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Voyaging with SEA Semester

SEA Voyager Program

About the Voyager Program

The SEA Voyager program offers the SEA Semester experience to adults interested in exploring the ocean from the deck of a tall ship. We welcome qualified applicants to sail as participants on an expedition not for academic credit, but in the spirit of lifelong learning and adventure. It’s a great opportunity for those who didn’t have the chance to experience SEA Semester as a student themselves, or for those who did and want to do it again!

As with any SEA program, Voyagers are not passengers: they are full participants in the shipboard community, helping to achieve our mission of conducting impactful ocean science under sail. You’ll perform the essential duties required of an ocean-going voyage while making meaningful contributions to the living and learning community at sea. No sailing or scientific experience is required!

As a Voyager, you’ll participate in ongoing data collection and analysis, meteorological observations, and navigation. You’ll stand watch, furl sails, and steer by the stars. You’ll also help maintain the ship by tackling cleaning chores, conducting boat safety checks, and pitching in with galley (kitchen) operations.

Space for voyagers is limited and available for select legs of SEA Semester voyages. See below for upcoming opportunities.

The Value of Voyaging with SEA Semester

Whenever our ships are in port, we hear a familiar question: “Do you have a program for adults?” The answer is yes!

Voyagers help SEA fulfill its mission to be a global teaching, learning and research community dedicated to the exploration, understanding, and stewardship of the ocean. While SEA programs are particularly geared towards students, we invite Voyagers to support and advance our educational mission by experiencing an expedition firsthand alongside SEA Semester undergraduates.

Sailing on an SEA vessel offers a rare chance to unplug. There are no cell phones, e-mails, or internet access. Disconnect from your devices in order to connect with your shipmates. Study the constellations, read a few good books, keep a journal, and marvel at the mysteries of the ocean while realizing the incredible power of teamwork and community. Above all, it's an excellent opportunity to pursue your goal of being a lifelong learner.

Expectations and Eligibility

As a Voyager, you’ll join a ship’s complement comprised mainly of college and/or gap year students, SEA faculty, scientists, and professional crew. You’ll attend classes but are not responsible for the same lab and academic work required of SEA Semester students.

Education at Sea: We are looking for adventurous Voyagers interested in participating in the research SEA conducts while at sea. As part of the learning community, Voyagers will explore different areas of research and bring their individual expertise to bear. Though there are no final tests or papers for Voyagers, we encourage them to contribute to the learning community by reflecting upon their experience through a final project.

In the past, such Voyager projects have included originally composed songs and/or poems, a news/journalistic article, a gallery of artwork, a photo-essay, readings from a personal journal, and poster presentations of scientific observations made while at sea.

Medical Clearance: Participation in the SEA Voyager Program is contingent upon medical clearance. It’s important that Voyagers fully understand the demands and expectations of the program, and meet the minimum physical requirements. The foundation of a successful SEA program begins with the medical screening and clearance process. All Voyagers are required to undergo a thorough physical examination performed by a licensed medical practitioner within six months of the start of their expedition. Additionally, we ask that Voyagers disclose all medical information directly related to their ability to perform essential duties as required by our program structure at sea.

Safety at Sea: Both SEA vessels are United States Coast Guard (USCG) certified and regularly inspected for ocean service. In addition, they are inspected by the American Bureau of Shipping and meet or exceed ABS’s stringent machinery and hull safety standards. As U.S. flagged Sailing School Vessels (SSVs), our ships are required to meet safety standards different from those for passenger vessels on a comparable route.

Voyagers must be confident in their ability to live and work aboard a moving vessel; to negotiate steep ladders between decks; and to work as part of a 24/7 watch system in a dynamic environment remote from advanced medical care.

Travel & Accommodations: Voyagers are responsible for arranging their own travel to and from the vessel, as well as any accommodations outside of their Voyager program dates. They should not book non-refundable travel until they have been medically cleared for participation. Once aboard ship, SEA covers all room and board including three meals and three snacks a day.

Take our 360° ship tour to see what life on board is all about!

How to Become a Voyager

Complete our online application to begin. Qualified candidates will be contacted to set up a phone or Skype interview with our admissions committee, which will seek to understand your goals and interests to ensure a cruise that’s right for you.

Questions? Contact us at admission@sea.edu.

Apply Now

"The real fun for me has been to feel the energy of young college students... I tell people about to embark on such an adventure that they won’t want to sleep: too much to do and see, personal narratives to hear, ship and science operations to accomplish, meals to prepare, boat and engine checks, other watchkeeping duties.  And, I have long ago become accustomed to how much I can learn from those much younger than myself." - Richard Hawkins, SEA Trustee

Upcoming Voyager Opportunities

There are 3 short Spring 2020 Voyager Sails available. Please click here for more info and to reserve your bunk(s).

Previous Voyager Opportunities

Atlantic Odyssey

Voyager Map

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Atlantic Odyssey

The Program: A physically challenging and intellectually stimulating adventure on the high seas!

Join our one-of-a-kind research cruise through the North Atlantic Gyre, better known as the legendary Sargasso Sea – fabled home to weed-covered, shipwrecks lost at sea. In truth the drifting oasis of Sargassum algae is home to a diverse community of unique critters, including endemic species of shrimp, crabs, and fish that represent an important ecological feature of the North Atlantic Ocean. Unfortunately, the swirling currents of the gyre that collect and concentrate this weedy oasis also collected marine plastic debris and tar; a stark reminder that humans have impacted even the most remote regions of the world’s oceans. Similarly, the impacts of climate change can be observed in warming ocean temperature, changes in ocean pH, and shifting patterns in ocean currents and marine organisms. Among those organisms impacted by climate change include the elusive and enigmatic eel (leptocephali) and spiny lobster (phyllosoma) larvae, the graceful marine, water-strider Halobates, delicate sea butterflies or pteropods, and bioluminescent lantern (Myctophidae) and bristlemouth (Cyclothone) fish.   

