The BBC reports that Brazilian police boarded a MSC cruise ship and rescued 11 crew members working in "slave-like conditions." 

Brazilian officials say that the 11 crew members were forced to work up to 16 hours a day on the MSC Magnifica. Some of the crew members were subjected to sexual harassment.

The Brazilian authorities have been investigating the labor abuses for the past month, following a tip-off MSC Magnifica - Slave Shipfrom MSC crew members. 

"The fact that they had signed a contract, even an international contract, does not mean that the basic human rights should not be respected," Labor Ministry director Alexandre Lyra said. 

A publication in Brazil contains additional details of the working conditions. The Blog Do Sakamoto talks of exhaustive work on the MSC cruise ship with stories of abuse, bullying and fraudulent time recording.

"We have no doubt that it is slave labor," said Alexandre Lyra, head of Brazil’s Division of Surveillance for the Eradication of Slave Labor.

You can see two statements of the working conditions written by MSC crew members here.

Another newspaper in Brazil reported that crew members were subjected to racism and homophobic threats and taunts. 

MSC issued a statement denying everything.

In December and March, we posted videos and photos of MSC dumping garbage bags into the sea off the coast of Brazil from the MSC Magnifica.  If the recent allegations are true, it seems that MSC treats its employees worse than the sea it pollutes. 


Photo Credit: Reporter Brazil

  • cesar v. tiongco

    This slave kind of working condition has been the practice of this big cruise ship, because there is no law that can stop them from doing this kind of practises…

  • Maurice Tabanao

    It is a mandatory for a cruise line to establish of a system on how to protect the crew, i have worked as a sommelier in two of the most exquisite cruise lines. Proud to say that they been taking care of the crew, a system ILO procedures have been amazing in alarming the leaders if their crew have been exceeded the certain time of work which is a 10 hours rest in a 24 hour period. They should learn to The Mouse:)

  • rajeev verma

    yes this very much true i was on msc lirica no time keeping,slog by management,no respect no quality of good food ,if something happen in family you have to pay ticket by own, no off may be in once by luck it is better to work in jail instead of msc company worst

  • Lucy

    All ship are like that!!
    For sure, I know it’s happened to me.

  • Andrew

    It seems to be all of MSC ship. Worked om MSC Opera same thing they change your working hours get treated like a dog and expected to work like a dog and live in a jail. You have to Pay for your Uniforms. Crew Mess food is absolutely disgusting. Andrew Low

  • crew member

    Dear crew,
    check about Louis cruises. you can wright a book and win the first prize,
    Louis is more than you can imagine.
    better than your imagination.
    Louis is a disaster my dear.

  • Made Wardana

    That kind of issues is a common thing happened in almost all the big cruise ship company! It was like they didn’t have the ILO regulation on board. I used to work at one of those big cruise ship company that operated almost all of their ship in USA. However, none of their ship is registered in USA!!

  • Christine

    The things I’ve seen on ships made me want to end my contract. When I spoke up they made my life hell because I cared.

  • khalil shaikh

    its true msc is the worst place to work . its because of the management no body is there to question them .
    i had worked in msc orchestra ,restaurant asst matredi like Mutubushi Vinchento are too racist, taking money from staff to give good life and harassment . long hours of work is comman in msc .

  • Audoa T

    well really you guys haven’t work hard enough.You guys always like the easy way to get money.Am not saying that am choosing side but really. MSC is everything to us I’ve been working for this family company for more than 10 years and now it help me to stay focus on my life and understand that work hard with honesty (not sucking up )and party harder and you wreap what you sow. i am proud to call myself a seafarer and i give my heart out to MSC cause they have offered all of us jobs to pay the bill and opportunity to show case how you can manage during stress times and now am sad to see that some of them think in there minds its a slave ship.

  • Andrew

    It is a slave ship. Cheap labour and if you not Italian you get treated like crap and sworn at.

  • Sugita

    We aren’t said slave ship…but life on board isn’t fair…but it’s a job …look after????? All job are risk …including as farmer…so with particular that time …play with your smart are you????


    some one know how to sue this company in all those conpany you have to work 14 and 16 hours a day and be treated like crap garbache especialy if you are latino to much harrasment

  • Darren O’Reilly

    I used to work about the same hours when I worked for Royal Caribbean. Sea days the tax and duty free shops in board would be open from 9am until 11pm that’s 14 hours…….and I did some trips to Hawaii so that 5 days in a row from San Diego of 14 hours. So it’s been going in for years.

