and ashore, the answer is up to you. The vast majority of the meals during your trip are prepared and eaten aboard. For meals aboard, each person on the crew takes a turn as head chef to plan and cook the meals for an entire day with the help of another person acting as sous-chef. We all work to stay within a budget, with both students and staff responsible for stocking the vessels. We endeavor to accommodate everyone aboard while providing what any alumni will tell you, was a great dining adventure.

Nitty Gritty

Flights
Students come from all over the world, so coordinated travel is vital.

You can choose to book on your own, yet we suggest that you start by requesting a quote from one of our recommended travel partners as they will provide you with service on-beyond an online booking service or search engine.

This voyage is scheduled to begin and end in English Harbor, Antigua (airport code ANU)

When booking travel, students should be aware that the program start date is the date upon which students should arrive aboard the vessel. The program end date is the date on which students should depart the vessel and start their travel home.

Recommended Travel Agents

a. TRC Travel Center

Leah Hernandez is our primary travel coordinator, and she works for a company called TRC Travel Center. Leah obtains great fares and provides close monitoring and assistance on travel days in case of flight difficulties. Leah will also maintain your flight details in the Student Portal on your behalf, ensuring their accuracy in the event of flight changes. Connect with Leah –
Phone: +1.281.528.7727 (9am – 5pm Central Time)
Email: leahctn68@hotmail.com

b. Global Marine Travel

An alternative is to contact Global Marine Travel (GMT) to request a quote for a “Marine Fare” ticket. Marine Fares may be cheaper or more expensive than a regular fare, but in most cases will be more flexible should you need to change your ticket and will include the provision for a larger number of checked bags. Do the research to figure out which ticket suits you best. Connect with GMT –
Phone: +1.954.761.9595 (24hrs)
Email: info@flygmt.com

When contacting GMT, you will need to reference the following:

  • Organizational Name: Global Expeditions Group
  • Vessel Name (select): Ocean Star, Argo or Vela
  • Vessel Registry: British Virgin Islands

c. Other Booking Options – Air Miles & Self Booking

We cannot be responsible for coordinating flights booked in this way, so please ensure that you are booking the correct itinerary (dates/destination) before purchasing a ticket online or through a source other than our recommended travel partners. If you have any questions regarding the date or time of arrival for your voyage, please call us to confirm any proposed flight itinerary before you book it. Once booked, you will be required to enter, then maintain accurate flight details in the relevant section of the Student Portal.

Travel Docs & Immunizations
Passports

Your passport’s expiration date is of utmost importance to the immigration officials in the countries we visit. Each government mandates a “minimum validity,” with many using a six-month rule, meaning that the visitor’s passport must remain valid for six (6) months AFTER the last day of travel in that country. A few nations have more lenient minimum validity rules, but since we typically visit multiple countries throughout the voyage, meeting the six-month standard is compulsory in most cases. If your passport expires sooner than six months after the final day of your program, we recommend that you talk to the passport office about their backlog and renewal timeframe. You may also contact our office to learn more about whether you would be able to travel on a passport that expires earlier than six months after your trip ends.

Visas

US Citizens: Those traveling on a US passport rarely need to apply for specific country visas in advance of the program. In certain circumstances, we are required to process a vessel cruising permit or visitation visa on your behalf before the trip. If this is the case, we’ll let you know in advance whether there are any steps that we need you to take.

Students traveling on non-U.S. passports: Aside from needing a valid US ESTA to transit through the United States (if applicable), students traveling on a Canadian or an EU passport rarely need to apply for any other specific country visas in advance of the program. Learn more about the ESTA requirements, and whether this applies to you here – https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/.

Citizens of Asian, African, and South American nations may need to apply for specific visas. Since we cannot apply for visas on your behalf, you must take the following steps as soon as you can.

