Caribbean to Tahiti

Aboard S/Y Argo

6,500 Nautical Miles via Panama, Galapagos, The Marquesas

Sail to Bonaire and awake to flocks of Venezuelan flamingos flying through a misty sunrise. Toss the dock lines up to the lock workers of the Panama Canal, cross the lake and prepare to enter the Pacific Ocean. Watch the latitude hesitate on zero as we cross the equator. See blue-footed booby birds hitching a ride on deck back to the Galapagos Archipelago. Linger no more as every day of the next 20 will be spent at sea until we make landfall in the Polynesian Islands of the Marquesas, the place where Paul Gauguin found his inspiration and love. You too will love arriving in Tahiti in the Society Islands, but, after all, that’s just a place to secure the schooner. You will have secured lifetime memories along the way.

  • Days
  • Credits
  • Students
  • Term
  • Availability
  • Tuition (USD)
Upcoming Semester Information

We’re sorry, but there are no planned semesters at this time. Please contact us for more information.

Life Aboard

Sails Up Anchors Down

Academic Classes

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 our home base at Soper’s Hole in the west end of Tortola. It won’t be hard to find our 112-ft schooner, S/Y Argo, tied alongside the dock with an eager crew of 6 staff waiting to greet you with a smile. 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.

Learning the Ropes
8-10 days

Early on day two, we cast off our lines and the journey 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
Caribbean BVI, Les Saintes, Dominica, ABC’s
Central America Cartagena, The Panama Canal
Galapagos Isla San Cristobal, Isla Santa Cruz
Marquesas Nuku Hiva, ‘Ua Pou
Tuamotus Ahe Atoll, Rangiroa
French Polynesia Moorea, Tahiti
*Please note that all destinations are weather dependent and subject to change.

 

Play
Video
Seamester Scuba Diving
Underwater Breathing!
20-25 Dives

Between the Caribbean and the South Pacific, students onboard Argo during the BVI to Tahiti 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.

Anchors Down – Guadeloupe & Les Saints
(2-3 Days)

After the completion of your first passage, you’ll arrive in what seems like a different world from the one you left behind.  Guadeloupe & Les Saintes are to this day considered to be a region of France so the minute you step off the boat you’ll find yourself fully immersed in this enclave of European culture. Hike to Fort Napoleon, enjoy an espresso after siesta, or take out a Hobie Cat with one of your shipmates to live the lifestyle unique to this small corner of the world.

>Next stop: Dominica
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: Bonaire & Aruba
Bonaire and Aruba
(2-4 Days)

The ABC islands might be just off the coast of Venezuela but life on shore 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!

>Next stop: Cartagena
Cartagena, Colombia
(1-3 Days)

As a Unesco world heritage site, Cartagena’s colonial city is one of South America’s most enthralling destinations. The vast network of plazas and churches connected by cobbled alleyways is enough to explore for weeks. Time in the open air cafes on the fashionable peninsula of Boca Grande with shipmates who are quickly becoming like a second family is a perfect way to say goodbye to the Caribbean.

>Next stop: Panama
The Panama Canal
(6-8 Days)

When you reach the 81-foot high steel gates of the first lock in the Panama Canal, you’ll understand why it is considered one of the greatest engineering achievements ever completed by human beings. With the help of your crew and the Panamanian dock workers, you’ll connect two different worlds over the course of several days with multiple opportunities to explore the crossroads of the Americas.

>Next stop: Galapagos
Play
Video
seamester-sailing-video
Rite of Passage
Life and Rhythm on the Big Blue

It’s amazing to enter the Pacific and reflect on what you’ve already accomplished but once life at sea starts to become your new normal, after you’ve gone through your station drills, man overboard scenarios, fire drills etc. – it will be time to put your new skills to the test on this transoceanic passage. From here on out, the distances between ports becomes greater. You’ll cross the equator, battle squalls, navigate the doldrums and make the tradewinds work for you as you learn to soak in passage life. Throughout your 90-day voyage, the longest passage can be up to 20 days long with the average passage being 2-5 days. 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.

Giving Back
10-20 Service Hours

As you hop from country to country and culture to culture, you’ll quickly realize how much you gain from each stop along the way. It’s natural to feel as though you should be giving back in some way. Unique to the BVI to Tahiti voyage, you’ll have the opportunity to do just that with many of the friends and partner organizations Sea|mester has picked up along the way. Whether it’s cultural exchange at an elementary school in Dominica or working alongside endangered giant tortoises at the Charles Darwin Research center in the Galapagos – you’ll leave knowing you’ve made a positive impact on the places that have given so much to you.

