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  • Caribbean Voyages & Marine Biology
  • Caribbean
  • HS

Caribbean Marine Biology Voyage

Discovery

21 Reviews
Overview

Learn to identify fish, analyze marine habitats and learn the research techniques of professional marine biologists, on this one-of-a-kind, expert-led ocean voyage.

St. Barts, St. Kitts, Statia and Saba. To some, these may sound like exciting ports-of-call on a Caribbean cruise. To the budding marine scientist in you, they are places to discover thriving reefs and diverse ecosystems while coming face to face with an abundance of marine life. On this voyage you'll study marine ecology, oceanography, coral reef biology and marine conservation theory. Plus, there's even time for a hike into the crater of a dormant volcano - as if you lacked excitement. Prepare for a hands-on, untethered marine biology voyage in a classroom like no other.

DatesGradesLengthTuitionAvailability
June 15 - July 5 HS21 days$6,180Open
June 15 - July 5 HS21 days$6,180Open
July 9 - July 29 HS21 days$6,180Limited
July 9 - July 29 HS21 days$6,180Open
Earn & Learn
Caribbean Marine Biology Voyage Earn & Learn

Earn & Learn

Broadreach combines your thirst for fun and adventure with tangible skill development, real-world educational opportunities and a genuine commitment to service. While on program, you’ll earn internationally recognized certifications, documented community service hours and even college credits. It’s what we call “Earn & Learn,” and it’s what you’ll take home as evidence of your many accomplishments.

The Caribbean Marine Biology Voyage offers 2 college credits through Lesley University. Additionally, students earn 5 hours of documented community service and may pursue 6 PADI and Introduction to Yachting (IYT) certifications.

ACADEMICS & COLLEGE CREDIT
Course Description

This course will introduce students to the vast field of marine science through an examination of the biological, physical and chemical composition of tropical marine communities. Students will spend the duration of this course living aboard a catamaran while traversing the Leeward Caribbean Islands and earning multiple scuba certifications. A mixture of traditional lectures and applied field exercises are designed to provide an immersive learning experience. In addition, students will explore common research techniques and equipment used in marine biology field research.

Course Objectives
  • Gain a greater understanding of the oceans and marine life.
  • Describe how individuals, populations and communities interact with each other and their physical environment.
  • Understand how the Caribbean Sea functions as a single ecosystem.
  • Perform and understand standard monitoring methods through diving under marine park supervision.
  • Gain an appreciation for the fragility of marine communities and an understanding of the major threats to the health of these communities.
  • Study the potential benefits provided by the coastal and marine environment, as well as the threats to those environments.
  • Convey the message that research and monitoring is essential for good management and stewardship.
  • Gain experience collecting, analyzing and interpreting data so that it may be presented in a scientifically acceptable format.
CERTIFICATIONS

During this 21-day live aboard voyage, students will learn fundamental sailing skills and complete 15+ scuba dives, for which they may earn multiple certifications including:

  • PADI Open Water Diver
  • PADI Advanced Open Water Diver
  • PADI Specialties: Underwater Naturalist, Fish Identification and Coral Reef Conservation
  • Introduction to Yachting
COMMUNITY SERVICE

Through service, gain a more meaningful connection to the cultures and communities you explore while taking an active role to address important global issues at the local level. In the Caribbean, work directly with local marine parks in Saba and Statia to help protect and conserve the local reefs, beaches and marine life you have grown to love. The projects give you an opportunity to reflect on your adventures through the Caribbean and your responsibility to protect it as a global citizen. Past service opportunities include:

  • Participate in a harbor clean up in Saba
  • Maintain trails and moorings at the Saba Marine Park

6 Certifications

5 Service Hours

2 College Credits

Caribbean Marine Biology Voyage Itinerary

Itinerary

1

Step aboard and prepare for the journey of a lifetime! Rise with the sun and share in the responsibility of maintaining your floating classroom. Over the next three weeks you will serve as the skipper, first mate, navigator, dive safety officer and chef for this journey. Waste no time jumping into the turquoise water to learn how to scuba dive, or have a quick refresher if you’re already certified. Learn fundamental sailing skills while discussing the geology and natural history of the Leeward Islands on your sail to Ile Fourche. Initial lectures focus on fish ID, coral reef ecology and the interactions between different marine ecosystems. A sunset hike to the top of Ile Fourche’s rocky peaks gives you a view of mountainous islands in the distance – Saba, Statia, St. Barts and St. Kitts – all waiting to be discovered.

