Life Onboard

One of two large presentation and event spaces onboard with capacities of 200 or more. Numerous other event spaces accommodate medium and smaller numbers of participants.

Peace Boat creates a unique environment in which people can live, learn and relax together while visiting some of the most fascinating regions on earth. During each voyage, Peace Boat organizes a range of educational activities, including language classes, peace education workshops, lectures, and cultural programs. The themes of these activities link Peace Boat’s fields of work with contemporary issues in the countries we visit.

A Floating Peace Village

International Students from conflict areas including Israel, Palestine, Northern Ireland, Bosnia, and Serbia utilizing the ship as a neutral space for dialog.
International Students from conflict areas
including Israel, Palestine, Northern Ireland,
Bosnia, and Serbia utilizing the ship as a
neutral space for dialog.

Each Peace Boat voyage is a fascinating mix of people from different cultures, ages, professions and countries. The wide range of experiences, outlooks and viewpoints on building a culture of peace combine to create an eclectic onboard environment that mirrors the diversity of the world and its peoples.

In order to achieve a global culture with values reflecting a genuine desire for peace and a rejection of violence, peace education must be more widely promoted and access to it increased. Since its foundation in 1983, Peace Boat has been active in peace education through the organization of educational voyages, and study and exchange programs all over the world.Peace Education

Education Programs

Ramu and Lalita Ramdas, from India, hold a casual discussion circle with young participants about peace-building efforts between India and Pakistan.

On each voyage, guest educators (“navigators” in Japanese) are invited onboard to give presentations, workshops, and foster discussion about the history, culture, and contemporary issues of the countries that Peace Boat visits, as well as address global issues including war, human rights, peace education, the environment and sustainable development. During an average day, there will be 2-5 main presentations, and numerous discussion sessions, documentaries, language classes, and other educational opportunities – in addition to dozens of self-planned events (read below). In addition to the rich open program, participants can join the intensive Global University program, formal language learning programs (English, Spanish, Japanese), or embark on their own course of learning.

Self Planned Events

Forming a band is one kind of self-organized activity; others include art projects, discussions, exercise groups, etc.

All participants are encouraged to contribute to life onboard by sharing their skills, talents and interests through the organization of their own events. The result is a constantly changing daily schedule of dozens of activities, including expert lectures on global issues, salsa dance classes, Swahili conversation lessons, music festivals, documentary movie screenings, soccer games on deck and whatever special skills, knowledge or experience that a Peace Boat participant may wish to share.

Cultural Events

The diversity of cultures that participants encounter onboard Peace Boat is often celebrated in the many festivals and cultural events held onboard.

US high school students practice Taiko drumming onboard.

In ports of call, local musicians, singers, dancers and performers are invited onto Peace Boat to share their cultural history, heritage and identity with participants. Every voyage is colored with this celebration of differences, and past onboard events have included a Viet Namese wedding ceremony, performances from a New York gospel choir, traditional singing from South Africa, Didgeridoo carving and playing, Japanese dancing and a Peace Boat “Cultural Day” in which the array of different nationalities showcase their countries in an onboard carnival.

Language Courses

Peace Boat’s onboard language programs are open to everyone and include full-time courses in Spanish and English. Shorter pre-port lessons are also available to prepare participants for basic communication in some of the countries we visit each voyage. Languages taught on previous voyages have included Arabic, French, Korean, Russian, Swahili, Tagalog and even Sign Language for the Hearing Impaired. As Peace Boat is a Japan based organization, our Japanese lessons offer students the chance to learn a language while immersed in the culture in which it is spoken.


One of the main elements of Peace Boat’s work is cooperation with local and international NGOs. In most of the countries Peace Boat visits, wide range of programmes are organized around the arrival of the ship that support local grassroots initiatives and development.

By holding NGO forums around the world onboard, Peace Boat also offers itself as a neutral and alternative space for networking between groups that share common concerns. The unique mobility of Peace Boat allows us to provide a venue for NGOs that are not able to convene or participate in the major international conferences. Peace Boat’s own participation in international civil society conventions engages a wider audience for these groups’ voices, concerns and proposals.


Time on the deck and sunsets are also indispensable parts of the experience.

Sports, music, dance and art transcend language and cultural barriers onboard a Peace Boat voyage. The outdoor sports deck is a venue for basketball, soccer, karate, volleyball, tai-chi and also a rehearsal space for dance or musical performances. Art and craft groups form on each voyage, often working to create something to be presented in a port of call or used as part of an advocacy campaign. The open-air decks are also spaces to watch the roll of the ocean, take a swim in one of the pools or chat and meet with other participants.