Seamen's Mission Cuxhaven

  • Solidarity with Mein Schiff 3 in Cuxhaven

    Seamen’s Mission distributes gifts to crew members

    Support Seemannsmission durch diie HWG_Copyright_Oliver Fuhljahn

    As of late April 2020, the cruise ship Mein Schiff 3 has been docked at the Steubenhöft in Cuxhaven. The German Seamen’s Mission (DSM) has been supplying the crew stuck on board with chocolate and hygienic items donated by private individuals. The donations were intended to alleviate the stressful situation faced by the crew.

    The vessel, which belongs to the TUI Cruises line, departed the Canary Islands on 18 April. The company, however, due to the ongoing Corona-Pandemic, had problems finding a port to secure the provisioning of the ship. Cuxhaven offered to accept the vessel. On board were roughly 2,900 individuals from over 60 nations, all of whom were crew members of Mein Schiff 3 or other TUI Cruises cruise ships. Many of these sailors were supposed to muster out and return to their home countries. Following the discovery of a COVID-19 case, the entire crew was tested and eight further infections were thereby identified. Due to the travel restrictions in Germany and in their home countries, crew members return voyages turned out to be difficult; thus, by and large, the crew first had to remain on board the vessel. As a result of this, the Maritime Casualty Command (Havariekommando) in Cuxhaven asked the German Seamen’s Mission for its assistance in supporting the seamen with psycho-social emergency services.

    The Seamen’s Missions of Cuxhaven, Hamburg, Stade and Bremerhaven distributed hygiene articles, sweets and telephone cards which were financed via private donations with the aim of giving comfort to the stranded seamen and to demonstrate solidarity. Beyond this, regular psycho-social support was provided to the seamen on board and for the individuals infected with coronavirus who had been hospitalized. Chairman of the German Seamen’s Missions Clara Schlaich emphasized that the situation on board the vessel had started out as being very tense. After the departure of the first healthy seamen, however, the situation calmed down – also thanks to the work of the Seamen’s Mission. “This effort was a significant challenge for us and we are happy that everything has gone so well. In the preceding years, we have trained our employees in psycho-social emergency services. That has paid off now and it has shown that we have a strong network that is there for the people on board,” added Martin Struwe, the deacon of Cuxhaven’s Seamen’s Mission.

    Meanwhile, the first charter flights to Ukraine, Indonesia and other countries have return some of the crew members back to their home countries. On 14 May, the work of the Seamen’s Mission on board Mein Schiff 3 was largely wrapped up. The remaining seamen on board and in the region, however, continue to be given pastoral care by the Seamen’s Mission.

    Further information regarding Cuxhaven’s Seamen’s Mission and its projects can be found at






  • Spotted at the Port: Christmas Truck Ahoy!

    Cuxhaven Port Association (HWG) members and the Seamen’s Mission Cuxhaven are bringing Christmas gifts to sailors

    copyright: Oliver Fuhljahn

    It’s common that ships are berthed in port or being loaded or unloaded on Christmas Eve. After all, these ships make it possible for gifts to arrive under our trees and for food to be ready on time for Christmas Eve dinner. To this end, sailors accept that they may not be home with their families over the holidays – but rather, only after they return home from Cuxhaven.

    It can be fun, nevertheless, to celebrate Christmas at the port, as the Seamen’s Mission Cuxhaven knows. Together with the companies Dabrock and Cuxport and with the support of the HWG, this year, a special surprise was devised: Together, they decorated a dark green Land Rover as a ‘Christmas Truck’, even including a complete, decorated Christmas tree, stickers and gift packages. The vehicle, the light chains, the tree and the gifts were sponsored by the Friends of the Seamen’s Mission, the HWG and the companies Cuxport and Niemczyk as well as Dabrock Werbung in Wingst, who donated the labor to install the overprint on the truck.

    Together, on a Christmas mission, the employees drove through port on 24 December and distributed the gifts to the crews of eleven ships who were berthed in Cuxhaven over the holidays. The children of seamen’s deacon Martin Struwe provided musical entertainment on board by singing to the accompaniment of flute tunes. The Christmas tree, donated by Niemczyk, was handed over to the crew of the ship “HYDROGRAPH” and brought on board in a festive ceremony.

    “There is no replacement for a Christmas celebration with your own family,” said Oliver Fuhljahn, a member of the extended board of the HWG and co-organizer of Operation: Christmas Truck. “But we hope that our efforts brought joy to a few faces and that we helped to get through the wait time until the sailors are able to return home to their loved ones.”


    Copyright: Oliver Fuhljahn Copyright: Oliver Fuhljahn

    Copyright: Oliver Fuhljahn



  • A good investment of public funds

    The Cuxhaven Port Association presents the local economy at the Seamen’s Mission

    Copyright: Oliver Fuhljahn

    In the course of the general member meeting of the German Seamen’s Mission Hannover on 14 May 2019, the Cuxhaven Port Association (HWG) was invited to present the port of Cuxhaven. Oliver Fuhljahn, the chairman of the Promotional Association of the Seamen’s Mission and Head of Automobile Logistics at HWG member Cuxport, gave an overview of the port’s infrastructure and its transport connections as well as the activities, possibilities and challenges of the companies situated there.

    During his presentation, Oliver Fuhljahn indicated that the continued investments and expansion projects in Cuxhaven have made it one of the most important offshore ports in Germany and Europe. Renowned production sites for components of offshore wind park installations have been situated in Cuxhaven such that the port is now established as the ‘German Offshore Industry Centre’.

    Further to this, in the traditional port industry sector, roll-on/roll-off (RoRo) traffic and automobile cargoes are the most important. Alongside the heavylift capacities, these specialisations were further strengthened with the opening of berth no. 4 at the Cuxport terminal. Together with a multitude of actors from maritime government offices, shipowners and port service providers, Cuxhaven is a center of maritime competencies on the mouth of the Elbe river.

    In spite of the good connections, the port of Cuxhaven faces some challenges, Oliver Fuhljahn emphasized. During his lecture, he said: “As a port on the mouth of the Elbe river, Cuxhaven offers a variety of international connections, for example to Britain and Scandinavia. But on account of the specialisation on UK traffic, the port and all involved actors must intensively deal with topic of Brexit. In spite of many uncertainties, Cuxhaven’s companies have made all necessary preparations and have adjusted their IT systems as well as trained employees.”

    In conclusion, Oliver Fuhljahn once again emphasized the importance of the Seamen’s Mission and expressed his thanks for its engagement. In Cuxhaven, the Seamen’s Mission is today also supporting the Promotional Association of the Seamen’s Mission. The association was established in 2016 with 30 members. It works together with the Seamen’s Mission and pursues the goal of supporting its projects and enhancing its public perception. Thus, last year, for the first time, the Promotional Association of the Seamen’s Mission, with the support of the HWG, organised a Christmas truck complete with Christmas trees, which visited the ships harboured in Cuxhaven on Christmas Eve and distributed gifts to crews.