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Get a tan at recess with an education cruise

Save up to 44 percent off on a 21-night informational voyage to Central America and Mexico that includes airfare.
/ Source: Sherman's Travel

The deal
School would have been a lot more enjoyable back in the day if recess had been spent on the beach. During the academic year, Enrichment Voyages offers the Semester at Sea program for students, but when the long semester break begins in December, the ship sails to sunny destinations and anyone is welcome onboard — student or not.

The price of one of these 21-night educational cruises has been slashed nearly 44 percent and is now available from $1,999 — including airfare! Similar cruises are often double this sale price, half as long and don’t provide the cost of transportation, making this offer one for the books. So, earn yourself an A+ in savvy vacationing by embarking on this informational voyage to Central America and Mexico.

The MV Explorer is basically a floating university complete with classrooms, a library, gym, computer lab and theater. During the time spent at sea, learn about the history and culture of the ports of call the ship visits, as well as politics, science, art and literature during onboard enrichment sessions taught by knowledgeable professors.

In addition to calling on popular destinations in Mexico such as Mazatlan, Cabo San Lucas and Acapulco, the ship also visits lesser known ports like Topolobampo, which has only 16 scheduled ship calls for 2009. Your journey will take you to nine ports in Mexico and exotic tropical paradises in Central America, such Corinto in Nicaragua, Quetzal in Guatemala, as well as a two-day visit to Puntarenas, Costa Rica.

This cruise departs from Ensenada, Mexico on Dec. 17 and makes its final stop in San Diego on Jan. 7.

The dollars
Free airfare is available from select West Coast Cities. Departures from other cities can cost an additional $100 to $200.

The catch
You’ll be away for the holidays and ring in the New Year at sea.