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What kind of employment contract will I get? How will I be insured? We answer frequently asked questions in the following overview.
You can find important information on entry-relevant documents here.
The application form does not work. Can I also apply by email?
You will get the fastest feedback when you apply via our website. If an error occurs here, you can also send us your application by email. Please use one of these email addresses:
In your email, please state the shipping company and the job for which you would like to apply, and enclose your complete documents. We will contact you as soon as possible.
Can I apply for a specific ship?
It is not possible to apply for a specific ship – the application always refers to the respective cruise line. The allocation to the corresponding ship takes place in the course of the recruiting process and is based on the positions available on board. However, you are welcome to let us know your request in the interview and we will check whether we can take it into account.
Can I do an internship on board?
Unfortunately, an internship on board is not possible with us. Our contracts have a minimum term of approx. 5 months. In most cases, completed vocational training or initial work experience in the respective department is a prerequisite. However, some universities also recognise a contract on board as an internship. It is best to find out more from your university and just talk to us about it during the interview.
How much baggage can I take?
Please always remember that you will live in a small cabin with little storage space: Do not take too much with you and avoid bulky items of luggage if possible (e.g. hard-shell suitcases). A small tip: It is best to leave some space for one or the other souvenir. It is also important that you adhere to the usual luggage requirements when travelling by air, especially when it comes to transporting liquids, medicines or electronic devices. You can find more information on this on the websites of the airlines.
I was contacted by HireRight. What is this?
HireRight carries out sporadic security checks on an international level and may ask you a few security questions. This survey is comparable to the German certificate of good conduct. There are no costs incurred for this.
During the time I am on board, I would like to cancel contracts, such as my gym. Can I get a confirmation for this?
We will be happy to provide you with a confirmation of your planned time on board. Please note that the period may be subject to change.
How will the journey to the ship go?
Before departure, you will receive your flight ticket and a "Letter of Guarantee". As we usually book a Seaman's Ticket for you (with more free luggage), you need this certificate that you will be boarding as a crew member. The "Letter of Guarantee", your Seaman's Book, the flight ticket, your passport and all certificates (fitness for sea service, training certificates, your contract) must be carried in the original in your hand luggage.
At the arrival airport you will be met by the port agent who will take you to the ship. If necessary, he or she will also assist you with the entry formalities.
Please note that due to the Seafarer's Tickets, we are dependent on certain flights, even if another flight seems shorter or more convenient for you. If you are boarding in Germany, you will probably arrive by train. We will inform you about this as well.
What power connections are there?
Most ships have European sockets with 220 V/230 V, similar to the sockets in Germany and Austria. In any case, please inquire with your Crewing officer before boarding.
What happens to the tips on board?
Great service is rewarded! The handling of tips differs from ship to ship. Usually these are paid out with the salary or collected to organise crew parties or trips for the crew.
Where can I obtain drugstore items, hygiene items and other everyday products on board?
On all ships there are either crew shops or shops for the guests, in which you can also shop. The supply of important everyday products is therefore taken care of. If something is not in stock, you will surely find it in the next port city.
Can I receive mail and parcels on board?
You can hand in franked letters and postcards on board at the Crew purser’s office. These will then be sent at the earliest opportunity. Please note that this only applies to standard letters. You can send packages and parcels yourself the next time you go ashore. In order to receive mail from home, we work with port agents in the various ports around the world. The respective addresses will be posted for the crew on board in good time during the trip so that you can tell family and friends where they can send you something. It is important that the content complies with the import regulations of the respective countries. Please note that the package should arrive at the destination address at least two to three working days before the ship arrives.
Can I make phone calls on board or use my smartphone?
Whoever loves travelling, also sometimes feels homesick! Of course, you can also make phone calls on board. However, since the calls are made via satellite, these calls are very expensive. In an emergency, you can use this connection to receive calls at any time and worldwide (for a fee). For external calls you can purchase a phone card on board.
Please remember that calls made with your private mobile phone abroad can also be quite expensive. The same applies to text messages that are sent and received. So make sure to inquire from your provider about the costs along your route before departure.
Do I have to pack towels and bed linen?
Your equipment on board also includes towels and bed linen. You can also wash these or have them washed. However, we recommend that you pack a beach towel when you go ashore – you will definitely have the opportunity to spend a few hours on the beach during your trip!
What accommodation will I have on board?
Your home at sea: There is a dedicated area on board with crew cabins. Depending on the position, you will share a cabin with another crew member or you have a single cabin. The equipment in the cabins varies from ship to ship. Most of the cabins are equipped with a telephone, television and their own small refrigerator.
What is a Rookie coach?
There are Rookie coaches on some ships. A Rookie coach is an experienced crew member who will be at your side for the first moments on board. This way you have someone you trust who can answer questions that are outside the scope of the HR department.