2

After an early morning wakeboard session, make the short hop over to the St. Barts Marine Reserve. Find an abundance of marine life and the ideal environment to begin studying marine animal behavior and interaction, such as schooling and pairing, predation and predatory avoidance, nesting verses territorial behaviors and more. Take a break to explore the capital of Gustavia and sample its delicious homemade ice cream and crepe desserts. After a little bodysurfing, investigate the water beneath the breaking waves and how the ocean’s movement affects nearby reef systems. Learn about the delicate balance required to sustain healthy coral reefs, then dive below to map the diversity and abundance of fish and coral species on Pain-du-Sucre, Castlemount and Rockefeller Point.

3

Next stop, St. Kitts! Set sail with the rising sun and take a turn at the helm. Search for vertebrates and invertebrates, and collect data for our habitat analysis lab. Dry off to study nocturnal and diurnal species behavior, then return to the water after sunset to witness a new nocturnal world and observe fascinating behavioral changes of marine life at night. Bargain with local fisherman for their catch – not for dinner, but for dissection labs – before heading shore for some local history and culture on a hike up to Brimstone Hill Fort.

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4

Sail to Statia to find a thriving marine park, healthy reefs and a growing artificial reef system. Slip below the surface to explore the Charlie Brown, an impressive 327-foot cable laying ship that is the newest addition to Statia’s artificial reef program. After a discussion with local stakeholders about marine resource management and the success of the Statia Marine Park, spend an afternoon doing marine service projects to help the reserve’s efforts. Wrap up with a hike to the top of the Quill and into the crater of this dormant volcano now blanketed in lush rainforest.

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5

Spend your final days on the magical island of Saba. The waters surrounding the island are protected by the Saba Marine Park, providing you with an extraordinary underwater classroom of reef formations and the greatest bio-diversity in the Caribbean. Round out your studies with discussions on life cycles, symbiotic relationships, morphology and counter current exchange. In the water, lay down quadrants and run transects to collect data on different types of habitats surrounding the pinnacles, walls and patch reefs of Man-O-War Shoals, Tent Reef Deep and Hot Springs. Before returning home, hike through rainforest and into the clouds to the top of Mt. Scenery. Your journey ends on the deserted island of Tintamare, celebrating your achievements and adventures together.

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  • Trip Highlights

  • Sail around the Caribbean’s Leeward Islands on a live-aboard yacht
  • Earn multiple scuba certifications and an IYT Sailing Certification
  • Hands-on marine biology study led by expert marine scientists
  • Explore lush islands, learn to wakeboard and discover the Caribbean’s best diving
  • Participate in a night dive to study nocturnal marine life
  • Discover the underwater pinnacles and diverse ecosystem of Saba’s world renowned marine park
Caribbean Marine Biology Voyage Reviews & Testimonials

Reviews & Testimonials

Dede Stefan from Charlotte, NC

Broadreach takes care of the parents and the teen. From the moment you sign up until your teen returns, your questions are answered, detailed information is given and you know that you are sending your teen off to a caring and responsible group. They “cut the cord” by limiting access to talk to your teen, but you still feel connected by reading about their adventures in the trip updates. I would highly recommend a Broadreach program.

Alexandra O. from Arnaudville, LA

I absolutely loved every moment! I learned so much and everything comes together in the end. I loved how we got to go on land and explore on free days. Saba was awesome and had sharks that we saw while diving. St. Barts was beautiful along with every Island. Night diving was an amazing experience as well. Just seeing the marine life that you just learned about knowing what they do or something about them is a great feeling. This experience was very memorable and I would do it all over again tomorrow. I came knowing no one but we became our own little family in the end. I have made amazing friends and I will definitely keep in touch. I am so glad I did this, it’s very motivating!

Beth Haase from Bronx, NY

My daughter entered with no scuba experience and emerged as a certified diver with plans for a career in oceanography, with detailed knowledge about the marine animals she had encountered. A great trip!

Anjali Lankford

On my marine biology voyage, I met some of the coolest people ever, including the staff on my boat. Most everyone has the same interests and got along really well. Saba and Statia were really cool islands we got to explore, both on land and underwater. I learned about marine biology, diving and sailing and life lessons as well. It was such a memorable trip, I would recommend this trip to anyone who wants to learn to dive and has an interest in learning about marine life. It is a blast and I will never forget it.

Félicia Vachon from Varennes, Québec

The whole trip was awesome! Every single day we had the chance to snorkel, scuba and hike stunning locations. Moreover, we got the chance to see amazing marine animals such as sea turtles, dolphins, parrot fish, stingrays, sea stars, corals, trigger fish, morays, barracudas etc. In addition to all our activities we even learned about extremely interesting marine biology subjects. What I enjoyed the most probably was the fact that we where in contact with the ocean 24 hours a day: sleeping on the trampoline, snorkeling in the ocean, taking classes in the stern, hiking on the beach. I would definitely recommend this trip to anyone interested in marine life!

