If you've never worked onboard, you may have questions about what to expect regarding shipboard life with our company. Below are the responses to the most frequently asked questions:

Where do Grand Circle Cruise Line ships sailing?

GCCL has six ships on Rhine, Maine & Danube, one on Elbe, four on Rhone & Seine, three in Mediterranean & Red Sea, one in Mediterranean Sea, Atlantic and Southern Ocean, and one in Russia.

What are the requirements to work on board GCCL ships?

Regardless of the position for which you are applying, to qualify
for shipboard employment you must have a valid passport and the ability to:
        -  pass GCCL pre-employment medical examination
        -  obtain Schengen working visa - if it is required
        -  have UK National Insurance number - if it is required
        -  pass a criminal background check

What is a Schengen visa?

To work on Central European rivers some nationalities are required to obtain this visa in order to enter and work in countries that are part of Schengen territory, in Europe. HR department will help you determine if you need to apply for Schengen visa.

What is an Invitation letter?

Invitation letter is document provided by GCCL that states the date you are scheduled to join our team, the vessel you are joining, and the position for which you have been hired. You must have this document available at all times when travelling to join the ship. This letter we are issuing only to crew members who are supposed to have Schengen working visa. For all others there is no need of issuing it.

Where do I get pre-employment medical?

All crew members who are scheduled to come on Central European rivers and Mediterranean & Red Sea ships will be required to complete pre-employment medical examination prior to joining the ship. Examination is on employees' expense. The examination can be conducted through your own doctor. Once the medical examination is complete and approved by the doctor, employees will be cleared to travel. This medical documentation will then be valid for two years.

What languages are required to work on board?

English is the official language on board our vessels, therefore, all employees must be able to read, write and speak English. All our passengers are Americans.

Does Grand Circle Cruise Line hire couples?

Grand Circle Cruise Line welcome couples on board. However, each applicant is assessed individually based on his/her qualifications, and although every effort is made to accommodate couples to be assigned on the same ship, we cannot guarantee that they will be assigned on the same ship within a certain period of time, since - as is understandable - business needs take precedence.

Is medical attention available to employees?

Of course! Our crew's safety and well being is our highest priority. Crew members who will work on Central European Rivers and in France have paid from the Company Allianz health insurance. It is important to join the ship healthy and ready to work. If you have any prescriptions that have been cleared as part of your pre employment medical exam, those
should be filled for the duration of your assignment before you join. It can be very expensive to fill prescriptions in many ports of call. Should employees who are working on Mediterranean and Red Sea ships become ill on board, each port has port agent who will go with him/her to the doctor.

Do I have to wear uniform?

As a team, we like to project a consistent and professional image, this is why we have carefully chosen a uniform for each position on board. Uniforms will be provided on board, cca after 4 weeks upon your embarkation date. For first one month on board crew member must purchase part of their uniforms as well. HR department will discuss this with you in more detail.

How long would I be on board before going back home?

All hospitality crew members on Central European rivers & France are receiving seasonal contracts - for + (-) 10 months. Contract conditions and length of the contracts are depending on the region for what employee would be hired. HR department will inform you before scheduling final interview with you. Employees live on board for the total length of their contracts.

Do I get time off while on board?

Sure! Because ships have guests on board 7 days a week, you may not get a 24-hour period day off. However, you will still have time to rest, visit the ports, and participate in fun events.

To which ship would I be assigned?

Once you have been offered a position, you will be advised which ship you will be joining. Please keep in mind that assignments are provided based on business needs, therefore, you could join any of our beautiful ships - depending of requirements for certain region.

How do I get to the ship?

Depending on your location and the ship's location, you may fly to the nearest port. Travel expenses and procedure are depending on the region in what you will be placed on. HR department will inform you about travel expense policy before interview.

What should I pack?

Since cabin space is very limited, it is recommended that employees bring only what is needed. Depending of the ship and the position some crew will share cabins with other employee. If you are flying, you may want to check luggage allowance with the airline. Some suggestions would be:
Clothing: underwear, jeans and/or long pants, sweater, shirts, belt, t-shirts and appropriate shoes. Toiletry: deodorant, razors, brush/comb, toothbrush/paste, shampoo, shaving cream.

Other: travel alarm clock, medication, camera, walkman/MP3 player and hair dryer. Since every day you will be in other port you are able to go out and to buy necessary things if you would not be on duty, in case you will forget to bring something with you.

Does Grand Circle Cruise Line provide accommodation while I am on board?

Forger about paying rent! GCCL provides accommodations for all shipboard employees. Depending on your position you may share your cabin with a fellow crew member. Because space is limited on board, cabins and bathrooms are relatively small compared to land-based accommodations, but don't worry there are plenty amenities for you to enjoy when you are off

What if I don't get along with my roommate?

Working on board is a great opportunity not only to grow professionally, but also to make friends from all over the world. While different cultures act differently and sometimes it takes time to adjust, we believe that being open and respectful always leads to good relationships. Communication is usually the key to get along with your roommate. However, if for some reason you don't feel comfortable you can check with supervisor who will try to facilitate a cabin switch.

How do I get paid while onboard?

Before embarkation HR department will inform you about mandatory documents what we will need from you. One of them is original paper from the bank with your account or IBAN number with name of the bank and their SWIFT code. Your salary will be wired till the last date of current month. All crew members are entitled in tip but you will receive it on board in cash after end of each cruise.

Should I bring cash with me?

We suggest you bring at least 200 EUR cash and/or a major credit card, to cover out-of-pocket expenses during travel and before receiving your first pay.

Where I will have my meals?

Our chefs create for our crew dishes. All meals are served at the staff dining room, crew mess and are free.

Do you have laundry facilities for employees?

Yes, there are laundry facilities available for the crew. Uniforms are dry cleaned and charged for a nominal fee, same as dry cleaning for personal items.

Do employees have Internet access?

Unfortunately we do not have Internet on board for employees. In each port you are able to go out, if you are not working, and visit Internet cafe.

How do I call home?

It is expensive to place and receive calls from the ship. However, if you wish to call your family or friends, you can buy calling cards or cell phone numbers in country throw what you will sail throw.

Would my cell phone work onboard?

Cell phone service is available on board. However, international roaming rates do apply. You may want to check the rates with your provider before using your cell phone.

Do I get to visit the ports?

Definitely! When you are not on duty, you are welcome to explore amazing destinations we visit. Just make sure you are back on time!

Does Grand Circle Cruise Line have a drug and alcohol policy?

GCCL has a zero tolerance policy for consumption or possession of illegal substances or alcohol.

Are employees allowed to smoke?

When off duty, employees are allowed to smoke in the designated smoking areas. Smoking in crew mess is allowed during certain times and crew cabins is prohibited.

Can I socialize in Guest Areas?

Access to guest areas will depend on your position. Please check with you supervisor once you come on board.

Will I always work on the same ship?

Assignments are based on many factors, and priority is
understandably given to business need. Generally, there are periods where an individual is assigned to particular ship in certain region, in order to provide an opportunity for the teams to build relationships and consistency. However, as with every aspect of shipboard life, flexibility is key. You might be transferred to the another ship as necessary.

If specific tools are required to perform my job, do I need to bring

All employees are receiving uniform from the Company after cca one month they are on board. For first period employee has to provide by him/her self parts of uniform depending on position. HR department will advise you upon passing the interview.

We know there's a lot to consider. As you go through the application process, our recruiters and hiring partners will be glad to provide guidance, and more relevant details to answer any additional questions about shipboard life.


In addition please feel free to send us any further question you might have by using our contact form.

Thank you again for your interest and we'll hope to see you onboard soon!