Apostleship of the Sea cruise chaplains provide cruise companies with a spiritual and pastoral service for both passengers and crew.
The emphasis however is on the welfare of the crew who work long and demanding hours, and go for months at a time without the sacraments.
“For those who work long periods at sea, chaplains provide much needed support in the absence of friends and family. They can comfort, reassure and offer spiritual guidance to those in need.” ~ Jo Utteridge, former dance captain and production manager on Costa cruise ships.
“I was on a cruise ship and it was such a joy to have a priest on board to celebrate Easter. I could see how much joy this brought not only to the crew but also to the passengers.” ~ Kevin Rigg, AoS supporter.
“What encapsulates my time on board was the love and joy of the crew showed in celebrating the Eucharist. At a time when they are far away from loved ones for nine months at a time in the Eucharist they were at one with their family and friends. I was made to feel very much at home and part of the crew family while I was on board, something I will cherish.” ~ Fr David Gamble, AoS cruise chaplain.
“I was very struck by the dignity & devotion of the Filipino crew and the reverence they showed me as a priest. It really brought home to me the significance & privilege of the priesthood and was profoundly humbling. I realised the simple power of priestly presence and the importance of being visible by wearing clericals in a way I hadn’t before. It was a really joyful experience for which I’m very thankful, one rich in possibilities and potential. Being at sea helped me to see what it is to be a Father!” Fr Alex Austin OSB (Queen Mary 2 November 2016)
Our chaplains’ ministry
The cruise industry is booming, and more Britons are taking cruises. Yet for the staff on board life is not always so glamorous. Crew often work long hours and for relatively little pay. Many go without the sacraments for months at a time. For many crew, the presence of a priest on board brings great comfort.
- AoS currently has a team of 40 cruise chaplains, mainly deployed at Christmas and Easter.
- Aos cruise chaplains are on board for the benefit of passengers and crew but their priority is the crew.
- Our cruise chaplains are there to offer spiritual and pastoral support including hearing confession, celebrating Mass and offering prayers. Basically being a good friend to the crew.
- Using AoS’ network of global port chaplains, our cruise chaplains also provide a link to our port chaplains who can then assist should the need arise.
Cruise lines are realising that having a chaplain on board a ship can be of great benefit to both crew and passengers. Cruise chaplaincy is part of AoS’s broader work of supporting seafarers working on merchant and fishing vessels and also their families back home.
Our Cruise Chaplaincy News page gives examples of why our ministry with crew is so vital.
Who we work with
- Carnival Cruises: P&O and Cunard
For enquiries please contact email@example.com
To read our latest Cruise Chaplaincy Review then click here to download the pdf document
News & Stories
I would like to thank Deacon Dan and Kerry for hosting me in their residence during my port visit to Halifax. It also gave me an opportunity to have a clear view of the departure of the cruise ships Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary. ... See MoreSee Less
This morning I had driven from Fredericton to Halifax. Visited the Seafarers center with the Chaplain Deacon Dan. The Chaplain from Sydney Fr.Roman came over to meet us. We had a meeting there and blessed the food about to be shared with the well wishers of the Seafarers center. We also participated in that fundraising lunch. After lunch visited a ship. Deacon Dan is hosting me in his residence this evening. I also visited St.Thomas church where Deacon Dan serves. Tomorrow morning I will be driving back to Montreal. ... See MoreSee Less
I am in my annual port visit to Quebec and Maritime region of Nova Scotia. Yesterday I had visitted Three-rivers. The AoS Chaplaincy and the Chaplain with a volunteer. The amazing achievement of the Chaplain Deacon Paul Racete is that he has recruited 30 volunteers to his center. ... See MoreSee Less
1 month ago
Happy SEA Sunday. The Seafarers on board the ship OOCL BELGIUM were so happy to welcome on board the ship our AoS Episcopal promoter Bishop Dowd on board to celebrate Sea Sunday mass. I thank the Bishop to have had the humility to accept the invitation and to have climbed up the ship to celebrate with the Seafarers the joy of Sea Sunday. Sea Sunday gave the Bishop an opportunity to have a taste of ships visit and to feel the pulse of Seafarers needs. The Bishop also mentioned that this is my first but will not be the last. ... See MoreSee Less
2 months ago
On last Thursday evening I left from Montreal to Toronto and Friday afternoon went to Mississauga. Deacon Michael Ho took me to visit Hamilton Seafarers center and to have a meeting with the Pastor Dan with whom the AoS coordinate their work. Then we went to Humber Bay park to have a dinner meeting with the Anglican coordinator for Ontario Pastor Judith. Every thing went well according to our plans. My special thanks to our AoS coordinator for Ontario Deacon Michael Ho for organizing my visit and meetings. ... See MoreSee Less