Document and Entity Information - shares
12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2018
Dec. 31, 2017
Document Information [Line Items]  
Document Type20-F 
Amendment Flagfalse 
Document Period End DateDec. 31, 2018 
Document Fiscal Year Focus2018 
Document Fiscal Period FocusFY 
Trading SymbolSSW 
Entity Registrant NameSeaspan CORP 
Entity Central Index Key0001332639 
Current Fiscal Year End Date--12-31 
Entity Well-known Seasoned IssuerNo 
Entity Current Reporting StatusYes 
Entity Filer CategoryAccelerated Filer 
Entity Common Stock, Shares Outstanding176,871,891 
Entity Preferred Stock, Shares Outstanding33,272,70632,872,706
Series D Preferred Shares [Member]  
Document Information [Line Items]  
Entity Preferred Stock, Shares Outstanding7,017,313 
Series E Preferred Shares [Member]  
Document Information [Line Items]  
Entity Preferred Stock, Shares Outstanding5,415,937 
Series G Preferred Shares [Member]  
Document Information [Line Items]  
Entity Preferred Stock, Shares Outstanding7,800,800 
Series H Preferred Shares [Member]  
Document Information [Line Items]  
Entity Preferred Stock, Shares Outstanding9,025,105 
Series I Preferred Stock [Member]  
Document Information [Line Items]  
Entity Preferred Stock, Shares Outstanding6,000,000 

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