Seamester: Caribbean Basin Voyage - 90 days

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About

This is the trip for the adventurer who's looking for more - a full semester's worth of credits and 3,000 miles more. Miles you'll navigate through tides and currents with strangers turned friends; passengers turned crew.

Along the way, you'll explore the Lesser Antilles, The ABC Islands, Jamaica, Cayman the Bahamas and the British Virgin Islands. You'll scuba dive (day and night) among century-old shipwrecks, writhing reefs and glowing bioluminescence. You'll hike one of the world's only two boiling lakes and inside ancient volcanoes--absorbing the history, geography and culture of the islands along the way. Sailing full circle, you'll compete in the world-famous Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta at the adventure's climax.

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Reviews

94%
based on 5 reviews
  • Academics 7.4
  • Support 9.6
  • Fun 9.4
  • Housing 9
  • Safety 9.4
Showing 1 - 5 of 5
Default avatar
Jason
8/10

A BREATH OF FRESH (OCEAN) AIR

If you have the time and chance, definitely consider Seamester. I was on the 90-day Caribbean trip on the 112 -foot Argo (HEY OSCAR), and I have to say my time on board will definitely be one of the highlights of my life. If all you want to do is party, then please do not sign up, as you will be miserably tired and wet. However, if you actually want to get closer to the ocean rather than stay in an insulated hotel cabin, I believe Seamester is a superior option to other similar programs such as Semester at Sea (which I believe is on a cruise ship). There will definitely be times when living in close quarters with 20+ stinky people will get on your nerves, but if you grit your teeth and hold your tongue, you will find riches in friendship and the chance to behold on a daily basis a beauty that other people might only see once or twice in a lifetime (like sunsets and dolphins). Additionally, you will also get a chance to know your teachers as actual human beings and be inspired by their lives (an extra highlight for me, as my trip had incredible staff members). Just pack well, and get plenty of sleep beforehand, as God knows that when you start this program, you won't.

Basic Score Breakdown:

ADVENTURE: Full 10. Self-explanatory: what else can you describe a journey of 4,300 miles?

LIVING SPACE: 8. Bit cramped, and can be hot at times. Still, you didn't sign up for 5-star hotel accommodations, did you?

CULTURAL IMMERSION: With island skipping, unfortunately, you don't get much of a chance to really get into the native Creole culture. However, the sailing community is very tight knit, and Seamester really gives you the chance to break into that group of slightly weird, terribly sun-burned people. (I'll say it again: my favorite part of the whole trip was meeting incredible people, some of who were my teachers, some of who where fellow students).

PROGRAM ADMINISTRATION: I'd say this is the weakest part. The trip was very good, but sometimes the red-tape can be incredible, some due to complex legal problems over your head, others because of the nature of sea life. If you just keep your head down and power through however, things will be fine. Just be warned that you'll have to exercise your bull***t shoveling muscles.

HEALTH AND SAFETY: Helicopter parents, be soothed. This program is as safe as can possibly be on the sea. We observed full safety procedures at all times.

SOCIAL LIFE: A definite hit and miss at times. It mostly depends on your luck and the group you get. Some the people I was with were absolute knuckleheads and dealing with them day after day was aggravating--yet, I also met the kindest, smartest people I know on this trip. Just stay away from the former and stick to the latter.

PS: For the Caribbean trip, the list will tell you to pack wool socks. DO NOT PACK WOOL SOCKS. In fact, pack very little socks. You have been warned.

How can this program be improved?
There were a couple of consistent rule breakers. If the staff were given more power to enforce rules, maybe they would have stopped.

No phones. You're in Caribbean--you shouldn't need Facebook.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Ben
10/10

Life Changing Days

Let me start with a story: one night, while on watch my watch team had the pleasure of seeing Melon Headed Whales swim around the boat for the better part of two hours. They kept setting off bioluminescence as they swam, outlining them as they flowed through the water. We were able to hear them talking, and we fell asleep below deck to the sound of real whale calls. Sea|mester has given me some of the most formative and incredible experiences of my life. The 90 days I spent aboard S/Y Argo sailing around the Caribbean in the spring of 2016 were some of the best of my life. I would not have given up the time I had for anything in the world. In addition, I learned a lot, both about myself and in the Oceanography, Ship Handling, Student Leadership and the Marine Biology classes. I would like to thank Sea|mester for the opportunity to meet some of my now closest friends and see places that I had never thought I would have a chance to see.

How can this program be improved?
More free time needed to be given on some of the islands to just explore.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Oscar
10/10

INCREDIBLE

Seamester was a life changing experience and I will never forget it. The journey I completed was Seamester's Caribbean Basin 90-day voyage. We sailed on Seamester's auxiliary sailing vessel S/Y Argo. We started at Antigua and made our way south toward Grenada. Than we started heading west to Bonaire and then eventually to Cuba. I learned everything from Marine Biology to Navigating the waters. I will miss seeing shooting stars every night and having dolphins swimming up at the bow of the vessel. I will miss my Argo family as well.

How can this program be improved?
NOTHING!!!!!!!
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Orren
9/10

Yes, we did that.

A few days before arriving in Havana where we would become Salsa dancers, watch Obama's motorcade speed by on the main Havana boulevard and explore an old military fort perched on a rocky seaside cliff, we arrived at La Isla de Juventud. The island is a secluded, coconut filled paradise just off the coast of the mainland. Here, by this beautiful island I fell in love. At first, the love was rocky and it felt like I couldn't breathe. Air was just a few short feet away, but that first breath didn't seem to hit my lungs for hours. This is where I learned to freedive. Initially, I could not even get down to 15 feet, but by the end of our stay off of the island, I had reached the one minute mark for a dive and I had reached depths of 45 feet to see a sleeping nurse shark.

These past 90 days were challenging, rewarding, disappointing, exciting, but above all, memorable. Thank You.

How can this program be improved?
No phones

Compliments given by everyone each evening during squeeze.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Francesca
10/10

Is this real life?

Seamester was the most unique learning experience I've ever had. Not many classrooms, for example, allow you to learn the taxonomy of various marine organisms and then jump in the (warm Caribbean) water and see those organisms with your own eyes. We literally took a deep dive into the material we were learning! The combination of that kind of visual and experiential learning and being detached from reality/ off the grid is a one of a kind opportunity.

Not only do you learn marine biology, oceanography, and develop sailing and scuba diving skills, but you also learn about yourself. You push your limits, you learn what a team is, and you learn what is important and what is necessary. When you are in the middle of the ocean with 25 amazing people and the stars, you suddenly realize your Facebook doesn't matter that much.

And regardless of learning, it's hard to beat waking up on a new island every few days, knowing that you and your team got yourselves there. Its hard to beat a whole semester of ocean baths, salty hair, boom swings, waterfall swims, star gazing, hammock naps, sunsets, windsurfing, coconut drinking, and fun. And It's hard to beat adding 20 new stamps to your passport, logging 25 dives, and making 25 new lifetime friends (we just had a 5 year reunion!). All in 90 days. I will cherish my experience with Seamester always.

How can this program be improved?
More fruits and veggies
Yes, I recommend

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About Seamester

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...