  • Hubbard

    Another ship that neds to be investigated ASAP, is FREEWINDS!

    Besides allt he human rights abuse mentioned here, they also force the females to abortions and none has the ability to leave the ship by their own will, their passports are taken away from them as soon as they go on board.

  • Lily Dochiu

    Well, I don’t think it comes smoke without fire!!!! Myself and my husband we worked on MSC Divina for, exactly, 1 month and 1 week, and it is exactly a slave ship!!! Our question was, when we step onboard, why are not any europeans among crew, besides Heads of Departments…?? And those “have to be” italians..?? We’ve got quickly a bitter answer, REALITY:NO ONE WILL BE ABLE TO SURVIVE IN THAT JUNGLE!!!
    Beside Mauritians, philiphinos and indians(nothing personally with all mentioned nationalities!!) you will not be able to find anyone else!!
    I do understand they offer a job, to pay the bills, but what is the cost of this job, actually..??
    MSC ships are floating cities, huge ships with thousands of slaves working on peanuts for a private owner, who is building at least 2 ships in the same time, as capacity over 3500 guests on board!!! This it happened in 2012, when we joined MSC Divina, new ship, next to it, in a yard, another one was half ready; how much money, company should save, in order to build this ships…?? Probably from uniforms costs and probably from those, called, Security on board, Jewiss nationality who treat the crew worst then prisoners!!!
    I just gave you a few hints about beautiful life on board MSC next call, probably MSC SLAVES!!!


    This is not anything new it happenon on all the ships but some of us are afraid to speak out..

  • Brito Carvalho

    True as it is life on the ship is like that I used to work for more than 20 hours a day when I joined celebrity cruises. Some got compensation from the company after a lawsuit by Philippines workers I did not get a dime. The life was like hell and even now there r injustice been done


    It’s not true that all the ship are like that.. I am working on the Cruise Ship (American Company,Celebrity Cruise Line) that respect the Crew member very much..I am so sorry to hear that matter from MSC.. They need to treats the crew member according to human right or following the ILO regulation. Happy Crew Happy Guest.. it’s what should be..

  • Crew Member

    This is normal on many cruise ships, especially the ones where majority of the senior management (deck/engine) is from one country.

    Below are few nationalities with their specific characteristics and the effect it creates on crew members.

    1. Greek (if they like you then nobody can touch you but if they hate you then only god can save you)

    2. Italian (they always want to be right, even if they are wrong. nobody is allowed to cross question them)

    3. Croatian/Serbians (they are number one racist, they treat the asians like slaves)

    4. USA (there are very few working on cruise ship and they are very understanding, but the ones working in their head office, they have only one goal, to get work done from the person and then throw him out. in short hire & fire or use & throw mentality)

  • Rob

    Hello there. Ive been working on a Celebrity Solstice. And I have such a bad experience. If anybody wants to talk to me about it my email is

  • Andrew

    I think its about time we stand together and sort these cruise ships out there has to be away. Its so wrong how they treat people and you get paid peanuts.

  • Joe

    come on guys…I think nobody force them to work there. they can go home whatever they want. slave work???? Well, it’s a lot of work on ships (6 years I work), but not slavery as stated. maybe for them it’s like this, well known that brazilians (south americans in general) just don’t like to work. I work with many of them, eu give them 3 hours of work (easy work) they will start to cry “my friend, too much work…”.
    Nerk on MSC, don;t know the situation of this crew, but let’s not generalized this. When RCCL hire Brazilians in Europe all good, when they arrito Brazil for brazilian run half of the ship just didn’t respect the contract. You know how brazilians treat their co-workers???? You don;t wanna know…

    How it’s on land when you go to South America??? I live in here now, but well, working it’s just not for them. So informal, they don;t care about their work, co-workers, they just dont; come at work if they drink the previous day. Of course not l of them, but the majority works like this. Probably many of you will jump on my head now that this is just not truth, just ask many other people their opinion about it. Nobody wanna say it straight in the face, even thei know it;s like this.

