Q1 2020: The End of Shoreleave

The latest Seafarers Happiness Report is a special focus on the impact of COVID-19 on seafarers. We did ask our usual set of questions…and here we find out the answer to the enquiry about…How happy about access to shore leave?

  • 5.80 down from 5.90

Events sometimes conspire to make debate irrelevant, and the effect of a global pandemic has rendered concerns about shore leave as seemingly academic. Seafarers are currently not getting ashore as it would put either themselves, or the people in places they visit at risk.

Pre virus, one respondent claimed,Most of the time, some inspection, maintenance, or stupid management decision will make access to time off impossible”. Where there is time, unfortunately the cost benefits of shore leave often do not stack up. The financial cost of shore passes and transport impact the decision to go ashore, and so too effect rest time. In some places the opportunity to enjoy the surroundings may outweigh these negatives, but often time it seems they do not. Alas the financial costs, and the desire to stay onboard and sleep often win out.

A regular contributor to the Seafarers Happiness Index stressed once more the view that “shore leave is dead. Instead we should make ships a more favourable place to be on in the first place”. This seafarer also added, that “We are down to absolute minimum levels of crew which means taking shore leave in port requires someone else to cover you and therefore fatigue themselves more”.

Seafarers recognise the potential benefits of time away from the vessel. One response stated, “We need to destress, and need people to recognise the importance of relieving stress by getting ashore”. While one seafarer even got poetic, waxing lyrical on shore leave as a, “time to see the beauty of a country, free from your job and tension”. It was also encouraging to read of one response which said, “My company encourages us to get off the ship when possible”. Which seemed like good leadership and management, where often such a view is lacking.

Back To News

Take the survey

Take the Seafarers Happiness Index survey now - and share your thoughts on life at sea today.

Get started now