Sustainability on Semester at Sea 

Biodegradable upgrades, no more single serve packaging, dry-dock upgrades & more.

Sustainability at Sea

Starting with the Fall 2018 Voyage, new policies and procedures have been implemented onboard the MV World Odyssey to limit plastic and water waste.

*The COVID-19 pandemic has temporarily shifted some of these sustainability efforts for health and safety reasons.

Biodegradable Upgrades

Plastic straws and disposable cups, lids, cutlery, as well as garbage and laundry liners were swapped with a plant-based biodegradable substitute. A new coffee machine was installed to cut down on water waste, and new water coolers were placed around the ship to encourage the use of reusable water bottles.

No More Single-Serve Packaging

Yogurt is purchased in bulk and offered in serving bowls on the buffet. There are no more individual single serve mayonnaise, ketchup, or mustard packets used at the pool grill; they have been replaced with squeeze bottles.

Dry-Dock Upgrades

During a recent dry-dock of the MV World Odyssey, a plastic shredder and glass compactor were installed on the ship so that waste can be carried to ports that recycle, instead of offloading waste in every port. The ship also received a makeover with silicone paint that prevents the buildup of barnacles, reduces drag, and saves fuel.

Sustainability on Land

Semester at Sea’s renewed emphasis on sustainability doesn’t stop when students step off the ship. The new Braun/Glazer Ocean Conservation Initiative, made possible by the generous support of Drs. Lisa Braun Glazer and Jeffrey Glazer, established a series of in-country Field Programs that allowed voyagers to get hands-on experience about how conservation is being practiced by other cultures.

Voyagers visited a marine recovery center on the Mediterranean Sea to learn about rescue procedures for dolphins and pollution of the Catalonian coastline.

In Mauritius, students inspected coral reefs through glass bottom boats and helped plant mangrove trees while discussing their importance to the coastal ecosystem.

In Hawaii, a partnership was established with the non-profit organization Sustainable Coastlines. Students participated in a beach cleanup and learned more about how they can combat plastic pollution in their daily lives.

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