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How long do different ships stay at port?

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  • How long do different ships stay at port?

    Am currently doing A levels and am planning on applying to a company for a career at sea.

    I really am attracted to the travel aspect of the job and was wondering what type of ship would allow for me to actually see some of theses places I will be at port in.

    What companies would you reccomned me applying to?

  • #2
    Hiya mate, I’m also finishing A levels and have got a sponsorship starting in September.

    Regarding time in port, it really does depend on the type of vessel and the cargo that there carrying. For example, in today’s container ships can stay in port for as little as 24 hours loading and unloading cargo. If you want the ‘touristy’ places then maybe cruise ships. However, most ships will allow you to get time ashore as this is a major selling point of the job.
    It really is up to you but if you want the best chance of gaining a cadetship then apply to as many as possible.

    Companies such as Clyde Marine, SSTG, Maersk, Shell, BP and any other companies such as Cunard+Princess Cruises. Tbh though an really good website to look at to get more information is careersatsea.org

    hope this helped, and any more questions just ask

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    • #3
      Seems like the only ships that really get decent time ashore are Cruise ships.

      Containers are in and out as above - although because they are liners they are in port so often you total time ashore is higher than others.

      Tankers (big ones) are in port rarely so you should really be doing cargo work. Small parcels tankers/chems are a bit more flexible and you might get ashore more.

      Bulkers do stay in port for long periods of time - although the boys in my year that did them weren't overly impressed by the places they ended up. Although again, they did get ashore alot.

      The advice I had from officers, and what I've experienced myself suggests that the sea isn't really a career for seeing places UNLESS you're with a cruise line. Much better to work hard, make the time fly and then explore the nice places of the world in your time off!!

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      • #4
        Don't join the merchant navy to see the world.

        You'll come home with a far greater appreciation for white civilisation once you've been to your first few Arab/Chinese ports.

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        • #5
          Why is all of this style stuff on the anonymous forum recently? If you want to ask non-sensitive questions then join the forum and get more responses?!
          • Container ships - visit many weird parts of the world you'll never see as a tourist but are in port sometimes for less than 18 hours, you'll be expected to work some of those 18 hours (usually 4 hours on 8 hours off) meaning you can't stray too far from the ship. Often the ports take around an hour to exit and enter as they're vast
          • Bulk carriers - visit many weird parts of the world and stay for several days sometimes... but usually in VERY remote locations where you can't get off, such as moored 1 mile off the coast of the Amazon loading coal from a conveyor belt that is 15 miles long.
          • Cruise ships - visit many nice places that tourists love, but only for 10 hours at a time... and you'll be expected to work some of those hours, but as a cadet you might get free time to do some nice things. As an officer I did not have enough time in my day to get off the ship.
          • Ferries - visit awful places for short amounts of time.
          • Tankers - visit weird places for a maximum of 24-36 hours, and you'll be expected to work during some of that time.
          • Supply boats - get ashore as much as you like... in Aberdeen or Great Yarmouth.
          The most time you’ll get in port is likely the day you join and leave your vessel, and this isn’t always a nice time. You’ll often leave a ship to fly 7 hours later, and joining ship you’ll get put in a cheap business hotel for one night before joining ship at 7am.

          The Merchant Navy is a terrible way to see the world, but it’s a great way to earn good money and have tonnes of time off to see the world. Nobody else you know will be earning £30-45k tax free with 4-6 months holiday per year.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by agibbs98 View Post
            Why is all of this style stuff on the anonymous forum recently? If you want to ask non-sensitive questions then join the forum and get more responses?!
            • Container ships - visit many weird parts of the world you'll never see as a tourist but are in port sometimes for less than 18 hours, you'll be expected to work some of those 18 hours (usually 4 hours on 8 hours off) meaning you can't stray too far from the ship. Often the ports take around an hour to exit and enter as they're vast
            • Bulk carriers - visit many weird parts of the world and stay for several days sometimes... but usually in VERY remote locations where you can't get off, such as moored 1 mile off the coast of the Amazon loading coal from a conveyor belt that is 15 miles long.
            • Cruise ships - visit many nice places that tourists love, but only for 10 hours at a time... and you'll be expected to work some of those hours, but as a cadet you might get free time to do some nice things. As an officer I did not have enough time in my day to get off the ship.
            • Ferries - visit awful places for short amounts of time.
            • Tankers - visit weird places for a maximum of 24-36 hours, and you'll be expected to work during some of that time.
            • Supply boats - get ashore as much as you like... in Aberdeen or Great Yarmouth.
            The most time you’ll get in port is likely the day you join and leave your vessel, and this isn’t always a nice time. You’ll often leave a ship to fly 7 hours later, and joining ship you’ll get put in a cheap business hotel for one night before joining ship at 7am.

            The Merchant Navy is a terrible way to see the world, but it’s a great way to earn good money and have tonnes of time off to see the world. Nobody else you know will be earning £30-45k tax free with 4-6 months holiday per year.
            having been cadet on PSV out of Aberdeen I will say I got off pretty much every time in port, but it Aberdeen

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            • #7
              I started out on heavy lift ships which are probably has some of the longest time alongside, along with smaller geared container and general cargo ships. The cruise ships I was on as an officer we had plenty of time to go ashore. I also worked super yachts which spend more time alongside then at sea. As a pilot in a port which moves a lot of bulk carriers, we have them in and out in 12-24 hours, but I think they spend a bit more time discharging at the other end. The smaller bulk carriers (handy size with cranes) seem to get to more interesting places and get more time alongside.

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