  • Contact our office and request a definitive list of the countries we will visit on the voyage. Please do not rely on the sample itineraries listed on our website.
  • Verify visa requirements for your nationality by contacting the local embassy or consulate for these destination countries.
Immunizations

We know that each individual has unique medical considerations and understand that families have varying opinions on immunizations as a whole. While we are not physicians and cannot provide official or specific medical advice, we recommend that you talk with your healthcare provider to discuss the trip and check that all standard immunizations and boosters are up to date.

The CDC’s (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) website at www.cdc.gov contains an excellent section that focuses on Travelers’ Health. This is a useful resource as you consider which precautions you might want to take. When completing your research, bear in mind that your voyage is almost 100% coastal. Many of the CDC’s recommendations are specific to agricultural or rural areas or regions within the country which we do not visit.

Tuition
Sea|mester tuition includes the following:
  • Sea|mester academic instruction for the applicable courses offered during the voyage
  • University of South Florida (USF) academic credit for all academic classes offered during the program.
  • Full room and board
  • All group excursions, field trips and destination-focused educational experiences
  • Non-professional sailing instruction and certification costs
  • Non-professional scuba instruction and certification costs
Not included in the Sea|mester tuition:
  • Travel expenses from home to the program (flights, visas, ferry, taxi, baggage, taxes, etc.)
  • Required International SOS and MedAire membership & emergency evacuation insurance. (20-day voyages = $85 | 40-day voyages = $150 | 80 & 90-day voyages = $225) LEARN MORE >
  • Vaccinations (if required/selected)
  • PADI required course books and materials
  • Personal spending money
  • Travel & Tuition Protection insurance – LEARN MORE >
Voyage Itinerary

Though the fundamentals of our voyages do not change, specific logistics evolve over time and can be subject to change based on any number of factors, most of which relate directly to risk management planning.

For this reason, the map and voyage timeline portions of this page should give you a basic understanding of the places we’ll go and activities we’ll do, but you should expect your voyage to be unique. If you take a look through the Trip Logs for previous voyages you’ll see that they can differ significantly.

With that in mind, we encourage all students to “live in the moment” while on the program. Travel, even on organized trips, requires flexibility and a willingness to accept adversity and change. We hope you’ll take the bumps in stride, and enjoy the adventure!

  • Flights
  • Travel Docs & Immunizations
  • Tuition
  • Voyage Itinerary
  • Students come from all over the world, so coordinated travel is vital.

    You can choose to book on your own, yet we suggest that you start by requesting a quote from one of our recommended travel partners as they will provide you with service on-beyond an online booking service or search engine.

    This voyage is scheduled to begin and end in English Harbor, Antigua (airport code ANU)

    When booking travel, students should be aware that the program start date is the date upon which students should arrive aboard the vessel. The program end date is the date on which students should depart the vessel and start their travel home.

    Recommended Travel Agents

    a. TRC Travel Center

    Leah Hernandez is our primary travel coordinator, and she works for a company called TRC Travel Center. Leah obtains great fares and provides close monitoring and assistance on travel days in case of flight difficulties. Leah will also maintain your flight details in the Student Portal on your behalf, ensuring their accuracy in the event of flight changes. Connect with Leah –
    Phone: +1.281.528.7727 (9am – 5pm Central Time)
    Email: leahctn68@hotmail.com

    b. Global Marine Travel

    An alternative is to contact Global Marine Travel (GMT) to request a quote for a “Marine Fare” ticket. Marine Fares may be cheaper or more expensive than a regular fare, but in most cases will be more flexible should you need to change your ticket and will include the provision for a larger number of checked bags. Do the research to figure out which ticket suits you best. Connect with GMT –
    Phone: +1.954.761.9595 (24hrs)
    Email: info@flygmt.com

    When contacting GMT, you will need to reference the following:

    • Organizational Name: Global Expeditions Group
    • Vessel Name (select): Ocean Star, Argo or Vela
    • Vessel Registry: British Virgin Islands

    c. Other Booking Options – Air Miles & Self Booking

    We cannot be responsible for coordinating flights booked in this way, so please ensure that you are booking the correct itinerary (dates/destination) before purchasing a ticket online or through a source other than our recommended travel partners. If you have any questions regarding the date or time of arrival for your voyage, please call us to confirm any proposed flight itinerary before you book it. Once booked, you will be required to enter, then maintain accurate flight details in the relevant section of the Student Portal.

