"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."

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Frequently Asked Questions

Conference Questions

What is an educational CME AWAY?

Welcome to Sea Courses – specialists in creating the ideal CME conference. Founded in 1995 and developed by Dr. Martin Gerretsen and Mr. Harvey Strydhorst, we are recognized as leaders in healthcare conferences at sea, and now on land, around the world. Our courses cover a wide range of specialties in medicine. The programmes are designed to provide education with plenty of practical take-home tips, to create opportunities for networking between faculty and participants, and to foster health, wellness and rejuvenation.

How is an educational CME AWAY different from a home-based conference?

Since our first voyage in 1995, Sea Courses has provided over 400 cruise and land conferences visiting the seven continents and the seven seas. Physicians find it increasingly difficult to have time to travel to local cities for their education – but a CME AWAY® allows everyone to combine their education requirements with a family vacation. Family & travelling companions are always welcome.

Research by Sea Courses indicates there are two major advantages to a cruise or resort-based conference. First, >Inter-Professional Learning: very few home-based conferences offer an opportunity for attendees from a variety of specialties to interact and learn from one another. Second, Longitudinal Learning: with the course sessions spread over several days, there is ample opportunity for attendees to interact with faculty and colleagues to discuss individual issues and learning needs.

Do I need to book both my cruise or resort and conference with Sea Courses?

Yes. The ships and resorts provide special pricing and many special amenities for our groups such as private meeting rooms, dining
arrangements, cocktail receptions and more. Participants must book their trips with Sea Courses in order for us to be able to provide these services. It is highly recommended that your family and friends also book with Sea Courses so that they will be able to join you at dinner and be invited to join our complimentary partner’s events. One of our professional advisors will be happy to assist you with the reservations and ensure that you have the best available accommodation and fares.

How do I register for the course?

You may either call us toll free at 1-888-647-7327 or search this website for the program you are interested in and complete the “more information” form on the page. One of our professional advisors will quickly contact you with detailed information and a brochure including trip information, conference details and the registration link.

Are these programs certified?

All CME AWAY® programs will be submitted for approval of CME credits applicable to family physicians in both Canada and USA. Some credits are also available for specialists. Once CME accreditation has been obtained, an official statement regarding the type and number of credits available will be stated on the conference program website. If you have any questions about a program’s certification, please contact our office at 1-888-647-7327.

How can I be sure there will be room for me in the course?

As long as you book your trip with Sea Courses, attendance at the CME conference is guaranteed. There is usually room for one more! But, don’t delay as some trips sell out well in advance of departure and our most popular conferences may run out of meeting room space.

When are the CME sessions scheduled?

Typically, the course sessions are scheduled while the cruise ship is at sea and not while in ports of call. Similarly, if it is a resort or land trip, courses are scheduled to leave plenty of time to enjoy the facilities, as well as family & friends. A detailed schedule for each course will be provided.

When will I receive my credits?

Typically, the course sessions are scheduled while the cruise ship is at sea and not while in ports of call. Similarly, if it is a resort or land trip, courses are scheduled to leave plenty of time to enjoy the facilities, as well as family & friends. A detailed schedule for each course will be provided.

What is the tax-deductible status of a CME AWAY®?

Many physicians advise us they take advantage of the tax and business considerations that are available when they attend our programs. Sea Courses is not permitted by law to offer specific tax advice and always refers clients to discuss the details with their accountants.

The following features of our CME AWAY® conferences will assist attendees when considering the tax and business aspects of travel:

  • We offer live, unbiased, accredited education
  • CME AWAY®cruise, land and resort-based conferences are considered international in location
  • There are valuable networking opportunities during leisure time between faculty and colleagues
  • We add local medical content wherever possible
  • A mix of specialties is always represented at a CME AWAY® by Sea Courses conference

If I have to cancel the cruise, is the conference tuition refundable?

A tuition deposit of $150 CAD is required to reserve your seat in the conference. This is a non-refundable deposit, but in the case of cancellation on your part our ours, will be held as a future tuition credit. Please make sure that you have appropriate cancellation insurance coverage that includes the value of your tuition. Your Sea Courses advisor can provide you with insurance details and a quote.

Travel Questions

How much will it cost?

