Pro Sea Staff

River sruise ship


Pro Sea Staff has set up recruitment relationships with two established river cruise lines and employs Culinary and Hospitality cruise ship staff for the below companies:

  • UNIWORLD River Cruises

Both UNIWORLD River Cruises and RIVER ADVICE operate a fleet of ships based in different cities in Europe (Paris, Budapest, Vienna, Venice, Amsterdam, etc.) and sail on rivers in Europe for itineraries that may vary from 7 to 14 days.

River cruise careers

Working on river cruises is in many ways very similar to working on sea or ocean cruise lines.
The work schedules are 7 days per week, the hours are long, the work can be difficult but, as it is the case with ocean cruise lines, there are tremendous opportunities for personal and professional growth and development

Are river cruise ship jobs different from the ocean & sea cruise jobs?

The most noticeable difference between river cruise lines and sea & ocean cruise lines is the size of the passenger cruise ships and, consequently, the number of employees working on board.

On most river cruise ships, the total number of employees is approximately 50 for a total passenger population of 150 to 200 passengers. The cruise ship Galley is a good example that illustrates the difference between working on board ocean and river cruise ships. On ocean cruise ships, the entire Galley team can represent up to 300 Cooks whilst on river cruise ships, the total number of Cooks is approximately 10.
Although there are less employees working on river cruise lines, the standards of service are high and, therefore, the river cruise jobs can be very demanding.

European river cruise jobs

Another important difference is the types of job contracts issued. Because river cruise lines operate in Europe, they are required by the authorities of the countries they visit to hire European passport holders only and they can only issue European contracts. The river cruise lines we work with issue either Swiss, French or Cyprus contracts. This is a very important benefit for river cruise line employees as they will be entitled to many of the social advantages and benefits offered by European job contracts (pension plans, paid vacation, paid overtime, etc.)

Types of contracts for river cruise jobs

River cruise lines operate on a seasonal basis. Most job contracts begin in March and end in November. Some river cruise lines also operate during the Christmas holiday season and, therefore, also offer Winter contracts from November to early January. However, the majority of the river cruise job contracts begin in March and end in November. It is also very common that we are asked by the river cruise lines we work with to provide cruise staff at different times of the season for shorter periods of employment.

Whilst the job contracts offered are for the period March to November, the crew members working on river cruise lines usually work on a rotation basis of 2 months onboard, followed by approximately 2 weeks of vacation at home. So typically, a river cruise ship crew member works for approximately 2 months, then goes back home for approximately 2 weeks of paid vacation, and then returns to his/her ship for two months, etc.
The two weeks of vacation at home are either already planned into the schedules at the beginning of the season, or scheduled once onboard the cruise ship at a mutually convenient time for the river cruise line and the employee.

Job benefits

River cruise lines provide free housing onboard (shared accommodation – 2 crew members per cabin and one bathroom for 2), free meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and assistance with transportation from home to the ship at the beginning of the contract and from the ship to home at the end of the contract.
Some river cruise lines also offer monetary assistance with the flights for the vacation periods every 2 months.

Another big advantage of working for river cruise lines is that they are more flexible with couples than the ocean cruise lines. River cruise lines accept applications from couples, as long as both of the job applicants have the required qualifications. Whilst the couples in river cruise employment will be able to work on the same ship and share a cabin, they might not always be able to join the cruise ship on the exact same date.

River cruise ship job requirements

Unlike ocean cruise lines, river cruise lines, do NOT require Visas prior to joining as a member of staff. A medical examination is required: it is a very simple document that needs to be signed by your Doctor. STCW certificates are NOT required to for river cruise ship jobs. Some additional required documents may include (depending on the cruise line), a Police Background Check and a Birth Certificate.

It is important to note that although the river ships sail in Europe, they cater primarily to a US clientele, and so the cruise employees must speak English. We usually look for a C level on the European scale for guest-facing positions, and for a minimum of a B level on the European scale for non-guest facing positions.

Apply to work on board a European river cruise ship

If you are looking for river cruise jobs in Europe, check our list of cruise job openings !