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New cruise crew lounge and private 'pod' at Tilbury

5 April 2024

Cruise crew now have a dedicated lounge to relax in and make private internet calls while ashore in the busy UK cruise terminal at Tilbury.

The new lounge, launched by QVSR Seafarers Centres, part of the Seamen’s Mission of the Methodist Church, includes a private sound-proofed airconditioned 'communication pod' in the quirky shape of a traditional London telephone box, which houses a charging station for the free wi-fi.

Up to 15 seafarers from one visiting cruise ship used the communication pod within the first two hours – underlining the need for a private space for cruise crew who often share a cabin, work long hours surrounded by thousands of passengers, and have little private space for themselves.

Up to 8,000 seafarers a year are expected to use the dedicated cruise crew lounge, which is much closer than the current 30-minute walk to the QVSR seafarers centre at the port used by cargo vessel crew. About 200 cruise crew members may disembark each time a cruise ship docks at Tilbury, but often they may have just 15 or 20 minutes for a break. 

The new facility, which also includes a kitchen and seating, was created from three empty office spaces with permission from port management. It was transformed into the new facility with funding from The Seafarers' Charity, the Merchant Navy Welfare Board and a private donor. The work was undertaken under the direction of QVSR/Mission to Seafarers Port Chaplain Ruth Campbell – who identified the need for a closer shoreside facility for time-challenged cruise crew. She had help from several volunteers, including the UK P&I Club.

CEO of QVSR and the QVSR Seafarers Centres Alexander Campbell said: 'It is a great privilege to serve seafarers. Often those working on cruise ships can be forgotten. Their day to day duties can be hectic with little time to stop and switch off.  The QVSR Cruise Crew Lounge allows them space to be themselves, chat with loved ones and switch off from their day-to-day duties.'


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