Semester at Sea students gaze at Salvador, Brazil from the top deck

semester at sea

Imagine if your home floated across the Earth's oceans, and every week a new country and culture appeared at the end of your driveway, each one just as new and spectacular as the one before. I walked away from this study abroad experience in love with the world, and anyone who experiences it like this is bound to feel the same way.

On Semester at Sea, the entire world is the topic of discussion, and while students spend their days on the high seas in the classroom, with the dawn of certain days comes a sunrise and a view of a new continent that cannot be compared with anything but itself. The trip inevitably becomes the highlight of every passenger's life.

Even though I traveled in 2007 on the MV Explorer (meaning, I’m ancient), I still get constant questions on my blog about SAS. I compiled “The Truth about SAS” with frequently asked questions to provide the kind of article I was looking for when applying. I also wrote many posts about each location we visited.

A lot of prospective students stress about what to bring on Semester at Sea. I've listed my entire, meticulous packing list that I compiled before the trip. I also included my note after the trip's end to specify what I did and didn't need. If you are a former SASer and have some tips to add, please write a comment and help the newbies with their packing struggles.

If you'd like to try on the Semester at Sea experience for yourself, check out the videos I made from each destination. They are painfully old and bad (some of my first videos ever), and many are lacking their musical soundtracks for copyright reasons. However, they still capture the sights and experiences of this transformative moment of my life (and hopefully soon yours, too!).

Photography is what got me into world travel. I wanted desperately for my portfolio to include yawning hippos and beautiful Indian children frolicking in the Himalayas. Sometimes the shots took careful planning, and other times they were spur-of-the-moment, taken-dangling-at-my-side, miracle shots. I'll let you be the judge of the quality of my photos, which were mostly taken with a Nikon D50 SLR. Sadly, they no longer make this model.

The SAS Itinerary

January 31 - February 4, 2007 // Nassau, Bahamas

February 6 - 8 // San Juan, Puerto Rico

February 17 - 21 // Salvador, Brazil

February 17 - 19 // Lencois, Brazil

March 2 - 8 // Cape Town, South Africa

March 3 - 6 // Manyeleti Game Reserve, South Africa

March 15 - 17 // Port Louis, Mauritius (Blue Bay)

March 25 - 29 // Chennai, India

March 27 - 28 // Gobichettipalayam, India

April 2 - 5 // Penang, Malaysia

April 3 - 4 // Cameron Highlands, Malaysia

April 10 - 15 // Saigon, Vietnam

April 11 - 13 // Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

April 17 // Hong Kong

April 18 // Lijang, China

April 19 // Dali, China

April 20 - 22 // Beijing, China

April 22 // Qingdao, China

April 25 // Kobe, Japan

April 25 // Tokoyama, Japan

April 25 - 27 // Tokyo, Japan

April 28 // Nagano, Japan

April 29 // Kyoto, Japan

April 29 // Kobe, Japan

May 7 // Honolulu, Hawai'i, USA

May 7 // North Shore, Oahu, USA

May 14 // San Diego, California, USA

Semester at Sea