Shipping companies, charities join forces to bring festive cheers to seafarers

The campaign brings the shipping community together to support seafarers as we celebrate the end-of-year holidays.

The global shipping industry and welfare organizations have come together to support seafarers though the #SeafarersDeliveringChristmas campaign 2020.  The campaign brings the shipping community together to support seafarers as they celebrate the end-of-year holidays. These are ‘key workers’ who have worked tirelessly to keep nations supplied through the pandemic. The campaign will ensure they receive the support they deserve.

Examples of festive projects from supporting organizations and partners include:

  • The International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network online Festive Countdown, giving away prizes to seafarers and promoting some ideas for onboard activities
  • A holiday video message from the European Commissioner for Transport, expressing gratitude towards seafarers
  • Maersk Line Limited (MLL) is sending US$10,000 to each of its American-flag ships to be used for crew welfare. Seafarers that have spent at least 120 days sailing with MLL in 2020 will also get a holiday gift basket delivered to their home address.

The campaign has already successfully driven donations to seafarer welfare organizations that are experiencing an extra financial burden supporting seafarers throughout the pandemic. Notably, North American Maritime Ministry Association received a donation of US$168,500 from the ITF Seafarers’ Trust to distribute gifts as a result of the encouragement of this campaign. 

Companies and welfare groups are providing a wide range of support services, including calls home, and more contributions are welcomed.  The UN International Labor Organization (ILO) also recently adopted a resolution on the urgent need to implement measures to allow crew change, classify seafarers as key workers, and provide medical care to seafarers in need. ICS has been leading industry efforts to resolve the crew change crisis since the beginning of the pandemic and supports this latest resolution.

Guy Platten, Secretary General of the International Chamber of Shipping said: “Since the beginning of the pandemic, we’ve witnessed the world’s seafarers extending their tours of duty to keep supply chains open, delivering everyday necessities and medical supplies to those in need. While many have been able to crew change, hundreds of thousands of ships’ crew are currently still stranded at sea, unable to return home to celebrate this festive season.

“The #SeafarersDeliveringChristmas presents a great opportunity for the global shipping community to unite and show our appreciation and care for these keyworkers. Anyone that sympathizes with the cause of the initiative should participate, no matter if you are a shipping company, organization, family or friends of seafarers.”

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