(Vallejo, CA – December 13, 2011) – The California Maritime Academy (Cal Maritime), a campus of The California State University, today announced the itinerary for its 2012 training cruise. The annual training voyage, which is part of the specialized curriculum offered at Cal Maritime, provides students who are pursuing a U.S. Coast Guard license with the hours of sea experience they need to graduate and work aboard ships of any size worldwide.
The 2012 training cruise will depart Cal Maritime on Sunday, April 29 and return to campus on Friday, June 29. Approximately 320 students and 56 officers and staff members will participate on the voyage aboard Cal Maritime's 500-foot Training Ship Golden Bear, which will log approximately 8,500 nautical miles during the voyage.
For the duration of each summer training cruise, Cal Maritime cadets are responsible for running the ship, including navigating and driving the ship, repairing and overseeing the engines, and maintaining the vessel. All training cruises are supervised by Cal Maritime faculty, the ship’s captain and chief engineer, and a team of experienced mariners.
Ports of call for this summer's training voyage will include Sacramento; Los Angeles; Puntarenas, Costa Rica; Montego Bay, Jamaica; and Acajutla, El Salvador. In addition, the ship will make a humanitarian visit to Haiti to deliver medical equipment to the University of Haiti Medical Center. While in Haiti, cadets will also donate clothing, toys, and money to a Haitian orphanage, in coordination with Vallejo CMA Kiwanis.
One of the highlights of this summer's training cruise will be its transit through the Panama Canal, something the Training Ship Golden Bear has not done in more than a decade. Captain Harry Bolton, Director of Marine Programs and Commanding Officer of the Golden Bear, says the experience will be one to remember for cadets and seasoned mariners alike.
"Going through the Panama Canal is a phenomenal experience, and really makes you realize how much it has changed commerce throughout the world," said Captain Bolton. "You can be in one ocean and then be in another ocean of the world in just16 hours. Knowing how long ago they built the locks in the Panama Canal and that this feat of engineering is as viable today as it was 100 years ago is just amazing."
In addition to the Panama Canal, the itinerary for this summer's cruise will present cadets with other unique opportunities that will allow them to receive training in conditions under which they are not frequently exposed. For example, during the transit to Sacramento – something the ship hasn't done in 15 years – cadets will encounter all kinds of shallow water and narrow channels that make ship handling a challenge, but also provide a great learning experience. In addition, the visit to the Caribbean will give students a chance to navigate through highly trafficked waters.
"Traveling to the Caribbean brings an element of excitement to this summer's training cruise," said Bolton, a 1978 graduate of Cal Maritime. "It will be a great time of the year to travel to Jamaica, which we haven't been to in 40 years. Our cadets will be navigating in a place they haven't been, and there will be lots of traffic to maneuver around. Every leg of this summer's voyage will be busy, which is a good part of the experience and will really enhance their training."
ABOUT CAL MARITIME
Established in 1929, The California Maritime Academy, a campus of The California State University, is the only degree-granting maritime academy on the West Coast. Cal Maritime was recently ranked by Forbes magazine as #18 in the “Top 20 Best Value Colleges” in the nation – and the #1 Best Value in California for providing students with the highest quality education for their academic dollar. Located in Vallejo, Calif., the campus serves approximately 900 students and offers undergraduate degrees preparing students for careers in engineering, transportation, international relations, business, and global logistics. It also offers a master’s degree in Transportation and Engineering Management, as well as a number of extended learning programs and courses. For more information about Cal Maritime, visit www.csum.edu.