Class Afloat


  • Location: Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • Description:

    Founded in 1984, Class Afloat – West Island College International is a worldwide leader in experiential education, offering internationally acclaimed academic programs for 60 high school, gap year and university students while sailing the tall ship Alexander von Humboldt II on a nine-month school-year voyage. Class Afloat inspires young people to excel academically and become true global citizens as they discover new cultures and make friends from around the world.

    Class Afloat is a fully accredited high school under the Nova Scotia Ministry of Education and partners with Acadia University located in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, to offer a wide range of academic courses. Faculty members deliver a rigorous academic program of classes every day the ship is at sea. Students earn grade 11, 12, high school or 1st year university credits that can be transferred back to their home school or can allow them to earn a high school diploma from Class Afloat. Class Afloat alumni have gained admission to some of the world’s leading postsecondary institutions and are now engaged citizens whose sense of the possible has been enhanced and redefined by their Class Afloat experience.

    Whether at sea or exploring a port of call, learning with Class Afloat is always hands-on. From studying Art History in Europe to Marine Biology while sailing the Mediterranean, students make constant connections between the academic work being done in class and their experience on land. Class Afloat port programs highlight cultural and historical points of interest, outdoor adventure and international volunteer opportunities in port. Class Afloat has a long legacy of commitment to academic excellence, community service, leadership and personal development since first setting sail more than 30 years ago.

    A school year with Class Afloat provides students with the opportunity to undergo an open water journey of 18,000nm to 20+ ports on four continents — an opportunity few sailors have the chance to experience. Students are an active part of the crew, sailing under the direction of 12 professional mariner crew, and standing watch for two hours each day and night, taking the helm, setting sails and feeling the thrill of sailing a 500-ton vessel. In addition to learning how to sail a tall ship, students leave having mastered the skills of leadership, teamwork and accountability, preparing them well for whatever the future has in store.

  • Phone: 902-634-1895
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