Anchors Down – The Galapagos Islands
(3-5 Days)

Known to many as the archipelago that inspired Charles Darwin’s “Origin of Species,” the Galapagos islands will live up to every bit of hype that surrounds them. Here you’ll swim with sea lions and tour the Darwin Research Center with 100 year-old tortoises, blue-footed boobies and the world’s only marine iguanas. You’ll explore hidden freshwater pools, traverse the highlands, and dive alongside the world’s friendliest sharks in the land that time forgot.

>Next stop: Marquesas
Marquesas Islands
(3-5 Days)

You’ll have some mixed emotions about planting your feet on solid ground after roughly 17 days at sea but the hills of The Marquesas Islands and the adventure they promise are bound to excite you. You’ll get the chance to properly stretch your legs on a hike through dense forests and while advanced divers run training scenarios in Hakatea Bay everybody gets to enjoy some downtime and get used to the boat at anchor. Although Marquesas represents the first port of call in French Polynesia, you are still over 750 nautical miles from the final destination of this voyage.

>Next stop: Tuamotus
Tuamotus
(2-4 Days)

The beauty of atolls is nearly impossible to describe. They form after islands sink but the barrier reefs continue to grow. You’ll put your navigation skills to the test by guiding Argo through the barrier islands and drop the anchor in a South Pacific paradise. The pristine reefs and the wildlife that live here are ideal for fun dives and exploring the famous black pearl farms that drive the local economy.

>Next stop: Tahiti
Moorea & Tahiti
(1-3 Days)

The astounding beauty of Moorea and Tahiti make the perfect backdrop for not only finishing up the academic aspect of the journey but also reflecting on the time you’ve spent onboard your new floating home. Boom swings, scavenger hunts, and long days of onshore exploration help you realize just how close you’ve gotten to everyone onboard. A drive by the main island’s airport on the way to surf the infamous waves of Teahupo’o acts as a gentle reminder to soak in this beautiful place as your voyage of a lifetime comes to an end.

>Next stop: real life.

First Step to Becoming a Captain!
Academics

For those who have the prior requisite experience, a passion for sailing, and hope to work in the maritime industry, all our 80 & 90-day voyages aboard S/Y Argo offer the Professional Skipper and Crew Training course (PSCT).

Typically only 3 to 4 students will choose to take this course. You’ll have the opportunity to work towards your Master of Yachts 200 Ton Offshore License by completing the theory portion. This course contains in-depth examinations covering subjects such as Meteorology, Navigation, Tides & Currents, and Collision Regulations.

Play
Video
accredited-academics-seamester
Academics Aboard
12 USF Credits

Throughout the voyage, it’s easy to forget that this is College even though academics are an integral part of the experience. Our instructors schedule 3 or 4 lectures, discussions, or labs per class each week and each course includes quizzes, research projects, midterms, and finals.

Learning in an environment that combines academia with experience allows you to truly interact with your education. It brings academics to life, adding relevance and practical application to the material. Learning has never been this fun!

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…

“This trip started out with many “firsts”. The first time we stepped foot on Argo, the first time we were underway, the first time we raised the sails, the first time the head was clogged, the first time we went bilge diving, the first time we really felt like a team. As the trip progressed we became a family, we learned to live in a small space with a large number of people. We learned to appreciate great conversations and beautiful sunsets. We learned how to be busy, and cram a week's worth of activity in one day but we also learned how to do nothing, how to just be content in each other's company during our 17-day passage halfway across the Pacific Ocean. Throughout this trip, we covered 6804 nautical miles making 14 stops along the way. However, as the trip came to a close the trip started to be about the “lasts”. The last swim, the last sail raise, the last passage, the last squeeze question, and the last night together as a boat [At this moment, Emily begins crying and hands the blog off to Ford to finish it]. The shipmates want to thank the Argo staff for making this experience so unforgettable.”
Leah SPapeete, Tahiti
Day 37
By Carolyn.K

All of the Food

Today was the day that we tested how much food Argo can possibly hold. Backing up a bit, this morning …

Read More
Day 35
By Henry.M

Black Gates and The Sundering Seas

Day 36 began with a red sunrise over the jungles of Panama. We were told that the river was home …

Read More
Day 34
By Sahil.G

Size Matters Not

After a night of drinks on Panamanian docks, the clumsy sailors slumped out of bed, yearning for a hot shower …

Read More
Day 23
By Christian.N

Scapel Please!

