ESSENTIAL YACHT CREW GUIDES
What Are the Two Main Yachting Seasons?
Find out what are the two main yachting seasons and how to use them to increase your chances of finding a job on board a yacht.
Traditionally, there are two major yachting seasons that determine where the majority of the yachts will be actively cruising.
In the summer months, the majority of the yachts cruise the idyllic Mediterranean waters. During winter, the yachting activity migrates to the vibrant areas of the Caribbean and USA.
Why is knowing this important? During each of these two yachting seasons, the yachts are cruising with guests on board and are generally fully staffed. Thiss means that the best time to look for a job will be just before the start of each of these seasons.
This is not to say that crew is not able to find work in other times of the year, it just means that the build-up to a yachting season is the busiest recruitment time.
Best time to look for work:
February to June
Approximately from May to October
The Mediterranean yachting season generally starts in May, or even late April, and extends until October. The season peaks in the summer months when the temperatures in the Mediterranean are the highest and guests can explore the beautiful waters and stunning coastlines.
The season sees the Mediterranean coastlines become a hive of yachting activity where owners and guests move between the indulgence of the Rivieras and the serenity of quiet bays. Most yachts spend the season cruising between Italy, South of France, Greece, Croatia and Spain.
February to May is the best time for junior crew to actively search for work onboard superyachts in the Mediterranean. In this period, the yachts are preparing for the upcoming season and need to ensure all positions are covered with competent crew members.
“Yachts then come to France, Spain, Italy, etc. and are hiring temp crew to help get the yachts ready for the season. This is the best way to get some experience on the CV, get glowing references and from there, a more permanent position.” — Anna Horak, Engineering Recruitment Specialist at YPI CREW.
Crew hotspots in that period are places like Antibes (France) or Palma de Mallorca (Spain).
“Antibes for junior crew is the place to be, as its where most of the agents are meeting and interviewing crew. Also, it connects easily by train to ports from Genoa all the way to Marseille, so you can attend interviews and trials in hours at a low cost.” — Louise Overend, Interior Recruitment Specialist at YPI CREW.
The best way to look for work is to register with a few reputable recruitment agencies, such as YPI CREW, and stay in touch with the recruiters who will champion you to the yachts they work with.
“Make sure you let yourself known to us, reach out or call us so we can run through your CV and discuss your goals. If you are in the area, come and visit us — it makes all the difference as we can then start to build our partnership with you and guide you through the entirety of your yachting career.” — Alexandra O’Connell, Deckhand and Bosuns Recruitment Specialist at YPI CREW.
Best time to look for work:
October to December
Approximately from November to February
Late November usually marks the end of the hurricane season and brings sun and warm weather in the Caribbean, transforming it into the epicentre for yachts and yacht crew.
Antigua, St. Martin and Fort Lauderdale (USA) now become the main points for cruising in that area.
From October to the end of November, as superyachts prepare for the cruising season ahead, this is the best period for yacht crew to secure a job on board a superyacht.
One thing that is specific to the Caribbean season is that yachts, for the most part, look for crew with a B1 visa. This is because the yachts tend to pass through the USA at some stage of the season.
“Number one thing is to make sure your CV is complete and up to date and to always keep in touch with your recruiter, either by logging into your YPI CREW profile or via email or WhatsApp.” — Alexandra O’Connell, Deckhand and Bosun Recruitment Specialist at YPI CREW.
Not all yachts will make the seasonal crossing to warmer climates — some will stay in the area throughout the year for maintenance or shipyard periods.
This is the period when there are generally no guests on board, and yachts often operate with less crew.
Recruitment is still happening during these times but, depending on the department, it might be in a slightly smaller capacity than just before the two major seasons.
“On the engineering side there is still much happening, shipyard periods mainly, and often engineers need assistance with the workload. So be sure to check in with us whenever you are ready to look for work and we will guide you from there.” — Anna Horak, Engineering Recruitment Spacialist at YPI CREW.
The best way to break into the industry is to make sure you do your research on yachting. Find out what courses are best suited to you and the avenue you are looking to take, reach out to friends you may have in the industry, or contact a yacht recruitment agency or training school for advice.
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