How happy about access to shore leave?

  • 5.53 up from 5.4

The issue of shoreleave was another were seafarers really opened-up and shared what they were thinking. While the data did rise, the comments we received seemed to paint a very different picture. However, even though crew were no longer (usually) being allowed ashore, we did hear that some thought the current arrangements were a vast improvement, as it meant fewer people visiting the ship.

One stated, “shore leave is no more, but as no one can visit the ship it has meant that we can reduce watches and have some time for rest and recreation. Even onboard is better now”. While conversely, we heard that the rise in remote inspections is making more work, “Inspections are even worse now. I spent hours wandering around the vessel to film spaces with a mobile phone, this felt like a waste of time”.


Again and again, respondents stated that shore leave is banned, and in ports where it is allowed, then senior officers do not encourage, or even allow it. One commented on the pressures of being alongside, “I spend my time in port running around a lot – so I should maybe be glad of some exercise. It takes it out of you though, I am very exhausted by the time we get back to sea”.

Another concern voiced was the rise in violence and theft against seafarers in some ports. One stated, “Crime has been on the rise, and we were told that any shoreleave would be unsafe”. Which does not make seafarers particularly want to go ashore, even if they could.


One respondent summed up the importance of getting ashore, calling shore leave “a form of temporary happiness. It’s like a band-aid”. Though the seafarer did come back down to earth (or back to the ship with a bang) adding, “When you go back to the ship it’s like ripping the band-aid off”.

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