Must Have Apps for Seafarers

Smartphones and tablet devices are now hugely important to the working lives of seafarers. Below we have listed just some of the free apps available that we believe are essential downloads for seafarers and those employed in the maritime sector. We have tried to include apps which function offline as well as online, recognising the connection issues many seafarers face. Whilst the list is not exhaustive it should give you an idea of what other similar apps may be out there. Watch out for future posts published on the Seafarers’ Trust news website that will give you useful tips and advice on to maximise your offline phone use.

Shore Leave, Seafarers’ Trust


Relaunched in 2015, Shore Leave is the first app designed to help seafarers looking for reliable transport when in port. Shore Leave only needs to be downloaded once, and after that all the contact details of seafarers’ centres all over the world are stored in the user’s smartphone and accessible offline, anywhere, anytime. It also includes all the contact details for ISWAN Seafarers Help, the 24/7 helpline for seafarers. Shore Leave is available for free for Android and iPhone.

ITF Seafarers App


This latest development combines the two previous applications (Look up a Ship and Find an Inspector/Union) into one great app that provides a one stop shop for seafarers in search of vessel information, contact details for ITF inspectors/affiliates and the ITF Helpline. The app is available for free on Android and iPhone.

Seafarers’ Rights International App


Seafarers facing legal problems can now obtain immediate information concerning their rights, wherever they are in the world thanks to the Seafarers’ Rights International app. The app has a unique ‘Find a Lawyer’ tool which gives immediate access to a database of lawyers around the world who have signed up to the SRI Charter – a statement of good practice in the provision of legal services to seafarers – and who may be able to offer assistance to seafarers facing criminal prosecution. The app also includes a large amount of extremely useful information on the Maritime Labour Convention.  The app is available for free on Android and iPhone and can be downloaded here.

Ship Finder

Ship finder logo

Ship Finder enables you to track ships on a map in real time from your mobile device. Simply tap a ship to see its name, type, photos, speed, dimensions and much more. Powerful features such as AR, filters, search, night mode and the ability to save favourite ships are included. You can even choose between Apple or Google maps too. The app is available for free on iPhone and iPad, and for £1.99 on Android. To download click here.

Maritime World Ports 


This app contains data on more than 4000 ports in 191 countries. From the types of communications available in the port to whether there are cranes available and what type, this app contains information on pretty much everything you can think of when preparing to dock. The app is available on Android and iPhone and can be downloaded here.



Equasis is a non-profit and public-driven international organization that promotes quality shipping and maritime safety through transparency and free access to the relevant information. Equasis has set up a comprehensive database of all sea-going merchant ships over 100GT (Gross Tonnage) and the companies that operate and own them. This database is public and accessible free of charge, after a simple registration on the Equaris website. The database is available on smartphones and tablet devicesv and can be downloaded here.



Reliable internet connections, or WiFi coverage at all, is hard to come by on most ships. Many of us don’t benefit from unlimited internet data allowances. SMSmart is an offline app allowing you to save data to get instant access to apps like news, maps, stocks, yelp, wikipedia, search and many others. It is freely available on both Android and iPhone and can be accessed here.


Duolingo – Language Learning App

Life aboard a ship can be a multilingual affair, afterall! Duolingo, Apple’s iPhone App of the Year, applies computer science to the teaching of English, French, Spanish and German – as well as other languages – by developing a “tree” of skills in which the user goes from one challenge to the next completely for free. Apart from anything else, this app offers you the chance to learn really important transferable skills. The app is available on Android and iPhone and can be downloaded here.


fit bit

The free Fitbit app is designed to work with Fitbit activity trackers and smart scales. Without a tracker, however, you can still use the Fitbit app to count calories, log your weight, and record other health information, such as your blood pressure and glucose levels. Used in conjunction with SHIP materials, available for free download here, or indeed any other health app, Fitbit is a subtle way of keeping track of your health when on the move and busy. The app is available on  smartphones and tablets and can be downloaded for free here.

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