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Cruise and ferry industries

Modern cruise ships and passenger ferries are run in a similar way to a large hotel, and a whole range of hotel and catering, hospitality and support services are needed on board to service guests' requirements.

Specific roles vary from company to company but prior qualifications and experience in hotel, catering or hospitality work are generally necessary. In addition to the relevant qualifications and experience, you'll also need to have a bright personality, an efficient manner and a sincere commitment to providing top quality customer service.

In all these functions you'll be providing services to passengers on a daily basis. As with all ‘customer-facing’ roles, you will be required to maintain high levels of customer service to ensure that passengers fully enjoy their cruise or ferry experience.

Listed below are the types of jobs you could find on board cruise and passengers ships, however, this is not an exhaustive list.

Hotel and catering

  • Hotel management and administration (often called 'pursers'): receptionists, bookkeepers, PAs and office based staff.
  • Restaurant: Maitre d'Hotel, waiting staff, wine stewards.
  • Bars: bar manager, bar staff, cocktail waiters.
  • Kitchen (galley): chefs, catering assistants.
  • Housekeeping: housekeepers, stewards, cleaners, porters, laundry personnel, carpenters and joiners, concierges.
  • Hospitality.
  • Entertainment: cruise directors, dancers, entertainers, DJs, casino staff.
  • Shore excursions: managers, support staff.
  • Health and beauty: hairdressers, beauticians, massage therapists, sports and fitness instructors.

Support services

Support roles Include but are not limited to: childcare assistant, youth staff, doctor, nurse, lifeguard, retail manager, retail assistant, photographer, florist, computer system/IT manager and computer technician.

It's worth noting that many of the concessionaire staff employed on passenger ships (eg, entertainers, hairdressers, beauticians, casino staff and photographers) are usually employed through third party companies who provide specialist staff to the cruise or ferry company on a contract basis.  In this case, you'll need to apply to the concessionaire company direct, not the cruise or ferry company.

Further information on entry requirements and applications procedures can be gained by contacting the individual cruise or ferry companies or third party employers. 

Please see our recruitment section for links to cruise and ferry companies.

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