The issue of shoreleave is a pivotal and sensitive area – but there are still double standards globally when it comes to granting seafarers access to shore and time away from the vessel.
In some places, this has been improved, but in others – whether it be through remote terminals, a lack of transport or high costs, then it can be hard to get away and to find a chance to relax and unwind.
Shoreleave is a valuable commodity for seafarers, the chance for a change of environment and a means of relaxing is so important. After weeks, possibly months at sea, what better than some fresh air, the grass beneath the feet and an escape from the constant noise and throb of the vessel? Alas, many seafarers are seemingly denied these basic rights.
Within Seafarers Happiness Index reports, all too often we hear from crew who simply sign on the vessel, and sign off at the end of the trip, with no chance of shoreleave in between times. There are signs of improvement with amendments to the FAL Convention – but we hope that the voice of seafarers and the reality of their predicaments will be heard.