Since July 2002 until the present day I have just about circumnavigated the planet on voyage with Semester at Sea, a program, currently operated from the University of Virginia and the institute for Shipboard Education (ISE).
Semester at Sea is not your typical 'cruise.' It is a living voyage and lifelong learning experience. The voyages have taken me to the now serene shipyards in Gdansk to the top of Mount Vesuvius and onward to the Mekong Delta and the wonders of Southeast Asia,
Our ship, the MV Explorer, is a floating university that can accommodate up to 600 students, staff - like my professor wife - and people like me, a life long learner. Once you sail on it, the MV Explorer will always be 'OUR ship,' to you too. Yes, OUR ship has a pool and a fabulous lounge, but you see quickly what else you can be doing, like studying political science of Southeast Asia, Asian Puppetry, World War II history, or comparative religions. Surrounded by young people, many of whom are seeing the rest of the world for the first time.
It's not the cheapest holiday compared with other much less interesting long cruises. I have been fortunate enough to be a bag carrier on these voyages for my wife who teaches aboard. Our ultimate goal is to pay the full fare so neither of us has to work and we can both sit in on as many classes as possible while exploring the delights of our planet.
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