Hospitality, leisure and travel

Cruise liners: area of work

Get on board for a graduate career at sea.

The glamorous image of work on board a cruise liner makes this a very competitive area of work. But there are plenty of career opportunities: modern cruise liners often have several restaurants, bars, shops, a gym, a swimming pool and also a large number of rooms to maintain. A cruise liner will offer all the same jobs that a landlocked hotel does, such as facilities management and housekeeping, plus a sailing crew and travel reps to entertain and look after passengers. Large cruise ships offer a variety of roles, from casino croupiers and photographers to doctors and IT technicians.

Working environment

Cruise liners operate in all areas of the world, from the colder climates in the northern hemisphere to the clear blue seas of the Caribbean. Of course, a big bonus of this job is that you get to see lots of places but you really need to love what you’re doing or you could feel lonely far away from home: you may want to consider getting some work experience before you commit yourself to a permanent job on a ship.

Getting in and getting on

Social and communication skills are essential, as you will spend most of your time with passengers and other crew members. Working as part of a team is integral to the job so you should give examples of teamworking skills in your applications. Due to the seasonal nature of the work, flexibility is required as you may be working long hours on short-term contracts. Perseverance, dedication and an easy-going attitude are vital because your workplace is also your living space for months at a time and you will have to live, work and socialise with the same people 24 hours a day.

Experience in bar or hotel work is beneficial and qualifications, such as a degree in hospitality management, business or management, are useful when applying for management roles.