Today was our final full day in Bonaire. We started the morning enjoying delicious blueberry muffins, and after finishing our …

Read More
Day 22
By Nick M

Jibing and Diving Part 2

Parker’s post last night introduced you all to alpha and bravo group’s activities up until last night, however a whole …

Read More
Day 21
By Parker.B

Bonaire Extrodinaire

This small oasis in the south Caribbean has treated the crew of Argo very well today. For my first time …

Read More
Day 15
By Carrington.H

Day 15- Adventures and Pirates!!!!!!!!

Ahoy there!!   Today the crew of Argo took on the land of Dominica and got to hike to the …

Read More
Day 10
By Sahil.G

Underwater Navigation Inspiration

Once again, we began our adventure with a morning dive. This time, however, we were aiming for our advanced open …

Read More
Day 6
By Carolyn.K

Day 6 – Dives, Songs and Sunsets

Today was an exciting day for our students completing their Open Water certification, as they had their first experience doing …

Read More
Day 90
By Leah Shopneck

Last Moments Together

Dear Spring 2013 Crew of S/Y Argo, It has been a pleasure sailing with you these past 90 days. You …

Read More

Trip Logs

Welcome aboard!

The journey begins at our home base at Soper’s Hole in the west end of Tortola. It won’t be hard to find our 112-ft schooner, S/Y Argo, tied alongside the dock with an eager crew of 6 staff waiting to greet you with a smile. 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
Caribbean BVI, Les Saintes, Dominica, ABC’s
Central America Cartagena, The Panama Canal
Galapagos Isla San Cristobal, Isla Santa Cruz
Marquesas Nuku Hiva, ‘Ua Pou
Tuamotus Ahe Atoll, Rangiroa
French Polynesia Moorea, Tahiti
*Please note that all destinations are weather dependent and subject to change.

 

Learning the Ropes
8-10 days

Early on day two, we cast off our lines and the journey 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
Seamester Scuba Diving
Underwater Breathing!
20-25 Dives

Between the Caribbean and the South Pacific, students onboard Argo during the BVI to Tahiti 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.

Anchors Down – Guadeloupe & Les Saints
(2-3 Days)

After the completion of your first passage, you’ll arrive in what seems like a different world from the one you left behind.  Guadeloupe & Les Saintes are to this day considered to be a region of France so the minute you step off the boat you’ll find yourself fully immersed in this enclave of European culture. Hike to Fort Napoleon, enjoy an espresso after siesta, or take out a Hobie Cat with one of your shipmates to live the lifestyle unique to this small corner of the world.

>Next stop: Dominica
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: Bonaire & Aruba
Bonaire and Aruba
(2-4 Days)

The ABC islands might be just off the coast of Venezuela but life on shore 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!

>Next stop: Cartagena
Cartagena, Colombia
(1-3 Days)

As a Unesco world heritage site, Cartagena’s colonial city is one of South America’s most enthralling destinations. The vast network of plazas and churches connected by cobbled alleyways is enough to explore for weeks. Time in the open air cafes on the fashionable peninsula of Boca Grande with shipmates who are quickly becoming like a second family is a perfect way to say goodbye to the Caribbean.

>Next stop: Panama
The Panama Canal
(6-8 Days)

When you reach the 81-foot high steel gates of the first lock in the Panama Canal, you’ll understand why it is considered one of the greatest engineering achievements ever completed by human beings. With the help of your crew and the Panamanian dock workers, you’ll connect two different worlds over the course of several days with multiple opportunities to explore the crossroads of the Americas.

>Next stop: Galapagos
Play
Video
seamester-sailing-video
Rite of Passage
Life and Rhythm on the Big Blue

It’s amazing to enter the Pacific and reflect on what you’ve already accomplished but once life at sea starts to become your new normal, after you’ve gone through your station drills, man overboard scenarios, fire drills etc. – it will be time to put your new skills to the test on this transoceanic passage. From here on out, the distances between ports becomes greater. You’ll cross the equator, battle squalls, navigate the doldrums and make the tradewinds work for you as you learn to soak in passage life. Throughout your 90-day voyage, the longest passage can be up to 20 days long with the average passage being 2-5 days. 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.

