Dutch seafarers have a reputation for being highly qualified professionals and are almost always maritime officers. There are about 5,000 Dutch seafarers employed on board the Dutch fleet and about 22,500 seafafarers with a different nationality. It is not possible otherwise, because there are not enough masters with the Dutch nationality, to point out but one example.
Life as a mariner can be quite lonely; crews usually consist of a handful of people and, after work, you cannot spend time with family or friends. On the other hand, that small team of people are the ones who ensure that consumers all over the world have access to traded goods. To thank them for this valuable work, in 2010, the United Nations International Maritime Organization (IMO) created a commemorative day – the annual Day of the Seafarer. The event takes place on 25 June, when special attention is paid to seafarers and the work they do. Together with the seafarers trade union Nautilus International, the Maritime Families Association (Vereniging Maritiem Gezinskontakt) and other organisations committed to seafarers' well-being, the KVNR organises a Dutch edition of the Day of the Seafarer.