Dispatches No. 485

Dear Members

InterManager would like to join forces with IMEC in order to POOL RESOURCES for crew changes.

The charter flight to/from India is being arranged jointly by both marine travel providers; members can access portal on IMEC website with their requirements and the experts will take it from there.




Could you please pass this link to your staff, especially those responsible for crew changes and seafarers’ development?


InterManager’s Secretary General, Capt. Kuba Szymanski will be joining David Patraiko, FNI Director of Projects for The Nautical Institute for a FREE webinar on Thursday May 21st, 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM BST.


The webinar will discuss support and development opportunities for crew, and what might be done in all areas of shipping to create more resilience in the face of future adversity. Crew repatriation will be covered, and how crews both on board and ashore can benefit from professional development.


Questions are encouraged and a certificate of participation will be issued to those who attend.

To register for FREE, please visit https://bit.ly/2WUCCY7

Last week we have issued:


Pooling resources for crew changes

Message No. 18

Firstly, a very kind request from ICS




We are collecting information on the ability of ships to conduct crew changes.  This is to support our joint efforts to encourage governments to implement the ‘

IMO Protocols’ and facilitate crew changes throughout the remainder of the COVID-19 pandemic in as many ports as possible.

We would be grateful if could consider circulating the internet link below to your member companies, requesting them to forward this to Masters with an encouragement to complete this ‘one minute’ Crew Change Survey whenever a crew change is attempted.


Our intention is to issue the results every second week, in order to begin maintaining a ‘white list’ of those countries in which crew changes are being successfully undertaken, which will hopefully indicate progress in the immediate days and weeks ahead.


Please consider forwarding the following link to your member companies:



Secondly Statistics from Maritime Champions League: https://www.intermanager.org/maritime-champions/

Cruise Industry

Miami – Manila; 4,100 seafarers

Orlando – Manila; 1,100 seafarers

Jacksonville – Manila;  900 seafarers
Los Angeles – Manila;  800 seafarers

Dubai – Manila;  415

Barbados – Manila; 400

New Orleans – Manila 400


“Regular ships”


Filipino seafarers’ main routes


Amsterdam – Manila – Amsterdam

Singapore- Manila – Singapore

Santos – Manila – Santos

Dubai – Manila – Dubai

Rome – Manila – Rome

Marseille – Manila – Marseille

Miami – Manila – Miami

Freemantle – Manila – Freemantle



Hong Kong – Minsk – Hong Long

Singapore – Minsk – Singapore

Amsterdam – Minsk – Amsterdam
Seoul – Minsk – Seoul




London – Berlin – London

Aberdeen – Berlin – Aberdeen

Lisbon – Berlin – Lisbon

Hong Kong – Amsterdam – Berlin – Amsterdam – Hong Kong




IN Russia

UK – Russia – UK

Indonesia – Russia – Indonesia

Gibraltar – Russia – Gibraltar

US – Russia – US




Chennai – Istanbul – Chennai

Cairo – Istanbul – Cairo

Fujairah – Istanbul – Fujairah

Malta – Istanbul – Malta

Manzanillo – Istanbul – Manzanillo
Pajaritos – Istanbul – Pajaritos




Hong Kong – London – Hong Kong

Copenhagen – London – Copenhagen

Le Havre – Liverpool – Le Havre



In China



Seoul – Bucharest – Seoul




Finally, please find answers from members who are experts on the issues asked about:



How did you manage to fly Filipino from UAE? What needs to be done – people are saying IT IS IMPOSSIBLE.

This took a long time to arrange, but with considerable assistance from the Philippine Embassy in Dubai and with cooperation from the UAE Department of Foreign Affairs we were able to “charter” two commercial flights from Emirates. The flights were originally scheduled for the end of March, but due to various issues with immigration and logistics, the two flights finally took place on April 11 and 12 with 208 and 207 crew respectively.



How did you manage to successfully complete crew changes in US (cruise ship staff)?

We started repatriation as soon as operation was suspended, with the first crew leaving LA on March 14, arriving in Manila on March 16. The first charter flight arrived in Manila on April 1, with 444 crew arriving from Miami.


The second charter flight arrived in Manila on April 2, and also from Miami with 454 crew: subsequently, we have had 14 more charter flights arriving from the US. The Philippine Embassy in Washington has been extremely helpful in securing landing and diplomatic clearance.



