Seamester

Seamester

About

Seamester offers unique educational voyages where students spend their time sailing between countries and continents. For more than 40 years, we have consistently delivered outstanding educational experiences for students. We design our programs to provide engaging learning experiences with real outcomes in ways that are impossible to replicate in the traditional classroom. Living as part of a close-knit team on an ocean-going vessel, students learn some of the most important lessons beyond academics: teamwork, hard work, and personal responsibility. Our programs are designed to challenge students to realize that it is the journey, not the destination, that matters most.

Founded
1998
Headquarters

1075 Central Ave
Sarasota, FL 34236
United States

Scholarships

Seamester Scholarships
Seamester Scholarships & Financial Aid

Seamester offers a number of Financial Aid and Scholarship options available for those looking toward funding to make their experience possible.

Value
$500 - $1,500

Reviews

Default avatar
Charles
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

This trip changed my life in one of the most amazing ways. It allowed me to meet a new group of people and visit places I wouldn't have gone to on my own. This trip was definitely out of my comfort zone but I knew it was something that id be able to overcome and it was well worth it. A year ago today I never would have thought I would have been able to handle 40 days on a boat but after this experience I would do it all over again. The sailing was beyond fun and it was great to be a part of a crew rather than being catered to the entire trip. on top of that, the certifications we received are once that I am excited to have and are beneficial for what i see myself doing in my future. This trip also gave me to oppertunity to scuba dive in some very unique areas seeing shipwrecks and beautiful reefs

Default avatar
Alisia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

This trip truly changed me for the better. It sparked a love of travel and exploration that was so beneficial for me, I can barely put it into words. It helped me grow as a person on so many levels. I learned valuable skills and life lessons that I will cherish for the rest of my life. Given the opportunity, I would go back in a quick heart beat. There's nothing like living and working on a boat like Ocean Star. In fact, she was more than just a boat. Ocean Star was home to everyone aboard and we quickly became our own little family unit out there on the water. It's an adventure worth taking because it truly is unlike anything I've ever experienced before, and I am forever grateful that I had the opportunity to experience it all. I loved it.

Default avatar
Lexi
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I had an amazing time sailing around the Caribbean. I would not have been able to complete all of my certifications at home or without the support of the amazing, encouraging, and patient staff. I was able to meet people from all over the United States that I would never have met without this program. Even though I initially struggled with scuba diving, the staff was willing to work extra with me so that I could conquer my initial fear until I was able to enjoy diving and eventually looked forward to. I got open water and advanced scuba certification, sailing certification, and first aid certification. I appreciate my time on the boat and have definitely learned a lot from it. After traveling to the various islands, I got a strong desire to help with pollution and have started looking for ways to help protect the islands from home.

Default avatar
Rachel
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

This was the absolute trip of a lifetime and if you get the opportunity to go I highly recommend it. It will challenge you in ways you would never expect but also help you grow as an individual. Everyday you engage in new things that you would never expect and you visit amazing places that you will probably never see again unless you travel in the Caribbean a lot. Each moment spent on the vessel, on land, in the water, etc is very valuable. The friends you will make on your magical journey become family forever. I definitely would go on another semester trip in a heartbeat if the opportunity arises again. From anchor watches to watch teams to trying to scuba dive it is all amazing. Push yourself to the best that you can be and you will go far.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
if I had to change one thing it would engaging more with my shipmates.
Default avatar
Zach
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I can’t thank Seamester and their staff enough for providing the best summer of my life. Countless jokes and amazing experiences with the other crew members are something I’ll remember for the rest of my life. Everything was amazing , from small boat sailing, to scuba diving, to exploring every island! I also can’t thank Steve, Tom, Amy, and Alex for always keeping us on our feet every hour of every day ! Some of my favorite memories include drinking seamoss, scuba diving in Saba, exploring the boujiness of Saint Barths, meeting all my new crew members/friends in the airports as we all flew to S/Y Ocean Star, the squeeze every night after dinner, sunrise watches sailing from port to port, Tom for always having a smile on his face, and the steel drums in Antigua !

