Watch Onze Haven (Our Port): Seamen's Houses are a home away from home for seafarers
"One of our core tasks is to receive ships and to provide them with infrastructure and nautical guidance. This also applies to the seafarers on those ships. Their well-being is very important to us", says Peter van Parys, operational director of North Sea Port. "We help with activities and support where we can."
The importance of a Seamen's House
The Seamen's Houses are partly run by volunteers. For example, ex-seafarer Michiel Koers drives the shuttle bus, which transports seamen between their ship and the Seamen's House. Port Chaplain Pascal Handschin emphasizes the importance of Seamen's Houses: "We offer a living room outside the ship, the chance to stretch your legs and talk to someone else. It can be really limited on board."
The seafarers themselves are also satisfied with the Seamen's Houses. "This place is very nice and the people are very hospitable. You can relax, drink a beer, play games like billiards and table tennis and there's free Wi-Fi. Perfect!"