Our crew will meet each other in Amsterdam, Netherlands and move into their new home, the Gulden Leeuw. Parents are invited to meet with our faculty, mariner crew and school leadership team, while students will attend orientation, sail training and safety preparation sessions. Students will assist our mariner crew and faculty with final ship preparations before our grand departure. Everyone will have time to explore this beautiful canal city. Students and families will have the opportunity to independently explore this beautiful and historic canal city.
The 2016-2017 itinerary is an exciting one that offers our crew the opportunity to visit 17 ports on 4 continents. We will explore some of the world’s most interesting cultures and natural settings in Europe, the Mediterranean, Africa, the Caribbean and South America.
The year will begin on September 6, 2016 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands and finish with our grand arrival in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada on May 21, 2017 and graduation on May 22, 2017.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands |
September 6th, 2016 – September 9th, 2016
Lisbon, Portugal |
September 22nd, 2016 – September 26th, 2016
Lisbon is the first stop after our inaugural sail: one of the oldest cities in the world, and the oldest in Western Europe. Our students will explore this rich history, architecture and culture first hand. Past activities in Lisbon have included bicycle tours of the city, and student cultural exchanges with local high schools.
Barcelona, Spain |
October 5th, 2016 – October 9th, 2016
Barcelona, situated between the sea and the mountains, has medieval roots but a modernist personality. Students will soak up the city’s quirky art and architecture, imaginative food and vibrant street life during their visit.
Agadir, Morocco |
October 25th, 2016 - October 31st, 2016
Agadir is rich with the vibrant colour and energy of Moroccan street life, Souks and mosques. Our crew will leave their ship behind for a 4-day trek into the Sahara Desert, crossing the Atlas Mountains, and stopping in ancient villages along the way. In the desert, we will form a Class Afloat camel train for a safari into the Sahara. Upon arrival at a Bedouin desert camp, students will be treated to dinner and an evening of dancing around the bonfire before settling into a night under the desert stars. Long before dawn, we will climb the tallest sand dune to watch the sunrise over the Sahara – an incredible lifelong memory.
Tenerife, Canary Islands -
November 3rd, 2016 – November 7th, 2016
The largest (and most populous) island in the seven Canary Islands archipelago, Tenerife is home to the third highest volcano in the world (Mount Teide, also the highest peak in Spain), as well as lush forests, deserts, and beautiful coastlines. Families will have a chance to catch up with their Floaties in our first Parent Port of the year!
Dakar, Senegal |
November 15th, 2016 – November 19th, 2016
In Dakar, our students will participate in Class Afloat’s West Africa Initiative. For many years, Class Afloat has partnered with SYTO (Senegal Youth Travel Organization), SOS Children’s Villages, and the American Peace Corps and undertaken various service learning projects alongside local Senegalese youth. This port visit, and the meaningful experiences our students have, is always a highlight for Class Afloat students.
Fernando de Noronha, Brazil |
December 2nd, 2016 – December 4th, 2016
Fernando de Noronha is an archipelago of 21 islands, designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The largest island is only 18 square kilometres in size. The ship will anchor off the coast and each morning will begin with a swim call, when we usually see large pods of dolphins swimming by and leaping through the water. Students will explore this island oasis, learning from the local residents, hiking the island’s cliffs, snorkelling and scuba diving among the sea life and visiting the spectacular beaches.
Natal, Brazil |
December 6th, 2016 – December 10th, 2016
Natal, in northeastern Brazil, is known as “the city of sun” and “the city of dunes” and our students make the most of both while we are here. In addition to exploring the city’s beaches and coastline, we will hop on dune buggies to explore the dunes of Genipabu that surround the city – always a highlight when we visit this port!
Montevideo, Uruguay |
January 1st, 2017 –January 2nd, 2017
Our arrival in Montevideo marks the end of semester one, and the start of our semester break. Students and faculty will fly home from this port for some well-deserved time off, before reuniting in Montevideo 8 days later to begin semester two.
Montevideo, Uruguay |
January 10th, 2017 - January 13th, 2017
Our crew will reunite in the spectacular city of Montevideo after their semester break. They will spend a few days exploring the city, getting to know our new semester two students and reorienting themselves with safety and sail training sessions before departing for the second half of our year at sea.
Tristan da Cunha, UK |
February 1st, 2017 – February 2nd, 2017
Tristan da Cunha is an archipelago of volcanic islands and the most remote inhabited archipelago in the world, with only about 300 residents. Without an airport, the islands can be reached only by sea, with fishing boats from South Africa servicing the islands less than 10 times a year. There are not very many people who can say they have visited Tristan da Cunha, but our crew will be among them, making this one of the most anticipated port visits of the year.
Cape Town, South Africa -
February 16th, 2017 - February 20th, 2017
Students and their families will have another opportunity to meet up in Cape Town during our second parent port of the year. Students will learn about the significance of Robben Island, the prison where Nelson Mandela spent 18 years of his life, now a World Heritage Site. Visiting parents and friends will be encouraged to join us in a sunrise hike up Table Mountain, now a longstanding Class Afloat tradition!
St. Helena, UK |
March 7th, 2017 – March 10th, 2017
St. Helena is part of the same archipelago as Tristan da Cunha, and is the island to which Napoleon was exiled following the Battle of Waterloo. Past highlights of this port have included hiking the island's highest point - Diana's Peak - while learning about the flora and fauna from local guides, and exchanges with the local Youth Centre to learn about growing up in such an exotic, isolated place. We also have a long-standing Class Afloat challenge to see who can run up all 6901 steps of Jacob's ladder the fastest!
Ascension, UK |
March 17th, 2017 – March 20th, 2017
Ascension is a volcanic island where, in the mid-1800s, Charles Darwin, botanist Joseph Hooker and the Royal Navy imported plants from Europe, South America, and South Africa, transforming the highest peak of the island, Green Mountain, into a tropical cloud forest. The landscape is crimson in colour, punctuated by black rocks - the first moon buggy was tested here because scientists compared the volcanic rubble to the surface of the moon. While in Ascension, our students will tour the island, visit the white sand beaches and have a guided hike up Green Mountain.
Bridgetown, Barbados |
April 16th, 2017 – April 20th, 2017
Class Afloat will visit Bridgetown, Barbados, the island's largest and most vibrant city. This historic city is now recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with plenty for our adventurous crew to explore.
Samana, Dominican Republic |
April 26th, 2017 – May 1st, 2017
Samana is located in the Northeastern part of the Caribbean tropical island of the Dominican Republic. While in the Dominican Republic each year, Class Afloat partners with Fundacion Mahatma Ghandi, and carries out valuable service projects in the small town of Las Terrenas. Past projects have included building school playgrounds, developing community gardens, and painting schools and houses. After these projects are completed, the crew will hike into the Limon Waterfall and swim in the large pool at the base of the falls.
Hamilton, Bermuda |
May 9th, 2017 – May 12th, 2017
Hamilton is one of the smallest capital cities in the world, with a colourful and vibrant character to match the surrounding landscape. A kite-building (and flying!) workshop will be one of the highlights of our port visit.
Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada |
May 21st, 2017 – May 23rd, 2017
The programme will come to an end in the beautiful town of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to the Class Afloat office. The proud crew will make a grand arrival into the harbour – an event not to be missed – followed by crew and family celebrations. The following day we will host the 2016-2017 graduation ceremonies to mark the conclusion of an amazing journey.