Before I came on peaceboat I had traveled for many different roles on Semester at Sea 3 separate times. I would without pause recommend peaceboat to anybody, at any age. You are right from the start immersed in a supportive but very novel, multi-skilled, storied, and exotic community onboard. Everyone from the Captain to the cleaners and all the staff and passengers in between treat each other with kindness, curiosity, and respect that is rare in for-profit study abroad programs nowadays in which kids feel nearly-chaperoned or babysat. Peaceboat will make you fast and forever friends, and expose you to many freedoms and choices in how to use your time and your travel to forge the experience you want.
Don't be deceived for a second by the short port times - You can get off and come back on at any point, for one, and you are before, during, and after the ride LIVING in Japan, which is in my opinion a world-class destination and culture-shock. The countries Peaceboat visits are once-in-a-lifetime and highly daring ports such as Eritrea, Madagascar, Papua New Guinea, Easter Island, Borneo, Cuba, and Saudi Arabia, and the voyage itself makes the ocean and the ship just as much a destination. We sailed to the bottom of Cape Horn and Patagonia, visited Palestinian refugee camps, transitted the Panama and Suez canals, and partied and socialized just about every night with people from all throughout the world at one of its several restaraunts and bars. I even got married on the ship on one voyage, in the middle of the pacific on the equator! I couldn't think of a more positive and supportive place for any type of personality and nationality. You will know a lot about Japan, alot about the world, alot about yourself, and alot about the ocean by the time you finish. You will meet friends forever and come out a different person. Go for it! And they are not paying me to say any of this!