How to Get a Job on Passenger Cargo Ships

By Michelle - February 3, 2010 

If you have an adventurous spirit and you thrive on travel to exotic locations and off the beaten path places, then a job on an explorer or passenger cargo ship might be for you. Jobs on explorer or passenger cargo ships will take you to some of the most unusual destinations ranging from everywhere from Antarctica to the Amazon to the Galapagos Islands to the North Pole. To break in, you will need more than an adventurous spirit. These types of vessels typically assemble small, specialists crews with relevant expertise and regional knowledge. For example, explorer and passenger cargo ships may hire pilots experienced with polar navigation and lecturers that are experts in subjects such as marine biology, exotic wildlife, native tribes, and more.

Unlike explorer ships that have more of a traditional cruise-like environment, passenger cargo ships offer close contact with the ship’s company and access to normally off-limit areas such as the navigational bridge. Passengers on these types of ships may also dine with the ship’s officers on a regular basis. Also, you won’t find staff such as entertainers, spa personnel or shore excursion personnel on passenger-cargo ships. On a few explorer ships, such as Orient Lines’ Marco Polo and Hapag Lloyd’s Hanseatic, entertainment and fashionable attire is the norm. On passenger cargo ships, casual attire is preferred.

If you have the experience, skills, and background needed to work on passenger cargo ships, you can begin your job search by checking with the top passenger cargo and explorer cruises in the industry. These include: Abercrombie & Kent (A & K), Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, Galapagos Cruises, Heritage Expeditions, Amazon Tours & Cruises, Andrew Weir Shipping (St. Helena Cruises), Lindblad Expeditions, Orient Lines, Quark Expeditions, and Spitsbergen Travel. Visit the individual official website for these cruise lines and check the career/job pages. Check the Ships and Cruises Directory for official website listings.

Most cruise line websites have a career center or job postings page. If the cruise line lists job openings, be sure to follow the application procedure to the letter. Applicants that do not follow directions are typically passed over in favor of those that do. If the cruise line does not list job openings on its site, send a polished cover letter and resume to the cruise lines Human Resources Department. The Human Resources Department is typically located at cruise line headquarters. This information is usually listed on the cruise line website. It is important to include the position you are interested in so that it can be directed to the appropriate department manager.

For more information about jobs on cruise ships visit Cruise Ship Jobs online. Here, you can download the 2010 cruise ship employment guide; you can read through cruise line profiles; you can find out which ships are hiring and for what positions — and you can even apply for a cruise ship job right online. Please note that this website charges a fee. It is also important to note that you can apply for office jobs on cruise lines for free on your own. Good Luck!

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