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Small Ship & Seasonal Cruise Line Jobs

When you’re looking for a cruise line job, don’t just apply to the well-known big name cruise lines.

There are a number of small ship specialty cruise lines as well as cruise lines that operate seasonally; both of these offer a wealth of employment opportunities.

What is considered to be a small ship?

Generally, any cruise line ship that carries fewer than 500 passengers is considered to be a small ship. They typically offer a more intimate cruising experience without the glitziness and pizzazz displayed on some of today’s mega cruise line ships.

Star Clippers - Royal Clipper

What types of cruises are offered on small ships?

Many times a small ship cruise line will offer specialty itineraries like river cruising or exploring a unique destination such as the Antarctic or the Amazon. Or they may also operate specialty types of vessels like a paddle wheeler, barge, freighter, luxury yacht, tall sailing ship, or even a steamboat.

What are the advantages of working on a small ship?

  • Because of a small ship’s size, you’ll be able to visit ports and destinations that a larger cruise ship can’t
  • With a smaller number on employees onboard, it’s possible to establish a deeper camaraderie and friendships with fellow staff members
  • Since a small cruise is typically a niche cruise catering to a select group of passengers, their fares are higher which translates into higher wages for cruise employees
  • A contract with a large cruise line can consist of working seven days a week for six months or more while employment with a small ship is more flexible such as working six weeks on followed by two weeks off

What types of jobs are available on a small ship?

Again, because a small ship cruise is specialized, so are their staff and crew members.  A small ship is typically looking for skilled employees that can help enhance the guest experience of their passengers. Examples of small ship cruise jobs include:

  • Crew members like a captain, first mate, engineering staff, and deckhands
  • Specialty instructors like those certified to teach scuba diving
  • Presenters - this includes well qualified experts in their field like a historian, guide, or photographer
  • Stewards work in the dining room and servicing guest cabins
  • Chef, sous-chef, and kitchen prep staff

What are examples of small ship companies?

There are many small ship cruise lines based around the world. Some of these include:

What is a seasonal cruise?

A seasonal cruise line is one that operates only during certain months of the year at peak tourist times such as a riverboat cruise on the Mississippi or an Alaskan cruise. Small ship employment and seasonal cruise line jobs go hand in hand as many seasonal cruise lines operate small ships.

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Written by Connie Motz