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  • Shipping company recommendations for EU cadets.

    So i am a Greek deck cadet currently studying in the Greek maritime academy, i have finished my first sea phase(5 months 19 days on a bulk carrier) and around July i will need to go for my second sea phase which should be at least 6 months and 11 days in order to complete my 1 year of sea service required by my academy.After i finish that last phase i ll be studying in my academy for 3 more semesters and then i ll have the 2nd officer unlimited license after the final exams.

    I was thinking of going into DP vessels but what i was thinking did not work out so i decided to start looking a little more actively for a good preferably LNG shipping company abroad.
    Currently i am looking for a company that hires international cadets and cares about training them to be skilled officers because they intend to keep them for later on.(unlike my previous ship where i was mostly doing trivial tasks and only did very few of the 2nd officer's jobs and duties)


    I want to avoid most Greek companies since based on my experience in both my ship and in my academy(Some old angry captains are teaching there) the Greek maritime culture is very very bad. Racism, close mindness, complete disregard of safety procedures, inability to accept anyone with a different lifestyle(to the point of whining because you drink chocolate milk and not coffee), inability to control their emotions while unable to effectively deal well with the stress is also a major problem for them which usually makes many people feel bad in an already stressful environment, this affected the lower crew members a lot more since many Greeks did not see them as equals.
    I could whine about their horribly negative and unprofessional behavior for ages but this isnt the main topic.
    (Out of curiosity, have you met many such people in your career? I know there are a ton of people like that in Greek companies but what about abroad??)

    Anyway, so since i have little knowledge of the international maritime market i came here to see if anyone could recommend me a few good companies i could try apply to.

    I know Maersk is great, i really like the way they are thinking and how they seem to portray themselves and their way of operating vessels but my only problem with Maersk is that it mostly has containers and that is a type of ship i would like to avoid. I would prefer a lot more to work on some LNG vessels for many reasons, but as far as i know Maersk has only 2 LNG vessels, which means they are almost impossible to get into due to the fact that you cant choose the type of the ship you will get into and the competition for them would obviously be huge.

    So to summarize, Could you recommend any good shipping companies that : 1)Are like Maersk(aka professional, open minded, cares about training you), has mostly LNGs/LPGs, accepts EU deck cadets and could possibly help with post graduation training/certificates(That isnt a must since whatever happens i dont intend at keep living in Greece where the quality of the post graduation training is pretty damn low, I am thinking of moving to the UK for better quality training and better people tbh).

    And any other advice is also welcome.

  • #2
    I want to avoid most Greek companies since based on my experience in both my ship and in my academy(Some old angry captains are teaching there) the Greek maritime culture is very very bad. Racism, close mindness, complete disregard of safety procedures, inability to accept anyone with a different lifestyle(to the point of whining because you drink chocolate milk and not coffee), inability to control their emotions while unable to effectively deal well with the stress is also a major problem for them which usually makes many people feel bad in an already stressful environment, this affected the lower crew members a lot more since many Greeks did not see them as equals.
    I could whine about their horribly negative and unprofessional behavior for ages but this isnt the main topic.
    (Out of curiosity, have you met many such people in your career? I know there are a ton of people like that in Greek companies but what about abroad??)
    To be honest, you could change 'Greek' for any nationality, you will find shocking companies all over the world. I just stepped of an all British ship, and I'm not saying this to be flippant, you have essentially described a small but vocal sector of the seagoing community, no matter what the nationality.
    Your next trip could be amazing, or it could be a total nightmare, as a cadet it is tough, and it really is the luck of the draw, which is a shame, but it is the sad reality. Honestly, if you can stick it out, I would, call it 'character building' or whatever, but 75% of a cadetship is just getting the time done, one way or another, and with respect, judging everything on one trip, especially your first, is perhaps not the best idea.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by condeh View Post
      To be honest, you could change 'Greek' for any nationality, you will find shocking companies all over the world. I just stepped of an all British ship, and I'm not saying this to be flippant, you have essentially described a small but vocal sector of the seagoing community, no matter what the nationality.
      Your next trip could be amazing, or it could be a total nightmare, as a cadet it is tough, and it really is the luck of the draw, which is a shame, but it is the sad reality. Honestly, if you can stick it out, I would, call it 'character building' or whatever, but 75% of a cadetship is just getting the time done, one way or another, and with respect, judging everything on one trip, especially your first, is perhaps not the best idea.
      "small but vocal"
      If that is true then that is good news since from what i hear people abroad dont fall as often to such ships compared to pretty much the majority of my classmates. Even though many did not enjoy it much they did not consider that kind of negative behavior as bad, they considered it something normal which definitely does not help the situation here.
      I am certain that many cadets from all around the world had to deal with incredibly bad behavior, i am just trying to find which company/nationality/cultural group has a smaller percent of such people.

      And tbh i would not judge anything based on my one sea phase. I ve seen quite a few 'captains' in my academy and seen how they behave.
      For example here in the academy you could see some old captain who because some kid talked during his lesson, he would suddenly start shouting and have a ridiculously angry outburst like his entire being was insulted. I am not supporting the kids either since they are definitely not the brightest people to act like that but in my opinion such behavior is unacceptable for a teacher, but here in Greek maritime culture it is apparently considered ok for a captain to shout and be angry or lash out at people because he is possibly stressed.(Honestly, the only captains who behave are the director of the academy and one from cruise ships, probably because behavior is important in such positions unlike the rest of the merchant navy vessels)

      And i have confirmed that multiple students in my academy had similar experiences and sadly many accept it as something normal and not counter productive and will not try to stop it themselves.

      Expect from that, the Greek culture isnt really the most open minded and accepting culture you ll ever find, which definitely doesnt help much when people enter a multi cultural environment.

      Plus since my father was a 1st engineer and is now a superintendent I do in a degree know a few of his colleagues from work and see how they act.(And considering most of these are friends with the company bosses/staff it is kinda hard for any LEGIT report against them to be effective and make things better)

      So it isnt a conclusion i have drawn simply because of one sea phase, i wouldnt rush to such conclusion without enough information.
      Of course i am not saying everyone is bad since that would be silly, but a big percent from here seems to be.

      And when you read how much Maersk seems to be against such unprofessional behavior in conjunction with some information i learned about Maersk from a few cadets the difference really seems like night and day.
      That is also why i asked about this here, i would like to know people's experiences with such things and how often it has happened to you.

      Damn, i wrote a wall of text again...

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      • #4
        I have lost count of the number lunatic captains and officers that I have sailed with over the years - sadly behavior which would never be tolerated ashore is considered par for the course at sea.

        You can try basically all of the big companies, they all hire international officers - it is more difficult as a cadet, but what about companies like Celebrity Cruises, which have a history with Greek Officers / cadets - although they are now recruiting a more international mix. Other than that, just get in touch with manning agencies here in the UK / Greece and see what your options are. To be honest, as a cadet you are limited, I would carry on as you are until you get your CoC and then look to get out.
        Cruise ship Captain with experience on-board Passenger Vessels ranging from 5500-150000 GRT.

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