How to Become a Naturalist on Cruise Ships

Although naturalists and lecturers on cruise ships have many of the same job duties, they are not one in the same. Naturalists are actually part of the lecture staff, but they are paid a salary rather than commission only. Port lecturers earn commissions because part of their job involves recommending shops and stores – stores the lecturer represents. Naturalists lecture on specific areas. For example, if naturalist works for cruise ships in Alaska, he will lecture on whales, glaciers, wildlife, and the plants and fauna along the inside passage.

Another major difference between naturalists and port lecturers is naturalist’s work for all different types of cruises in all locations. Port lecturers are commonly found on ships cruising in the Caribbean. Naturalists on cruise ships earn an average of $2,000-$2,625 per month. Salaries might be higher on large or luxury cruise lines and contracts are negotiable. Most port lecturers earn commission only, but it is not uncommon for a port lecturer to earn $1,000 or more per week. Naturalists on cruise ships may receive health benefits, and free accommodations and meals. They may also receive free air travel to and from the ship.

Naturalist positions are plentiful just about anytime of the year, but cruise lines are quite selective. Naturalists must have thorough knowledge of the area they are cruising. According to “Cruise Ships Jobs” by Richard B. Marin, Ph.D., many naturalists create jobs for themselves by showing the cruise lines how their particular knowledge and expertise can enhance passengers’ perception of a particular cruise. Some naturalists hold a bachelor’s degree or an advanced degree in geography, horticulture, marine biology, or other science related field. They may also hold a degree in history, hospitality, public speaking, or communications.

If you think you have what it takes to become a naturalist on cruise ships, here’s how to get started. If you have a specific cruise line in mind, locate the cruise lines’ OFFICIAL website first. Visit the Ships and Cruises Directory for official listings. Once you have located the site, visit the website and search around for job postings. 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 the cruise lines 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. You can apply for a job on your own, free of charge, sign up with a placement agency, or use Cruise Ship Jobs’ service.

About Port Lecturers

Lecturers and speakers on cruise ships are hired to give everything from talks and slide shows to shopping tips on various ports of call. Lecturers and speakers work closely with the cruise director and excursion staff. They often perform some of the same tasks as cruise directors. What’s unique about these positions is, most lecturers and speakers are under contract with an independent company.

Lecturer and speaker jobs on cruise ships are the perfect fit for individuals experienced in the retail sector, someone with extensive knowledge of ports of call, and someone who can think fast when questions get tough. To sign up with an agency that supplies lecturers and speakers to cruise ships, try the following:

Page & Moy Cruises
Phone: 0116 217 8005

Compass House,
Rockingham Road,
Market Harborough,
LE16 7QD

PPI Group
Phone: 954 377 7777
Fax: 954 377 7000

4517 NW 31st Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, FL

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