Explore. Dream. Discover.

Welcome to your school year with Class Afloat.

Each year, Class Afloat students visit up to 20 locations on land and at ports of call on 4 continents. Whether exploring on a land program in Europe, or sailing into ports, students participate in experiential programs, designed to showcase the country’s culture and history, while providing students with opportunities to explore the natural landscape.

From spending a night in the desert to exploring the colourful streets of Havana, students are given countless opportunities to further their learning, push personal boundaries and immerse themselves at each new port of call.

 

In addition to classes and organized port programs, students also have time reserved for independent travel and exploration. During shore leave, students are able to leave the ship in groups of 4, with the expectation of returning by curfew. Curfew will be different depending on the port.

Having ventured as far south as Cape Town, South Africa and as far east as St. Petersburg, Russia, each school year is different on board Class Afloat. While no two years are ever the same, our signature ports tend to appear year after year. These include Morocco, Fernando de Noronha (Brazil), Dominican Republic and Senegal.

Scroll down to explore our past and present itineraries.

Grimnitszee, Berlin Area, Germany" data-html="true" data-custom-class="tooltip-f1 tooltip-primary "/> Heino, Amsterdam Area, Netherlands" data-html="true" data-custom-class="tooltip-f1 tooltip-primary "/> Bremerhaven, Germany" data-html="true" data-custom-class="tooltip-f1 tooltip-primary "/> Porto, Portugal" data-html="true" data-custom-class="tooltip-f1 tooltip-primary "/> Casablanca, Morocco" data-html="true" data-custom-class="tooltip-f1 tooltip-primary "/> Funchal, Madeira (Parent Port)" data-html="true" data-custom-class="tooltip-f1 tooltip-primary "/> Mindelo, Cabo Verde" data-html="true" data-custom-class="tooltip-f1 tooltip-primary "/> Fernando De Noronha, Brazil" data-html="true" data-custom-class="tooltip-f1 tooltip-primary "/> Paramaribo, Suriname" data-html="true" data-custom-class="tooltip-f1 tooltip-primary "/> Bridgetown, Barbados" data-html="true" data-custom-class="tooltip-f1 tooltip-primary "/> Bridgetown, Barbados" data-html="true" data-custom-class="tooltip-f1 tooltip-warning "/> Portsmouth, Dominica" data-html="true" data-custom-class="tooltip-f1 tooltip-warning "/> Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic" data-html="true" data-custom-class="tooltip-f1 tooltip-warning "/> Samana, Dominican Republic" data-html="true" data-custom-class="tooltip-f1 tooltip-warning "/> Santiago de Cuba, Cuba" data-html="true" data-custom-class="tooltip-f1 tooltip-warning "/> Hamilton, Bermuda" data-html="true" data-custom-class="tooltip-f1 tooltip-warning "/> Ponta Delgada, Azores (Parent Port)" data-html="true" data-custom-class="tooltip-f1 tooltip-warning "/> Saint Malo/Paris, France" data-html="true" data-custom-class="tooltip-f1 tooltip-warning "/> Bremerhaven, Germany" data-html="true" data-custom-class="tooltip-f1 tooltip-warning "/> Switzerland/Austria" data-html="true" data-custom-class="tooltip-f1 tooltip-warning "/> Spain" data-html="true" data-custom-class="tooltip-f1 tooltip-warning "/> La Muela De Algodonales, Seville Area, Spain" data-html="true" data-custom-class="tooltip-f1 tooltip-warning "/>

Your 2023-2024 School Year Semester 1

Muggelsee, Germany-a port visited by Class Afloat students during their semester at sea, or full year at sea, travelling and studying abroad.
Grimnitszee is located in the eastern suburbs of the capital, and most populous, city in Germany. Berlin is a city that has seen some of the lowest lows in history, namely the Holocaust, but it is also a city that reinvented itself with the German Expressionist movement in the 20th century. Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, home to the Class Afloat office, has a piece of the Berlin Wall, standing in front of the Royal Canadian Legion. Lunenburg itself was named after a German Duke- The Duke of Braunschweig-Luneburg. While in Berlin, students will have the opportunity to see remnants of the Berlin Wall, The Brandenburg Gate, Museum Island and be surrounded by incredible architecture and history on every street.

