Working on a Superyacht
Working on a Superyacht as a Stewardess or Steward is becoming the career path choice for many who would prefer a job at sea to one on land. It’s a perfect way to combine work and travel, you will spend all of your time in the sunshine and in some of the most beautiful places in the world.
The Superyacht industry is constantly on the lookout for energetic, hard working people, male or female to provide guests and owners with the ultimate holiday experience.
What qualifications do I need to work on a Superyacht?
There are three areas to cover when it comes to qualifications and experience to beome a Superyacht Stewardess. The first to are mandatory, the third depends on you and what hospitality experience or job you have been doing to date.
- ENG1 medical required by all crew who work at sea. If you are thinking of becoming a Superyacht Stewardess then we recommend you complete the ENG1 medical before completing Step 2.
- STCW Basic Safety Training Course is a set of compulsory qualifications required by all crew who work at sea. You will complete a Sea Survival course, First Aid, Fire Fighting (great fun), and topics on Health and Safety, and Security.
- Get some experience. If you have hospitality experience or you have worked as a Nanny, Beautician, Hairdresser, Air Steward/ess, to name a few, then this will look great on your CV.
How to get a job on a yacht with no experience
It is true to say that you don’t have to have worked on a yacht to start your career as a Stewardess, apart from the compulsory qualifications mentioned above.
Like any new career, it is a good idea to get some training in the basics so you can hold your own onboard. All yachts run slightly differently so one size does not fit all. To increase your chances of finding a job the more experience you can get the better.
The more experience you can offer the yacht, the better. So, if you don’t have any transferable skills then Flying Fish can help.
How do I find work on a Superyacht?
There are three ways crew find a job.
- Most crew travel to Antibes, France described as the hub of yachting in the Mediterranean.
- Online, we talk a bit more about “going online” below
- Contacts. If you know somebody that is already working on a Superyacht then through their connections it is possible to find work.
Almost everybody that is looking for a job on a Superyacht travels to Antibes, France. On arrival, crew tend to stay in a crew house such as the Crew Grapevine used as a base to look for work. If budget is a concern then crew join forces and rent an Airbnb between them. The advantage of a crew house like the Crew Grapevine is that the owners (ex-yachties) actively help you find a job.
The way you find a job on a Superyacht is quite unique. From your base in Antibes, you would travel to other ports in the local area, walk the dock and chat to the crew working onboard to see if there are any positions available.
Superyacht crew who have the evening off will go to the local bars to unwind. This is the perfect chance to get to know people that are working on Superyachts and to build connections in the industry.
Go online to look for a work
All Superyacht recruitment agents post positions on their respective websites. Once qualified, new crew would register with the agency and complete their registration form. You would then get in touch with the agent to start searching for that dream job.
The recruitment agent’s job is to match the right candidate for the job being advertised. There are many recruitments agents out there, we work closely with YPI a Superyacht recruitment agency based in the South of France.
A quick Google search for “Superyacht Recruitment Agents” will bring up a list.
Facebook is another medium that yachts use to post jobs. To keep up to date is it worth joining a couple of the Superyacht Facebook groups. Yacht crew jobs and Palma yacht group are two examples.
Amelia who trained with Flying Fish in 2020 gave some good advice.Sign up to a few good recruitment companies, make sure you interview with the recruiter first rather than using Facebook. Second, when you have your interview, make sure you ask questions about the yacht. This is because you are not only finding a job but a home and family too, so ask as many questions as possible to make sure it’s the right yacht for you.
How long does it take to find work on a Superyacht?
Over the 12 years we have been training Stewardesses, most find a job between 1 – 4 weeks. We have had customers that have found a job in a day and others that have taken 6 weeks to find that perfect job.
The time it takes to find a job is down to you. You will need to be proactive, up early, and make sure you are at the front of the queue. From our experience, people who work hard and explore every opportunity will find a job quickly.