Students and Voyagers of Atlantic Odyssey will contribute to our understanding of the oceans by participating in four areas of active research: Sargassum Ecology, Ocean Plastic & Marine Pollution, Climate Change, and Marine Biodiversity. They will synthesize and share what they have learned with the shipboard community in the form of academic reports, presentations, and/or final papers at the end of the voyage.

Read more about Atlantic Odyssey

The Ship: SSV Corwith Cramer

Length Overall: 134 feet / 40.8 meters
Length on Deck: 98 feet / 29.8 meters
Sail Area: 7,500 sq. ft. / 697 sq. m.
Registration: Woods Hole, Massachusetts, USA
Complement: 38 persons
Area of Operation: World Oceans
Classification: United States Coast Guard, Subchapter R
Rig: Brigantine

Program Highlights

  • Help collect data to inform our understanding of the Sargasso Sea
  • Sail on a blue water passage with the potential for heavy weather – a real adventure on the high seas!
  • Take on a mentorship role for the pre-college gap year students on board

Voyager Options

Woods Hole + Leg 1 Only:
October 8 – 11, 2019: On campus in Woods Hole
October 11 – November 7, 2019; Voyage Woods Hole to Dominica
Cost: $5,600

Woods Hole + Full Voyage:
October 8 – 11, 2019: On campus in Woods Hole
October 11 – November 18, 2019; Voyage Woods Hole to St. Croix (includes Dominica port stop)
Cost: $7,500

Costs do not include travel, personal expenses, or accommodations while in Woods Hole.

Caribbean

Voyager Map

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Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean

The Program: Shape your understanding of the diverse Caribbean region through this place-based and comparative environmental studies program. Examine 500 years of ecological change from the first explorers to today’s environmental challenges. Full semester description.

The Ship: SSV Corwith Cramer

Length Overall: 134 feet / 40.8 meters
Length on Deck: 98 feet / 29.8 meters
Sail Area: 7,500 sq. ft. / 697 sq. m.
Registration: Woods Hole, Massachusetts, USA
Complement: 38 persons
Area of Operation: World Oceans
Classification: United States Coast Guard, Subchapter R
Rig: Brigantine

Program Highlights

  • Explore the unique economic, political, and social heritage of the Caribbean Islands
  • Deepen your knowledge of issues of cultural and environmental sustainability
  • Visit off-the-beaten-path islands at the peak of whale breeding season

Voyager Options

Select up to four legs to customize your experience!

  • Leg 1: Feb. 12 - 23, 2019; St. Croix to Samana; 12 days: $3,200 (Program Full)
  • Leg 2: Feb. 24 - March 8, 2019; Samana to Port Antonio; 13 days: $3,500 (Program Full)
  • Leg 3: March 8 - 14, 2019; Port Antonio to Grand Cayman; 7 days: $2,000 (Program Full)
  • Leg 4: March 14 - 22, 2019; Grand Cayman to Key West; 9 days: $2,400 (Program Full)

Costs do not include travel or personal expenses.

Pacific

Voyager Map

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Oceans & Climate

The Program: Voyage from New Zealand to Tahiti in a long, blue-water sailing passage. Contribute to baseline climate research in the South Pacific, a region key to climate science yet relatively understudied. Engage with stakeholders directly impacted by climate change by visiting a variety of Pacific island communities faced with this threat. Full semester description.

The Ship: SSV Robert C. Seamans

Length Overall: 134.5 feet / 41 meters
Length on Deck: 111.4 feet / 34 meters
Sail Area: 8554 sq. ft. / 795 sq. m.
Registration: Woods Hole, Massachusetts, USA
Complement: 40 persons
Area of Operation: World Oceans
Classification: American Bureau of Shipping A1 and A
Rig: Brigantine

Program Highlights

  • Help conduct baseline climate research
  • Make a long, blue-water sailing passage
  • Engage with local communities to investigate climate adaptation and sustainability questions

Voyager Options

  • March 28 - May 4, 2019; New Zealand to Tahiti; 40 days: $6,000 (Program Full)

Cost does not include travel or personal expenses.

Atlantic

Voyager Map

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Marine Biodiversity & Conservation

The Program: Participate in real-time, real-world research related to biodiversity and conservation efforts in the Sargasso Sea, contributing directly to the international effort to conserve this unique area of the North Atlantic. Full semester description.

The Ship: SSV Corwith Cramer

Length Overall: 134 feet / 40.8 meters
Length on Deck: 98 feet / 29.8 meters
Sail Area: 7,500 sq. ft. / 697 sq. m.
Registration: Woods Hole, Massachusetts, USA
Complement: 38 persons
Area of Operation: World Oceans
Classification: United States Coast Guard, Subchapter R
Rig: Brigantine

Program Highlights

  • Learn about international conservation efforts in the Sargasso Sea
  • Help collect data to inform students' science and policy research
  • Sail on a blue water passage in the North Atlantic

Voyager Options

Select one or both legs to customize your experience!

  • Leg 1: March 28 – April 18, 2019; Key West to Bermuda; 22 days: $4,500 (Program Full)
  • Leg 2: April 22 – May 4, 2019; Bermuda to New York City; 13 days: $2,900 (Program Full)

Costs do not include travel or personal expenses.