Cruise and ferry crew unhappiest in shipping industry

13 November 2019

Seafarers working on cruise ships and ferries are among the unhappiest in the shipping industry according to the latest Seafarers Happiness Index report.

Published by the Mission to Seafarers, the report said that those working in the cruise and ferry sector scored an average of 5.3/10 on their general happiness level – 15% less than the 6.27/10 average across all vessel types.

Happiness levels for seafarers working on tankers, bulk carriers and box ships all approached the 6.3/10 global average.

The data, produced in association with P&I insurer the Shipowners' Club, shows that seafarers on dredgers were the most satisfied, although the percentage of respondents serving on this vessel type was relatively low.

By age, happiness levels were highest among the youngest seafarers with cadets recording the highest levels.

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

Across all vessel types, four key issues emerged from the survey responses in the 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 about seafarer welfare.

At the same time, concern around seafarer abandonment continues to grow, with many seafarers expressing a sense of vulnerability following several recent incidents around the globe, including 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.