"The goal of a CME AWAY™ conference by Sea Courses is to provide the very best opportunity for health care professionals to not only LEARN but to CONNECT with peers in a stimulating yet RELAXING environment."

About Us

Commitment

On a CME AWAY™ by Sea Courses, freed from the interruptions and hectic pace of everyday life, conference attendees have the opportunity to embrace learning with renewed enthusiasm.

The Sea Courses’ team specializes in creating the ideal CME experience that combines quality education with an experiential journey. We offer cruises and land trips to parts of the world that are not only vacation experiences, but learning experiences as well. Our goal is first and foremost to deliver the very best CME program. But in addition to this and recognizing the limited time physicians have available away from their practice, we also want to deliver the very best vacation experience. One reason that our conferences are so highly rated is because we’ve made it our business to anticipate the needs and desires of our guests. We firmly believe that by taking care of all the details of your travel, we will enhance the learning aspect of your CME AWAY™ experience. You will quickly realize the incredible value with combining continuing education with a trip away from home. Our surveys continue to validate that destination CME’s offer three key advantages over traditional local classroom CME events:

Even though your primary goal is to be educated, you will accomplish so much more on a CME AWAY™ by Sea Courses … The health benefits of time away, the learning experience that is a big part of travelling the world, a vacation experience with family and colleagues. These are the unique advantages of the Sea Courses’ CME AWAY™ environment.

Who We Are

Sea Courses is recognized as Canada’s leader in CME (Continuing Medical Education) seminars. We are the only company in Canada with a primary focus and mandate of providing physicians with a range of CME AWAYTM opportunities on cruise ships, at resorts and on custom designed tours. Founded in 1995 by Dr. Martin Gerretsen and Mr. Harvey Strydhorst, the company was specifically designed and developed to provide physicians and allied healthcare partners with continuing education courses. On June 30, 2015 Sea Courses merged with Ontario based travel agency group, Uniglobe Adventure House Travel. This is a Canadian owned and operated independent agency led by Mr. Ron Dawick, a travel industry leader with over 45 years of retail travel, airline and tour operator management experience.

What We Do

We provide physicians and allied health care partners with continuing education courses on board cruise ships, at select resorts and on custom designed tours around the world. Along with all the newly expanded Sea Courses team, the founders Martin Gerretsen and Harvey Strydhorst continue their pivotal roles in the merged operation. The company now offers:

Principles of CME Programmes

About Our Faculty

The Faculty members for each Sea Courses program are carefully selected. Faculty are chosen based on their knowledge of their subjects, their presentation skills based on previous evaluations as well as input from various sources and their ability to transfer knowledge in the most effective and entertaining manner. Both their topics and their learning objectives are reviewed by the planning committee for that program. Many of the Faculty have been involved in the development of National Guidelines and been involved in the development and review of many CE presentations. As our courses are designed to allow for maximum interaction between faculty and attendees, we look for speakers/presenters that can work as a team and are open to feedback and discussion.

Why a CME AWAY™ Provides the Best Possible Learning Experience

Physicians are finding it extremely difficult to even find time to travel to local cities for their continuing education. But a CME AWAY™ allows everyone to combine their education requirements with personal health time not only with family but with a learning experience that only travel can provide. Research by Sea Courses points out two main advantages to our conferences. First, there is Inter-professional Learning. Very few home based conferences offer an opportunity for attendees from a variety of specialties to interact, share experiences and learn from one another. Second, there is Longitudinal Learning. The course sessions are spread over several days, so there is ample opportunity for attendees to interact with both faculty and colleagues and to discuss individual issues and learning needs.

Co-Directors of CME

 

Dr. John Axler

MD CCFP FCFP

John Axler, MD, CCFP, F.C.F.P. is an Assistant Professor, in the U of T, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community and Family Medicine . He was the Director of Continuing Education project for that department from 2003 to 2011 and and was the Director of Continuing Education for the same from 2011 to 2016. He has been actively involved in CME for over 25 years and has been the Course Director for Pri-Med (formerly Primary Care Today) Saturday at the University, as well as many other CME projects. He is the 2009 2010 co-winner of the U of T faculty of Medicine Colin Woolf award for Long-term Contribution to Continuing Education. He is the 2011 co-winner of the DFCM award for excellence in CME. He has helped develop over 200 accredited CME programs and an invited speaker to 100 CME events. He was in full time active clinical practice in Toronto from 1969 to July 1, 2012. He has retired from full time practice and now does locums.

