THE MARITIME CREW was formed in 1994 with the primary purpose of entertaining visitors to the New Zealand Maritime Museum on Auckland's Hobson Wharf. Hence our name - THE MARITIME CREW.

We are currently taking a break from this regular Maritime Museum gig, a combination of crewmen overseas, out of town, or with other calls on their time, plus the 'orribleness of the winter Auckland weather (we're fair weather sailors!) means we're giving up this gig at least until nearer the end of 2017. We're still available for other one-off gigs though, for any event requiring a nautical flavour of yesterydar - WE'RE YOUR MEN!

Our next performance will be at 8.00pm, Monday, 6th November 2017 at the Devonport Folk Club for their annual Shanty Night.

After that, you can hear us at the Auckland Folk Festival during Auckland Anniversary Weekend, 26-28th January 2018. Exact day and time to be advised.

Crew News

Rolling the Whole World Round

is a collection of the Maritime Crew’s favourite songs. These are traditional shanties and contemporary compositions that tell the stories of the seas and rivers of the world from Greenland to Antarctica. Included is “Phantom Fleet”, a song reminiscing the old sailing scows of Auckland as described in Ted Ashby’s poems “Out of the Past” and “To the Rimu”, published in his book, The Phantom Fleet, AH & AW Reed 1975.

April 2014 - Several Highs, One Low.

April 2014 was on the whole a good month for The Maritime Crew.

The End Of An Era

At the end of our Maritime Museum gig on Sunday February 7th 2010 the group's founding father Rudy Sunde announced he had just completed his final gig as part of the Maritime Crew and was now going to retire. He leaves us with a proud legacy and a hard act to follow.

We are organising a celebration of Rudy's contribution to the Crew over the last 15 Years. To be held from 7.00PM on Saturday 24th April at the Titirangi Beach Hall. We hope to see many of Rudy's friends and former musical collaborators there.

Spring 2009

Catlins Bound

Cover of book 'Catlins Bound' by Mike McPhee

The Crew's next CD ‘Catlins Bound’ is to be launched as part of a combined Book Launch, Art Exhibition & Musical Performance at a special event at the Owaka Museum, The Catlins, South Otago on Saturday 14th November.

This collection contains 15 songs relating to the ships built by William McPhee on Stewart Island and in the Catlins. McPhee was born in Nova Scotia, Canada, of Highland Scots ancestry and came to New Zealand in the late 1850s. He commenced ship-building at Waikawa, then Stewart Island, and finally at Catlins River, in 1866. He built some fine ketches and schooners for the New Zealand coastal trade and his biggest vessel regularly crossed the Tasman Sea to Australia.

In 2008, Mike McPhee (a great grandson of William McPhee) heard the Crew sing Rudy's song 'Auckland to the Bluff' on Sounds Historical the National Radio Sunday night history programme. Rudy says:- "He contacted me saying that he was nearly finished writing a book about his ancestor's ships and would I consider composing a song about one of them?". A correspondence developed and out of that grew the project that eventually became this CD.

The CD contains new songs from crew members Bob Large, Alex McClennan, Warren Payne & Rudy Sunde; and songs originally written as poems by Mike McPhee (with contributions from Anabel McPhee & Rudy Sunde) which have now been set to music by Rudy Sunde.

The book and CD together are available on the tour for $59.95, or from the Catlins Bound website for an additional $6 in postage & packing within NZ, overseas enquiries welcome.

The CD only is also available via our CD catalogue.

The crew obviouly enjoyed the recording sessionLink to photo of recording session..

January 2009

In January 2009 Johannes and Margriet van der Werf visited Auckland. We had the opportune pleasure of reciprocating some of the marvellous hospitality they afforded us in 2007. They and other members of the Folsgearster Folk treated us like kings in their part of Friesland in the Netherlands during our August 2007 Tour of Europe. See and hear the results of our collaboration with the Folgearster Folk on our CD On the Road Together.

Johannes joined us for part of our gig at the Auckland Folk Festival, and some of our songs from that session have now found their way onto Y!Video, Yahoo's version of YouTube.

See The Maritime Crew at the 2009 Auckland Folk Festival.

Thanks to Margriet Van der Werf who took the videos.

January 2008

Our 6th CD "On The Road Together" recorded together with Folsgearster Folk of Friesland, Holland, who generously hosted us on part of our August 2007 Tour of Europe.

Find out more about all our CDs on our CD Page

At the 2008 Auckland Folk Festival the Crew had the honour of a visit from songwriter Bob Watson, who, among many other fine songs, wrote Crew favourite 'Southern Ocean'.

Here he is singing with the Crew during their Shanty Songs Session in the Barn and there is a YouTube recording (audio with still pictures) of Bob Watson leading The Maritime Crew & Festival Audience in his song 'Shantyman' recorded at that session. (This song has subsequently firmly embedded itself in Crew repertoire.)

Photo by Emma Loveman.

August 2007

In August 2007 we return to Europe for a month long tour taking in Germany, Holland and Switzerland, for all the exciting details see our Tours and Gigs page.

January 2007

Some Crew Lineup changes, read all about them on our Crew Members Pages.

October 2006

Our 5th CD "An Audience with The Maritime Crew" is now available. This was recorded LIVE at the 2006 Auckland Folk Festival by Tony Ricketts of Portable Panic. This CD has some wonderful audience participation singing and if you were there at the time, you will surely want to buy the CD. Tony also recorded us LIVE at the 2000 Auckland Folk Festival.

Find out more about all our CDs on our CD Page

August 2006

Our 5th CD will be available soon Read all about it.

The "Auckland to the Bluff" CD has 17 of my sea songs and Ode Record Company has sold the production rights of it to a French company Playa Sound and they are now selling it in Europe under the title "Sea Shanties - Chants de Marins". A nice little honour for us.

On a personal note, I am proud that some of my songs have found favour in Europe. The English shanty group the Shanty Crew have my song "Auckland to the Bluff" in their repertoire and a Dutch group de Flagellanten have taken on board my song "Spray of the Ocean". And the Swiss shanty group Singing Sailors Crew Romanshorn have used my "Hurrah for our Captain".

Rudy Sunde

January 2006

The Maritime Crew performed at the 2006 Auckland Folk Festival.

Henry Falkner took these photographs of the event.

2006 Auckland Folk Festival Image 1 2006 Auckland Folk Festival Image 2
2006 Auckland Folk Festival Image 3 2006 Auckland Folk Festival Image 4

Each image links to the full size one in Henry's extensive Photo Gallery, where you'll also find more of his photos from the festival and lots more besides.


The group has had a busy year with the recording of a new CD, Auckland to the Bluff where they perform the songs of Rudy Sunde, and a two week tour in Germany, singing in Niebuell, Kiel and Bremerhaven.

Member International Shanty and Seasong Association Buy Maritime Crew CDs