Who we are
Nautilus International is a trade union and professional organisation serving, supporting and protecting the interests of more than 20,000 maritime professionals in the UK, Netherlands and Switzerland.
Nautilus International represents 20,000 maritime professionals including ship masters (captains), officers, officer trainees (cadets) and shipping industry personnel, such as ship pilots, inland navigation workers, vessel traffic services operators (similar to air traffic control), harbourmasters, seafarers in the oil and gas industry, and shore-based staff.
Nautilus members work at sea and ashore, and the Union has members in all the waterborne transport sectors. Sometimes we are referred to as the ‘Merchant Navy union’, but this doesn’t tell the whole story.
This is the Nautilus International strategic plan for 2019-2023.
Nautilus International’s members are at the heart of the Union’s governance structure. Here’s some information about how it all works.
The Nautilus secretariat is the collective name for the Union's paid employees, who are led by an elected general secretary. The secretariat implements Union policy and carries out administration. It is divided into several departments, each focused on a particular area of the Union's work.
The membership of the Nautilus International Council is designed to reflect the Nautilus membership base, with representatives drawn from the different member nations and from different employment backgrounds within the maritime and inland navigation sectors.
In law, the assets of a trade union must be held by a trustee, and in the case of Nautilus International, this trustee is a corporate body: Nautilus Trustee Ltd.
The history of Nautilus International
Nautilus International traces its history back more than 160 years to 1857, when the Mercantile Marine Service Association was founded in the UK in response to the provisions of the 1850 Merchant Shipping Act.
Nautilus International works with numerous other bodies, in a variety of ways. The main organisations we have partnerships with are listed on this page.
Nautilus International is a member-led, democratic organisation, and we offer members all sort of opportunities to shape the organisation's policies. This is how the Union works and how you can get involved.
Nautilus International strives to be a transparent and well governed organisation, with policies and regulations readily available to members, and to provide a high quality service to our members.
The Nautilus International Rules are the legal framework by which the Union is governed.
The Nautilus International Regulations offer further explanation and guidance on the Union's Rules of governance.
Our Statement of Service describes what you can expect as a member of Nautilus and the procedures to follow if you have a complaint.