 

Dr. Sol Stern

B.Sc., M.Sc., MD, MCFP

Dr. Stern is a Family Physician and the Former Chief of Staff at Halton Healthcare Services in Oakville, ON. A member of the Canadian Pain Society as well as a member of Thrombosis Canada. He was also a panel Committee Member of the 2017 Opioid Guidelines. Dr. Sol Stern obtained his Doctor of Medicine from the University of Toronto in 1982 after obtaining a BSc and MSc at the same university. He started a family medicine practice in Oakville, Ontario in 1983 and has been practicing in Oakville ever since. Dr. Stern spends about 1/4 of his time involved in CME and has developed and collaborated on many CME workshops including the topics of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and chronic pain management. He has presented over 1000 CME programs over the last 20 years.

Medical Advisory Board

 

Dr. Jeff Habert

MD, CCFP, FCFP

Dr. Habert is a Family Physician in Thornhill for the last 28 years. He is an Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto. Dr. Habert is also a Peer Assessor for the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, Investigating Coroner for the City of Toronto and a Peer Leader at Ontario MD. He has an interest in the use of clinical practice guidelines, and has participated on committees to establish guidelines in the areas of Depression, Stroke and Thrombosis. He has recently served on the Committee for the 2016-2017 Canadian Stroke Prevention Guidelines and is the Co-Chair of Thrombosis Canada Guidelines Committee. He is also on the 2017 Canadian Stroke Congress planning committee. Dr. Habert is very involved in the continuing education of Family Physicians in the areas of Thrombosis/Stroke, Diabetes, Osteoporosis, and Depression. He has served on numerous planning committees as a member and chairman for the creation of accredited CME programs. He has also lectured provincially and nationally on these topics. Dr. Habert is published in the areas of Thrombosis and Stroke Prevention, Depression, ADHD, Overactive Bladder and EMR use in Family Practice.

 

Dr. Kathryn Giles

MD, MSc, FRCPC

Dr. Kathryn Giles completed her medical school and neurology residency at the University of Toronto and moved straight to Cambridge Ontario. She has been a solo community neurologist, seeing both adult and paediatric patients for over 26 years. In addition to a busy full time clinical practice, she does clinical research in the area of multiple sclerosis and has authored numerous scientific posters presented at international MS and neurology meetings. She has sat as a volunteer on the Ontario board of the MS Society of Canada, just completing a 6 year tenure. She is a passionate educator, and although not formally associated with a teaching university position, is an active teacher to medical trainees and practicing physicians. Her strength is her practical approach to neurological disease. Dr. Giles has been a faculty member at Sea Courses for 3 years and is excited to be asked to join the medical advisory board. She hopes to help guide Sea Courses in appropriate educational content to meet the needs of specialists, who comprise approximately half of Sea Courses attendees.

 

Dr. Martin Gerretsen

MD & Co-Founder

Dr. Gerretsen is a family physician specializing in addictions medicine and has been involved in the development of CME conferences for over twenty years. He has built Sea Courses with a true doctor’s perspective, as a facilitator of “must know” information that is pertinent for today’s medical practice. He built his program on practitioners’ feedback of desires and needs. He is also an Elite Cruise Counsellor and Luxury Cruise Specialist and has sailed on over 150 cruises onboard twenty different cruise lines and to all seven continents.

President & Owner

 

Ron Dawick

Experience – Ron has spent his entire career in the travel business. His experience includes holding senior executive positions at airlines, tour operators and retail travel companies. Ron and Sea Courses joined forces in 2015. He recognized the unique nature of the business and welcomed the opportunity to build on its success. In the past two years, not only has the company expanded its cruise offerings, but under Ron’s direction has added resort and land tours, giving Sea Courses the most complete array of CME AWAY™ opportunities for physicians.

Favourite Destination – London, England; The Bahamas.

Bucket List – The Galapagos Islands, Great Barrier Reef to scuba, and an African Safari!

Hobbies – Reading, scuba diving, golfing & being with my family.

Travel Tip – For important and complicated travel plans, always use a travel professional to assist you!

Management

 

SuZanne Gosrani

Vice President & General Manager

Experience – SuZanne has spent her entire career in the travel business. She has been with Adventure House Travel for 5 years and Sea Courses since 2015.

Favourite Destination – Kenya, especially Maasai Mara and the South Coast of Mombasa, New Zealand, Venice, Mykonos, the Galapagos Islands, South Africa

Bucket List – India’s Golden Triangle & the Ganges River, Antarctica, Arctic, Egypt, Morocco

Hobbies – Reading, hikes with our Portuguese water dog, Abbi, taking in an NBA game.