Every Chief Stew that calls us for a reference asks the same questions – does the candidate have a good attitude? You need to be hard-working, happy to work long hours, and used to mucking in. Have a can-do attitude and a willingness to go that extra mile to help your fellow crewmates.
When is the best time to look for work on a Superyacht?
Traditionally Superyachts recruit for the Mediterranean season anytime between February to May. That being said, yachts recruit all year round. We have seen many graduates find work in July and August when the season is in full swing.
The next key recruitment period is between September and November as yachts prepare for the Caribbean season. Yachts will cross the Atlantic anytime between December and January to cruise the Caribbean or the US for the winter. Superyacht crew who have had a busy Mediterranean season may decide to take the winter off, which leaves opportunities for new crew to enter the industry.
How much does a Stewardess make?
A Steward/ess starting out in the industry can expect to earn €2,000 to €3,500 per month – almost all crew paid in Euros. The salary can depend on many factors, the main one being the yacht’s “crew” budget.
The owner or management company will agree on a budget that the Captain uses to hire crew, which can lead to small variations in the amount yachts pay their crew.
Your salary can also depend on whether you work on a Charter or Private yacht. It is customary for charter guests to tip the crew, the tip is normally around 10% of the charter fee. Chartering a Superyacht can set you back anywhere from €250,000 to €1 million per week.
Tips are split evenly amongst the crew and on average, can be anything from €2,000 – €5,000 per charter.
I have heard that my salary is tax-free?
As a crew member (or Seafarer) working on a Superyacht, it is likely that you will be out of the Uk for a significant about of time. Spend more than half of the year abroad then you fall under a specific piece of legislation called the Seafarers earning deduction scheme. If you meet the criteria then yes, the salary paid to you will be free of UK income tax.
What is it like working on a Superyacht?
All crew work, eat, and sleep onboard. The yacht will become your home, they will look after you and a chef cook all your meals while onboard. Your contract will specify your duties, salary, working hours, and holiday. The yacht will supply your uniform and provide further training, if necessary.
Superyacht crew will be comfortable with being away from their friends and family for long periods of time. For your first job expect to be away from home for an extended period, which may be 6 months or more.
There are various roles within the Interior department; Laundry, Service, and Housekeeping. Depending on the size of the yacht will depend on what your role is onboard. For example, large yachts will have a dedicated laundry team, while a small yacht (35-40M) the Stewardess will do all three.
During a normal week, when there are not guests onboard you are likely to work 5 days a week, weekends off. The structure of your working week will differ from yacht to yacht but there will be time off to explore and have some well-earnt downtime.
A typical working day
Your working day will typically start at 8:oo am and finish at 6:00 pm usually 5 days a week. When on charter, or if the owners are onboard, then the hours you work will differ. Unsociable hours are common when guests are onboard.
You will share a cabin with another Stewardess. The cabins are small but comfortable with an ensuite bathroom. There is access to the internet via that yachts Wifi system so you will be able to keep in touch with friends and family at home.
So, how do I become a Stewardess on a Superyacht?
This is where we come in. Flying Fish runs a two-week Superyacht Stewardess course that includes all the qualifications and skills you need to get started in the industry. Everything from the STCW Basic Safety Training to our specialised Interior programme, run by an ex-chief Stewardess.
The course is great fun, you will learn loads of new skills and meet like-minded people who, like you, are thinking about a different career path.
Can I make a career in yachting?
Yes, and many have. Becoming a Superyacht Stewardess can be a career, and what an amazing career it can be. Every Stewardess starts out as a Junior Stew, then as you gain time and experience onboard you can progress to 2nd Stew, then Chief Stew. The chief Stew runs the entire interior team, manages the budget, and will be the first point of contact for the guests and owners – not an easy role.
Some yachts will employ a Purser which can be best described as the PA to the Superyacht.
Not only is there progression but becoming a Superyacht Stewardess offers the travel and adventure that we all seek. You will meet some of the world’s rich and famous, as well as make some friends for life.