José Gonzalez new chairman of YoungShip Belgium


José Gonzalez succeeds Keshia Janssens as chairman of the maritime youth organization YoungShip Belgium. "It is important to listen to young professionals so that we get an even better picture of what is happening in their sector," he says.

YoungShip Belgium is a non-profit association aimed at bringing together young professionals (up to 39 years old) from the maritime and port world and organizing networking activities. On Wednesday, February 21, 2024, the association kicked off the new year with the first board meeting and the biennial presidential election. José Gonzalez was unanimously elected as the new chairman by the board of directors. He takes over from Keshia Janssens, who will take on a more active role as chairwoman of YoungShip International.


"I am pleased to have been given the opportunity and trust of my fellow board members to take on the role of chairman," says José Gonzalez. "Looking to the future, we want to reach even more young people with a view to diversity," he says.

"It is important to listen to young people so that as a board of directors, we get an even better picture of what is happening in the maritime sector," he emphasizes. "What are the current topics that interest them, what challenges are they facing, and what do they need? By organizing networking events and activities, we provide young professionals with the opportunity to meet, catch up, but also to share ideas and stimulate innovative thinking, which ultimately contributes to the development of the broader maritime industry."


Like his predecessor Keshia Janssens, Gonzalez also works in the dredging sector. Since 2017, he has been employed by the Belgian group DEME. In his current role, he serves as lead category manager in corporate procurement.

International YoungShip originated in Norway in 2004 and has since spread to several other countries. Belgium started with five board members in 2018. At present, the Belgian association has around 300 members with a core group of about 60 members. The estimated number of members worldwide is around 8,000 in 36 countries.

YoungShip International has gained considerable experience and credibility in the sector through its various departments, increasingly acting as an interest group. To represent the viewpoints of young professionals, YoungShip aspires to become an advisory body to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) of the United Nations. YoungShip Belgium is also represented at the international ministerial conference on the welfare of seafarers, which will take place on March 8, 2024, in Brussels. Keshia Janssens, chairwoman of YoungShip International and member of the board of directors of YoungShip Belgium, will speak there about the attractiveness of the sector.

Stronger together

Due to its great success, the second edition of the youth congress Young Antwerp Anchorage (YAA) will take place on May 30, 2024, at the KAVA Congress Center in Antwerp. The event is organized by four different youth network organizations, namely YoungShip Belgium, Young Forward, Jong Voka/Alfaport Voka, ASV The Next Generation.

Ocean Film Tour The next event of YoungShip Belgium is the anniversary edition of the film festival for ocean lovers 'Ocean Film Tour'. This will take place on March 26, 2024, at the Zuiderpershuis. More information and registration can be found on our website.


Source Flows © Julie Desmet

Dragonboat Festival - 8 Jun 2024

Saturday 8th June is RACE DAY!

YoungShip Belgium will join the Hongkong Dragonboat race with its own dragonboat. Of course we need some enthusiastic members to row the 200m sprint together with us!

Join us for a fun and exiting day, and hopefully we can improve our record (01:19.94) from last edition in 2019!


Saturday 8 June 2024
09 - 15h


2000 Antwerpen

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Young Antwerp Anchorage - 30 May 2024

After a successful kick-off in 2022, the 2nd edition of Young Antwerp Anchorage (YAA) will take place on May 30!

Organized by Young FORWARD Belgium, Alfaport Voka, Antwerpse ScheepvaartVereniging (ASV): The Next Generation and YoungShip Belgium, this conference is focused on bringing together young professionals within the maritime industry, to learn, share ideas and network!

The event will consist of two parts:

  • Conference as from 14h30
    • Opening session (Maritime Sisters)
    • Break-out sessions (Sustainability / Artificial Intelligence / Diversity & Talent)
    • Panel discussion (Young entrepreneurs & the shipping business)
    • Closing session
  • Network event / reception as from 19h00


Thursday 30th May 2024
From 14h30 (conference)
From 19h (reception)

KAVA Congres Centrum
Consciencestraat 41,
2018 Antwerpen

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Company visit: Amoras - 18 Apr 2024

Wondering what happens with all the dredged material from the river Scheldt?
Join us on a unique visit behind the scenes of one of the world’s most innovative silt dewatering plants: AMORAS!

With over 500.000t dry material being treated and stored every year, this facility ensures that the Port of Antwerp can continue to prosper and grow, accommodating the new and future giants of the sea!

