Sector in travel: Cruise

Cruise is one of the travel industry’s fastest-growing areas, which makes it an exciting and vibrant sector to work in.

By the end of 2023, the number of people taking cruises is predicted to surpass the pre-Covid figure of 2019, as a result of the quick bounce-back in demand.

There are 44 ships scheduled to be launched between 2023 and 2028, according to the Cruise Lines International Association. Fourteen of these will enter service this year, with a further 12 taking to the waves in 2024.

So for those of you who fancy a job at sea – or even working at a cruise line’s head office – this means that more job vacancies are opening up.

Vessels range from small river cruise ships to ocean ships that are often described as floating hotels or resorts. Ocean-going vessels can accommodate thousands of passengers and are home to scores of restaurants, bars and swimming pools.

Some cruise lines cater for passengers looking for optimum luxury, while others target the family market.There are ships that are home to theatres, ice rinks, spas, hairdressers, kids’ clubs, running tracks, go-karting courses, waterslides and even rollercoasters.

There’s also an expedition cruise sector, taking passengers to places as remote as the polar regions.

Whatever sort of cruise experience you’re looking for, there is a line offering it. Some cruises visit traditional holiday hotspots or famous cities, while others cater for those who want to explore wildlife or nature.

There is even a wide range of themed sailings, which focus on a variety of topics, from wine to history.

In terms of the jobs available, the options range from marketing the line to selling the cruises themselves. And then there are the thousands of crew members looking after passengers – from the housekeeping, kitchen and entertainment staff to the engineers who maintain the vessels, and the officers and captain who run them.

Credit: Aleksandr Artt/shutterstock
‘Take every opportunity to better yourself’

is doing a degree apprenticeship, working at Panache Cruises while studying at the University of Central Lancashire

“I study at the University of Central Lancashire for one day a week, and the rest of the time I work alongside the partnerships team at Panache Cruises.

“I help market our ultra-luxury and luxury cruise lines to our customers through selecting product for our emails and sending them to the customers, writing blogs for our website and posting on social media.

“I enjoy being creative and seeing the results of my work when customers book their holiday of a lifetime.

“I think the best part of what I do is being able to gain a business management degree – as well as chartered manager accreditation – while doing a job in an industry for which my passion is ever growing.”

My advice…

“Take every single opportunity you are given to better yourself and gain experience – it could make the difference between going down your dream career path or changing direction completely. Stepping out of your comfort zone is the best thing you could do.”

‘Try to get on board a ship, even just for a day’

is Virgin Voyages’ vice-president for international sales

“The best advice I ever received was to find something you’re passionate about and you’ll never feel like you’re working.

“My passion has always been holidays, especially cruise holidays.

“I’ve been fortunate to have had roles in many areas of travel, ranging from working overseas for a travel agency to holding a position at a new cruise line.

”I may be biased, but the cruise industry offers so many opportunities and amazing experiences. You can work on board and see the world, or work shore-side and help travel agents understand more about the experience.

“My biggest achievement has been to help launch a new cruise line to market that is scooping so many awards.”

My advice…

“Try to get on board a ship, even if it’s for just a day visit. You’ll be amazed by the options, and you’ll soon be ‘sea-ing’ why it’s the gig of a lifetime for me.”