Preparing for first (or every other embarkation) can be very stressful for majority of seafarers.

Some of you experience pressure even weeks before travel date, even those who have decades of sea going experience.

While waiting for a ticket, daily challenges do not stop and you need to cope with family and personal obligations and at the same time be ready and fully prepared to travel.

In most cases, there are unfinished business left behind, waiting to be continued till your safe return and it is especially hard to concentrate for an incoming contract and months abroad.

Anyhow, to make your life a bit easier, here are some tips to follow before you kiss your loved ones & go.

  • MAKE SURE YOU HAVE ALL YOUR STCW CERTIFICATES IN ONE PLACE. IT TAKES FIVE MINUTES TO CHECK AND AGES TO APPLY FOR A DUPLICATE. ALSO, AS YOU KNOW IT MAY COST YOU YOUR CONTRACT.
  • CHECK VALIDITY AS WELL. OFFICE STAFF DULY CHECKS BUT TO AVOID HUMAN ERROR, WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO CHECK YOUR DOCS.
  • DO NOT PLASTIFY YOUR STCW CERTIFICATES TILL YOU CHECKED THAT ALL ARE SIGNED. THERE IS NO COMING BACK THEN. WE STRONGLY SUGGEST PLASTIFYING DOCS TO KEEP THEM SAFE FROM SPILLING OR ANY OTHER ACCIDENT.
  • CHECK THAT YOU ARE IN POSSESION OF VALID MEDICAL CERTIFICATE (ORIGINAL!), BOTH FLAG MEDICAL CERTIFICATE AND ILO / MLC CONVENTION FORM.
  • CHECK THAT YOU PASSPORT, SEAMANS BOOK AND VACCINATION CARD ARE IN PLACE, TOO. IF YOU HAVE NEW PASSPORT AND VALID VISAS IN OLD PASSPORT, BRING BOTH!
  • ENSURE YOU HAVE FLAG STATE ENDORSEMENT AND SEAMANS BOOK, IF APPLICABLE. IF YOU STILL DO NOT HAVE AN ENDORSEMENT BUT HAVE CERTIFICATE OF RECEIPT OF APPLICATION, ENSURE YOU BRING IT WITH YOU. ARRIIVING ON BOARD WITHOUT FLAG STATE DOCUMENTS WILL MOST PROPABLY RESULT IN RETURNING HOME.
  • SUGGEST TO COPY ALL PERSONAL DOCUMENTS JUST IN CASE IF DOCS ARE LOST OR DESTROYED THAT IT IS EASIER FOR YOU TO GET NEW DOCS EITHER IN THE YOUR EMBASSY ABROAD OR UPON RETURN HOME IF YOU ACCIDENTALY LOSE IT OR DOCS ARE STOLLEN ON YOUR WAY HOME.
  • DO NOT TRAVEL WITHOUT CONTRACT OR EMBARKATION LETTER! HAVING A CONTRACT KEEPS YOU SAFE TO PURSUING YOUR RIGHTS. ALSO SOME COUNTRIES MAY ASK YOU A CONTRACT AT IMMIGRATION COUNTER IN RDER TO PROVE YOUR EMPLOYMENT, REGARDLESS IF YOU HAVE VISA, VALID TRAVEL DOCS OR OK TO BOARD.
  • DO NOT RELY ON YOUR MOBILE PHONE ONLY. KEEP EMERGENCY CONTACT ON A PIECE PAPER IF YOU ARE TRAVELLING WITHOUT LETTER OF GUARANTEE. HAVE YOUR CREW AGENTS NUMBER HANDY EVERYWHERE.
  • CHECK BAGGAGE ALLOWANCE AND WEIGHT YOUR LUGGAGE BEFORE ARRIVING TO THE AIRPORT.
  • IN HAND LUGGAGE, KEEP YOU DOCS AND ESSENTIALS AS IT MAY HAPPEN THAT DUE TO EITHER WEATHER OR ANY UNPREDDICTABLE CICUMSTANCES, YOU STUCK AT THE AIRPORT. (ADDITIONAL CLOTHES TO CHANGE, CHARGER, ALLOWED COSMETICS…)
  • ALWAYS, BUT ALWAYS READ ADDITIONAL INSTRUCTIONS FROM THE LOCAL AGENT IN PORT, IF APPLICABLE, AS THERE ARE SOME COUNTRIES WHERE SOME ITEMS ARE NOT ALLOWED TO CARRY IN, OR CULTURAL BEHAVIOUR IS DIFFERENT FROM THE ONE YOU ARE USED TO. REMEMBER, YOU ARE A GUEST IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY AND WHEN IN ROME…
  • IF YOU SUSPECT THAT COUNTRY WHERE YOU TRAVEL MIGHT HAVE ANY RESTRICTIONS, PLEASE NOTIFY YOUR CEW AGENT TO DOUBLE CHECK BEFORE TRAVELLING.
  • IN CASE OF ANY PROBLEMS DURING TRAVEL, SUGGEST TO CALL YOUR CREW AGENCY AS WE ARE HERE FOR YOU 24/7.

Internavis Ltd. wishes you a safe trip!

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