We have covered a variety of articles for aspiring deckhands in the superyacht industry. And now, it’s time to give justice to another equally important role: The Steward/Stewardess. In this article, we will cover the basics of how one can become a stewardess on a superyacht.
Who is a Stewardess?
A stewardess is an integral part of a superyacht and he/she is responsible for internal operations. These operations include serving food, room services, and keeping interiors clean and presentable. The superyacht industry bears high standards when it comes to hospitality. And hence, stewardesses need to be perfect with their appearances and etiquettes.
Stewardesses work long hours to keep the guests happy and satisfied with the service. And since a stewardess primarily has to deal with elite guests from different backgrounds, it is necessary for them to be aware of cultural differences. An ability to handle tricky guests with their subjectively strange requests is a learned skill. Hence, a stewardess needs to be flexible and have the knowledge to handle such situations with ease.
How to become a Stewardess on a Superyacht?
If you love working in the hospitality industry and are not afraid of long working hours and the sea, then becoming a stewardess might prove beneficial for you. All sea-going crew must have an STCW 2010 certificate and the ENG1 medical certificate. You must fulfil these two requirements before you proceed to the next step.
After that, we highly recommend taking a Food Hygiene and Safety course. It is a one-day course that covers food preservation, precautions during food prep, and avoiding food contamination and spoilage. While not all superyachts may need the certificate, we highly recommend you take the course. Depending on your preferences and schedule, you can take it online or in person. You can find this course in South Africa easily; feel free to contact us for recommendations.
This brings us to the next point: The Stewardess Course itself. While it is optional, a Stewardess Course prepares you in a variety of aspects so that you can get used to your role relatively quickly. To know more about our Stewardess Course, we encourage you to visit here.
What qualifications do I need as a Stewardess?
Apart from the basic requirements mentioned above, of course, a Stewardess requires more qualifications than that. Now, different superyachts prefer stewardesses from different backgrounds but one thing is definitely common: the hospitality experience.
It is better to have some land-based hospitality experience if you are to work as a stewardess. Freshers are also most welcome to join the industry, however, not all yacht owners may show a friendly face during the application process. It’s okay though, freshers do stand a chance. If you are hired as a fresher, your seniors will show you the ropes around. In this process, it helps to have fast learning skills as yachts tend to get busier during mid-season. At that time, nobody will hold your hand around the chores.
However, if you have land-based hospitality industry experience, then the superyacht industry has a lot to offer. If you worked in a five-star hotel or similar elite establishments before, that would be a plus for you. Your employers will check your background, qualifications, and your previous experience. If they find you a bright, hardworking, and well-mannered candidate with good people skills and team player tendencies, good chance you will be hired.
Challenges as a Stewardess on a Yacht.
The very first challenge is getting used to being on the sea. Not only it is a different environment, but a different lifestyle also. You will be away from your family and friends for an entire season (4-6 months, depending on the yacht’s itinerary).
Next, learning the ropes around the superyacht. This will be difficult especially if you are a fresher. Some yachts do offer onboard training for newcomers, but when it gets busy, you are on your own. Hence, the best time for freshers to join a yacht crew is at the beginning of the season i.e. the peak hiring time.
And most important, the superyacht industry is elite in nature. What you will find here are heirs of wealthy families, industry titans, politicians, actors/actresses, and other people of such elite stature. As a stewardess is the first line of direct contact with these guests on a day-to-day basis, a stewardess has to be flexible.
Most seasoned stewardesses know their way around handling elite guests from different backgrounds. The key is to observe and learn from your seniors.
Stewardess Course – Your expressway to becoming a better stewardess on a Yacht!
Stewardess is a rather tricky and long-hours hospitality position on a superyacht. Even though you mainly work in the interiors of a yacht, your deal with all sorts of people from different countries, and different cultures. As a stewardess, you must have the skill to handle their requests professionally. If you think you have what it takes, then go ahead and become a stewardess on a superyacht. The pay and the adventures this industry bring are worth it.
To prepare you for this environment, we, Sail and Power SA, have created a Stewardess Course in South Africa. If you wish to enrol or if you would like more information, please feel free to contact us!