Staff Spotlight: Kris Stevenson

Captain, Diving Instructor


Kris graduated from the University of Southampton, United Kingdom, with a Master's degree in Oceanography and first joined Global Expeditions Group in the summer of 2008, working with ActionQuest in the British Virgin Islands.

Kris joined the Sea|mester Operational team full time in 2009, having spent 6 years and 75,000 nautical miles sailing onboard both Sea|mester vessels in the capacity of Captain, Dive Instructor and part of the Marine Science Faculty.

What is your favorite travel memory?

That is a very tough question to answer when you've been fortunate enough to have experienced so many wonderful travel memories aboard the Sea|mester boats in various geographical locations around the world.

From Sailing into Havanah, Cuba, swimming with Whale Sharks in St. Helena, Motoring up the Kumai river in Borneo, Cage diving with Great White Sharks in Cape Town, or transiting the Panama Canal in the shadow of giant supertankers, its impossible to choose just one.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

I think over the years I've learned to appreciate the knowledge and skillsets that everyone onboard the boat, student and staff, bring to the proverbial table. No matter who, you can learn something from anyone if you take the time to really get to know them.

I think I've also learned to recognize that some incredible friendships can be forged not only through common goals, opinions, and shared interests but also through appreciation of differences in opinions, cultures and a willingness to listen to others.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

I think it's a huge testament to the company culture and philosophy when a student elects to return, more often than not in the capacity of a full-time staff member. It is quite humbling to hear of the profound effect a voyage can have on an individual, both the tangible and intangible skills learned and the desire to transition what once began as an 80 or 90 adventure into a lifestyle.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

It would probably have to be the voyage from Bali to Cape Town, South Africa.

There is something which is uniquely challenging about crossing the Indian Ocean and the huge sense of accomplishment one feels at the end of that voyage having sailed over 7,500 nautical miles, rounding the Cape of Good Hope and pulling on to the dock in the shadow of the iconic Table Mountain.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

I honestly don't believe there are many other gap year or study abroad experiences who impart as much responsibility on to the shoulders of their students as Sea|mester does. The opportunity to cross vast oceans or explore the Caribbean Lesser Antillies in the capacity as a crew member aboard a large sailing yacht provides so many profound teachable moments and lessons that you might not ordinarily find in a more traditional setting.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

The ability to provide an experience that goes beyond a typical study abroad or gap year type program, but in doing so, to continue to introspectively recognize the room for improvement and strive to be better versions of ourselves both as individual contributors and collectively as an organization.