Institute for Shipboard Education

25-Day, 10-Country Latin America Enrichment Cruise Departing December 8 from Institute for Shipboard Education

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25-Day, 10-Country Educational Voyage

The Institute for Shipboard Education was born from an idea to create a floating campus that reflected the ideals of the United Nations and the realities of globalization. Over the years, college students have enrolled in the Institute's Semester at Sea academic program, an intercontinental voyage that has attracted Mikhail Gorbachev, Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela, and other world-famous guest lecturers to speak along the way. Today, the university tours the world aboard the MV Explorer, with each educational voyage featuring informative lectures, courses, and optional field excursions that delve into the culture and history of each port of call along the way.

With this Groupon, you'll set out on a 25-day voyage starting on December 8 with stops at 10 countries, including Jamaica, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, and Guatemala. Aboard the ship, scholars and field specialists lead a string of seminars. Subjects vary from history to the Spanish language to biodiversity, often relating to the ship's next port of call. On land, you can explore each port of call independently or participate in the Institute's hands-on field studies, which in the past have ranged from scuba diving in Mexico's underwater national park to visiting a coffee plantation in Antigua (additional costs for official field excursions).

Click here to view the full trip itinerary.

December 8–10: After departing from Nassau, the ship cruises to Montego Bay, Jamaica, known for its duty-free shopping and picturesque scenery along the Caribbean.

December 11–14: You'll sail to Cartagena, Colombia, a historical South American city fortified by 400-year-old stone walls. Cobblestone paths here lead to Old World–style plazas. Next, the city of Colón, Panama, stands over the Caribbean side of the Panama Canal—still a marvel of engineering. The nearby overflow reservoir, Gatún Lake, is home to crocodiles, iguanas, and sloths.

December 15–21: Dipping toward South America, the cruise makes its way to Guayaquil, Ecuador’s biggest city and the site of a massive urban-renewal project. Explore Malecón 2000, a waterfront walkway lined with urban gardens and a contemporary-art museum, or stroll through the Las Penas district and marvel at the colonial architecture. The journey continues to the trip’s most southern port, Callao, Peru. Callao dates back to 1537, when it was founded by conquistador Francisco Pizarro.

December 22–25: Next, the ship heads to Manta, Ecuador, a trade city dating to pre-Columbian times. Pounding waves on the city’s Playa Murciélago create attractive surfing conditions. On Christmas Day, you’ll arrive at Puntarenas, Costa Rica, to hike through its inland rainforests.

December 26–28: Nicaragua’s largest Pacific port, Corinto, borders León, an Old World town dotted with 17th-century Spanish colonial churches such as the Cathedral of the Assumption. The next day, you’ll arrive at Puerto Quetzal in Guatemala, which is surrounded by mountains; it lies within easy range of the town of Antigua, named a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its well-preserved baroque architecture.

December 29–31: Then it's off to Cabo San Lucas, where the iconic El Arco seaside arch forms a scenic backdrop for a day of kayaking and snorkeling. You'll ring in the New Year in Cabo, known for its festive nightlife scene.

January 1–January 2: The journey concludes in San Diego

What You Get

25-day, 10-country enrichment voyage, departing 12/8/12, valid for a Travel with a Friend package (two Groupons required), or pay a single supplement fee to travel solo. Read about package structures here.

  • $2,199 for a shared inside cabin (a $3,849 value)
  • $2,998 for a shared outside ocean-view cabin (a $4,949 value)

Single Supplement Fee

  • $1,100 for inside cabin
  • $1,499 for outside cabin

In lieu of the single supplement fee, The Institute for Shipboard Education can partner solo travelers willing to share a room with a roommate of the same gender.

Book by: 10/31/12

Included in all options:

  • All onboard meals
  • All onboard lectures and most workshops

Read the Fine Print for important info on travel dates and other restrictions.


  • 9,000-volume library
  • 24-hour computer lab
  • Onboard dining
  • Swimming pool

The Fine Print

  • Book by 10/31/12 or promo value expires
  • 1/person, + multiple as gifts
  • 1/visit
  • Reservation req'd
  • 91-day cancel req'd in writing or fee of 25% Groupon price applies; 61-day notice or 1/2 Groupon price applies; 31-day notice or Groupon price applies
  • Must be 18+ to check in and 2+ to stay
  • CC req'd at check-in
  • Passport req'd
  • Not valid w/ reward points
  • $280 port fee & possible fuel fee up to $9/day not included & due at booking
  • Fee of 1/2 Groupon price for traveling alone; may opt for room matching.

Other Details

Room Details

Outside Ocean-View or Inside Cabin

  • Two twin beds
  • Standard occupancy: 2
  • Maximum occupancy: 2–4 on a case-by-case basis during reservations, based on availability
  • Adding occupants above standard: in a limited number of cabins, each additional occupant 17 or older may be added for $795 per trip plus $280 in port fees; each additional occupant 16 or younger may be added for $395 per trip plus $280 in port fees

Hotel Policies

  • Rollaways: not available
  • Smoking policy: no smoking allowed inside the cabins; smoking restricted to designated areas
  • Pet policy: pets are not allowed onboard.
  • Accessibility: handicap-accessible cabins are available upon request during booking.
  • Room upgrades: guests can pay a single supplement fee to stay in a single-occupancy cabin.

Traveler's Tips

  • Before international travel, always check the State Department's website for important info on the destination and its entry/exit requirements.

Customer Reviews

(40 ratings)

100% Verified Reviews
All reviews are from people who have redeemed deals with this merchant.


Patricia M. ·
November 9, 2013
Didn't know it was availablebefore finding the groupon. Handled very wellby the ship. Great experience!


10 ratings   25 reviews  
July 27, 2013
I did hear that the trip was wonderful. I was not able to go on this tour for personal reasons. I have tried to get my money back, or at least half of it because I was within the time-frame for getting half the money back. Seven-Country European Cruise has not responded to my email on this matter. Anything you can do? Thank you, Donice Bakken, 5056 Woodgate Ct, Minnetonka, MN 55345


Sherry G. ·
July 10, 2013
the trip of a lifetime
By purchasing this deal you'll unlock points which can be spent on discounts and rewards. Every 5,000 points can be redeemed for $5 Off your next purchase.

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