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FAQ Yacht Interior crew work and training

Do I need previous experience to complete one of your stewardess/steward/deck hand super yacht interior courses?

No! A small amount of hospitality background will always be useful, but many students we train have no hospitality background and still find jobs – we’ll teach you everything you need to know. Sometimes it works out better if you don’t have any previous experience, especially in the service area, as you may have to ‘unlearn’ previously learnt bad habits.


How many students are on each course?

We train a maximum of 6-8 students, which gives you all the individual attention you need. Smaller classes are more conductive to learning – our stewardess/steward/deck hand super yacht interior courses are pretty full on with lots to learn and take in and it is better to do this in a small environment. You get to know your fellow students really well, and most arrange to travel to France together to begin their search for work.

Do I really need to do a steward/ess training course to work on board a super yacht?

It depends on what your previous work history includes. Even if you are from a hospitality background I would suggest the course will still be beneficial for you, as you will learn the ins and outs of the yachting industry, and be trained in the skills needed to the standards required by the super yachts, which are generally higher than those on land. You will also learn how to write your CV to the standards of the yachting industry, and we’ll go through interview questions to increase your confidence. You will also gain confidence, as the yachting industry can feel like a whole new world you know nothing about with any idea what to expect. There will be nothing worse than getting on board and feeling like a fish out of water when they ask you to iron 20 fitted sheets, detail clean the guest lounge or run downstairs and do a fancy towel fold in each of the guest cabins in preparation for a charter!

Can you offer help with becoming a deckhand?

Yes, we are an agency for stewards and stewardesses so if you are looking for work as deckhand/steward/ess our stewardess/steward/deck hand super yacht interior courses will also be of great benefit to you, and give you a few extra strings to your bow when it comes to searching for a position. We have trained students who have gone on to become Deckhands, and they have been hired because the Captain liked the idea that if they were having a busy party or event on board the deckhand could put on his Steward ‘hat’ and help out there too!

Do you provide super yacht recruitment?

We are both a recruitment agency and a stewardess/steward/deck hand super yacht interior courses training provider in the UK and overseas. We specialise in recruitment and yacht crew training. We also have many other contacts throughout the super yacht industry, and we are often privately contacted by Captains and Chief Stewardesses looking for crew (many of these chief stewardesses have previously trained with us, so come to us first when looking for a new crew member). When we do have jobs on our books we only promote our trained candidates, so please do contact us looking for work.

Other questions we get asked are:

  • Do I have to be thin? No, just fit and active for your own sake.
  • Another question we get asked about is age. Think you’re too old, think again. Probably not. But you have to, again be fit and active and healthy of course

FAQ About the Super Yacht Industry

What is a super yacht?

A super yacht is a luxury travelling vessel sailing to the most glamorous and exotic locations in the world. Not to be confused with a cruise ship, they are private vessels – floating homes for the rich and famous, and include Jacuzzi’s, gyms, pools, cinemas, jet-ski, submarines and other water toys. They may have major artworks, and state of the art entertainment systems.

What crew positions are available on board super yachts?

There are numerous full time and seasonal positions on board these yachts as we specialise in providing training and recruitment ONLY for junior stewards and stewardesses.

What does a steward/ess do?

A steward/ess is responsible for the care of the yachts’ interior as well as the guest’s wellbeing whilst on board. Duties will range from serving all meals, preparing buffets and parties, laundry and housekeeping, wine service, preparing cocktails and cleaning and maintaining the interior to 7-star standards. They will organise excursions for the guests, and may also be required to look after children

What experience do I need to have?

Previous hospitality skills or customer service skills are a must for all interior crew, either through previous work experience or a super yacht steward/ess training course. Skills in silver service, flower arranging, bar tending and cocktail making, ironing and laundry skills are all required if you wish to become an interior crew member.

Do I need any formal qualifications to work on board a super yacht?

Yes! You need to have a certification called STCW-95 Basic Safety Training (STCW stands for Safety Training, Certification in Watch keeping) This is a 5 days course made up of 4 modules – Fire Fighting, Elementary First Aid, Personal Safety and Social Responsibilities and Personal Survival Techniques. You will be required to obtain all 4 modules before you board your first yacht, and these can be completed whilst you are looking for work. http://www.superyachtcrewguide.com/what-is-stcw95.php This course is now mandatory for all super yacht crew members and you will find it difficult, if not impossible, to find work without it. You will also need an ENG1. This is a crew members medical needed for work on board the larger super yachts, and is slowly becoming mandatory for all crew members. Please email us if you would like information on where to obtain these certifications.