Ingrid and Helmut Appel from Rheinboellen, Germany

For Dominik, the Marine Biology Voyage was the experience of a lifetime. He has been dreaming of becoming a marine biologist since he was a young child, this trip made his decision to go towards this field even stronger. At all times, we as parents thought that he was looked after very well. He enjoyed the balanced mixture of academics and fun tremendously, and made new friends.

Clarina He

Saba and Ile Fourche are definitely two of the most beautiful places on this trip! Scuba diving and hiking were my favorite parts as well as getting to bond with everyone! You learn about so much on this trip; you definitely need lots of binder paper! I’m never going to forget this experience – there’s something about sleeping under the stars and on the water that changes your life! You bond with everyone on your boat and the worst part is the leaving 🙁

Larry LaChanse from Minoa, NY

This trip confirmed our [16 year old] daughter’s career choice in marine sciences. She loved every minute, would have turned around and gone back the day after she returned and hopes to visit again as a college student.

Megan Williams

This trip was absolutely amazing. From the start you are able to quickly make friends that will soon grow into really strong friendships the further into the trip you go. The meals are delicious, the activities all tailored towards your group and your personal preferences. I learned more than I ever know before about the ocean and marine biology, sailing, and scuba diving. Take advantage of every opportunity the leaders offer you and don’t be afraid to really take a leap and try something new. This trip was an absolutely once in a lifetime experience and will be one I will cary with me and impact me for the rest of my life.

Melissa Deutsch from Fairfax Station, VA

I would just like to reiterate that it was an amazing and positive experience on every level. Ariel will be approaching her senior year in high school with a definite direction on how she can make our world a better place.

Nathan Lively

You live on a boat with 14 strangers for three weeks. They start as strangers but end up as family. It was an experience of a lifetime. I would highly recommend it to anyone considering Broadreach. You learn so much and have so much fun. It is worth it.

Shanti Fry

Our daughter had the summer experience of her life. She loved every minute. The skipper, the dive teacher and the marine biologist managed to keep eleven teens happy, productive and learning more than they believed they could learn in three weeks. We couldn’t recommend the program more highly.

Payson Ruhl

This trip has been one of the best experiences of my life. I got to experience new things like night diving and climbing volcanoes and got to partake in the journey that was turning a group of 12 strangers into a family. I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with other students and staff who are equally as passionate about the ocean and learning how to problem solve and transfer skills we learn in the classroom to actual things we saw in the ocean. By far the best moments of the trip were spent living it up and enjoying the Caribbean with my Nala family.

Susan and Paul Freeman from Saratoga, CA

My daughter had a great time and came back with many fond memories that she’ll always cherish. The adventures she had and the friendships she made will last a lifetime. This was a great trip and included a tremendous learning environment for not only marine biology and scuba diving, but about people and environments in other cultures. The quality of instructors was superb, as well as the professionalism of all the staff with a good attitude toward safety and the well being of all on the trip.

Angela Zaladonis from Bethlehem, PA

Marine Biology Voyage was the BEST EXPERIENCE OF MY LIFE! (Dan Marco all the way). I was learning literally the entire time! Between marine biology class, sailing and scuba lessons, and my amazing instructors (Jimmy, Jessi, and Jean who knew so much about practically everything!). It was with an amazing group of kids and I grew to love practically all of them. I definitely made some life long friends. Visits to the islands were always great adventures, like on Statia when after eating dinner all of Dan Marco was up on the dance floor. Scuba diving, swimming, dance parties, hanging out on the tramps studying or relaxing… life was so good. I would go back in a second. Best thing you could do ever. Broadreach summer 2012 hopefully!!!!

Alex Clawson

Broadreach was absolutely amazing. I saw and did things I never thought I would. Saba is beautiful along with all the other island. I saw cool stuff while diving too. It is just an unforgetable experinece.

Jake Olson

I really enjoyed most everything we did on this trip. . .
I enjoyed meeting new people from around the country, and becoming like a little tight knit family aboard a Cat.
I like to cook, and cooking for that many people in a tiny galley was a fun challenge

The diving was probably the most memorable part of my trip, and I know I’ll be continuing that. . .

Back to meeting people: it was very interesting to meet people from different parts of the country who were my age, and see all of our similarities regardless of the differences.

The academic aspect was astounding: after the trip I realized how much we covered in the short time we were together, and I can now approach a future of marine science with a little taste in my mouth of what is to come. . .