Heino, The Netherlands-a port visited by Class Afloat students during their semester at sea, or full year at sea, while they travel and study abroad.
Less than 90 minutes from Amsterdam, Heino is a village in the Netherlands with over 7,000 inhabitants, beautiful estates, a castle with impressive gardens and unique sculptures, museums and more. While in Heino, students will call Forest Lodge their home and have many opportunities to build their strong community bond before travelling to Bremerhaven to board the Alex II.

Side view of the Alex II tall ship
Home to the Alexander Von Humboldt II, Bremerhaven, Germany is where students will board the ship for their adventure at sea.

Person standing near traffic lights
Porto is the second largest city in Portugal and is best known for its cobbled streets, stunning bridges and production of delicious port wine. As part of our port program, students will tour a Port Cellar and while they won’t be drinking any Port (rules are rules) students will sample a taste of Fado, a musical genre that originates from Lisbon and can be traced back to the 1820s. Students will also enjoy a walking tour of the old city and time to explore the famous Ribeira district, filled with buzzing restaurants, shops and cafes.

Morocco
Morocco is a Class Afloat signature port filled with sandy dunes, friendly tour guides and our favourite four legged friends. In Morocco, students will enjoy a camel safari and a night under the stars in the Saharan desert where they will grow closer as a community while experiencing a rich culture and stunning natural environment.

Person surfing in the ocean
Home to more than just famous footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, Madeira is an archipelago of islands and one of two autonomous regions belonging to Portugal. Students will have an opportunity to explore the island's lengthy network of "levadas", irrigation systems that were started in the 16th century as well as the Madeiran Whaling Museum, Monte's Church, the Botanical Gardens and Funchal's oldest forms of transportation - the Monte sled! The traditional sleds are actually wicker toboggans that have been used in the city since 1850. Race you to the bottom!

Mindelo, Cabo Verde-a port visited by Class Afloat students during their semester at sea, or full year at sea, while they travel and study abroad.
Mindelo is considered to be the cultural hub of the country. It is a vibrant musical town where students can soak up the very best of Cape Verdean culture which is predominated by a rich tradition of music and art. There is a lively buzz of music throughout the pubs, restaurants and streets. The city is the largest port in Cabo Verde, and a frequent stop for sailing yachts making the Atlantic crossing.

Fernando de Noronha-a port in Brazil, visited by Class Afloat students during their semester at sea, or full year at sea.
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 hope to begin each morning 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, snorkeling and scuba diving among the sea life and visiting the spectacular beaches.

Paramaribo, Suriname-a port visited by Class Afloat students during their semester at sea, or full year at sea, while they travel and study abroad.
Located on the banks of the Suriname River, students will have the chance to explore the ornate wooden Dutch colonial buildings of Paramaribo and tour the Amazon, learning from local guides about the medicinal properties of jungle plants. Crew members will also have the chance to ride on long, motorized canoes on the Upper Suriname River in the hopes of spotting caimans. Keep your eyes peeled!

Bridgetown, Barbados-a port visited by Class Afloat students during their semester at sea, or full year at sea, while they travel and study abroad.
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 students to explore. Our crew will reunite in the spectacular city of Bridgetown after their semester break. They will spend a couple of 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.

Penelope Sailing Blog 1
And BREAK! During the break between semesters, students do not stay on board the ship. Some students will return home to visit with friends and family, others will continue their travels until the start of Semester Two at sea!

Your 2023-2024 School Year Semester 2

Bridgetown, Barbados-a port visited by Class Afloat students during their semester at sea, or full year at sea, while they travel and study abroad.
After the break, full-year students will return to their ship while second semester students will be welcomed on board their new home. Following introductions and orientation for our students, we'll make swift departure to our first port of call.