What are the quarantine facilities are available for returning seafarers in Manila?

The type of facilities used vary in terms of different classes of hotels, motels, and serviced apartments: essentially, the various crew management companies took whatever was available at the time the inbound rush occurred.


It should be noted that when the rush started – around the third week of March – all hotels, motels, and serviced apartments had been closed down by the government due to the stringently imposed lockdown.  The facilities opened slowly – and in no particular order – when we pushed the government to reopen such facilities to provide the housing needs of the inbound Filipinos.


Those were tough and challenging days. We had anxious moments when finding a facility and then waiting to hear if the facility would be approved by the government to serve as temporary quarantine accommodation.


There are also government-established isolation facilities which serve as hospitals for the proper monitoring of suspected COVID-19 cases or very mild-positive COVID-19 cases.


Food is packaged individually and provided directly to each individual, as there aren’t supposed to be any social gatherings while in quarantine.  Gym use isn’t allowed, assuming the hotel has such a facility.  For that matter, people living in condominiums and apartments in Manila also had the same rules applied to them.  No one was allowed out of their unit, except to buy essentials: even then, only one person per household was allowed out.  If a facility had a gym it could not be used, as the idea allowed no social gatherings at all.  Church services were also cancelled, and continue to be so today.


Internet will depend on what the individual facility has, and this will range from good to intermittent signal strength.  The individual might also have their own phone-based hotspot, in lieu of a facility internet.


There is no hotel service or maid service allowed during the quarantine period to avoid the possibility of any potential transmission.  When we discuss sanitation or orderliness, that will vary with what the individual does to take care of their respective quarters.  As I understand it, soap, shampoo, and fresh towels are supplied by hotels regularly, but it is the individual who has to pick these up when they are dropped off outside the room.


While for the most part, the seafarers are either asymptomatic and show no signs of being ill, the virus has its own funny and interesting ways to camouflage itself, while in fact staying alive inside an unsuspecting host.  Based on accepted information and knowledge, the average lifespan of the virus is about 14 days.  While this may have varied across different cases – with some cases running much longer – 14 days should allow an individual to go through the virus’ life cycle, for the most part.


This is why, after 14 days, the individual (if still asymptomatic at the end of the 14-day cycle and has no fever, or other signs of a cold, cough, or flu) should then be allowed to be medically discharged and proceed home.


The reason this has not moved as fast is that it took some time for the national government to get all local government units at the provincial, city, and municipal level to agree on a standard protocol. As a result, we could not push movement home for those completing their quarantine period, or for those who had tested negative for the presence of the virus after a PCR swab test had been administered.


A very sparse and isolated life it has been, and it has been very unusual and out of the ordinary.  These have been extraordinary, and completely unexpected times: we were all caught unprepared for the disruption caused.


No script was ever written for this event, and while all this is new, it has been the only way forward given the single-minded effort of preventing the transmission of this hidden virus, which can surprisingly strike at any time on unsuspecting individuals.


In short, the past ten weeks cannot be compared with ordinary times where our existing standards of comfort and quality of life can readily be contrasted.


Message No. 17

Dear Members,


The Maritime Champions League is working as designed, so a BIG THANK YOU to those who are making it work. https://www.intermanager.org/maritime-champions/


As a result, we have received a great set of questions yesterday and today.


First – Crew Changes in South and North America

Here is first-hand feedback from Champions who have actually done it:

We could sign-off on a seafarer in Brazil and fly him to Korea for new delivery



  1. Off-signer undergoes COVID-19 test on sign-off, which should be arranged through agents.
    1. Houston is open (Texas has re-opened).
  2. Flight routing will be an issue in Houston from Ukraine (though I imagine slightly better than via South America)
    1. Multiple transits from Belarus via AMS, then a flight to Georgia, US then domestic to HOU
  1. Notwithstanding, C1/D visa requirements will be enforced in US.
  2. There will be a charge for the COVID-19 test done in Houston; in Long Beach it was around US$200.



Last week we made some alignments with the latest IMO coronavirus (COVID-19) recommended framework of protocols for ensuring safe ship crew changes and travel during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.


I have been informed that the crew change in Corpus Christi worked out well, by following these guidelines.



