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Old 15-05-2013, 04:30   #1
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Anyone using a "Seaman's Passport"

Hi to all the intrepid sailors....

I'm doing a bit of research on visas and passports. There was a thread back in 2011 briefly about using a Seaman's Passport which entitles you to entry into Ports and Harbours (not airports) with less visa hassles.

Has anyone used this form a travel document lately? Or have any knowledge if it is worth getting one.

Any feed-back is appreciated.
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Old 15-05-2013, 04:56   #2
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Re: Anyone using a "Seaman's Passport"

A Seaman's Book (or Seaman's Discharge Book) is not a travel document, it's a record of career certification and experience for professional yacht crew.
http://www.dockwalk.com/Essentials/H....aspx?id=30028
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Old 15-05-2013, 05:10   #3
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Re: Anyone using a "Seaman's Passport"

Hi Gordon - thanks for that.

This was posted some time ago - so it seems there are some that may use a seaman's "passport" for travelling purposes, hence the question.


Quote:
Re: Complicated Nationality Questions
Hi Chris,

If you can get international seaman certificate, you are exempted of any kind of visa. This is a document looking like a normal passport and the ones given in Turkey contain a chip and yr finger prints are taken.

We have got this certificate (in addition to my sailing license) with my wife because we are travelling often to Greek islands and I am fed up getting a Schengen visa every time..

With this document you are entitled to work on any wessel as a seaman and can enter any port without visa or even a passport.

Two problems:
-quite difficult to get, you pass severals exams on STWC (that covers everything on a large vessel, ie. fire fighting, nautical terms, mechanical, electrical, etc) both oral and written. This could be easier to get in Kenya, who knows..
-you can only use it on the ports, ie. you cannot enter to any country from any airport or by road.

Otherwise, you can try yr chance without visa and can get away in most of the cases, but if you get cought, depending on the country, the consequences will be anything from simply being deported to heavy fines or even jail.. Moreover, the stress that you will get everytime you approach a port will take away all of the joy of sailing together.

Couple of years ago I met with a couple from Ucraine in a mooring in Southern Turkeys. They built a very strange steel boat out of waste material in their garden and sailed all the way down to Rumania, Bulgary, Istanbul, Dardanelles, Aegean see and their plan was to go to Egypt. No passport , no visa, very little money. They said that they were prepared to anything and nothing could be worst than their life in Ucraine..
If you are so desperate, go ahead..
Otherwise, you can stay a while in Germany, for whatever it takes her to get a German passport, then you sail with a peace in mind.

Cheers
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Old 15-05-2013, 06:04   #4
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Re: Anyone using a "Seaman's Passport"

Blackie...I generally carry my Seamans Book when I travel overseas and always when I travel to africa. Many countries offer Seamans Books or Seamans Cards. The degree of difficulty to get one will vary with each country. Mine is from the Bahamas and has no expiry date. Years ago this Book along with a letter of employment on a vessel could allow you to enter some countries without difficulty. Now, after 911 everything has changed. In the USA you are required to show a TWIC (Transportation Worker Identification Card) at the gate to enter any port and the Seamans Book has lost much of its value. There are some airlines who will accept the Seamans Book in lieu of a passport to exit a country. Hence the reason why I carry one. It's my "Get outa jail free card". Needless to say the rules for travel in foreign countries change often so there are no set rules.
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Old 15-05-2013, 06:50   #5
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Re: Anyone using a "Seaman's Passport"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackie Swart View Post
Hi Gordon - thanks for that.

This was posted some time ago - so it seems there are some that may use a seaman's "passport" for travelling purposes, hence the question.
I also have my seaman's book, but I have never heard of it allowing free passage. Years ago (much longer than I care to remember), It could allow you to exit some countries, providing you traveled directly from your ship to the airport (do not stop, do not pass go, do not collect 200 dollars), got on a plane and left.

I doubt very much that it will allow you entry to the Schengen area and to travel there.

Sorry - there's no such thing as a free lunch
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Old 15-05-2013, 07:04   #6
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Re: Anyone using a "Seaman's Passport"

Cool, thanks for the feed-back so far.

As South Africans, it's not easy to get into any country but I suppose we all have similar problems no matter where we are from.

The main concern is when at sea for an extended period and then trying to get a visa for a certain country, you get told you have to apply from your home country which you may not have been in for some years while sailing.

It will take some careful planning but nothing that can't be overcome to enjoy the oceans ........
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