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Run away to sea!

See our page on careers at sea in the Life of a port section for details of the organisations to contact if you are interested in working on a ship.

If you would like to travel by sea, there are many cruise and ferry options depending on your wallet. A simple list of links to the websites of ferry services worldwide is available at http://www.ex.ac.uk/~mspunter/ifg/.

The Cruise Information Service offers a  list of links to the cruise companies operating in Britain. This includes the major cruise companies like Cunard and P&O Cruises, but also river services and accommodation on cargo ships. The Berlitz Complete Guide to Cruising and Cruise Ships is published regularly. It reviews all the main cruise ships and marks them with its independent star ratings.


Here are some suggested books to help your research, but you may find others in your local library that will help. More general books on family history often cover seafarers and migrants, but perhaps not in so much detail.

Grannum, Guy. Tracing your West Indian ancestors. Public Record Office, 2002. ISBN 1903365384.

Kershaw, Roger. Emigrants and expats. National Archives, 2002. ISBN 1903365325.

Kershaw, Roger and Pearsall, Mark. Immigrants and aliens. Public Record Office, 2000. ISBN 1873162944

Schaefer, Christina K. Guide to Naturalization Records of the United States. Genealogical Publishing Co, 1997. ISBN 0806315326

Smith, Kelvin, and Watts, Christopher T, and Watts, Michael J, Records of Merchant Shipping and Seamen. Public Record Office, 1998. ISBN 1873162499.

Ward, Douglas. Berlitz complete guide to cruising and cruise ships. Berlitz, 2002. ISBN 281357840X.

Watts, Christopher T. My ancestor was a merchant seaman. Society of Genealogists.


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