I want to thank Amanda Ford, Alan Woodbury, and Baron, our super-skipper for making the trip the way it was: I want to commend them for treating us like fellow responsible humans, and actually listening to us. I found that other trip leaders treated us like we were younger, not adults! that was probably the only thing that bugged me. . .

I also want to put a special thanks out to Ted, Motts, Clair (e) and all the other instructors I interacted with who were so great.

The trip honestly changed my life, and how I’ll be approaching the rest of my high-school career and beyond.

Thank You Thank You Thank You again to Amanda, Alan and Baron: please send along my gratitude, if possible.

I miss the Caribbean already!

Bridget John

I thought this trip was a life changing experience! My favorite place was Saba, I wished we spent less time at St. Kitts and more time at Statia. Scuba diving was definitely my favorite! Learned lots about marine biology, scuba diving and made lots of new amazing smart friends, including the instructors. I going to miss them tons!!!

Jessamyn Koss Waldo

This trip is the trip of a life time. It’s got brilliant teachers who listen and care about you. They help you through the rough times as do the other students when living on such a small boat the group becomes a family. People you can rely on and trust. It is an experience that will affect your entire life.

Sally Goodman from South Dartmouth, MA

The MBV trip was an incredible and wonderful experience with great team bonding and tremendous staff! Rebecca loved the academic studies and the diving and there was no component that was disappointing in any way! The sailing was new for her and she would love to do it all over again!

Hannah Bercovici from Woodridge, CT

The Marine Biology Voyage was one of the most amazing experiences I ever had. I will remember it for the rest of my life. I got so close to my instructors, my crew, and with myself. I learned so much about marine biology and sailing. I got pretty experienced with SCUBA diving. I was happy every second of the trip. The most amazing place we went to was Saba at the end of the trip. We did community service there and hiked to the top of the mountain. There, we all sat in silence (because my sailing instructor and I yelled at them to). The view was completely breathtaking, much like the rest of the trip. I highly recommend this trip for all the new experiences and the new friends.

Caribbean Marine Biology Voyage FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Question:
What is included in the tuition cost and what additional expenses should I expect?
Answer:

Tuition is all inclusive for instruction, food, accommodations, and activities from the time you arrive in country. However, you are responsible for your airfare, spending money (we suggest about $150-200 depending on the program), any required textbooks, and student expenses such as medical fees. Some trips require scuba gear which can be rented, purchased or in some cases borrowed from Broadreach. Finally, for our high school trips that offer college credit, you can elect to receive an official Lesley University credit transcript for approximately $180 per credit hour. For more information about expenses that might apply to your program, click here.

Question:
Are flights included in the program tuition cost?
Answer:

Airfare is not included in the program tuition cost, mostly because students join our programs from all over the U.S. and other countries around the world. Some programs also have internal flights which are not included in the program tuition, and we’ll provide details on exactly how to book those once you are enrolled.

Question:
How does travel work?
Answer:

For most programs, we have a few recommended flights and an arrival time range, and we usually give you the option to book flights on your own or through our travel agency partner. A few programs have required group flights, which we set up in advance. Students travel independently, but often meet up along the way, and we collect student itinerary details. Broadreach instructors will be waiting in the arrivals hall of the destination airport to greet each student, and they’ll be wearing special shirts and holding a Broadreach sign. We also mail students Broadreach shirts to wear while traveling which makes it easy for them to identify each other. Typically, making travel arrangements and the actual travel days go very smoothly.

Question:
How does Broadreach address safety?
Answer:

Safety is our top priority, and it is something we evaluate from every angle throughout the year. We’re very proud of our safety record over the past 26 years of running international programs for students. There are so many ways to address how we handle safety, including the extensive experience and training of our instructors, the specific locations we choose to visit, the relationships we have established with our local partners, and the 24/7 support we provide our groups. We have extensive program-specific risk management plans and safety standards that we adhere to. We’d be happy to talk about safety in more detail for the program you’re considering if you’d like to give our office a call.

Question:
How many students are in a group? What is the male/female ratio?
Answer:

The majority of programs will have a maximum of 12 students in a group. We aim for a balance of males and females, but in our experience, the gender ratio plays a small role in the success of each program.

Question:
Do most participants come alone or with friends?
Answer:

Most participants come alone, so there is no need to be concerned if you don’t know anyone else on your program. It’s normal to be a little nervous about not knowing other students in advance, but within a day of starting your program you’ll be laughing and sharing exciting adventures with new friends.

