Cruise ship Seaman’s Book

What is a Seaman Discharge Book?

You are recording all of your career experience into one book called your seaman’s book. It is now mandatory to carry this document with you onboard. Keep in mind this book is an official and legal record of all your sea experience. This book also certifies that you are genuinely a seaman as per the International Convention (STCW)

Do i need a Seaman book to work on a cruise ship?

Yes, it has become a requirement for any crew wanting to work onboard a seagoing vessel. 

You DONT need a Seaman book if you:

  • on a ship that doesn’t go out to sea
  • on a pleasure boat and don’t receive any pay
  •  testing the ship, its machinery or equipment in coastal water
  • construction, alteration, repair or testing of a ship
    on an un-registered ship


Different names of Seaman books

Most Countries issue Seamans books to all crew, but they have a similar service with a slightly different name:

Seaman Record Book (SRB)

Seaman Discharge Book (SDB)

Seaman’s Identification Record Book (SIRB)

What is inside a seaman book?

Most Seaman books will have all these details inside:

  • Name of the seafarer
  • Identification Mark
  • Nationality and Sex
  • Date of Birth and Place of Birth
  • Date of Issue SID No.
  • Date of Expiry
  • Signature of issuing authority
Every time you join a vessel, your seaman book will be recorded of your sign on date, place and ship. Also, it will be stamped by the master of the ship. When you sign off, it will also be re-recorded with all your sign off details.

What are the requirements to apply for a seaman book to work on a cruise ship?

You will need to book an appointment just like you would for a passport or visa. Before you go, you will have to have all the required documents ready for review. Having everything available and in place will help you have a hassle-free process. Most countries will ask you for these documents:

1.Completed Application Form

2. Include your CoC (Certificate of Competency) or relevant Qualifications (Letter of Employment)

3. Include copies of your valid STCW “Basic Training” certificates

4. Passport Copy and Passport Photos

5. ENG 1 Medical

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