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Working on Cruise Ships

I AM INTERESTED IN WORKING ON A CRUISE SHIP, HOW DO I APPLY?

Waitre d’ Recruitment is currently recruiting for Viking Cruises. It is a European based company, with its Head Office in Basel, Switzerland. If you are interested in working for Viking Cruises, you are welcome to email your CV and a photo to crew@waitred.co.za. The photo must be a recent photo, either added to your CV or sent as a separate attachment. A member of our team will then assess your working experience to establish whether we can try and assist you with a suitable placement. If your experience matches what our clients are looking for or may look for in the future, we will be in touch with you with information of how we suggest you proceed with your application. Suitable candidates will be invited to attend a free presentation and pre-screen interview, which are currently only held in Cape Town for cruise ship employment.

If you are invited to a free presentation, we will provide you with a list of the application requirements (please see information below). Try and put these items together and bring them with you on the day. Online applicants will be asked to email their requirements to us, and these may differ from the requirements below. The sooner we have your application requirements, the sooner your CV and other requirements will be placed on our database and we can start looking for a suitable position for you.

DO I NEED AN AGENT WHEN I CAN APPLY DIRECTLY ONLINE?

Viking Cruises will refer you back to us, as you definitely need an agent to assist you with the recruitment and joining process. As we do not charge any fees, it is to your advantage to work with us, as all our services are free and you will need the advice and support. Please note that Viking Recruitment is NOT connected to Viking Cruises and therefore you should not apply with them if you are wanting to work for Viking Cruises.

DO I HAVE TO ATTEND THE PRESENTATION & BE INTERVIEWED?

Every candidate who is selected by our agency must be interviewed in one way or another and for you to make an informed choice, you must get as much information as possible from us and from conducting your own research. If you are based in Cape Town, you will need to attend a pre-screen interview. If you are based outside of the Western Cape, alternative arrangements may be made. All candidates must be able to attend the final interviews with the cruise company in Cape Town.

WHEN ARE THE PRESENTATIONS AND INTERVIEWS?

We will be emailing you this information directly if you are selected and will provide the dates and venues in that email. We will also be putting up the dates on our website and on Facebook, but not the details of the venues, as that is only given to those candidates who are invited.

CAN I ATTEND A PRESENTATION EVEN IF I DO NOT HAVE ALL MY DOCUMENTATION AND PHOTOS?

Yes, you can. Many candidates do this, in order to obtain more information and ‘check us out’ before handing over their Application Requirements. The most important thing is that you attend the presentation, submit an Application Form and then have your individual one-on-one meeting with the recruiter from Waitre d’. After that, you can email your Requirements to us at Head Office in Cape Town. If you are still waiting for your passport, forward the rest of the Application Requirements in the meantime. Please do not wait until you receive a contract before applying for a passport. While there is no guarantee that you will be offered a position, if you are and you do not have a passport, this can slow down the recruitment process and could exclude you from being considered for some positions.

CAN ANYONE WHO IS INTERESTED ATTEND THE FREE PRESENTATIONS?

We will be looking for relevant experience, candidates who meet the criteria, as well as candidates who have the finance to pay for their joining requirements. The cost of some joining requirements will be reimbursed once on board, however, you will need to have the finance to cover these expenses upfront. Please find more information below. There are many people who have the desire to work on cruise ships, however Viking Cruises, together with most cruise ship companies, is looking for candidates with previous cruise ship experience for some positions and mostly at least 5-Star experience for the other positions. Qualifications in Hospitality or Tourism is preferred. There is no time for training staff once they join, so experience is very important. Ideally, candidates should be single with no dependants but this is not a requirement.

Interested candidates must email us their CV and photo and if selected, they will be sent an invitation via email to attend a presentation and pre-screen interview. If you have friends or family who are interested in attending, they are welcome, as long as there is sufficient seating.

WHICH POSITIONS ARE AVAILABLE?

We will post a list of positions on our website and on Facebook, however details of salaries will only be given to those candidates who meet the criteria. We are looking for various chefs, who do not require previous cruise ship experience, some senior staff who must have previous cruise ship experience and junior staff who do not require previous cruise ship experience. All candidates must have the equivalent of 5* experience. 

WHAT ARE THE MAIN CRITERIA FOR SELECTION?

  • Relevant qualifications and experience in a 5* establishment
  • Previous cruise ship employment is essential for some positions
  • Candidates must be over 21 and not older than 40, but the maximum age depends on the position
  • Medically fit – chronic conditions such as Diabetes, Epilepsy will exclude you
  • No visible tattoos and piercings are restricted to one ear piercing for females
  • Valid passport with 2 blank pages and valid for two years
  • Clear criminal record – police clearance is required for some senior positions and you will be informed if you require one.
  • To have the funds to pay for the requirements once you are hired, some of which are reimbursed.
  • If you are not South African, the US Government must be able to issue you with a C1/D Visa which is valid for a year. Candidates from the DRC will unfortunately not be eligible.
  • Non-South Africans must have the necessary permit to be in South Africa.

WHAT OTHER OVERSEAS OPPORTUNITIES CAN I BE CONSIDERED FOR IF I DO NOT MEET THE CRITERIA FOR CRUISE SHIPS?

Viking Cruises is the only cruise ship company we are recruiting for at this time, so we are unable to assist with other cruise companies. We do however recruit for various companies in the Middle East, mostly in the United Arab Emirates with Dubai and Abu Dhabi being the main destinations. In this region, we recruit for many different types of positions, some requiring very little work experience. Refer to other information on our website and keep checking Facebook for updates. Once you have more experience, you can consider applying for the cruise ships.

