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@Oxford. Amherst. Stanford. Dublin.

2022 Tales of the Sea: A Tall Ship Adventure

On-Campus Enrollment is Now Open!

Historic Portland, Maine

One-Week Program: July 24 - July 30

For students in the Senior Program (grades 9-12).


“As for me, I am tormented with an everlasting itch for things remote. I love to sail forbidden seas, and land on barbarous coasts.” ― Ishmael, Herman Melville's Moby Dick

Great Books is excited to announce we are returning for another literary voyage of a lifetime for senior program students. Working with a renowned provider of world-class sailing education, we are proud to present Tales of the Sea: a Tall Ship Adventure. Students will take to the sea in an experiential learning program off the beautiful coast of Maine.

Imagine yourself in the shoes of Ishmael, as he embarked on his legendary whaling voyage. Or relive the anticipation of Jim Hawkins as he stowed away onboard the Hispaniola to search for buccaneers and buried gold in Treasure Island. Tales of the Seawill marry the study of maritime literature and lore with living and learning to sail on a tall ship.

"The ability to be able to live on a boat like this… and understanding the sailing experience, inspired, and moved me…the excellent teaching and discussion I found in the great texts and community Great Books offered, connected me further with the environment…I was able to feel confident, learn, be inspired by my extraordinarily interesting and articulate peers. I gained new skills that I can carry with me in academic settings and beyond. I feel empowered by this trip!" — Tall Ship Student

What is the Program Like?

Our literary discoveries will include seafaring tales by authors like Herman Melville, Robert Louis Stevenson, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Homer. Students will live as crew members the moment they step aboard, learning alongside the talented, tall ship training staff. Shipmates will work together to learn navigation basics, sails and rigging, the watch system, nautical terminology, safety checks, and more. Time will be split between seminar and discussion and sailing education with visits to coastal islands, and whale watching too.

This one-week program will be staffed by seasoned GBSP personnel as well as the professional, tall ship crew. Students will live aboard the vessel as crew throughout the week for a truly authentic experience. During the program, participants will disconnect from the electronic world as they immerse themselves in literature and life on the water. Meals will be provided onboard by a wonderful chef who is equipped to address any known dietary issues. While sailing experience is not in any way required, each student must bring a sense of enthusiasm, a desire to learn and a willingness to live the seafaring life.

"This was one of the most amazing experiences of my life! I absolutely loved all of the sailing aspects and felt that Great Books melded perfectly into it...I would love to do this again." —Tall Ship Student

Tuition and Fees

  • One-week Tuition: $2995

Materials & Events fees of $225 for one week. All on-campus programs have a registration fee of $250.

Add a Week at Amherst for More Literary Adventure

Tales of the Sea can be added to our program at Amherst College for a multi-week experience that concludes on the high seas. We will provide transportation from our Amherst College campus to the docks in Portland for students who opt for the dual programming.

Learn More

For further information on Tales of the Sea, please call 1-203-612-9470 or email:

"The combination of Great Books and learning to live on a boat turned out to be a great one, and was incredibly well executed…Also, the food was amazing!" —Tall Ship Student 



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Our group will review and follow up within 72 hours.
Thanks for your interest!

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