Travel Tip – I cannot offer packing tips, as I am the one with the most amount of luggage. Wherever your journey takes you, remember to take it all in and make lots of memories, sometimes we get lost in the hustle and bustle and need to take a moment to just breathe.

 

Harvey Strydhorst

Co-Founder & Management Advisor

Experience – Harvey is one of the co-founders of Sea Courses and served as President until 2015. He has been working in the travel industry for 30 years and was one of the shaping forces that made Sea Courses the successful company that it is today!

Favourite Destination – Any place warm.

Bucket List – All new places that would add to my country count.

Hobbies – You can find me with family and friends, eating and drinking, hiking and biking, or performing and listening to classical music. Time is now more on my side so you may expect some cooking and gardening.

Travel Tip – Make the best plans and then go with a positive attitude to participate in the adventure.

 

Peter Boyle

Vice President, Finance

Experience – Senior management positions in major tour operators and charter airlines.

Favourite Destination – Thailand is a beautiful country with lovely people.

Bucket List – Anywhere interesting and hot to enjoy during our too long winters.

Hobbies – Playing and watching soccer(the real football)

Travel Tip – The world is a wondrous place to be experienced with an open mind

 

Administrative Team

 

Margaret Barrie

Director, Operations & Administration

Experience – My career in the Travel Industry has given me the opportunity to work in various positions with tour operators and airlines. I’ve been with Adventure House Travel 8 years and recently moved over to join the Sea Courses Team.

Favourite Destination – Israel is one of the most fascinating countries I have visited. From the historic ancient sites, to the modern-day world, the diversity is immense and alluring. Hawaii’s beauty and island culture will always be a favourite. Loved Spain & Italy and would return to either at any opportunity.

Bucket List – At the top of my list would be New Zealand, Dubai, Egypt to cruise the Nile and an African Safari, but to be honest, just about anywhere I haven’t been.

Hobbies – Cooking and enjoying time family & friends. Cross border shopping trips are always on the radar. Most winter weekends are spent following the National Lacrosse League.

Travel Tip – Make sure you always pre-select your seats on flights. Why not treat yourself and upgrade to Premium seats on long haul flights. The extra leg room and perks can make all the difference for your in-flight comfort.

 

Kirsten Dawick

Manager, Marketing & Communications

Experience – Kirsten grew up travelling frequently with her family, and it has always been a passion of hers. She’s been working in the travel business for 5 years and with Sea Courses since 2015.

Favourite Destination – Iceland, because of the “otherworldly” landscapes and Scandinavian culture, and Nassau, Bahamas because it was a frequent getaway destination when she was a kid.

Bucket List – Cambodia, Ganges River, Galapagos, Antarctica!

Hobbies – Anything with her dogs or that allows her to be outdoors; NLL games; scuba diving; hiking!

Travel Tip – Overnight flights are always my top pick, sleep on the flight and rely on coffee upon arrival to overcome jetlag! Venture off the beaten path and typical tourist routes to really experience a foreign culture and your surroundings. You also can’t take too many photos!

 

Lindsey McCann

Conference & Marketing Coordinator

Experience – Lindsey is a newcomer to Sea Courses and the travel industry, and is a recent university graduate. She has been travelling throughout her entire life and has organized humanitarian trips in the past.

Favourite Destination – The Dominican Republic, because the people are some of the nicest she has ever met and Ireland, as it is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, that she was fortunate to have the opportunity to live in!

Bucket List – South Africa, Australia, and Iceland.

Hobbies – Playing basketball, reading and doing charity work.

Travel Tip – Always have an open mind about new experiences and try new things every time you travel. You never know if you’ll have the opportunity again!

 

Karen McCormick

Operations Coordinator

Experience – Karen has been in the travel industry for 1.5 years with Sea Courses.

Favourite Destination – Alaska, because the whale watching and the scenery are stunning.

Bucket List – Japan, as she would love to visit the Buddhist temples.

Hobbies – Cooking, playing softball in the summer and volunteering for various organizations.

Travel Tips – When she goes on vacation, she always travels with earphones, a reusable water bottle and a pillowcase from home

Travel Specialists

 

Patti Allen

Experience – This is Patti’s second year with Sea Courses, but she has been in the industry for 38 years.

Favourite Destination – South Africa, Ireland, Turks and Caicos, and locally Victoria and Halifax.

