The development of our itinerary is defined by a number of criteria that include but are not limited to: safety, climate, favourable sailing conditions and politically stable environments. We are also cognizant of the academic suitability which is offered by each port of call. It is important for us to effectively combine the lessons taught in our shipboard classroom with hands-on field studies. As a consequence, we can tie marine biology to specific research stations and specific classes given by lecturers from oceanographic centres; we can discuss politics with constitutional monarchs and elected leaders; we can explore the flora, fauna, history and geography of a nation to better understand its people and their role in our global village.
Class Afloat has developed two service-learning projects: the West Africa Initiative which takes place in Dakar, Senegal and Community Service which is delivered in Bahia de Samana, Dominican Republic. At Class Afloat, we want to teach a commitment to change through hands-on service to local families and family service agencies who will define our role for us. Initiatives in health care, micro-finance, sustainable practices and infrastructure upgrades characterize our work in both countries. We work closely to support community ownership and community driven goals. Class Afloat makes both calls extended visits and our focus, throughout our stays, is our work there. Students emerge from these experiences with living examples of how, with very limited resources and very limited time, they can make changes that improve the lives of others and enrich their own.