One of the most attractive features of a cruise, all-inclusive vacation or group land tour is the good value received for the money paid. On a cruise, your meals, accommodations, entertainment and most activities are included in the fare for you and your travelling companion. On an all-inclusive resort vacation there are often even more inclusions. It’s easier to stick to your budget. Typically the only extras are shore excursions or tours and, in the case of cruises, on board purchases such as alcoholic beverages, spa treatments, photos, etc. Alcoholic beverages and watersports are often included at all-inclusive resorts. Sea Courses always secures group inventory and guarantees the best available price at the time of booking.

What does my travel companion pay?

Travel with a spouse or companion is important to our attendees. With our “Companion cruises or stays free” program, basic cruise fare, resort or land tour costs are incurred by the conference attendee, and their companion cruises or stays for free. Please note that additional expenses: gratuities, port charges, taxes and fees, and travel-related expenses: flights, additional hotel nights, transfers, some food & beverages and insurance, will be charged to each person.

Why are there no prices for cruise and resort conferences on your website?

As a top producer of business to many cruise lines and resorts, Sea Courses is able to offer our guests very competitive prices and excellent value for their CME AWAY® conference experience. For each of our conferences, Sea Courses negotiates preferred group rates and as part of our contracts, we are required not to publish these rates on a public site. To receive a quote for a particular conference simply contact us by email (cruises@seacourses.com), via the website (complete the information request form) or call us toll free at 1-888-647-7327. Very often our marketing emails feature starting rates for the package for two travellers.

Can my family and friends book the same trip even if they are not attending the conference?

Yes, family and friends are always welcome. In fact, it is highly recommended that family and friends also book with Sea Courses so they can take advantage of our special group rates and any group inclusions. They will also be able to join you at dinners, book any special tours that we offer and partake in any companion events. Your referrals of family, friends and colleagues are greatly appreciated, and you can take advantage of our Referral Program! Please ask your Sea Courses Advisor for more details.

Are CME AWAY® trips escorted?

On every Sea Courses trip, you will enjoy the company of a trained and experienced Sea Courses Concierge. They are there exclusively for Sea Courses guests to ensure your experience is not only worry-free but also extraordinary.

What about sightseeing?

The cruise lines, hotels and resorts all offer excursions of their own. In some cases, Sea Courses will offer our own custom designed and priced tours. We do this when we feel we can offer something even better for our clients in destination.

What is better, a CME AWAY® on a cruise or at a resort?

Both of these options receive high marks from our participants. Each of them has their own appeal. Cruises let you see a variety of places without packing and unpacking. Ships can be large and be like floating resorts. Or they can be smaller, offering a more intimate and less crowded venue. This can include smaller luxury vessels, expedition ships or river cruise ships. Resorts are all about relaxation. In both cases, we plan our CME’s not to interfere with your vacation activities. We also offer land touring CME AWAY® trips to various world destinations. If you are uncertain of which style best fits your needs, our professional advisors can answer all of your question and help you choose the CME AWAY®  that is right for you.

What are the differences between categories of accommodations or staterooms?

The price and the category of accommodations and staterooms are based primarily on size, locations and added amenities. The inclusions do vary by category, but most amenities are available to all guests, some incurring an additional cost. Whatever category you book, you’ll enjoy the same courteous service, on board or in destination activities and entertainment as everyone else.

Does stateroom location on the ship make a difference?

Location may be important when choosing your stateroom. Factors to consider are your level of mobility (you may want a room close to the elevators), potential noise issues (rooms close to public areas) and sensitivity to motion sickness. In this case a mid-ship stateroom might be helpful.

Will I get seasick?

It is unlikely you will notice any motion on today’s modern cruise ships. All ships today have stabilizers to smooth the ride, but if you are motion-sensitive, a mid-ship stateroom is recommended. And, if the seas do get rough, there are many preventative medications available on board. River cruises rarely encounter any rough seas at all, and are often a very safe bet. Your Sea Courses Advisor will be able to guide your booking to what accommodations or itineraries best fit your desires and concerns.

Are cruises and all-inclusive resorts a good choice for single people?

Each of these options are ideal for single people travelling alone because it is so easy to meet other people. Most ships and resorts have events for singles, so you can get to know people right away. Sea Courses always has a welcome reception to help you get to know your fellow travellers. As a Sea Courses guest, you will have the opportunity to be seated with other passengers in our group. Wherever possible, Sea Courses negotiates special prices for single travellers.

Is there smoking on board ships and at hotels and resorts?

Virtually all ships, hotels and resorts have a smoke free environment for rooms and staterooms, private balconies, and most public areas. Most will have designated areas where smoking is permitted.