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Seafarers and connectivity!!-Family and Friends

Connecting with friends and family was always a challenge for seafarers.With improvement in telecommunication technologies like Vsat etc,many owners and managers have started providing internet connectivity onboard for seafarers personal use.However majority of the ships still don't have these facilities which are one of the 1st thing which every seafarer wants to know before he joins a ship.

We in this blog are trying to review International sim cards available for seafarers to avoid losing touch with their social world on ships without internet and calling facilities.

International SIM cards offer people who travel constantly a way to easily connect to a mobile network in every country in the world. So whether you find yourself in Kodiak, Alaska or Cape Town, South Africa you can easily get make and receive calls and SMS, as well as access the internet.

Choosing the right one can be tricky however and you want to make sure you get the SIM card that is right for you. Some have better allotment for data which helps you access the internet, others give you a phone number that can receive text messages; it really depends on what suits you best. Let’s have a look at the best SIM cards many seafarers are already using around the world.

SIM Cards and eSIM Cards

Before we jump into to the different SIM card providers it may be a good idea to look at what your options are as far as the physical components. All smart phones these days have a space for one or more SIM cards. These are how the phone can connect to a cellular signal and give you the coverage you are seeking.

Newer phone models may have eSIM compatibility meaning you simply scan a QR code that will connect your phone to the signal. Each time you enter a new port or country you either load a new eSIM QR code or restart your phone to activate the SIM in its new cellular network. Your international SIM card will allow you to connect to any country’s mobile networks whenever you are in range of the signal. Some network providers only have physical SIM cards and some only have eSIMs. Let’s look at the following network providers and weigh out the benefits and shortcomings of each.

Know Roaming

KnowRoaming SIM cards work in over 120 countries. You will be provided with a working phone number to send and receive calls/SMS or you can choose a SIM plan that is data only, meaning you can access the internet as well as messaging apps but will not be able to make traditional calls. Many seafarers are starting to really take advantage of video messaging and sharing photos while they are away and these only require internet. So it may make more sense for you to just buy a data only SIM card. They also can provide eSIMs that work in all the same countries. For a 30 day SIM, you can get 5GB of data for $99.99 USD. Also, it’s important to remember that if you run out of credit you can easily add more credit online.


GigSky is a provider of eSIMs however they no longer issue physical SIM cards. But as technology advances, more and more seafarers will own phones they accept eSIMs. GigSky is a data only provider, so you will not get a phone number. You will, however, be able to easily switch to new county’s networks upon arrival without having to restart your phone or reinsert the SIM. Their plans are simple with coverage in 116 countries. You can get up to 5GB of data for $59.99 USD that will need to be topped up after 30 days.


AIS is one of Thailand’s major telecommunications companies. SIM2Fly and eSIM2Fly is AIS’s international SIM card plan package and it works in over 130 countries.

Thailand has over 62 million tourists a year who come and buy SIM cards to use in the country. Many times they do not use all of their allotted data and AIS is left with somewhat of a data surplus. This allows AIS to provide travel SIMs and travel eSIMs at attractive rates.

They have rates that vary depending on the area of the world to which you will be travelling. For seafarers, it’s safe to assume that the international or global plan is the only way we can be assured of connectivity upon reaching shore whenever we may be. The global travel SIM or eSIM is for 6GB of data for 15 days for $28.95 USD. You don’t have to go all the way to Thailand to get a SIM2Fly. You can buy SIM cards online and easily top up credit online when you run low on data.


Poginet markets itself as the ‘Seafarer’s SIM Card and works well in Europe, North America, and Asia however, their coverage falls short of what a seafarer may require in South America and Africa. These regions have several blind spots in their coverage in busy ports like Buenos Aires and even Panama.

Poginet’s rates will change depending on what region you find yourself in; $20.00 USD can get you 3 GB of data in Europe but the same price will only get you 1GB in Asia.

They have both eSIMs and traditional SIM cards available. If you order a standard SIM card if will arrive by Royal Mail in 12-14 business days. Once you have received it simply put it in your phone and restart the device. You will instantly connect with a cellular network in the country if coverage allows.

Our suggested Top Pick: AIS SIM2FLY

When considering the coverage, the price, and the data allotment, AIS SIM2FLY is the most attractive option for seafarers who are looking for easy, worldwide connectivity. One you have used up the credit, just top up online anywhere in the world. You’ll never have to buy a new SIM card again as long as you continue to keep credit on the card.

With the SIM2Fly SIM card you will not be issued a phone number; it is data only. However, there are many apps available that allow free voice and video chat as well as messaging. Now there is little need for a traditional phone number for calls and SMS as long as you are connected to a 4G network.

Hope you liked the post and do comment on your experiences and any other Sim cards ,we might have missed in the listing.

Also please do share this post with friends and family who are always on the move!!

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