Journalist and author Lone Kühlmann and award-winning photographer Tine Harden have visited the Danish seaman’s churches near some of the busiest harbors in the world. Their journey has resulted in a book of evocative pictures and vivid stories from the nine cities where the seaman’s churches are still represented: New York, Singapore, Pelepas, Hong Kong, Gothenburg, Rotterdam, Hamburg and Algeciras. The organization behind the seaman’s churches was founded in 1867 out of concern for the spiritual plight of the sailors and for any other potential calamities, when they had to go without the word of God. The church was to be an alternative to seedy harbor taverns, where sailors were fleeced and relived of their pay.
Many have predicted the demise of the seaman’s churches since shipping is increasingly effective and ships only dock for short periods of time, but Ports of Call shows that the churches are still alive and well and still perform an important function for Danes abroad.