Watch Onze Haven (Our Port): Seamen's Houses are a home away from home for seafarers

Published on Fri 24 Jun 2022
Saturday, June 25 is International Day of the Seafarer. At North Sea Port, too, it's a day to honour the seafarers. Specifically, this takes place at the Seamen's Houses, of which there is one in every location of the greater port area.

"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!"