WORLD MARITIME DAY – Last Thursday in September

World Maritime Day - Last Thursday in September
(Last Updated On: May 11, 2022)


Every year on the last Thursday of September World Maritime Day focuses on shipping safety, maritime security, and the marine environment.

Maritime describes anything to do with the sea and ships. For example, the word refers to traveling and working on the ocean or military activity on the sea.

International shipping accounts for more than 80 percent of global trade. Shipping is considered the most cost-effective and efficient method to transport goods. The international shipping industry is also important for sustainable green economic growth.

HOW TO OBSERVE #WorldMaritimeDay

The IMO headquarters hosts an event each year. Other activities include conferences, seminars, and luncheons. During these events, education on the importance of shipping is provided. Students are encouraged to visit maritime museums to learn about the history of the marine industry.

Some of the most famous maritime museums include:

  • National Maritime Museum in London
  • Vancouver Maritime Museum in Canada
  • Kobe Maritime Museum in Japan
  • Maritime Museum of San Diego

Earlier in the month each year, a  Parallel Event is held. A different country hosts the event each year. Past host countries have included Poland, Panama, Turkey, Peru, Italy, and the United States.

To celebrate the observance, learn about the importance of the shipping industry. Study how the shipping industry shapes the economies of countries all over the world. Visit a maritime museum. Learn about why shipping is good for the environment. Read articles on what happens when the world’s biggest ships meet the world’s skinniest straits.

During your celebrations, share using #WorldMaritimeDay on social media.


The IMO began celebrating World Maritime Day in 1978. At that time, the IMO had 21 member states. Since then, the IMO has grown to over 160 member states. Every nation with an interest in maritime affairs holds a membership with the IMO. Each year World Maritime Day observes the day with a different theme. In 2018, in conjunction with the founding of the IMO 70 years prior, the theme was IMO 70: Our Heritage – Better Shipping for a Better Future.

Other Recent themes have included:

2019: Empowering women in the maritime community
2017: Connecting ships, ports, and people
2016: Shipping: indispensable to the world
2015: Maritime education and training

22 September 2022
28 September 2023
26 September 2024
25 September 2025
24 September 2026
23 September 2027
28 September 2028
27 September 2029
26 September 2030


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