Can my partner work on the same ship?
You can indicate in the crewing process that your partner is also working on board and express the wish to be employed on the same ship. However, as the assignment is always dependent on the vacancies on board, we unfortunately cannot guarantee this.
If you are married, please inform your respective Crewing Officer - this will be handled separately.
What happens on the day of arrival? Do I have to start work right away?
After your Check-In, you will have to hand in and fill in all the important documents on board. After your uniform is issued, you will be shown to your cabin and given some time to settle in - how much time you have depends on your arrival time. An important part of your first day on board will be your first safety training. After that, you'll usually start your first shift straight away.
Is it possible to move from one department to another?
This varies from cruise line to cruise line. TUI Cruises, for example, has a cross-training programme where you can "get a taste" of another department during your contract.
How does a voyage proceed?
A voyage is usually divided into several shore days, sea days and the arrival and departure days of the guests. On shore days, the guests like to disembark and, depending on the work schedule, there is also an opportunity for you to get to know the country and people of your destination. On turnover days, all crew members ensure that guests have a smooth arrival and departure.
Can I share my best moments on board on social media?
We are happy if you share your #WorldClassMoments with us via social media! However, there is a social media policy that must be adhered to. This includes, for example, that safety areas, such as the crew area, may not be photographed and posted online. Before posting a photo, please remember that you are representing your employer sea chefs and also the cruise line on whose ships you work. Posts on social media should always show content that does not defame anyone or reflect badly on you, your employer or other crew members.
What kind of employment contract will I get?
Depending on the fleet and the location of your main residence, you will be given a Cypriot or Maltese seafarer employment contract. The duration of your contract depends on the respective cruise line and your position. You will receive detailed information about your individual case from our contact persons in the recruiting department.
Will I be insured during my time on board?
Safety First! You will have accident and health insurance on board. The Maltese employment contract also includes unemployment and pension insurance. For further details, please ask the contact person in our recruiting team.
Does sea chefs bear the costs for the formalities before boarding or do I have to pay them myself?
This depends on the shipping company. sea chefs covers a large part of the costs that are incurred before and during your going on board. However, you will have to pay for some of them in advance before they are reimbursed to you with your first salary on board. Your Recruiting manager will be happy to explain the details to you.
Who pays for and organises the costs for my arrival and departure?
sea chefs bears all costs for travel to and from the ship as well as any costs incurred for overnight stays. The same applies to the organisation of your trip, the booking of flights, transfers and, if necessary, hotels. Please note that in cases, in which the itinerary is very short, travel arrangements within Germany have to be self-organised.
Is it possible to conclude long-term employment contracts or is a new contract concluded after each assignment?
On some ships, particularly ambitious and loyal crew members have the option of receiving a “Seniority Crew Contract” (a contract with a term of 18 months).
You can find more information about the required documents here.
Can I go ashore in the ports and go on excursions?
When a ship is in port, the majority of the guests disembark. As a crew member you can disembark too and explore the respective destinations. However, this depends on the respective department and your duty roster – and even if you do not have the chance to go ashore, the panorama of most of the coasts and cities alone is priceless! With a little planning and a bit of experience, you can experience unforgettable #WorldClassMoments ashore during your lunch break or during overnights after work. On some river boats you even have the option of renting a bike on board and exploring the destination. A small tip: Ask about the best options in the destinations in the daily program and from experienced crew members! In this way, you can often get great insider information and plan your shore leave better.
Is there a holiday leave policy on board?
Working on board differs in many ways from working on land. This is also the case with the holiday leave policy, because there is no fixed holiday leave on board during the contract. In contrast, unlike on land, you have several weeks off between two contracts – time for a holiday or simply a visit home. However, your salary includes holiday compensation, which will be paid to you at the end of your contract. This is different on board of some river ships. In this case you can also have a few days off during your time on board.
For more information on the current COVID 19 situation, click here.
What will happen if I get seasick?
A rough sea is part of the seafaring life every now and then. We are well prepared for this. If you do get seasick at the beginning, there is good medical care on board. Seasickness pills have a preventive effect and help you feel better again quickly. A little tip from experienced sailors: What helps is a good breakfast, green apples, crackers, and ginger tea. In general, however: The longer you are on board, the more seaworthy you become.
What happens if I become ill? Is there a doctor on board?
On board each ship there is a hospital and a doctor for basic care. If you have any health problems, he or she can treat you as best as possible or authorise your sick leave. In order to ensure that you are fit for work on board before boarding, you must always complete a seaworthiness test. If you have any concerns, ask your contact person in recruiting in advance.
What happens if a contagious disease breaks out on board?
There are of course appropriate emergency plans and preventive measures for such cases. You can find more information here.