I participated in the Peace Boat 56th Global Voyage as a 'mizusaki-annnai-nin' or a guest educator, for nine days from Acapulco,Mexico, to Vancouver. This ship, called Topaz, carried about six hundred passengers, a smaller group than the usual nine hundred or so. There were two big age groups on the ship - the young ones from late teens to early twenties, and the mature ones in their late fifties and above. This is understandable as it must be hard for people in their thirties and forties, typically in their full-time working years, to participate in the three-month long world voyage. (Photo: Peace Boat at Acapulco Bay)
As a mother of two young children, it was the first time in years that I spent days without seeing small children. The youngest passengers on this cruise were junior high students who should be fourteen or fifteen years old. I was told that some cruises do have many children, so they provide family-oriented activities on the ship.
This ship never sleeps. The young ones stay up late and some go to bed at 4 in the morning, when some of the older ones are getting up. So morning events typically had mature audience, and the late-at-night events the younger. The prime time on the ship therefore was from around 4 PM to 9 PM, when both young ones and old ones were awake. I was wondering how people could manage their boredom while cruising for days between ports of call, but I knew I was mistaken as soon as I boarded Topaz.
10:00-12:00 Film and Discussion
I know why Peace Boat is so successful now. It is the dedication of these young people and the passion that they have for promoting peace in the world. Above all, they seem to be having the best fun in the world in doing what they do, and I believe this is what attracts so many talented youths to this work.