Giving Back
10-20 Service Hours

As you hop from country to country and culture to culture, you’ll quickly realize how much you gain from each stop along the way. It’s natural to feel as though you should be giving back in some way. Unique to the BVI to Tahiti voyage, you’ll have the opportunity to do just that with many of the friends and partner organizations Sea|mester has picked up along the way. Whether it’s cultural exchange at an elementary school in Dominica or working alongside endangered giant tortoises at the Charles Darwin Research center in the Galapagos – you’ll leave knowing you’ve made a positive impact on the places that have given so much to you.

Anchors Down – The Galapagos Islands
(3-5 Days)

Known to many as the archipelago that inspired Charles Darwin’s “Origin of Species,” the Galapagos islands will live up to every bit of hype that surrounds them. Here you’ll swim with sea lions and tour the Darwin Research Center with 100 year-old tortoises, blue-footed boobies and the world’s only marine iguanas. You’ll explore hidden freshwater pools, traverse the highlands, and dive alongside the world’s friendliest sharks in the land that time forgot.

>Next stop: Marquesas
Marquesas Islands
(3-5 Days)

You’ll have some mixed emotions about planting your feet on solid ground after roughly 17 days at sea but the hills of The Marquesas Islands and the adventure they promise are bound to excite you. You’ll get the chance to properly stretch your legs on a hike through dense forests and while advanced divers run training scenarios in Hakatea Bay everybody gets to enjoy some downtime and get used to the boat at anchor. Although Marquesas represents the first port of call in French Polynesia, you are still over 750 nautical miles from the final destination of this voyage.

>Next stop: Tuamotus
Tuamotus
(2-4 Days)

The beauty of atolls is nearly impossible to describe. They form after islands sink but the barrier reefs continue to grow. You’ll put your navigation skills to the test by guiding Argo through the barrier islands and drop the anchor in a South Pacific paradise. The pristine reefs and the wildlife that live here are ideal for fun dives and exploring the famous black pearl farms that drive the local economy.

>Next stop: Tahiti
Moorea & Tahiti
(1-3 Days)

The astounding beauty of Moorea and Tahiti make the perfect backdrop for not only finishing up the academic aspect of the journey but also reflecting on the time you’ve spent onboard your new floating home. Boom swings, scavenger hunts, and long days of onshore exploration help you realize just how close you’ve gotten to everyone onboard. A drive by the main island’s airport on the way to surf the infamous waves of Teahupo’o acts as a gentle reminder to soak in this beautiful place as your voyage of a lifetime comes to an end.

>Next stop: real life.

First Step to Becoming a Captain!
Academics

For those who have the prior requisite experience, a passion for sailing, and hope to work in the maritime industry, all our 80 & 90-day voyages aboard S/Y Argo offer the Professional Skipper and Crew Training course (PSCT).

Typically only 3 to 4 students will choose to take this course. You’ll have the opportunity to work towards your Master of Yachts 200 Ton Offshore License by completing the theory portion. This course contains in-depth examinations covering subjects such as Meteorology, Navigation, Tides & Currents, and Collision Regulations.

Play
Video
accredited-academics-seamester
Academics Aboard
12 USF Credits

Throughout the voyage, it’s easy to forget that this is College even though academics are an integral part of the experience. Our instructors schedule 3 or 4 lectures, discussions, or labs per class each week and each course includes quizzes, research projects, midterms, and finals.

Learning in an environment that combines academia with experience allows you to truly interact with your education. It brings academics to life, adding relevance and practical application to the material. Learning has never been this fun!

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…

“This trip started out with many “firsts”. The first time we stepped foot on Argo, the first time we were underway, the first time we raised the sails, the first time the head was clogged, the first time we went bilge diving, the first time we really felt like a team. As the trip progressed we became a family, we learned to live in a small space with a large number of people. We learned to appreciate great conversations and beautiful sunsets. We learned how to be busy, and cram a week's worth of activity in one day but we also learned how to do nothing, how to just be content in each other's company during our 17-day passage halfway across the Pacific Ocean. Throughout this trip, we covered 6804 nautical miles making 14 stops along the way. However, as the trip came to a close the trip started to be about the “lasts”. The last swim, the last sail raise, the last passage, the last squeeze question, and the last night together as a boat [At this moment, Emily begins crying and hands the blog off to Ford to finish it]. The shipmates want to thank the Argo staff for making this experience so unforgettable.”
Leah SPapeete, Tahiti
Day 37
By Carolyn.K

All of the Food

Today was the day that we tested how much food Argo can possibly hold. Backing up a bit, this morning …

Read More
Day 35
By Henry.M

Black Gates and The Sundering Seas

Day 36 began with a red sunrise over the jungles of Panama. We were told that the river was home …

Read More
Day 34
By Sahil.G

Size Matters Not

After a night of drinks on Panamanian docks, the clumsy sailors slumped out of bed, yearning for a hot shower …

Read More
Day 23
By Christian.N

Scapel Please!

