Windstar Cruises to Support Reach the World by Bringing Virtual Travel to Young Students
Small ship cruise line Windstar Cruises has announced a pilot program with New York-based nonprofit Reach the World to bring destinations around the world into underserved K-12 classrooms through virtual exchange.
The crew of Windstar’s Wind Surf motorized sailing ship is engaging with students on a seven-week program as the ship sails on its 56-day Grand Caribbean voyage.
Wind Surf holds nearly 350 guests and has more than 200 crew members. The crew will share how they prepare for and embark on a multi-week expedition, as well as how they interact with local cultures and experience incredible sea life.
“I believe in the power of travel to enrich people’s lives and perspectives,” explains Windstar President John Delaney, who also serves on the board of the organization and pursued the partnership. “The Wind Surf will visit more than 20 countries and travel more than six thousand nautical miles on this voyage. I am beyond excited to leverage Windstar’s ships and crew to help bring the world to kids who may not necessarily have the opportunity to travel very far outside their own communities.”
“I founded Reach the World in 1997 when I embarked upon a 25,000-mile circumnavigation of the globe aboard a small sailboat and connected that journey to hundreds of students in Harlem, NY,” adds Heather Halstead, Reach the World’s Founder and Executive Director. “This opportunity to bring the voyage of the Wind Surf into so many classrooms, while also educating students about exciting careers in global hospitality, is truly a new frontier for Reach the World’s Explorer Program.”
Delaney and Windstar staff are curating specific content for the participating classrooms including web-based posts, videos, and images, as well as once-a-week live and interactive video calls. The partnership between travelers and classrooms works to expand students’ understanding of the world to prepare them to be future global citizens and decision makers. Windstar plans to partner with Reach the World on more virtual travel projects.
About Reach the World
Reach the World transforms the energy of travelers into a learning resource for K-12 classrooms. RTW’s programs use the web, messaging and video conferencing to connect youth with travelers in positive, personal global, virtual exchanges. A nationwide network of educators, travelers and volunteers are building a more thoughtful and welcoming society by sharing the eye-opening benefits of travel with the youth of today, who will be the decision makers of tomorrow. Over more than 20 years of operations, Reach the World has directly served more than 50,000 youth, 1,500 volunteer travelers, and 1,100 volunteers.