What was your funniest moment?
Probably almost every moment on board could have made this. :)

Programs

Displaying 1 - 9 of 10

Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Alisia Gruendel

Alisia is a Junior in college who is studying Digital Media and Design with a 3D animation concentration. She now has the travel bug and plans to travel somewhere new at least once a year.

Alisia Gruendel

Why did you choose this program?

I love sailing, but don't have many opportunities to focus on it 100%. My schoolwork does sometimes hinder my ability to find free time so this trip was an absolute blessing. I wanted to do something so different from anything I've done before. Something that would push me to do things I never would've done on my own, and end up loving them.

What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

I found this trip all on my own. It was done outside of my home university. I had to enroll in the program on my own. Everything was organized through and with the program coordinators themselves. They were all so nice and everything required was easily labeled, easy to find, and they gave you a clear deadline for everything.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Expect your limits to be pushed, but don't be afraid of it. I was nervous out of my mind the night before I left, but once I arrived at the dock, everything fell into place. I was surrounded by people who were as willing as me to go forward and push themselves to try new things. Although some things were scary, they were well worth it.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

A day moves very quickly, and though they can be a little long, every second is a wild and fun ride. You wake up, eat breakfast together then clean and get ready for the next activity. You're always moving and always looking forward to the next activity. But do not fear, you do have downtime and there are lulls in activities. You do everything in groups which enables you and your crew to become closer than you have with a perfect stranger, who essentially becomes your family unit. You're always together. It's so special and amazing.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

My biggest fear was getting to know everyone and letting them know me. I'm a very closed off person, naturally, but I knew this trip would push those boundaries since the most privacy you have is an open bunk stacked under or on top of someone else's. But once you meet everyone and you realize you're all in this together and experiencing the same nerves, you band together to help one another. I'm forever grateful that I had this experience because it has helped me lessen my fear of letting people get to know me.

What was your favorite memory from the whole trip?

Honestly, I gave myself the hardest question to answer. I think one of my favorite memories was during the first overnight passage.

It was the longest passage of the trip, an entire 24 hours out at sea, and it was my first time doing something like that. Granted, a lot of the experiences I had on the trip were firsts but this one was pretty intense.

I was a little nervous since the waves were going against the boat, my watch team was up first. I felt intimidated by the ocean as we headed farther from land, but then the sun fell behind the horizon and the stars came out. I had never seen so many stars in my whole life. It was so clear and beautiful, you could even see the Milky Way across the sky. And as if that weren't enough, two shooting stars raced across the sky before we turned in.

It was absolutely one of the most unbelievable moments in my life. And because of that, and the countless other moments I experienced, I'm more determined than ever to go out and make more.

More Interviews

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Ben Diamond

Job Title
Captain
Ben is the Captain of Seamester's 112ft school ship Argo. Ben graduated with an MSc. in Marine Environmental Management from the University of York and holds an RYA Yachtmaster Ocean certification.
Ben the Captain of Argo

What is your favorite travel memory?

I always think back to the first time I sailed across to the Pacific as a crew member onboard a 72ft ketch. It was not traditionally rigged like Argo but very basic by today's yacht standards and so required a relatively large crew.

Up until then, I had mostly travelled on my own. That trip showed me what a real team was, what it could achieve, and changed my whole perspective on what was important to me.

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

The best thing about Seamester is that whilst we obviously do a lot of sailing, visit amazing places, go diving, learn about the environment immediately surrounding us in class, go hiking up a volcano, or horse riding, or surfing.... this is actually a small part of what we do.

What we do most of the time is live with 30 other people who all rely on each other. That means we get to know each other incredibly well and build the kind of relationships where differences are valued.

That trust and respect means that people open up and allows us all to learn from each other. I learn something new on every trip.

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

They want to come back a third time!

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

The best thing about Seamester is that the students and staff work together as the team. The 90 day trips allow the staff to take on much more of a facilitative role with the students taking on more and more responsibility until they are running everything from the planning and preparation of feeding 30 people to the safe navigation of the vessel.

I am always amazed at how students can learn so much in 90 days. Most students have little to no experience doing what we do when they join the vessel and most know no one else on board. It was great to win our class in Antigua classics last year as it really reinforced not only how they had become fantastic sailors but also how strong a team they had become in the last 3 months.

More Interviews

Professional Associations

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