Today was our final full day in Bonaire. We started the morning enjoying delicious blueberry muffins, and after finishing our …

Read More
Day 22
By Nick M

Jibing and Diving Part 2

Parker’s post last night introduced you all to alpha and bravo group’s activities up until last night, however a whole …

Read More
Day 21
By Parker.B

Bonaire Extrodinaire

This small oasis in the south Caribbean has treated the crew of Argo very well today. For my first time …

Read More
Day 15
By Carrington.H

Day 15- Adventures and Pirates!!!!!!!!

Ahoy there!!   Today the crew of Argo took on the land of Dominica and got to hike to the …

Read More
Day 10
By Sahil.G

Underwater Navigation Inspiration

Once again, we began our adventure with a morning dive. This time, however, we were aiming for our advanced open …

Read More
Day 6
By Carolyn.K

Day 6 – Dives, Songs and Sunsets

Today was an exciting day for our students completing their Open Water certification, as they had their first experience doing …

Read More
Day 90
By Leah Shopneck

Last Moments Together

Dear Spring 2013 Crew of S/Y Argo, It has been a pleasure sailing with you these past 90 days. You …

Read More

Trip Logs

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

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.

What's the weather like?

The weather in the Caribbean at the beginning of the trip should be fantastic with some cooler sailing conditions at night and as we begin heading west into the Pacific Ocean. It is likely that we will see varying weather conditions during our westbound crossings from Panama to the Galapagos. Heading west once again we will sail into increasingly hot tropical weather as we approach Tahiti in the spring.

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. During your free time ashore you will have the opportunity to eat more adventurously. With this voyage starting in the Caribbean, students will get to sample some traditional West Indian meals such as Chicken Roti or some local Salt Fish! Once you pass through the Panama Canal, the Central American and Pacific Island influence will take over. By the end of the trip, most of the crew will have hopefully tried a ‘Poisson cru’ in Tahiti.

What's the typical age of the students?

Sea|mester students range in age from 18 through to about 22. Average age is right around 20, yet this can change from voyage to voyage. Give a call through to the office if you are interested in learning more about the student crew.

Nitty Gritty

Flights
As our students fly from all points of the compass, the Sea|mester tuition does not include the cost of travel to and from the program.

This voyage will begin  in West End, Tortola, British Virgin Islands and end in Papeete Tahiti.

Arrival: Students flying from the US to join us in the BVI may select from one of these two travel options:

  • Fly via St. Thomas (airport code STT): Flights direct to St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands are typically a less expensive option, and once arrived, students need to make their way to Tortola, which is about 25 miles away by ferry from Charlotte Amalie (10 minutes in a taxi from the St. Thomas airport to the ferry port).
  • Fly to Tortola (airport code EIS) via San Juan, Puerto Rico (airport code SJU): Typically a more expensive route, an alternative way to arrive in the BVI from the US is via San Juan, Puerto Rico. Cape Air, Liat and Seaborne Airlines currently offer scheduled connections from San Juan to Tortola.

Departure: Students will leave the program at any time during the final day out of Papeete Tahiti, airport code PPT. Papeete is served by a number of US carriers from their west coast hubs.

Booking Travel

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.

For specific information on travel itineraries and costs, we suggest that you contact our travel coordinator, Leah Hernandez from TRC Travel Center. Leah has helped us organize our global travel for years. She can be reached on 1.800.329.9000 (Texas 281.528.7727) or by email at leahctn68@hotmail.com

Travel Docs & Vaccinations
Skip the stress and plan ahead

Sea|mester cannot apply for passports or visas on a student’s behalf, but we can provide the information you need to do so yourself. All US and Canadian students traveling on this voyage need to have a passport which is valid for a minimum of six months after the date of departure from the Program. Visitors from certain countries other than the US, UK and Canada may require visas. To confirm whether or not a visa is required for any part of this voyage, please call us on +1.941.924.2900

Sea|mester understands that families have varying opinions on vaccinations. Some greatly desire the precaution; others prefer to avoid possible side effects of certain medications. Coupled with the fact that each student has unique medical considerations known best by his or her doctor, Sea|mester does not supply medical advice. We recommend that all families refer to the expertise of the CDC (wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel), their health care providers, and/or a travel clinic. We do ask that all students check that their Tetanus and Hepatitis B inoculations are up-to-date.