WHAT ARE THE JOINING REQUIREMENTS?

The following are the joining requirements, which can only be completed once you have been approved and scheduled for a position. No money is to be paid until you are informed that your position is confirmed.

  • Survival/Safety Certificates – all must be obtained from an on land authorised training facility. Certificates obtained onboard are no longer valid as per international maritime law, irrespective of when these were obtained. Viking Cruises requires 7 safety certificates and you will not be reimbursed for this cost. The current cost is approximately R11 000 for all the certificates.

          STCW 2010

  • Basic Fire Prevention & Fire Fighting
  • Personal Survival Techniques
  • Personal Safety & Social Responsibilities
  • Elementary First Aid

  Plus, the following:

  • Crisis Management and Human Behaviour
  • Certificate of Proficiency in Security Awareness
  • Crowd Management and Passenger Safety Training
  • Seaman’s Medical examination – average cost is approximately R4 000 but is reimbursed once on board.
  • US C1/D Visa – US $ 160 – this visa must be valid for a year from the date of joining. The cost will be reimbursed once on board.
  • Schengen Visa – Euros 60 – valid for a year, multi-entry. The cost will be reimbursed once on board.
  • Australian Visa – for crew members joining the Viking SUN – obtained online free of charge.
  • Passport – valid for 2 years
  • Medical Insurance – is required for a Schengen visa but may not be necessary if you have a Seaman’s Book
  • Seaman’s Book – is not a mandatory requirement but recommended.
  • Police Clearance – is only required for some senior positions and those candidates will be advised.

HOW LONG DOES THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS TAKE?

Following your interview with Viking Cruises, we will inform you as soon as possible if you have been approved. Approved means that you have been offered the position but will need to wait until you have been Scheduled, which means you will be given the joining date and which vessel you will be joining. The average time it takes to be Scheduled is between 2 – 6 months and sometimes longer, depending on the needs of the cruise company. You are encouraged to continue working at your current employment and only resign once you are Scheduled.

FOR HOW LONG ARE THE CONTRACTS?

Contracts for senior roles are usually 4 – 6 months and for other roles, 7 – 8 months, with 2 month vacations. Contracts are renewed depending on your performance.

WHAT TYPE OF ACCOMMODATION WILL BE OFFERED?

Senior crew receive their own single accommodation and other crew members will share a 2 or 3 berth cabin, all with bathroom facilities.

I HAVE A PARTNER/FRIEND; CAN WE GO TOGETHER?

It is not possible to place friends or a couple together, whether married or not. It is important to note that you are offered a position and may not stay on a specific vessel, so once you join, you must be prepared to transfer to another vessel within the company if required to do so. 

WHAT ARE THE APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS? 

  1. 1 x copy of your comprehensive CV – UPDATED TO PRESENT.
    Including at least 2 signed Reference Letters & copies of all Certificates/Diplomas you may have plus Appraisals if you have previously worked on a cruise ship.

Your CV must contain the dates you have worked at your places of employment and as much information as possible regarding your duties performed. Start with your current job and work backwards. Salaries and reasons for leaving should not be added to your CV, however clients sometimes request this information on their application forms at a later stage.
References – please give us at least 2 references from different companies or 1 Company and 1 Character reference from a professional person, school, church etc, if you have only worked for one company.

  1. 1 x clear copy of your passport – in colour

If you do not have a passport APPLY for one now. Current passports should be valid for at least 24 months, at the time of receiving a contract. Whilst there are no guarantees that you will be offered a position, if you are offered a contract, you must have a passport, in order to apply for your visas. You do not need a passport before you apply through us, however you should start the process ASAP and not wait until you receive a contract. Temporary passports are no longer acceptable.

  1. 1 x full-length* colour photo plus 1 x head-and-shoulders photo of yourself. Dress smartly or in uniform.

*Full-length means that you should be photographed from your head to your toes. The size of the actual photo can be a normal 10 x 15 cm photo, not A4 size! Poor quality digital photos are not recommended; however, they do not have to be taken by a professional.

  1. 2 x colour passport photos These must be proper passport photos with a pure white background taken at a photographic shop/chemist/studio against a screen, as they understand what the requirements are. Selfies or photographs taken on a cell phone will not be accepted especially for visa applications, should you receive a contract.

WHERE DO THE VIKING CRUISE SHIPS SAIL TO? 

Please click on the links below to see the itineraries for the 4 vessels:

HOW MUCH WILL I BE EARNING? 

Salaries, as always depend on the position.

Salaries quoted are made up of the following:

  • Basic Wage
  • Public Holiday compensation
  • Guaranteed Overtime
  • Guaranteed Gratuity – tips are not dependent on occupancy
  • Vacation pay compensation

WHAT BENEFITS CAN I EXPECT? 

  • Good basic salary plus other financial benefits, as mentioned above.
  • Free flight to the joining port and return flight on completion of your contract.
  • Accommodation, meals, medical insurance whilst on board
  • Free Wi-Fi, crew recreation areas and outdoor gym.

CAN I CHOOSE WHICH SHIP I JOIN? 

No. You are assigned to a position and they will allocate you to a ship, where you are needed.

HOW DO I PREPARE FOR MY INTERVIEW?

  • You will be provided with more information.
  • F & B candidates may have to demonstrate carrying a tray, serving wine etc – go and GOOGLE examples before the interviews!
  • Senior Chefs – from Executive to CDP – will be asked to do a cooking trial.

I HAVE OTHER QUESTIONS, WHO DO I CONTACT?

You are welcome to email us at Head Office in Cape Town. The email address is info@waitred.co.za. You will also be given more detailed information if you are invited to one of our free presentations.