The ability of shipowners to survive the interwar crisis was to a large extent a function of labour relations on board and ashore. The interwar period proved transitional for Greek maritime labour relations. The internationalisation of the fleet had a direct impact by disrupting some long-standing traditions. For the first time Greek seamen were not able to visit home regularly. The traditional Black Sea-Mediterranean-northern Europe route gave crews an opportunity to visit their home islands, even if only for a few hours, while the shipowners had a chance to make necessary crew changes. This change threatened the survival of the traditional crew structure under which most people on board were either related or came from the same island. The rise of trade unionism and the gradual alienation of employers and officers vis-à-vis the ratings also exacerbated the situation.