Plan Your Own Travel

Owning Your In-Country Experience

Outside of Semester at Sea-organized Field Classes and Field Programs, voyagers may arrange their own personal travel experiences. Personal travel can be a great opportunity to explore! Regardless of the type of in-country travel, Semester at Sea expects the following of all voyagers:

1. Know and follow the Responsible Travel Guidelines

  • Honor your hosts
  • Protect our planet
  • Support local economies
  • Plan ahead and make informed decisions
  • Be self-aware & respectful

2. Know and follow the policies in the Voyager’s Handbook. 

Note: All Voyager’s Handbook policies still apply even if not on an official SAS program! Specific policies of note: 

  • Intoxication is prohibited.
  • Do not leave the country of arrival (unless on an official SAS Field Program).
  • Do not travel to prohibited areas within the country of arrival; follow all other safety precautions in each country outlined by SAS.
  • Do not operate motor vehicles (including motorcycles, scooters, and E-bikes) or watercraft.
  • SAS-provided insurance does not cover Medical Expense Benefits for mountaineering, hang gliding, parachuting/skydiving, parasailing, bungee jumping, or racing by horse or motor vehicle/motorcycle. Voyagers are not permitted to participate in these activities (regardless of whether or not the voyager is in possession of personal insurance).
  • Do not act on behalf of any third-party individual or company to promote any activity or trip to other voyagers.

(The above policies apply to students. Lifelong Learners, faculty, staff, and companions may have different policies as outlined in the Voyager’s Handbook.)

Voyager’s Handbook

The Voyager’s Handbook outlines important program policies, expectations, and processes. All Semester at Sea participants are required to read the handbook and will be held accountable to the content herein.

3. Have a plan for communication.

All voyagers should have access to a reliable form of communication with the ability to contact on-call staff at all times in the event of an emergency or concern. (Before embarkation, SAS provides instructions on downloading “SAFEY,” an emergency communication smartphone app.)

4. Plan to accommodate potential schedule changes.

Plan overnight travel to depart the second day in port. Plan to arrive back to the port city well before the scheduled on-ship time.

5. Take ownership and responsibility over your own experience. 

Each voyager should do their own research on locations, providers, activities, etc. in advance and make sure they feel comfortable with the safety of every experience. Only organize travel for others with care and due diligence.

Planning the Experiences That Are Right for You

With limited resources available on the ship and many competing priorities, we advise voyagers to arrive at embarkation with a rough idea of plans for every country.

Sample an in-country travel planning guide.


Take Caution

Do not purchase or agree to participate in experiences (especially those promising free alcohol) where you are being aggressively recruited (usually via social media). Regardless of whether it is an organized company, a fellow voyager, an SAS alumnus, or other party, these types of experiences are not safe and have harmed previous voyagers. Remember, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

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Take the first step on the journey of a lifetime.