7 Ways To Nail Your First 7 Days As A Yacht Stew.
Hear about the real yacht life, info on how to kickstart your superyacht career and tips on becoming a super stew.
A Chief Stew with 6+ years experience in the superyacht industry. I help aspiring crew confidently land their first job and teach the skills needed to be a stand out YACHT STEW.
Depending on where you plan to look for your first job in yachting and your nationality, you may need to look into what visa is required for you to legally enter countries and work onboard.
This is a multi-entry visa for yacht crew to work onboard superyachts cruising the US ((including US Waters). For the Caribbean yachting season, most yachts cruise in US waters so if you’re not a US Citizen you’ll most likely need a B1/B2 visa. This visa is notoriously hard for green crew to obtain without boat papers, for more information on how to obtain this visa check out my blog article The B1/B2 Visa To Work on Boats In The US & Caribbean. Or for more information peruse the US Embassy website.
Schengen refers to the EU passport-free zone that covers most of European countries. According to Schengen Visa Info, the Schengen visa is a short-stay visa that allows a person to freely travel to any members of the Schengen Area, per stays up to 90 days for tourism or business purposes. There are three classifications for crew using the Schengen visa; Transit, Short stay and long stay.
As green crew you will usually enter on this visa for travel purposes allowing you 90 days within the EU. Some advice here: do not mention anything about work to the embassy, I would also recommend having proof of funds to support your stay and a flight or train out of the EU region or at least a ‘plan’ to leave the EU after 90 days, this is in case of the embassy questions you upon entry.
For specific information on your nationality, I recommend having a look at the Schegnen Info Website. Here are some links for US Citizens, South Africans, British and the new rules for Australians and New Zealand citizens starting January 1, 2023, where they can apply for a visa waiver prior to their travel to Europe.
According to The European Commission website, from November 2023, visitors that do not need a visa to enter Europe will be able to register with European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS). ETIAS will become a mandatory entry requirement.
Once the EU ETIAS travel authorization becomes operational, all citizens from the current visa-free countries will be required to submit an application before their trip. However, for the time being, they can continue to travel to Europe using the Schengen system without applying online for travel authorization. As always please do some research into this on a official government website as information can change according to different nationalities.
According to the Australian Government to be eligible for a Superyacht Crew visa you must have a contract to work as a superyacht crew member, a letter from the owner of the superyacht confirming the person’s employment as a member of the crew of the vessel or have a supporter or a sponsor, depending on your circumstances. It’s a 3, 6 or 12-month visa for crew and you must meet certain requirements, for more details on this check out this Superyacht Australia article and current pricing for the visa on the Australian Government website.
In addition to having the right visa to enter a country to work in the yachting industry, you should try to have 12 months of validity on your passport. It is much easier in your home country to renew your passport or apply for a passport, when you’re at sea it can cause a lot of hassles.
Having your certificates and qualifications scanned onto your computer or a USB is also very useful as you will find you will need to submit these frequently when applying for jobs so having them online makes the process easier. It is very important to also carry hard copies (such as your SCTW and ENG1 medical) at all times.
Once you are employed on a yacht you may apply for a Seamans Discharge Book from the flag state of the vessel on which you are employed. This may be useful for tax purposes and in certain circumstances, it may even act as a passport if you do not have the necessary visa for a certain area. Usually, the boat will be able to help you with your application and will need to sign off on the documentation.
The UAE, Maldives, Seychelles and most of the South Pacific are destinations that DO NOT require crew to have a specific type of visa to join. So there is the potential to land a job at the end of the Med season in Antibes, on a yacht that is destined for these places in the winter period I recommend if you’re planning to jump on the tail end of the Med season and hoping to snap up one of these job opportunities… Get there in September. By the end of October, Antibes can be a ghost town with few yachts in sight. Not good for job-hunting prospects.
Now is also a good time to upskill and perfect that yachting CV because… let’s be real it’s fierce out there! 🔥🔥🔥
Here are some useful links which could help point you in the right direction
I’m a chief stewardess with over 6 years experience working in the superyacht industry on boats up to 88m. I help aspiring yacht crew by propelling them with the know-how and tools to confidently break into the superyacht industry.