General Information

Headquartered in

Contact Information

  • Address: The Institute for Shipboard Education & Semester at Sea, 2410 Old Ivy Road, Charlottesville, VA 22903
  • Tel: 800.854.0195
  • E-mail:

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Since 1963, more than 45,000 students from colleges and universities around the world have studied with Semester at Sea, traveling to non-traditional destinations in 60 countries. The Institute for Shipboard Education administers the program, and the University of Virginia, the second-ranked public institution in the U.S., is the academic sponsor. Students choose from more than 70 courses in a variety of disciplines. Faculties are internationalists who integrate course content with field practice. The program is open to anyone from any major and any college or university.

Participants travel aboard the 25,000-ton campus of the MV Explorer, attend classes in a closely knit environment with an international faculty, complete fieldwork and travel while in port, and earn transferable credit through the University of Virginia.

Semester at Sea gives you a taste of the entire globe as you travel more than 24,000 nautical miles to as many as 12 off-the-beaten-path international destinations ... or to a single fascinating world region for intensive exploration.

The leader in shipboard study-abroad education, Semester at Sea sails three voyages per year for academic credit. Our vessel, the MV Explorer, is a passenger liner converted into a state-of-the-art seafaring campus.