Denmark finds a way to get crews home

Denmark has worked out a way to carry out crew changes. The government, together with Danish Shipping, the maritime section of the Danish Metalworkers’ Union and the Danish Engineers’ Association, has found a solution whereby stranded seafarers onboard Danish ships can come home.

The solution is to apply the visa rules in such a way that seafarers who need to do so can obtain a visa to enter or travel through Denmark, so that they can sign on or off duty in Denmark or neighbouring countries.

Now it is a matter of relieving as many seafarers as quickly as possible

Anne Steffensen, CEO of Danish Shipping, commented: “We have been fighting for a long time to get our seafarers home to their families, so I am very pleased that the government has listened and found a temporary model that allows crew changes. Now it is a matter of relieving as many seafarers as quickly as possible.”

Upon entry into Denmark, the industry itself must take a number of precautions for seafarers, in order to minimise the risk of the spread of infection.

Special departments will be set up for them at airports so that they do not come into contact with others, and it will be possible for foreign seafarers to be tested for Covid-19 in Denmark.

In addition, shipping companies must ensure that seafarers are isolated in hotels, for example.

According to the global crew change tracker compiled by port agent Inchcape Shipping Services there are just 17 countries – including Denmark – who have opened up for crew changes.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


  1. About time.Landlubbers have no idea how it feels to be stuck on a ship and unable to get home when your contract has ended.Therefore this move is very positive.

    1. Yeah Danes are too expensive to employ at sea. You would probably get paid more cleaning toilets in Denmark than what some captains get paid on cargo ships.

  2. I hope it will also enable seafarers to get back to work where they have been left without wages in many cases simply unable to join ships at all.

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