Seafarers are frequent travelers who love their mobile phones – the vital tool which helps them to connect to their family anytime, anywhere! We asked a couple of our seafarer friends as to what is the one thing they never forget when they leave for sailing, and “mobile phone” is the answer we received from every single one. One of the seafarers answered, “To be honest, mobile phone is one equipment which helps to restore our sanity on board ships when all other equipment are giving us a tough time.” We can’t agree more!
So the question is – Which mobile SIM cards do seafarers use? Do they buy a new SIM card at each port or Do they activate international roaming on the number they use on land (Which is outrageously expensive!) or buy a global sim card?.
We received a number of different answers. Some said that they buy SIM cards at the ports, which are to be frequently visited by their ships; whereas some prefer to buy mobile cards in those ports wherein the calling rates are the lowest. Some uber-social seafarer even activate international roaming on their local numbers or take a Global sim card which will allow them to have the same phone number around the world. However, they mainly use such services to receive text messages (which is usually free!) and to make urgent calls.
Considering the importance of mobile SIM cards/ international calling cards that seafarers have in their lives, we decided to make a list of the most commonly used global sim cards (those which will allow them to have the same number wherever they go).
Note- There are hundreds of international SIM cards providing companies in the world and it would be difficult to accomodate all of them in this article. Thus, we are starting with the list of cards that are used by Indian Seafarers or those that provide their services in India. This is NOT a sponsored article!
Though we have personally used a few of these cards, we haven’t tried all and thus cannot comment on them. Kindly use at your own risk as some of our seafarer friends have complained of unimaginable bills, especially on international roaming.
1. iVitta – The iVitta Sim Cards are specially crafted for seafarers, considering the communication issues they face. They are available at several seafarer centers around the world and “top-up” can be done online from anywhere.
2. Reliance World Sim - The Reliance World Sim card claims to offer international roaming services in more than 160 countries with free incoming calls in over 30 countries. The service providers assure of 70% less on the bill than what you would pay by activating roaming services on your own number. Click here to know more.
3. One Sim Card - One Sim Card is an International SIM card provider which offers international sim card roaming in more than 190 countries at affordable rates. It offers free incoming calls in more than 150 countries and free text messages worldwide.
4. Matrix - An international SIM card provider which offers both post paid and pre paid SIM cards. These travelling cards also come with a data package offer and can be recharged online from anywhere in the world.
5. Airtel World Calling Card - Airtel world calling card offers international roaming services in more than 95 countries. The card doesn’t require any additional deposits or processing fee.
There are several other companies which offer international sim cards for seafarers/ frequent travelers in India. It is extremely important to go through the terms and conditions, call rates and other important information before buying an international sim card from any service provider.
More International Sim Card/ International Traveling Sim Card Providers for Seafarers
Uniconnect - A cost effective international sim card for frequent travelers.
Clay - An international sim card with free incoming in several countries.
Searoam – A service provider having negotiated deal with more than 700 carriers in over 230 countries. Free text messages.
Euro Calling Cards - Prepaid calling cards from The Mission to Seafarers and powered by Euro Calling Cards
Which global sim card do your use while sailing? Do you use one or do you prefer buying local sim cards at the ports you visit? Let us know in the comments below.