    Cheers guys, and good luck with the ships.

  • Kriss Nemo

    It is true MSC is a slave company…MSC Lirica was the worst ship in my life. But now i work on NCL and they have WONDERFUL rispect for everybody!!! Like what somebody just say…happy crew happy guest.
    Norwegian is exellent company to work with…probably the BEST!!!!

  • craig

    I worked on msc for 1 month and came on I am a jamaican and I was treated like shit 90 percent of the waiters and assistant waiters have disembarked and came home.70 percent of us are not working presently because we resigned our jobs and are unable to get re-employed in a good job right now. There was nothing but plain racism,preference,long working hours,messed up shifts and sometimes the way your shift is set up by time u should go to crew mess to get something to eat,crew mess is closed. 95 percent of the italians are racist.the matre d hotel said it himself he won’t stop until all jamaicans go home. Won’t lie some nationalities were very cool,maritians,caribbean people,very few was a terrible experience it was so unbelievable.MSC Divina is no doubt the worst ship it gets no worst than that and I have a strong feeling there is a lot of fraud going on with this company. Never heard or seen nothing like it our matter has still not being resolved after even writing reports and giving them to our agency. We are kindly asking for help for higher authorities and are looking towards some good results come out of this.

  • Baltazar A. Rafales

    With regards to the issue of MSC Magnifica, in terms of Hours, Abuse, Intimidation & Sexual Harassment…

    Indeed, I did not work at MSC Magnifica, therefore I cannot testify if the said allegations are all true or not. But based on my 8 years working experienced in Holland America Line Inc., (HAL) under its Philippine Manning Agency… United Philippine Lines Inc. (UPL) and being a member of AMOSUP. I would not say I am fortunate because I am NOT a GPA; nor GPA Pantry; Assistant Cook; or a GPA Bars who are most of them are all forced to work 16 hours a day!

    MSC Magnifica issue is not alarming than HAL, if you want to see more “slave crew” Indonesians and Filipino seafarers, visit all HAL vessels and you will find out the, “Award Winning Cruise Lines of Satan”! A cruise ship where Satan lives! A place where Satan build his throne!


    Baltazar A. Rafales

    Daffodil St. Purok Cagasan, (Poblacion) Polomolok, South Cotabato, 9504 Philippines

    Plaintiff, Federal Expert Witness and Class Action Representative of “Rafales v. HAL et al”

    Federal Expert Witness and Created some Exhibit and Declaratory for “Priyanto v. HAL et al”

  • badlizard

    Them motherfuckers too damm lazy ..always complain alot because the ships are in brazil..wish all ships would pull out of brazil

  • Dave

    I’ve worked at sea for several years with different lines and have come to know ILO forms to be called “I lie often” sheets. Management regulalrly pressure crew to adjust their recorded hours in order to achieve compliance. Many lines are still using paper forms, an elaborate game of ILO tic tac toe, instead of more accurate digital systems because it is clear that paperwork can always be forged or rewritten, whereas digital records are harder to manipulate.

  • mark

    Not only MSC,All Cruise ship. I work more than 18hrs aday.Specialy those the ship we have US port

  • Alvin

    This is hilarious I thought only Holland America Line..Me personally i don’ t want this injustice to crew member that is why I resigned to HAl why because i though us how to become honest, abt integrity and excellent service however the company doesn’t know how to protect the well being of the crew. Just like what happen to the Nieuw Amsterdam when a crew assault a passenger, i totally disagree to what the crew did however holland America line needs to be blame why? Because HAL doesn’t know know to respect and protect the well being of the crew. Can you imagine sending almost 2 thousand passenger mostly naked and the company did not prepare on what to expect, what to do… See what happen it is very stressful as guest relations staff hilarious!

  • kuswanto

    MSC,no fucking way .
    the company and agency in Indonesia is blood sucker!!!!

  • Milena Spassova

    Dear Lord don’t I l now the conditions under which every crew member works.Mo matter what cruise line you are working for.I ise to work for a cruise line for several years. Yes we were doing sometimes more than 16 hours and if you have a break for an hour or so.Than the emergency drill qill start. ..I used to sleep no more than 4, 5 hrs at night. No day of for 9 months. And yes, they treat you like a piece of garbage.Im not gonna tell you about r je wages.They use the fact that you’re coming from a poor country and we have men from tje engine room, plambers, welders that were working for $400 a month. REDICULOS. It is a slavery!

