Here you will find links to all the relevant information, requirements and courses you might need to get 100% ship ready. 


The more experience you have in emergency medicine, the better your chances are for a successful application. However, the only compulsory certificate to have is an ACLS. Here are links to national centres ofr various courses:

American Heart Association Courses

The AHA offers courses for ACLS, PALS, NALS and ACLS-EP

Cape Town: Cardiocare or MD Inc.
Johannesburg: Academy of Advanced Life Support
Durban: Emergency Care Education or Academy of Accident & Emergency Medicine
Pretoria: Claassen & Claassen Training

Emergency Care Institute Courses

The ECI offers a multitude of highly recommended courses relevant to keep you current in the practice of Evidence-based Emergency Medicine in South Africa. Courses are usually presented in Cape Town and include: 

ECG course 
APLS (Advanced Paediatric Life Support) – The UK Resuscitation council’s course
Fundamentals of Emergency Care Course
Advanced airway & Ventilation course
BASIC (Basic Assessment and Support in Intensive Care) Course 
Disaster Medicine Course
Emergency Procedures (such as Nerve Blocks)
Procedural Sedation
EMSB (Emergency Management of Severe Burns)

Trauma Society of South Africa

The Advanced Trauma Life Support course is offered by the Trauma Society of South Africa.
ATLS Course

Clinical Resources

Our clinical resources are “hand-selected” websites that we consider excellent sources of reference for various topics. These popular sites are frequently used and referenced by most doctors practicing emergency medicine in South Africa.  

Amal Mattu’s Emergency ECG Video of the week
Life in the Fast Lane
Academic Life in Emergency Medicine
Cape Town EM – YouTube link to video demonstrations of practical procedures
Radiology Assistant – Free online radiological educational tool

Online Publications & Journals

South African Family Practice – Official Journal of the South African Academy of Family Physicians
African Journal of Emergency Medicine (AfJEM) – the official journal of the African Federatoin for Emergency Medicine.

Online Guidelines

American Academy of Family Physicians – All recommended clinical guidelines

Cruise Ship Industry

You can visit each cruise company’s website to learn more about a specific brand, like the onboard facilities and itineraries.
Another useful tool is Seascanner, a site for current and future ship position information for all ships.

Medical Societies

EMSSA (Emergency Medicine Society of South Africa)
HPCSA (Health Professions Council of South Africa)
ACEP (American College of Emergency Physicians – Cruise ship section)
BACSM (British Association of Cruise Ship Medicine)
ISO (International Organization for Standardization)
CHKS (Helping to improve quality and outcomes)

Travel, Visa, Passport & Police Clearance Info

Travelstart Blog VISA information
USA C1D Visa Application
USA C1D Visa Appointment
Use the same reference number to make the appointment as you get when making your application. In other words, you do not need to complete your application before you get issued a number to submit: This can save time when making a date for an application. Most of the information about the type of visa you are applying for is actually on this site once you create an account and start selecting options.

Schengen states: The application process differs for each country.

South Africa Passport application
You will need a current passport to work at sea. Please apply for a passport if you do not have one, and please renew your passport if it has expired, or if it will expire less than 6 months after the end of your first contract.

Police Clearance Certificate
To apply for a police clearance certificate, please visit the above link. You can apply for this in advance of your shipboard application. It is inexpensive, and easy – you will need to pay in advance (account details on the link), take a self-addressed envelope (A4 size) and your ID document when you apply.

Pre-employment Medical Examination

A pre-employment medical examination is performed only once you have received an offer of employment. Your employment will be subject to you passing this exam. You will be responsible for the cost of the exam. These are the only approved seafarer medical examiners in South Africa:

Visit the International Labout Organization (ILO) website for a link to the latest version of “Guidelines on the medical examination of seafarers”. These guidelines assist medical practitioners, shipowners, seafarers’ representatives, seafarers and other relevant persons with the conduct of medical fitness examinations of serving seafarers and seafarer candidates.