Question:
Will students be able to call home or access the internet?
Answer:

Students will call home within a few hours of landing in the destination airport to let parents know they have arrived safely and have met up with the group. For most programs, students will have the option to call home once a week, typically on Sundays. Timing for calling home depends on the schedule of the trip and location. Usually, students call home with the in-country instructor cell phones or via Skype if good internet service is available. If you’d like to learn more about our full communication policy, please call our office.

Question:
When is the application deadline?
Answer:

We accept applications on a rolling basis until each session is full. So, the sooner you enroll, the greater chance you’ll have to get into your first choice program and session! Some of our most popular program sessions fill as early as the fall.

Question:
What is boat life like on live-aboard programs?
Answer:

Our catamarans have 4 cabins with attached bathrooms, which are divided up between girls and boys. The cabins are mostly used for students to store their bags and change since most students choose to sleep on the deck of the boat in one of a few safe, flat areas. Students bring sleeping bags and pads, and sleeping under the stars with the Caribbean summer breeze is often one of the highlights of the experience. Our boat life video will give you a feel for what it’s like.

Question:
Do I need to purchase travel insurance?
Answer:

We require that students have at least $100,000 of emergency evacuation coverage and some kind of international medical coverage, as well as coverage for scuba diving for programs that include diving. We offer two different policy options, or if you already have a policy that meets this criteria, we would just collect those policy details after enrollment.

Question:
What does tuition protection cover?
Answer:

Our Tuition Protection policy covers cancellations for medical reasons up to 100% and for any other reason up to 75% (except for residents of NY state). It’s also a great comprehensive travel insurance policy, including medical coverage, emergency evacuation, travel delay, baggage (loss or delay), etc. The cost of the policy ranges from $319-379 based on the program duration. For more specific coverage details, please call our office.

Question:
Who will my instructors be?
Answer:

Broadreach instructors are highly experienced, passionate, energetic and supportive. The average age of our instructors is 28 years old, and depending on the program, they meet specific qualifications (a Master’s degree in the subject area, PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor certification, foreign language fluency, Wilderness First Responder certification, etc).

Question:
Do your programs accommodate food preferences or food allergies?
Answer:

We do our best to accommodate allergies and food preferences but we consider the situation, country and the program to determine whether it will be a good fit for the specific dietary restriction. It’s important that you let Broadreach know well in advance of any food preferences or allergies so we can determine whether your restrictions will work on your program.

Question:
Can I contact Broadreach alumni families for more information?
Answer:

Absolutely! Just call our office and we can put you in touch with past participants who have joined the programs that interest you. Our alumni families are happy to share their first-person experiences.

Question:
How does payment work? Is the deposit or tuition refundable?
Answer:

We require a non-refundable deposit of $1000 to lock in your spot, and then the final balance can be spread out and paid in a few different ways. The final payment is requested by about 3 months before departure. Our optional tuition protection plan covers cancellations for medical reasons up to 100% and cancellations for any other reason up to 75% (except for residents of NY state).

Question:
What should I pack?
Answer:

We provide an extensive packing list for each program that we revise every year based on student and instructor feedback, and most of the items you probably have already. Here are some tips for packing for our Caribbean live-aboard programs.

Question:
What do the academics involve? What if I don’t take the program for credit?
Answer:

Academics will vary by program but usually include journals, discussions, lectures, research projects, and a midterm and final exam. We expect all of our students to participate fully in the academic course work on our programs, regardless of whether they have chosen to take it for official college credit.

Question:
How do college credits work? Where are those credits accepted?
Answer:

We partner with Lesley University in Cambridge, MA to offer college credit for our academic high school and college programs. Those credits are widely accepted at colleges and universities all over North America, and we can often let you know if an alumni student has transferred those credits to a specific school in the past. For more details, click here.

Question:
What is the difference between discovery/explorer/expedition level?
Answer:

Our levels are loose guidelines to help families determine which programs might be the best fit. Discovery level programs do not require any prior experience and are great first-Broadreach options. Explorer level programs build on existing skills and knowledge, and often delve deeper into the program focus. Expedition level programs are usually in more remote or challenging locations, require prior experience, and often include more student ownership of the experience.

Question:
Do you offer any discounts?
Answer:

In the fall, we have a few different early enrollment discounts– please call our office for more information. We also offer a 5% discount on the second enrollment from the same immediate family in a summer. This offer is available to an individual student or siblings. The 5% discount will be applied to the program of lesser cost, and cannot be combined with any other discounts.

Question:
Do you offer scholarships?
Answer:

We do offer some scholarships through the Broadreach Foundation. Please visit www.broadreachfoundation.org for more information and to apply online for scholarships.

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