PHOTO: Semester at Sea's former MV Explorer (right) in San Diego, California. (Photo via Flicker/Port of San Diego)
Several educators are coming aboard Norwegian Cruise Line voyages to offer Sail To SUCCEED!—a new enrichment program focusing on themes like personal empowerment, business growth and excellence in leadership – but it’s not the first. There are even full-blown universities at sea.
In the case of Sail To SUCCEED!, passengers can choose programs to take part in, speakers can apply to instruct and referrals can generate income. The company says bookings can be made such that most 4-night Bahamian cruises yield $600.00 in referral fees per stateroom. Sail To SUCCEED! can be contacted directly to learn more.
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Of course, most cruise ships have some form of in-house enrichment program that is included in the voyage fare. For example, Cunard has its excellent Cunard Insights Programme with high-profile lecturers from a broad range of disciplines, perfect for passing the time on a transatlantic crossing. Princess Cruises even has its appropriately titled Scholarship@Sea lineup.
Such opportunities have historically led to entire vessels devoted to onboard learning like The Scholar Ship. In 2007 and 2008, Royal Caribbean Cruises Limited partnered up with establishments such as the University of California and Cardiff University to offer semesters not just in one destination abroad but sailing to several international ports on a sort of educational 16-week world cruise, but the RCCL program aboard the MV Oceanic II did not continue due to financial hardship.
That has not stopped Semester at Sea, however, from taking up the torch. In fact, it has existed since its founding in 1963. It is now managed by the Institute for Shipboard Education and deploys on the MV World Odyssey. The program touts its ability to be easily integrated within a traditional four-year college timeline, providing up to 15 university credits from a world-class faculty, not to mention the opportunities for global cultural immersion.
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Semester at Sea provides a SAS Lifelong Learning Program for interested older adults as well. Available to them are also undergraduate courses, field excursions and the chance to be mentors to other students and present their own seminars.
For the majority of cruise travelers not looking to live aboard for such an extended period of time, there are other programs along the lines of aforementioned Sail To SUCCEED! or University at Sea. The latter presents continuing education conferences intent on combining seminars with a vacation experience on several newer ships including the largest in the world – Royal Caribbean International’s Harmony of the Seas.
Conferences take place in regions encompassing Alaska, the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, Nordic Europe, Hawaii, Australia and Asia; and courses are geared to a variety of fields: physicians, nurses, dentists, physical therapists, pharmacists, chiropractors, psychiatrists, psychologists, attorneys and more.