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the world of Catan

Released in 1997

Catan – Seafarers Expansion

Catan – Seafarers Expansion

Build ships, set sail, and conquer the magnificent island world of Catan. Nine voyages of discovery are awaiting the settlers of Catan. The expansion can also be combined with “Traders & Barbarians” and “Cities & Knights.”. The scenario box "CATAN - Legend of the Sea Robbers" is offering 4 new, comprehensive scenarios for this expansion.
Requires the Catan base game to play.

About the game

A campaign with many varied scenarios awaits you. First, you head for new shores. You leave Catan, land on neighboring islands, and receive special victory points whenever you are the first to settle an island. Then your ships explore entirely uncharted regions and discover either sea or land. Soon, you will meet the mysterious forgotten tribe and court its favor. Meanwhile, the pirates are getting more intrusive. You defend yourself and conquer the pirate nests. For the glory of Catan, you then vie with your opponents to build the most imposing wonders of the world.

The Seafarers – The Ships


The Seafarers expansion contains new frame pieces, which - together with the frame pieces of the Catan base game - can be used to assemble frames of variable size. Inside these frames, you lay out always varying combinations of islands, using the hexes of the Catan base game and additional hexes of the expansion set - either as shown in the scenario diagrams or according to your own imagination.

15 ships of each player color are included. Building a ship costs 1 lumber and 1 wool. When you build a new ship, place it adjacent to a coastal settlement or a ship you have already built. As you can see, the rules for placing ships are similar to the rules for placing roads on land.

There is, however, one important exception: you may change the position of the front ships of a shipping route! That way, you can react more flexibly to your opponents' actions and perhaps be the first to reach an unsettled, productive island.

Other new features are the gold fields, which help the owners of adjacent settlements or cities obtain any type of resource, and the pirate, who causes unrest on the peaceful seas.

Possible Combinations

Possible Combinations of “Seafarers” with Other Expansions

1. Combination with the “Cities & Knights” Expansion

Cities & Knights

You can use the possibilities of the “Seafarers” expansion together with "Cities & Knights." In our experience, scenarios such as "Heading for New Shores" and "Through the Desert" are suitable. The exploratory scenarios and all other scenarios featuring many smaller islands are unsuitable. When playing with the "Seafarers" expansion, you must ensure that certain actions applying to roads are also possible tor ships.




Rules for "Cities and Knights" with the "Seafarer" Expansion

  • For scenarios with several islands, the same rules as in the base game apply when the barbarian army attacks.
  • A knight can also be moved across the sea if the intersection he starts from is connected – via roads and ships or via ships only – to the intersection he ends up on.
  • You may move an active knight to an intersection between three sea hexes if one of your ships is adjacent to this intersection (the knight is then assumed to be on the ship).
  • If a knight stands on an intersection that is bordered by the last ship of a shipping route, that shipping route is closed. In other words, a knight’s connection to a settlement of his color must never be interrupted.
  • If you interrupt a foreign shipping route by means of a knight (or a settlement), that shipping route is considered interrupted in terms of the "Longest Trade Route." However, the owner of the shipping route may not break it up by moving his/her ships bordering the foreign knight.
  • If you deactivate an active knight adjacent to the sea hex occupied by the pirate, you may move the pirate.
  • The number of victory points specified for each scenario should be increased by 2.
  • For a city at a gold field, you only receive resources, not commodities.
  • The merchant may not be placed on a gold field.
  • The rule according to which the robber must not be moved until the barbarians have reached Catan for the first time also applies to the pirate (who is obviously not in the desert), provided that he is included in the scenario.

2. Combination with the “Explorers & Pirates” Expansion

Explorer and Pirates

In the “Seafarers” expansion, you build ships adjacent to each other, thus forming shipping routes along the sea hexes and connecting the islands. If your shipping route has reached a new island, you may build a settlement there. With two exceptions, in "Seafarers" the rules for ship building are the same as for road building. The first exception is that roads may not be built on sea routes and ships may not be built on paths. The second exception is that open ships may be moved.

While in “Seafarers” the ships are strung together in a static fashion, in the “Explorers & Pirates” expansion the ships can cross the seas like real-world ships. If your ship carrying a settler reaches a new island, you may build a settlement there.

In these two expansions, the ways of using ships and settling new islands are so fundamentally different from each other that it is impossible to combine the expansions. Besides, combining them doesn't make much sense anyway. If you use a settler ship, you reach a new building site for a settlement faster and more cost-effectively than when stringing together various ships.


3. Combination with the “Traders & Barbarians” Expansion

Traders & Barbarians

Many of the "Traders & Barbarians" scenarios combine well with the "Seafarers" expansion.

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