  • dorna

    I think working on a ship is a hard thing to do if you are not a hard worker. I work with NCL and don’t regret it, they only thing is that the cruise ship industry needs to work out a way to give a day off.

  • lion

    whole thing w gratuity is slave alike. very simply you work, you are professional but on the end guest can remove gratuity money without been stop from ship admins (guest service) they are instructed to not comment or oppose…. so your work on the end is only for food and accommodation. I believe there is a space for charge. ANY GUEST WHO ARRIVE ON SHIP RECIEVE MINIMUM I SAY A MINIMUM OF SERVICE AND FOR EXPECTED IS TO THEY HAVE TO PAY THAT MINIMUM.

  • Van

    Louis is the worst.Greeks …..Inough.

  • otto

    guys is that on all of these ship ?

  • jiavett adams

    I work for the msc fantacia and it was a disaster they told me. Especifically my manager said im a garbage and i dont need this job i should go back to my country im lest and a cero they trow the door on my feet i wanted to speak to the staff captain but they wont let me i quit and i stay in my cabin and still the manager his name is draguty from servia he was arrassing me all the time. No good

  • Rosario

    Yess…i agree with lily dochiu about this jewiss scurity onboard,just today i’seen some video amatir who captured a incident on msc poesia view months ago,about israelian scurity or we use too call them DOGs on board was fighting with all brazilian crew cause one of them just bit and arest the brazilian crew on they office with full of blood and punch print on his face…they are dogs who treat all crew and everybody look like they enemies in wars,they think they are on militar facilitys and crew look like palestinians ppl…those ppl the most racizm nation in the world who want always to be number one n the best in everyway… no wonder if a hitler are hate them cause he knows what kidns of ppl they are,even european ppl like brithis doesn’t want accept them build a country in europe,thats way british give them a small land to build as they country name is jerusalem n now become bigger captured another lands who supose to be of palestians land!!!….my sugestion is,just take them out from the msc company n put them on war field in arab,they are war machine and junk of war dont put them among a civilians like us…

  • ImAFilipina

    Im still in college.. Its my dream to work on board. Ive been researching for stories like you guys have.. Im just 19. My boyfriend warned me that women are sexually abused in ships.. WHAT MORE IF IM FROM PHILIPPINES..

  • Priscila

    And whoever claims that other companies are bad is because they never worked on MSC…

    I CAN’T WAIT FOR THE DAY WHEN MSC WILL BANKRUPT!!! Stupid italian mafia!

  • bambang

    this is the job we applied for, before applying we figured it out for sure. we come on board to work and earn money..make a good job and make a good money..working, eating, sleeping, taking salary once a month, mind our business, treat those just like thet treat us, make no mistake on working but when we are wrong or even right just admit trs we are wrong so finish the story. never think of other’s ppl higher position, if we want to change it, go to head dept and say, dont think too much just work and make money for our family,,, it will be so hard whe we are too demanding about life on board, food, job etc.. hell yeah we are onboard , dot make the same as like we work on land, when we arent truly satisfaid about job, just resign and go dad passed away when i was on board and company paid my ticket..i didnt sign any blank contract before joining the ship.. never make a trouble because it will come to us at the end,, CMIIW

  • concerned crew member

    Please do investigate the fred olsen ship also… Im working in fred olsen cruise line as a waiter and they not paying overtime and falsificating the time sheets of crew members… Ms balmoral, boudicca…

  • Crew Member

    Hey guys
    I also worked on MSC for 3 years. I want to say that my first contract, first month I used to get 3-5h off, that includes the sleep and the breaks. Second was a bit better, because I was expecting the worst, and the last contract was the worst. I wish I could say but it would take me 2h to finish.
    I want to make a complaint and make the people that did this pay, but I cant find an email or a contact anywhere.
    Maybe someone can help us all, and we can start something and do something for all of us out there.


    The chief housekeeper Mr georgios certains is very raciste and discriminate the nationality madagascar and he give very bad evaluation like me but i already finish my contact in mac Fantasio messe give also the string displinary for him tanks si muchl