Our response to Covid-19

When the global pandemic hit the maritime industry, we responded. 

For V.Group's historic Covid-19 updates, click here

Our Covid stats


Seafarers Repatriated


Crew Nationalities



Where it began...

In March 2020, Covid-19 arrived, resulting in an unprecedented response across the maritime industry. The announcement of the global pandemic and restrictions in every country meant we had to react quickly, nimbly and decisively, ensuring attention was directed to the practical needs of customers and the plight of seafarers during this challenging time.

Despite a challenging backdrop, V.Group emerged from 2020 as one of the most active and engaged operators, listening and providing reassurance to its customers and its people.

Although the pandemic remains, the strength of our operating model will continue to create value for our customers, which sits at the centre of all we do. We continue to have a leading voice in the market to highlight key industry issues.  Everything we do continues to focus on flawless service delivery as we continuously engage with our customers.

But there's still much to do...

“There needs to be recognition that seafarers are the lifeblood of trade. Them not being accepted as key workers in various countries, that’s leading to a situation where they’re spending prolonged periods of time away from their families and that’s a humanitarian situation we should try and resolve.”

Graham Westgarth
Chairman, V.Group
Speaking to CIPS Supply Management, January 2021

What we did

call for key worker status

A series of CEO videos was launched, an open letter prepared, media relations initiated, crew engagement stepped up and relationships nurtured with key media and trade bodies.


We launched a series of discussion papers entitled Life After Lockdown.


We created online tools to track the latest changes in ports and flag states around the world and we lobbied governments, global organisations and worldwide media to get seafarers heard and just as importantly, get them home.


We launched a customer newsletter, WayPoint, to share news both from the group but also from across the industry.

Keeping the maritime industry moving

Throughout the pandemic, via our travel arm Global Marine Travel (GMT), we worked hard to keep seafarers moving wherever we could to enable crew changes.

Flawless Service Delivery

GMT’s travel agents, as well as the wider organisation, received excellent feedback from clients, passengers and cruise planners following the response to the pandemic as borders closed on a global scale.

Focus on Crew Repatriation

In July 2020, we successfully repatriated 210 seafarers from 65 different vessels to their homes via a chartered aircraft from Amsterdam to Manila organized entirely by GMT’s dedicated team of travel experts.

Recovery of the Travel Industry

MD Tim Davey speculated on how the travel industry might recover from Covid-19 in the short term as borders began to open up.

Promoting Safe Travel

Most recently, we’ve looked at Global Health Pass apps to help reopen businesses and restore the global economy.

Highlights from our Covid-19 response

Contact us

We know the maritime industry like no-one else. Find out how our expertise can help you and your fleet. 

  • 1st Floor, 63 Queen Victoria Street , London , EC4N 4UA, UK
  • +44(0) 2380 258 381