Hudson River

Programs/Services

Our programs and services are available to anyone who docks in the Capital District of upstate New York. We strive to make them flexible to meet individual needs.

Jumbo Ship at Port of Albany
Jumbo Ship at Port of Albany

Advocacy, Promotion and Public Awareness

We work with marine organizations and religious, service and governmental agencies to improve policies and procedures that address seafarer concerns. Our advocacy encompasses human rights, wages and immigration issues. We collaborate with an international network of port chaplains, United States enforcement and embassy personnel and we promote public awareness and participation through speaking engagements.

Christmas at Sea

Seafarers are likely to spend their holiday alone at sea after they bring us the goods that fill our stockings. Maritime ministries show our appreciation by offering toiletries, gifts, books, candy and other gifts. Our ministry collects these items from area churches and distributes them at the Seafarer Center.  Sometimes we are fortunate to collect handmade scarves and hats for seafarers. 

Clothing Bank

We provide donated clothing to those in need.

Communication

Seafarers' greatest request is typically for help with contacting their loved ones at home. Thus, we provide phones, phone cards, Internet United States postal services and SIM (Supplier Identifier Modules) cards for their use. We also bring mobile phones aboard ship for those who cannot leave their vessels.

Outreach with Bible and Devotional Materials

Bibles and devotional materials are available in various languages. We also have Bible study materials for seafarers engaged in peer ministry.

Pastoral Counseling and Crisis Intervention

A number of our volunteers are professionally-trained counselors who participate in a network of port chaplains that minister in over 800 locations worldwide. Locally, we participate in a Capital District respond team for any crisis aboard ship, and we confidentially respond to the personal concerns of seafarers and their families.  If seafarers need intensive medical care and are unable to depart with their ship, we stay with them until they can repatriate.  As needed, we refer concerns to chaplains at other ports of call or through personal correspondence.

Religious Services

We offer religious services and Sacraments on ships or at local sites and congregations. For non-Christians, we have spiritual leaders available upon request.

Transportation and Van Service

Our 15-passenger van provides transportation to the Seafarer Center from other local ports, as well as to shopping centers, worship and visitor attractions.  While merely functional at first glance, this service brings much needed grounding in normalcy to those who have been at sea for extended periods.

Visits to Ships and Presence at Port

We go aboard over 90% of the vessels that dock between Catskill (New York) and the Port of Albany, welcoming seafarers and orienting them to the port community. Their time at port is typically less than 48 hours, thus it is essential that we offer this face-to-face welcome.