Regarding Brazil – we arranged a disembarkation of Polish crew via Vitoria.

The repatriation flight was arranged from Sao Paulo to Berlin, and it seems that the flight availability is improving on this route. Leavers could go directly to the airport: on arrival, a 14-day quarantine is required.


Our crew change in Brazil was possible due to the special visa of the crew (worker status), hence they are exempted from the general travel ban.




Crew changes in Houston are possible: please see attached guidelines

Watch out for last minute cancelations (flights, etc) and restriction changes



LATAM is reinstating flights from Sau Paulo to Frankfurt next week, which may help



Secondly – Crew Changes in India

DG Shipping issues an e-Pass to seafarers through a process to travel across India to join a ship or sign-off. A delay at state boarders can be expected, and some states like Bengal have lots of uncertainty.


The most convenient ports are in the state of Gujrat.

Please see the very comprehensive guidance attached.




Thirdly – Crew Changes in Korea


In Korea, ship-to-ship transfer is allowed without any quarantine.

All arriving in Korea have to undergo a 14-day quarantine.



New Question to members who have completed crew changes in United Arab Emirates


How did you go about this, as we can know some of our members have done it ☺

NEW QUESTION to members who manage UKRAINIAN seafarers:
We need to test a Belarus Master before travelling. There is no antibody or PCR test available in Belarus as per my information. I brought a test from Kiev to him, but he will still need to the results to be examined by a laboratory, which we couldn’t find in Belarus.


Do you have any information on what is currently possible in Belarus, or do any other of your contacts have a self-antibody test available in Belarus?


As requested – please find the latest flight availability for your major routes: (Thanks to QA Travel Isle of Man)

EU – Brasil – we can get flights to/from Sao Paulo:


1 . KL  791   20MAY AMSGRU   2150  #0455  O




1 . LH  506 S  20MAY FRAGRU   2205  #0455  O




1 . LH  507   21MAY GRUFRA   1815  #1050

2 . LH  996   22MAY FRAAMS   1430   1545




1 . LH  507  21MAY GRUFRA   1815  #1050







  1. KL 2700   20MAY OTPAMS   0840   1040


  1. KL  887   20MAY AMSHKG   1750  #1110




1 . KL  888   20MAY HKGAMS   1255   1910




1 . CX  251   20MAY HKGLHR   2355  #0540





EU – Singapore



1 . KL 1766   20MAY FRAAMS   1150   1310

2 . KL  835   20MAY AMSSIN   2200  #1635




1 . KL  836  18MAY SINAMS   0005   0700




1 . KL  836   20MAY SINAMS   0005   0700

2 . KL 1765   20MAY AMSFRA   1005   1115





Dubai – any direction 


There is no flight availability currently, but we have the following information issued today:


–  “Dubai’s Emirates has announced its plan to operate scheduled flight services from May 21 to nine destinations: London Heathrow, Frankfurt, Paris, Milan, Madrid, Chicago, Toronto, Sydney, and Melbourne, subject to government approval.”


US – Any direction available please.


There are quite a few flights available from/to the US.  Some examples are:


1 . NH    5   21MAY LAXNRT   1245  #1630

2 . NH  801  22MAY NRTSIN   1805  #0025




Have a question? Don’t sit on it, ask!




Last week:

Working on COVID-19
Working on Enclosed Space Death project
Criminalisation of Seafarers – Guidelines

This Week:

Webinar – Crew Support and Seafarers’ Development

Working on COVID-19
Working on Enclosed Space Death project
Criminalisation of Seafarers – Guidelines
Maritime Champions League


Looking forward:

Working on Enclosed Space Death project
Working on COVID-19

Mt Kilimanjaro August 2020

We are taking on this giant of the world in August 2020, and we are looking for participants now so that training can begin and we can build a good plan for fundraising.

This is certainly one of life’s achievements and will not be forgotten easily!

Minimum sponsorship amount £5000.

Brochure and video being created.

I hope you’re well and will join me in a canoe or on a trek, maybe?

Kindest regards

Rebecca Bridgen

Events Fundraiser

Sailors’ Society

+ 44 7712 404130


Brgds Kuba

Capt. Kuba Szymanski

Secretary General

+44 7624 498 266



Leave a reply

©2022 InterManager - Promoting Excellence In Ship Management

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?