Frequently Asked Questions
The cruise industry represents an area of strong potential for career growth.
This industry continues to expand rapidly and there are a wealth of opportunities available.
The cruise industry has experience in a climate of healthy growth, and the product is becoming more and more innovative and sophisticated. As such, this represents continued employment opportunities for interested and committed candidates of the right quality.
Q1 - What is the role of Viking Recruitment Limited?
We assess, interview, recommend and often subsequently administer qualified and experienced Officers and staff for the industry. The shipping company or its appointed managing agents, which could be Viking, employ successful candidates.
Q2 - I have not had my application acknowledged. What happens to it?
Our involvement with the premier end of the cruise and superyacht industry means that we receive a tremendous amount of applications for positions within this market sector, and regret fully we are simply unable to respond to all of these straight away. However, they are all retained on the Viking online database. As vacancies occur, we search our database for the most suitable candidates whom we can consider and therefore may contact you almost immediately after you apply or many months later. We also realise that your circumstances may have changed so it is always useful to hear from you from time to time.
Q3 - What sort of candidate experience do you look for?
Previous cruise experience is beneficial, however this is certainly not essential. We like to study applications and judge each on its merits including many elements such as rank attained (relative to age and experience), presentation of paperwork, quality of companies length of service within them and vessel size and type. If we are in discussions with officers we consider their apparent interest, expectations, and general manner.
Q4 - What type of personal qualities are required?
Professional competence and safety consciousness are paramount in the passenger vessels. Our Clients look for a positive attitude, flexibility, teamwork and a real interest in talking and being with people. Enthusiasm, a polite manner and smart, tidy appearance, at all times is also critical.
Q5 - How can I improve my chances of selection?
There are a number of ways. Quite often, efforts are made to contact good candidates but their personal details have changed and they cannot be traced. So please update your online profile with changes in telephone numbers, e-mail etc. The same applies to certification and experience. Client companies may have a minimum or preferred requirement and as you progress through your certificates and career please let us know what you have attained. STCW 95 certificates are ever more sought by Clients. Apply with all of the various documents/certification valid and in place. Send appraisals with your application or subsequently as you receive them as this gives clients the encouragement of anticipating that you are a good candidate. Generally, we would urge you to keep in contact. It is our philosophy that we are here to provide a service to the Client and the applicant. So definitely, you will not be bothering us - we want to talk to you, and help where we can. Hospitality and Guest Services candidates can improve their chances of selection by expanding their C.V. to include a more detailed personal and experience profile. This will enable us to assess the match between your current expertise and the various cruise industry functions.
Q6 - What ranks are your client companies seeking?
In Deck and Technical, Cruise vessels, more junior than senior Officers. In contrast, within the hotel services area, both senior and more junior positions are required. These include Hotel Managers/Directors, Food and Beverage Managers, Chief Pursers and Executive Chefs and Sous Chefs. Also Maitre D's, Bar Managers, Concierge, Reception, Waiter/ess, Shore Excursion, Provision s and many others. Promotion from within, still very often applies.
Q7 - I am a Master, Chief Engineer or Senior Officer at present and have reasonable passenger ship experience; can I be assigned to the premier end of the cruise industry in these ranks. If not, what are the promotion prospects like?
Regretfully not all the time.. The policies, governing regulations, methods of working, size and type of vessels, environmental and safety exposure, and sheer extent of this company makes experience in their fleet absolutely essential, in their view. The Master is considered the General Manager overseeing all aspects and departments and the Chief Officer being responsible for the deck department and its operations in entirety. On the engine room side there are often a number of Second Engineers per vessel, many of whom have aspirations for promotion. However, there are still good opportunities for advancement. Promotion is very much on merit with our Clients, and there remains a national shortage of high calibre individuals.
Q8 - I have just attained my first (OOW/EOOW) certificate and have no, or limited, officer experience as yet. Can I be considered?
Some cruise companies, require experience so that they are comfortable with your watchkeeping capabilities. If considering Holland America Line, you are an ideal candidate for their rank of 4th Officer or 4th Engineer where you will quickly learn your trade and look forward to early promotion.
Q9 - What are the tour lengths?
All cruise companies offer rotation contracts varying from 2 or 3 months time for time to 3 months on, 2 months off and 4 months on, 2 months off systems. It is sometimes required to extend contracts but this is rare. Ordinarily you should expect to receive less salary to compensate for the enhanced leave ratio.
Q10 - What are the salary levels?
Salaries in the cruise industry vary but please feel free to contact us and we can advise. It is common for international companies to pay in US Dollars or Euros. In more senior roles bonuses can be attained.
Q11 - What degree of passenger involvement is required?
In addition to the prime responsibilities of the Hospitality/ Guest Services Officers, the deck and engine officers are expected to entertain and be available for passengers. This includes conversation in the bars, public rooms and at function evenings. It can very often involve hosting a table at dinner and will extend to junior officers and, exceptionally, to cadets.
Q12 - Who supplies and pays for the extensive uniforms?
Policies vary, but the majority of companies will have this is tailor-made for you onboard the vessel and is at Company cost.
Q13 - Can I take my spouse or partner?
Again, policies vary, but most companies do allow spouse or partners to join you. You may have to complete your trial period before this happens though. Then they can stay up to 6 months onboard with you.