Already want to find out more?


Thursday 18th April 2024
From 18 - 22h

Poldervlietweg 2
2030 Antwerpen

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Ocean Film Tour - 26 Mar 2024

Ahoy YoungShippers!


Put the 26th of March in your calender as the anniversary edition of the Ocean Film Tour is something you do not want to miss!

The films are again a variation of ocean related topics, going form windsurfing and the warm waves of Cuba to the ice cold Antartica. Throughout the evening, numerous short movies (5-20mins) will be shown, capturing life and activities above or under the sea-level from all around the globe.
This years face of the tour is Frank Gonzáles Guerra, Never Stop Surfing is the motto of the up-and-coming surfing community in Cuba. And the passionate Cuban surfers could do with a motto alongside solidarity, courage and a lot of passion.

Check the trailer here,

After the films, we share our impressions over a drink in the foyer.



Exclusively for YoungShip Belgium members, we offer tickets at a discount price.



When? 26 March 2024 - doors at 19h00

Where? Zuiderpershuis
Waalsekaai 14, Antwerpen
             Routebeschrijving via GoogleMaps

Pricing? 10€


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Afterwork get together - 22 Feb 2024

In february we do what we do well: bring people together to network.

We invite you all to an after-work drink at Spéciale Belge, a nice ‘craft beer’ pub where you will not get the big names, but they guarentee great discoveries.
They make their own beers and have 18 beers on tap, so we will definitly have something to discover!


See you all there!

Where? Spéciale Belge, Régine Beerplein 1, 2018 Antwerpen

When? 22 February 2024 from 18h00.


Please register here



New Years Drink - 25 January 2024

Happy New Year YoungShippers!

YoungShip Belgium is keen to invite you to this New Years Drink to celebrate the past 2023 and to raise a glass to a bright 2024.

This time we go for a classic: champagne! We welcome you in La Cave Aux Bulles for a champagne tasting, including the new Red Star Line Champagne, a magnificent drink which was recently brought back to life based on old documents found in the Red Star Line archives.

We wouldn’t be YoungShip if we would not include some fun networking games!


See you all:

25th January 2024 @18h00

La Cave Aux Bulles
Rijnkaai 17, Antwerp (right across the Red Star Line Museum).




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SEAFAR Semi-Autonomous Shipping - 14 Dec 2023

YoungShip Belgium is visiting the first Remote Control Centre for unmanned barges in the European Union!

From the Shore Control Center SEAFAR manages and operates unmanned and crew-reduced vessels, with emphasis on effective and safe operations. The captains in the Shore Control Center are supported by the latest technologies based on artificial intelligence and machine learning.

YoungShip Belgium invites their members for this exclusive opportunity on 14 December 2023 at 18h00. We gather at MCA labs and will proceed from there to Seafar.

18h00 MCA labs
Visit to Seafar




Studytrip to Cyprus - Sept 2023

YoungShip Belgium and YoungShip Cyprus are teaming up!

At the end of September the 2 departments of YS are organising a study trip for 15 YS Belgium members who will meet 15 YS Cyprus members.

YoungShip Belgium wants to seek collaboration and get better connected with the other YoungShip chapters and maritime companies & organisations. This study trip is a small-scale pilot with the support of the European Union. If the events is a success, more possibilities will open for collaborations between European chapters.

Do you also want to expand your maritime network? This trip gives you an opportunity to create stronger relations between Belgium & Cyprus. Learn more from the maritime industry of Cyprus and young and maritime organisations.

We offer a 5 day trip where you can count on numerous maritime related visits, from governmental institutions to maritime companies but be sure of a culture trip as well.

This study trip is cofinanced by the European Union. This means that the costs of transportation and hotel are all taken care of. As such your own contribution will be limited.

As there is a clear limit to the number of members able to join, we ask you to fill in the form below. We require a motivation why you want to join this study trip.


  • 28 September – 2 October 2023
  • Requested deposit 150 euro (rest will be refunded after the trip)


Dragon boat race - 16 Sept 2023

On the 16th of September the Dragon boat festival will take place once again in the Kattendijkdok.


During this 10th edition YoungShip Belgium will compete in the dragon boat race with a boat.

We will take on 3 heats and hope to continue to the semi-finals or finals.

All revenue will be donated to the charities selected by the rotary club


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