Bucket List – European River Cruise, Arctic, Tahiti, The Galapagos Islands, Jordan and so many more!

Hobbies – Golf, reading, and running.

Travel Tips – Always bring excitement to experience new things, as well as lip balm with SPF and sunglasses, because it is going to be a beautiful day. Don’t forget a book in case there is no WIFI!

 

Peter Banh

Experience – Peter has been in the travel industry for 17 years and it has provided him with the opportunity to travel to many different countries.

Favourite Destination – Maui

Bucket List – The Galapagos Islands and Safari

Hobbies – Travelling and watching hockey

Travel Tip – Only pack what you need and not what you think you might need.

 

Archana Gothoskar

Experience – Archana has over 2 decades of industry experience and was very pleased to have joined Sea Courses this year.

Favourite Destination – Banff and Jasper, Mauritius, Nepal and Mumbai.

Bucket List – Alaska, The Galapagos Islands, Tahiti, Iceland, China, Australia and New Zealand.

Hobbies – Reading, painting, badminton, and being creative in anything I do, but mainly spending time with my Great Pyrenees.

Travel Tip – Do not hesitate to take a plunge to try out new things. Have a healthy meal before heading out to the airport, carry a book, comfy clothes, shoes, hat and a light backpack for excursions – to carry a light sweater for an unexpected windy day.

 

Todd Hancock

Experience – Todd has been with Sea Courses for 13 years and has been in the travel industry 23 years.

Favourite Destination – Antarctica, The Galapagos Islands, Tahiti and Iceland. The best trip was Antarctica!

Bucket List – Todd would like to do an around-the-world wine-tasting trip, hitting New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Europe and then finishing back home.

Hobbies – Bicycling around his beautiful home city of Vancouver, British Columbia and wine-tasting any chance he gets!

Travel Tip – Avoid a big breakfast on a cruise ship. You can eat lots of bacon & eggs at home – save your calories for the wonderful dinners they have on ship!

 

Rita McCarthy

Experience – Rita has been in the cruise world for 11 years now. Her favourite role so far was being on board crew with Disney Cruise Line.

Favourite Destinations – Capetown South Africa (Garden Route Wineries, fine dining, & Safaris), Hawaiian Islands (Waterfalls & local BBQ)

Bucket List – 1 month sailing between Greece & Croatia. I love anything Mediterranean.

Hobbies – Local North Vancouver trails, I love to cook & try new dining in Vancouver

Travel Tips – Ask the locals where to eat.

 

Gary Hill

Experience – 11 years in the travel industry, 7 years with Adventure House Travel

Favourite Destination – St. Lucia, Japan, Austria and Newfoundland

Bucket List – Botswana – Chobe National Park, Ireland, Chile and the Cook Islands

Hobbies – Wood working, football and volunteering for the Optimist Club of Oakville and the Central Ontario District of Optimist International

Travel Tip –  Good noise cancelling head phones for international, long-haul flights. I always try to meet the locals of a country I am visiting to learn about the history, cultures and food

Sea Courses came into being in 1995. It was the creation of family physician Dr. Martin Gerretsen and his business partner Mr. Harvey Strydhorst. The first CME AWAY™ trip operated in 1996 and this has been followed by almost 400 more trips since then.

Initially all trips were on cruise ships. The daily itineraries made for the ideal situation, i.e. having classroom sessions while at sea, leaving participants free time in the ports of call. Survey results provided the company with ideas for new cruise destinations. But, the survey results also indicated that physicians would welcome land tours as well and these were introduced to compliment the cruise offerings. The key elements that research indicated physicians were looking for were a medical learning experience, the opportunity to explore and learn about different cultures and time to relax with family. All CME AWAY™ programmes are certified by the College of Family Physicians of Canada.

In 2015, the company was acquired by Ron Dawick, a travel industry leader with over 45 years of airline, tour operator and retail travel experience. The travel agency team now helps CME AWAY™ participants with all of their travel needs making CME AWAY™ by Sea Courses a truly one stop CME and travel provider.

x
x

Western Canada Office

402 West Pender Street, Suite 715

Vancouver, British Columbia, V6B 1T6

604-684-7327 Or 1-888-647-7327

BC Travel Agent Reg. #3320-2


Eastern Canada Office

1660 North Service Rd. E, Suite 101

Oakville, Ontario, L6H 7G3

905-845-6631 Or 1-800-268-3273

TICO #3328458


cruises@seacourses.com










YesNo