Is it the same as working on board a cruise ship?

No! Usually cruise liners have hundreds of crew members whereas on board a super yacht there will generally be a ratio of one crew member to one guest. You have direct interaction with the guests, of which there will only be maximum 12-14 on board at any one time, so it is a much more personalised service. The standards of a super yacht are much higher as every detail is scrutinised by the owners and guests – they will be used to the best of everything so standards are required to remain high at all times.

How much can I earn?

As a junior steward/ess you can earn from £1900 per month rising to £5000+ per month for a chief steward/ess position. If you work on board a charter yacht (this is a yacht that is hired out for holidays) you can also expect to earn roughly £500-£800 per week of charter in tips – that is on top of your salary! Also, you will not have to pay any living expenses, i.e. food or accommodation – all your uniform and even toiletries are provided!

How difficult will it be to find work?

The super yacht industry is growing year by year and there are not enough trained and experienced crew members to meet the demands of the yachts currently being built. There are yacht crew agencies all over the world looking to add new crew members to their books. The best time to find work is at the end of each season, when there are large crew changeovers. As long as you are willing to travel to the major yachting marinas in the south of France or Fort Lauderdale, apply what you learn during the training course and join the crew agencies as well as walking the docks.

Where do these yachts travel?

You will find super yachts in the US (Fort Lauderdale/New York/New England etc.) all year round, in the Caribbean (St. Martin/St. Barts / Bahamas / Antigua etc.) from October to April and in the Mediterranean during April – October (France: St. Tropez / Cannes /Nice . Italy, Corsica and Sardinia etc.). There are many yachts that have their own itineraries, and travel to Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Papua New Guinea, French Polynesia, Australia, Tahiti, New Zealand…

I am a guy, can I work as a steward, or are the positions mainly for females?

More and more yachts these days request stewards due to owners’ preferences and crew sleeping arrangements. There are also positions available as steward/deckhand, where you work both on the interior and exterior or the vessel.

I am only looking for a 6 months position during a gap year, is yachting for me?

Yes! There are many seasonal positions in yachting, April to September being the most popular time for seasonal steward/ess positions in the Mediterranean.

I have just lost my job and am looking for a change in lifestyle, is being a steward/ess for me?

Yes! A permanent crew member is a very rewarding position and there are ample opportunities to move up the career ladder. You work with a group of like-minded individuals, and wake up every day in a new place. It is both challenging and rewarding. As a permanent crew member you will be entitled to great benefits including full health care and medical/dental insurance, 4-6 weeks paid holiday per year, and one return flight home a year.

What kind of person is yachting most suited to?

Those who are physically fit and healthy as you will often be required to work long house and be on your feet for most of the time! You need to have a friendly personality and be tolerant of others, as well as being a team player – essential when you are in a small crew.

I have always wanted to travel abroad and work but am a female travelling alone, is the yachting industry safe?

Yes the yachting industry is safe for solo female travellers. Once you have arrived at a yacht crew house you will meet like-minded fellow travellers also mainly travelling alone and looking for work, so its a great way to meet people and make friends.

What do I do when I have completed the course?

Once you have completed the training course you will be more than well equipped to join the super yacht industry. During the training course you will meet  many other prospective crew members that are also about to embark on this exciting career, and usually the trainees of each course make plans to go out to the yachting areas (either Antibes, or Fort Lauderdale) together to begin their search for work.

It sounds too good to be true. 

Working on board a super yacht is an amazing experience and a great opportunity to travel the world whilst earning a fantastic salary. Although it can be glamorous, a lot of the time it is not. You will be working for very long hours to cater to guests’ needs, often with no breaks, and alot of the time you work for weeks and weeks on end with no days off, so yes you earn a great salary but you earn every penny of it!

Contact Us

Main Office

Bespoke Bureau
Blackwell House
Guildhall Yard
Near Bank
City of London

Main phone: +44 (0) 2031670925
Main email: main@bespokebureau.com

Opening hours:
Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm