New facilities for cruise ships crew have opened in Helsinki, Kiel, and Liverpool. All have been opened by seafarer welfare organisations, working in co-operation with other partners.
In Helsinki the Finnish Seamen's Service and the Finnish Seamen's Mission have opened up a new drop-in centre for cruise ship crews funded by the ITF Seafarers Trust. The drop-in centre provides free internet service, phones, a shop, and transport. Refreshments are also being provided. The centre is open when there is cruise ship in the port. The centre is called 'the Cruise Crew Lounge Anchor'. The centre is based in a former souvenir shop in the port.
In Kiel, Germany, the German Seamans Mission has moved into the new seafarer lounge in the Ostseekai Cruise Terminal. The facility is for the use of ship crews and is designed to improve communication and offer advice to visiting seafarers. The idea of the Seafarers' Lounge, as with similar facilities in Hamburg and Venice, is to create a familiar environment and a place where seamen can meet in a personal and private atmosphere. The facility cost about 400,000 Euros and was made possible by support from the state of Schleswig-Holstein, the International Transport Federation (ITF) and the Port of Kiel. The lounge provides internet access, a small shop, an advice room, and a kitchen for seafarers.
In Liverpool the Cruise Terminal, in conjunction with Liverpool Seafarers Centre have opended up 'Crew Welcome Desk' located within the terminal. The 'Welcome Desk' will be manned by personnel from Liverpool Seafarers Centre who will be there to offer advice, support, information and directions to the Liverpool Seafarers Centre. Situated right in the heart of Liverpool Docklands, Liverpool Seafarers Centre extends the hand of friendship to thousands of seafarers every year. They are a charity operating a front line service to provide practical and emotional support for seafarers. In addition to a friendly face, crew newspapers, printed in a number of different languages will be provided by KVH Media Group, whose maritime group office is located in Liverpool. KVH Media Group is a leading provider of commercially licensed news, entertainment, and training content for the cruise line and merchant shipping industries, hotels, businesses and retail.