Portsmouth, Dominica-a port visited by Class Afloat students, during their semester at sea, or full year at sea, of travel and studying abroad.
The island of Dominica is host to sperm whales, a variety of flora and fauna and the world’s largest hot spring (Boiling Lake). The youngest island in the Lesser Antilles, it is still being formed by geothermal-volcanic activity. The island is surrounded by lush mountainous rainforests and is often referred to as the “Nature Island of the Caribbean". During our port stay in Dominica, students will get to experience nature at its best and most pristine. With a bit of luck, they may even catch a glimpse of the elusive Sisserou Parrot, Dominica’s national bird that can only be found on the island.

Dominican Republic
During their time in the DR, students will work closely alongside the Fundacion Mahatma Gandhi-Las Terrenas, a community volunteer service organization that works in educational and community development. Students will have a chance to hike to (and swim in) the gorgeous El Limon waterfall before heading to Las Terranes where they will meet their host family.

Samana
Description coming soon.

Santiago de Cuba-a port visited by Class Afloat students during their semester at sea, or their full year at sea.
Santiago de Cuba, located in the southeastern part of the island, is the second-largest city in Cuba. Rich in history and culture, there are many opportunities to learn about the revolution, discover incredible architecture, explore the beautiful landscapes and learn about Carnival. While there students may also visit the UNESCO site of the local citadel of San Pedro, listed as "the most complete, best-preserved example of Spanish-American military architecture, based on Italian and Renaissance design principles".

The Tops Of Beige Condominiums In Bermuda
From wandering the streets of Hamilton or St. George's to visiting the Royal Navy Dockyards or walking the Railway Trail, there's no shortage of things to see and do in beautiful Bermuda.

Ponta Delgada, Azores-a port visited by Class Afloat students, during their time traveling and studying abroad.
Ponta Delgada-the capital of the Azores archipelago of Portugal.

St. Malo, France-a port visited by the Class Afloat students, during their semester at sea, or full year at sea.
St. Malo is a historic, walled port city in the Brittany region of France. The shops, cafes and cobblestone streets within the walls of the old city are rich in history, and beaches lining the outer walls are a great place to spend time. St. Malo is also very close to the beaches of Normandy and Mont Saint Michel, an island commune.

Alex II
Home to the Alexander Von Humboldt II, Bremerhaven, Germany-students will disembark the ship and begin their land-based travels of semester 2.

Melchtal, Switzerland-a stop visited by Class Afloat students, while they travel and study abroad.
Description coming soon.

Barcelona, Spain- visited by Class Afloat students, while they travel and study abroad.
Description coming soon.

La Muela De Algondonales, Seville Area, Spain-a port visited by Class Afloat students, while they travel and study abroad.
Description coming soon.

Graduation 2022 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Description coming soon.
The Class Afloat voyage map for the 2022-2023, study abroad, adventure!
Class Afloat Map for the 2021-2022 voyage
Class Afloat 2019-2020 Map
Itinerary 2018 2019
Itinerary 2017 2018
Itinerary 2016 2017
Itinerary 2015 2016

What to Expect

Port program
The biggest take away from Class Afloat was learning how to work with and lead people in almost any situation. Furling sails in a storm, 2-4am watches and full days in the galley, working with the same people day in and day out you learn a lot about those people - and yourself.
Student Survey, 2017-2018(1/3)
Renee Martyna
Maybe the most seminal experience of my life.... Class Afloat was the point at which there is now a ‘before’ and ‘after’. Inspired me toward a career with the UN and now, a passion project working with global knowmads. Grateful to my fellow floaties!
Renee Martyna, Class Afloat Alumni(2/3)
Renee Martyna
Maybe the most seminal experience of my life.... Class Afloat was the point at which there is now a ‘before’ and ‘after’. Inspired me toward a career with the UN and now, a passion project working with global knowmads. Grateful to my fellow floaties!
Renee Martyna, Class Afloat Alumni(3/3)