Tuition
Sea|mester tuition covers 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 fees are personal expenses such as the cost of obtaining passports, visas, vaccinations, airport taxes, extra baggage fees, health and travel insurance, medical and evacuation expenses, personal spending money, e-mail, phone calls, souvenirs, etc. As students come from all over the world, air transportation, including in-country flights, are not included.

Insure Your Investment

Although optional, we highly recommend that you purchase insurance to protect your tuition payment against trip cancellation and interruption as well as make provision for emergency medical transportation services.

This coverage is suggested yet optional; about one half of our students purchase it. You are welcome to choose any travel insurance, yet we recommend that you start by looking at the plans provided by Travelex.

Travelex offers a number of standard plans. For this reason, you will need to visit their website so as to determine which plan best fits your needs, then complete the process online using their ‘Get a Quote’ wizard. Click on the link below to start your quote.
Learn More about Travelex

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 & Vaccinations
  • Tuition
  • Voyage Itinerary
  • As our students fly from all points of the compass, the Sea|mester tuition does not include the cost of travel to and from the program.

    This voyage will begin  in West End, Tortola, British Virgin Islands and end in Papeete Tahiti.

    Arrival: Students flying from the US to join us in the BVI may select from one of these two travel options:

    • Fly via St. Thomas (airport code STT): Flights direct to St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands are typically a less expensive option, and once arrived, students need to make their way to Tortola, which is about 25 miles away by ferry from Charlotte Amalie (10 minutes in a taxi from the St. Thomas airport to the ferry port).
    • Fly to Tortola (airport code EIS) via San Juan, Puerto Rico (airport code SJU): Typically a more expensive route, an alternative way to arrive in the BVI from the US is via San Juan, Puerto Rico. Cape Air, Liat and Seaborne Airlines currently offer scheduled connections from San Juan to Tortola.

    Departure: Students will leave the program at any time during the final day out of Papeete Tahiti, airport code PPT. Papeete is served by a number of US carriers from their west coast hubs.

    Booking Travel

    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.

    For specific information on travel itineraries and costs, we suggest that you contact our travel coordinator, Leah Hernandez from TRC Travel Center. Leah has helped us organize our global travel for years. She can be reached on 1.800.329.9000 (Texas 281.528.7727) or by email at leahctn68@hotmail.com

  • Skip the stress and plan ahead

    Sea|mester cannot apply for passports or visas on a student’s behalf, but we can provide the information you need to do so yourself. All US and Canadian students traveling on this voyage need to have a passport which is valid for a minimum of six months after the date of departure from the Program. Visitors from certain countries other than the US, UK and Canada may require visas. To confirm whether or not a visa is required for any part of this voyage, please call us on +1.941.924.2900

    Sea|mester understands that families have varying opinions on vaccinations. Some greatly desire the precaution; others prefer to avoid possible side effects of certain medications. Coupled with the fact that each student has unique medical considerations known best by his or her doctor, Sea|mester does not supply medical advice. We recommend that all families refer to the expertise of the CDC (wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel), their health care providers, and/or a travel clinic. We do ask that all students check that their Tetanus and Hepatitis B inoculations are up-to-date.

  • Sea|mester tuition covers 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 fees are personal expenses such as the cost of obtaining passports, visas, vaccinations, airport taxes, extra baggage fees, health and travel insurance, medical and evacuation expenses, personal spending money, e-mail, phone calls, souvenirs, etc. As students come from all over the world, air transportation, including in-country flights, are not included.

    Insure Your Investment

    Although optional, we highly recommend that you purchase insurance to protect your tuition payment against trip cancellation and interruption as well as make provision for emergency medical transportation services.

    This coverage is suggested yet optional; about one half of our students purchase it. You are welcome to choose any travel insurance, yet we recommend that you start by looking at the plans provided by Travelex.

    Travelex offers a number of standard plans. For this reason, you will need to visit their website so as to determine which plan best fits your needs, then complete the process online using their ‘Get a Quote’ wizard. Click on the link below to start your quote.
    Learn More about Travelex

  • 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!