Ship as a Mobile Floating University

by OldSailor on October 20, 2007


Many of us know that ships are generally utilised for cargo movement,fishing and for military applications. There are ships being deployed as Mobile Floating University also. This post is to highlight about Mobile Floating University.


1.The Institute for Shipboard Education:

Established in 1976 has in fact commenced mobile floating university operations from the year 1920s. Since then different ships S.S. Ryndam, M.S. Seven Seas, S.S.University Campus, S.S.Universe, S.S.Universe Explorer, M.T.S. World Renaissance have contributed to this program.

2.Institutions represented on Semester at Sea:

More than 100 colleges and universities from which students and faculty have come over the years. The program began in 1963 as the University of the Seven Seas. It was renamed World Campus Afloat in 1965 and Semester at Sea in 1976. Over 45,000 students have so far enrolled in this programs.

3.Strategic Alliances:

The Institute for Shipboard Education has formed a strategic alliance with Global Nomads Group (GNG), a non-profit organization dedicated to heightening children’s understanding and appreciation for the world and its people. The Institute for Shipboard Education is also having a strategic alliance with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and its Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML). NOAA/AOML is a part of the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) and is located in Miami, Florida

4.Semester at Sea:

The courses are conducted currently on board M.V.Explorer. Semester at Sea is far more than a travel adventure and much more than another semester at school. It is a quest for knowledge about our world; it is a meaningful preparation for life; it is an eager investigation of universal ideas; and it is a close personal relationship built on international interests, between students and faculty. The program is based on the simple belief that the most effective way for students to develop into well-rounded individuals is through an organized educational experience that exposes them to the realities of our vast and varied world.


Built in 2000, the MV Explorer is a modern oceangoing vessel with the latest technology and amenities to serve today’s university students.The following facilities are available 24/7 during the trip.

  • Classrooms


  • Study area

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  • 8,000-volume core library
  • Two dining rooms

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  • Student union
  • Campus store
  • Swimming pool

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  • Fitness facilities

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  • Wellness center
  • Health clinic

Oldsailor suggests a virtual tour of the ship may be taken by clicking here.

6.M.V.Explorer facts:

  • Length: 590 ft.
  • Width: 84 ft.
  • Tonnage: 24,300
  • Speed: 28 knots
  • Crew: 125
  • Constructed By: Blohm & Voss Shipbuilders, Germany
  • Guest Capacity: 600+

7.Semester at Sea Programs

Three study abroad voyages are conducted in a year. Currently the following voyages are scheduled for the Year 2008:

  • Spring 2008 – January 2008 to May 2008
  • Summer 2008 – June 2008 to August 2008
  • Fall 2008 – to be announced

8.Programs conducted:

  • Undergraduate study abroad program
  • Engineering cohort
  • Lifelong learning program
  • Teachers at sea program

9.ePulse at Sea:


The Eugene M. and Christine E. Lynn College of International Communication publishes a daily online newsletter, The ePulse at Sea, which provides updates of the journey.

10.Contact details:

Institute for Shipboard Education
Semester at Sea
2410 Old Ivy Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903. Phone: (800)-854-0195. Fax: (434)-243-4076.

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