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
2 weeks ago
This week lot of Seafarers were visiting our Mariners House. They were happily playing pool, table tennis and also attended prayers in the Chapel. I had also given them the Stella Maris Magazine for September. This morning while visiting ship I had provided free Wi Fi to the most deserving ship. They were so happy. ... See MoreSee Less
Last evening at the port there were few remarkable moments felt and lot of surprises and joy. Mei Mendoza one of our Mariners House staffs who went for pick up from two ships reported that while she was driving the bus one of the Filipino Seafarers was very curious in knowing from her from which city in Philippine she lived in. When she said Cebu he got up from his seat and came closer to ask which part of Cebu. He was surprised that she was from his home town and a distant relative. He was so happy and called home and told his family.
The other surprise was that although twelve Seafarers were picked up from two ships all were Filipinos. When they were at the Seafarers center they were talking to each other and happily singing Karayoki songs. One of them playing the guitar that was there. Suddenly one of them identify another Seafarer from the other ship as one of his classmates and embarrassing each other with full of joy.
Finally all of them were present for the Sunday mass in the Chapel and participated meaningfuly. At the end of the mass sang the thanksgiving hymn in 'Tagalog Salamat Sajug'. ... See MoreSee Less
Last Sunday after the mass the Seafarers who had attended the mass were given the last set of Stella Maris magazine. This afternoon I had visited the ships and the Seafarers who were on board the oil tanker were to move to another pier and were badly in need of wi-fi connection. They were so happy to enjoy the free Wi Fi which I had taken on board. Thank you for AoS Great Britain for sending the monthly issues of Stella Maris and making arrangements for free Wi Fi. ... See MoreSee Less
This afternoon AoS Maritime Ministry was held at Nav Center within the Plenary agenda of CCCB. Our Episcopal promoter Bishop Dowd chaired the meeting with the Bishops either had port ministry in their dioceses or ports. Bishop Dowd invited me to be present in the meeting. ... See MoreSee Less
Last weekend was very busy. As the culmination of the events was a wonderful gathering of the Catholic Indian university students, the members of Jesus Youth movement who were hosted at the Mariners House for one day spiritually nourishing seminar. I had also given a presentation about my vocation and ministry. Finally we had the Eucharistic Celebration at the Mariners House Chapel and had a group picture outside. ... See MoreSee Less