Cruise, Ferry Seafarers Among the Unhappiest

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

August 8, 2019

Image: The Mission to Seafarers

Image: The Mission to Seafarers

The seafarers working onboard cruise ships and ferries rank among the unhappiest in the industry, said a study.

Seafarer happiness levels across tanker, bulk carriers and container ship sectors close to global average this quarter, it said.

The latest Seafarers Happiness Index report, published by The Mission to Seafarers, showed that cruise and ferry crews had an average score of 5.3/10 on their general happiness level – 15 per cent less than the global average across all vessel types, which stands at 6.27 this quarter.

Happiness levels for those working on tankers, bulk carriers and container ships were all close to the global average, coming in at around 6.3/10, said the report, which is produced in association with leading mutual P&I insurer the Shipowners’ Club, is based on the responses of thousands of seafarers across the global maritime industry.

Seafarers on dredgers were the most satisfied, according to the data. However, the percentage of respondents serving on this vessel type was relatively low.

Across all vessel types, four key issues emerged from the survey responses in this three-month period: delayed payment of wages; decreased shore leave; workload stress caused by smaller crews onboard; and a lack of understanding from shore staff with regard to seafarer welfare issues.

At the same time, concern around seafarer abandonment continues to grow, with many seafarers expressing a sense of vulnerability following a number of recent incidents around the globe. The Mission also received a number of troubling reports of aggression, violence and bullying against female seafarers.

On the positive side, seafarers’ happiness levels with their ability to keep in contact with their family when at sea rose this quarter. This is an encouraging indication of the benefits to seafarers from improved connectivity at sea, as well as the importance of further improvements in both the availability and cost of communications to seafarers.

In other welcome news, happiness levels among seafarers with their ability to keep fit and healthy onboard also rose. In responding to the survey, a number of seafarers also highlighted the importance of physical exercise as a factor in mental wellbeing.

The latest survey was completed by thousands of respondents from all regions, with seafarers from the Indian subcontinent, Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia and Western Europe best represented.

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