Voyage Module (Semester 2, AY19/20) – APPLICATIONS CLOSED!

SE3234 Sea, Islands, Vessels: A Voyage of Exploration

Join an amazing voyage on a classic sailing ship through the Riau Archipelago and along Sumatra’s coast, stopping at many islands, exploring Indonesian multi-ethnic towns, fishing villages, and uninhabited islands. Meet locals and learn about life in island communities – how isolated are they, how connected? How isolated are we?  Learn about the history, culture, environment, and economic situation of the fascinating region, also from their perspective.

Get to know intimately the sea. On kayaks explore lagoons. Experience how it feels to live with fellow sailors in the tiny floating world of the boat. Learn how to sail: hoist sails, keep watch, navigate, read charts, steer the ship. We will have a captain, but we will be the crew!

Application deadline: 25 November 2019. CLOSED

Voyage dates: 22 Feb – 1 March 2020 (Recess Week)


At the heart of this module is a seafaring voyage. During the voyage as well as at pre- and post-voyage seminars, we will reflect on diverse but inter-related issues in historical and contemporary perspectives: archipelagic spaces and nations; the roles of the sea and boats in Southeast Asia; “sea people” and territory; colonialism and piracy; interrelation between people and natural environment; seafaring as a method of understanding Southeast Asia, and so on. You will be learning both about maritime Southeast Asia in general, but with a focus on the Riau Archipelago in Indonesia (its specific historical, economic, political, cultural, and environmental issues). You will learn the basics of sailing and navigation, as well as basic Indonesian.


The information provided here is preliminary and subject to change. It assumes that like in the past, we will be able to charter a motor-sailing boat, which is likely but not guaranteed. In case it is not possible, an alternative trip will be organized, probably using ferries. The 9-day voyage in Indonesian archipelagic waters is planned for 22 February to 1 March 2020.
You can find pictures and videos from past voyages here:  and blogs created by students from a recent voyages here: and — although neither the vessel nor the itinerary will be the same. The blog should give you a sense of the kind of documentation we will be doing. More information about the voyage can be found in the Annex of the application form and on LumiNUS.


Students are expected to pay between S$750 – 850 (programme fee), and will need additional total $200-300 for ferry tickets, meals and other expenses when on land, and pocket money for miscellaneous expenses. Visa fee (where applicable) and additional personal expenses are borne by the student. Singapore Citizen and SPR students are also eligible to obtain some funding support to help defray the cost of the trip. Details for funding support applications will be provided to participants at a later date.



NUS Students can download the application form here:
Closing date: 25 November 2019 CLOSED

NUS Students registered for SE3234 will have priority for the associated voyage, other NUS students and alumni may apply and will be accommodated if there are available spots.


Write to Assoc Prof Jan Mrazek at or Administrator at