  • Passports

    Your passport’s expiration date is of utmost importance to the immigration officials in the countries we visit. Each government mandates a “minimum validity,” with many using a six-month rule, meaning that the visitor’s passport must remain valid for six (6) months AFTER the last day of travel in that country. A few nations have more lenient minimum validity rules, but since we typically visit multiple countries throughout the voyage, meeting the six-month standard is compulsory in most cases. If your passport expires sooner than six months after the final day of your program, we recommend that you talk to the passport office about their backlog and renewal timeframe. You may also contact our office to learn more about whether you would be able to travel on a passport that expires earlier than six months after your trip ends.

    Visas

    US Citizens: Those traveling on a US passport rarely need to apply for specific country visas in advance of the program. In certain circumstances, we are required to process a vessel cruising permit or visitation visa on your behalf before the trip. If this is the case, we’ll let you know in advance whether there are any steps that we need you to take.

    Students traveling on non-U.S. passports: Aside from needing a valid US ESTA to transit through the United States (if applicable), students traveling on a Canadian or an EU passport rarely need to apply for any other specific country visas in advance of the program. Learn more about the ESTA requirements, and whether this applies to you here – https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/.

    Citizens of Asian, African, and South American nations may need to apply for specific visas. Since we cannot apply for visas on your behalf, you must take the following steps as soon as you can.

    • Contact our office and request a definitive list of the countries we will visit on the voyage. Please do not rely on the sample itineraries listed on our website.
    • Verify visa requirements for your nationality by contacting the local embassy or consulate for these destination countries.
    Immunizations

    We know that each individual has unique medical considerations and understand that families have varying opinions on immunizations as a whole. While we are not physicians and cannot provide official or specific medical advice, we recommend that you talk with your healthcare provider to discuss the trip and check that all standard immunizations and boosters are up to date.

    The CDC’s (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) website at www.cdc.gov contains an excellent section that focuses on Travelers’ Health. This is a useful resource as you consider which precautions you might want to take. When completing your research, bear in mind that your voyage is almost 100% coastal. Many of the CDC’s recommendations are specific to agricultural or rural areas or regions within the country which we do not visit.

  • Sea|mester tuition includes the following:
    • Sea|mester academic instruction for the applicable courses offered during the voyage
    • University of South Florida (USF) academic credit for all academic classes offered during the program.
    • Full room and board
    • All group excursions, field trips and destination-focused educational experiences
    • Non-professional sailing instruction and certification costs
    • Non-professional scuba instruction and certification costs
    Not included in the Sea|mester tuition:
    • Travel expenses from home to the program (flights, visas, ferry, taxi, baggage, taxes, etc.)
    • Required International SOS and MedAire membership & emergency evacuation insurance. (20-day voyages = $85 | 40-day voyages = $150 | 80 & 90-day voyages = $225) LEARN MORE >
    • Vaccinations (if required/selected)
    • PADI required course books and materials
    • Personal spending money
    • Travel & Tuition Protection insurance – LEARN MORE >
  • Though the fundamentals of our voyages do not change, specific logistics evolve over time and can be subject to change based on any number of factors, most of which relate directly to risk management planning.

    For this reason, the map and voyage timeline portions of this page should give you a basic understanding of the places we’ll go and activities we’ll do, but you should expect your voyage to be unique. If you take a look through the Trip Logs for previous voyages you’ll see that they can differ significantly.

    With that in mind, we encourage all students to “live in the moment” while on the program. Travel, even on organized trips, requires flexibility and a willingness to accept adversity and change. We hope you’ll take the bumps in stride, and enjoy the adventure!