Staff Captain Petros Poulakis was born in Nicosia, Cyprus but spent his early years in Greece. His family moved to Australia for a few years, but they ultimately returned to Athens, Greece permanently. He began his seafaring career as a Deck Cadet on cargo ships, and then joined the cruising industry in 2000. He joined Semester at Sea in January 2022. Initially, he was unaccustomed to the shipboard culture as he found it very different from the other cruise ships. The shipboard community exudes a challenging yet fresh and familial atmosphere. Now, he is more than glad to become an integral part of this great family. When home in Greece, he spends most of his time with his wife and two children. Staff Captain Petros also loves to cook as much as he loves music, thus he DJ’s at parties.
Chief Panos was born and raised in Piraeus, Greece. Coming from a seafaring family, it’s no surprise that he chose the same path. His first sea voyage came at 17 years of age, and on a summer break from school he worked as an engine wiper in a cargo ship for three months. He is a self-confessed mechanical junkie and the smell & sound of the ship’s engines after this trip hit him hard.
Chief Panos joined the Semester at Sea in October 2019 to fulfill his dream to circumnavigate the globe in a single voyage. When not at sea, Chief Panos lives with his wife, two children and their dog in the suburbs of Athens, Greece. Chief Panos loves traveling around Greece and is an avid motorcycle enthusiast. He is often found at the beach riding the Aegean waves on his favorite Stand Up Paddle.
EducationMerchant Marine Academy of Aspropyrgos
Chief Rumen was born in 1972 in Dobrich, a small town near the Black Sea Coast.His parents had a very nice small summer house on the coast, where they would spend sunny weekends. It was at this house that Rumen would watch big ships pass by and had one question in his mind, “How [does that] big thing move without sails?” Rumen and his older brother would race around the coast on boats.
In 2005 Rumen joined the MV Explorer and SAS program as Second Engineer. In 2012 Rumen took over the Chief Engineer position and continues work on Semester at Sea’s current ship, the World Odyssey.
Chief Rumen enjoys traveling, photography, playing football with his son, and sometimes gardening. When at home, he spends time with friends and colleagues, and discusses political events and local issues.
EducationNaval Academy (Engineering Profile)