Seamester: South Africa to Caribbean - 90 Days

Video and Photos

woman looking out over hills and ocean
woman looking out over hills and ocean
sail boat on ocean
sail boat on ocean
people studying
people studying
people jumping off boats
people jumping off boats

About

This voyage is a once in a lifetime opportunity to sail aboard S/Y Argo, our 112-foot schooner from Cape Town, South Africa to Antigua in the Caribbean via St. Helena, Brazil and Devil's Island.

The voyage offers a full complement of academics that can be tailored to the specific needs of each student. Additionally, this voyage will prove to be an exciting travel adventure that emphasizes blue-water sailing skills development, SCUBA diving training and cultural exploration. Sail training certifications for this voyage are issued through International Yacht Training, as IYT offers the only global standard in professional yachting certifications.

Once underway, there are no passengers on this voyage! With over 6000 miles to cover in a relatively short time, much of the program will be spent at sea, with shipmates and staff rotating through the responsibilities of life aboard, each a part of the working crew.

Highlights
  • Become A Certified Scuba Diver
  • Learn To Sail
  • Earn 12 College Credits
  • Sail Across the Atlantic Ocean

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 - $10,000

Sea|mester Voyages Filling Fast

With limited space aboard each vessel, each trip typically fills up within three months of the start date. Click the link below to see our updated availability on all of our 2020 voyages.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

100%
based on 4 reviews
  • Academics 9.5
  • Support 10
  • Fun 10
  • Housing 10
  • Safety 9.5
Showing 1 - 4 of 4
That's me, kayaking on a perfect, glassy day in Maui, looking for humpback whales!
Ethan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Absolutely life-changing

The circumstances leading to my time with Seamester will never be anything short of hilarious to me. I was bored out of my mind during the summer of 2017, hurtling rapidly towards a number of dead ends, not sure what to do with my life - as most second-year college students feel. One night I was laying awake with insomnia, and a thought popped into my mind: Sail across an ocean. Why? I later asked myself, since I was terrified of the ocean at the time. I have no explanation, but the question didn't scare me, in fact I instantly latched onto it, and the following day I applied to and set up an interview with Seamester.

Obviously I was accepted, since I'm writing this review. My Fall semester was a bit of a blur, and I'm sure everyone could tell you I did little but talk their ears off about the upcoming voyage all semester long. When I finally got to Cape Town in January of 2018, I could hardly believe it was real. I boarded Argo late in the evening because of flight delays, but that hardly mattered; I was there, I had my bunk, I could sit out on deck in the evening and listen to the harbor seals, and adventure was waiting around every corner. Of course, I had no idea while it was happening just how important to me this experience would be.

This voyage was many things. It was incredibly challenging, sometimes scary, always fascinating, and absolutely worth it in every possible way. Crossing an ocean by sail isn't easy, in close quarters, standing watch almost every night - you're part of the crew, not just a passenger. We crash-jibed two days out from Cape Town during my watch shift, around two in the morning, and our main boom snapped in half. This was of course terrifying at the time, but in hindsight it was a blessing in disguise - how else would we have freed the top of the charthouse for sunbathing at every opportunity, or jury-rigged our fisherman sail upside-down as a "fishermain" jib? I look back on that with particular fondness. I'll never forget, too, when we reached the Equator, hove-to, and swam between the hemispheres in 15,000 feet of water after joining King Neptune's Court. I could go on, and on, and on. There's a memory, many memories, from everywhere we went, even from the middle of the ocean, when we saw 18 shooting stars in four hours, including what I've long thought was an air-burst meteorite, far off our starboard beam. I will never forget this journey.

I'm graduating college soon, and have thankfully had plans in place for what follows for a while now. Due almost entirely to my experience with Seamester, I'm setting my own course for a career in the maritime industry, hoping to myself become a captain one day. This voyage was THE formative experience of my college career, and I look back on it almost every day with gratitude.

Seamester will challenge you in every way, from how you comport yourself on and off the boat, to your worldviews and sense of self. There's nothing like spending three months at sea, and I recommend it to everyone I talk about it with. It will change you for the better.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
PLEASE bring leave-in conditioner. Your hair will thank you. Also, make sure you wear sunscreen, get some crazy tan lines (PFD tans are quite the spectacle), and cherish every moment you get on bow watch!
Read my full story
Default avatar
Fiona
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing!

This trip was mind-blowingly awesome! I feel so lucky to have been able to take part in this experience and be a part of this crew. We had an incredible semester of adventure and laughs and learning and I know that the friends I made on this voyage will be friends for life (hi Colin!).
Living on board with 30 other students teaches lessons that can't be taught in a classroom about personal responsibility, leadership, teamwork, and how to be a tough cookie. The classes are perfectly fit to the program and lifestyle on board as we got a chance to put what we learned into practice right away, either in sailing and seamanship or oceanography and marine biology. This trip was an inspiration to me and has set the foundation for a lifetime of conservation and passion about our oceans! It's an incredible and rare experience and I wish it had never had to end.

What was your funniest moment?
realizing that the smell down below wasn't from feet, but from a flying fish that had flown into a vent :)
Fiona
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing!

This trip was mind-blowingly awesome! I feel so lucky to have been able to take part in this experience and be a part of this crew. We had an incredible semester of adventure and laughs and learning and I know that the friends I made on this voyage will be friends for life (hi Colin!).
Living on board with 30 other students teaches lessons that can't be taught in a classroom about personal responsibility, leadership, teamwork, and how to be a tough cookie. The classes are perfectly fit to the program and lifestyle on board as we got a chance to put what we learned into practice right away, either in sailing and seamanship or oceanography and marine biology. This trip was an inspiration to me and has set the foundation for a lifetime of conservation and passion about our oceans! It's an incredible and rare experience and I wish it had never had to end.

What was your funniest moment?
Realizing that the fishy smell down below was not feet, but a flying fish that had flown into a vent :)
Default avatar
Colin
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

South Africa to Antigua 2018

This trip was life-changing and I would recommend it to anyone looking for an adventure and deeper relationship with nature/the ocean. I learned lessons about leadership, teamwork and grit that simply cannot be taught at a school on land. Anyone would be lucky to be a member of Argo's crew on this voyage.
Some favorite memories include jumping off the bow and physically swimming across the equator, morning watches with the sunrise while on passage, and shenanigans below deck when everyone wasn't asleep. I will definitely be keeping in touch with the people who I shared Argo with for this voyage and my experience aboard has actually molded the courses that I chose to take in college. If you are interested in environmental science, this trip would be the highlight of your college science career.

What was your funniest moment?
When we bought 50 cantaloupes in Brazil thinking they were squash.

Interviews

Alumni Interviews

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...