As the yachting industry continues to soar in popularity (TV and social media), positions for yacht stewardesses are becoming increasingly sought-after. It is a fantastic travel job and a well-paid entry-level position in comparison to countless alternatives such as cruise ships or other maritime jobs. There are almost no living expenses and they are able to save nearly all of their amazing salary. But one important question remains: how much can you expect to earn as a yacht stewardess? With so many factors influencing salaries such as experience level, job location, and the size of the yacht involved, finding an accurate answer may require a bit of research. In this article, we'll dive into everything you need to know about the salary range for yacht stewardesses in 2023 - from entry-level wages all the way up to Head of Departments making six-figure incomes. For the purposes of this article we will be using the following terms interchangeably: Stew, Steward, and Stewardess.
A Superyacht Stewardess position is an attractive career choice, offering a unique work environment, low entry requirements, travel opportunities, and rewarding salaries. The average entry-level salary in the superyacht industry for a Stewardess is around $3,000 to $4,000 per month, while more experienced stewardesses can make up to $6,500 monthly. Chief Stewardesses in senior roles can make upwards of $9,000 per month depending on the factors we'll consider below.
What does a Yacht Stew Actually do?
Yacht Stewards / Stewardesses are part of the Interior Department. They are responsible for the upkeep and cleanliness of the yacht's living spaces, guest cabins, and common areas. Stews work with the Chief Stewardess to create a comfortable and luxurious experience for the guests on board. They are also heavily involved with the Galley Department, which cooks the meals. To learn more about the interior department, see our breakdown of different positions here.
Yacht Stewardess Job Descriptions
A yacht stewardess is the backbone of the interior of the yacht and is responsible for ensuring the smooth running of operations onboard a luxury yacht. This often involves providing exceptional customer service to guests, managing inventory and supplies, general housekeeping of the cabins and communal areas, preparing and serving meals, coordinating with other crew members, and assisting with any special requests or needs of the guests. They are an integral part of the yacht crew, working closely with the captain, chef, and other yacht crew members.
In addition to these general duties, on a very large yacht, there are many specializations within the yacht stewardess role such as laundry stewardess, head of housekeeping, laundry stew, beautician, and countless others. Each specialization has its own unique set of skills required and some need more experience. It's important for aspiring yacht stewardesses to understand what specific skills are needed for their chosen area of expertise in order to excel in their role on board.
A Typical Stew’s tasks will include:
- Cleaning and maintaining guest cabins and common areas
- Guest and Crew Laundry and wardrobe management
- Assisting with meal service duties such as preparation, table decor and service
- Bartending, wine and cigar service
- Setting up and breaking down events and activities
- Hotel service and housekeeping
- Ensuring guest satisfaction and attending to their needs
- Highest standards of guest service
What are the Day-to-Day Activities?
As a yacht stewardess, no two days are the same. The daily tasks can vary greatly depending on the size of the yacht and its occupancy, the presence of guests, as well as any special requests or events taking place onboard. However, some typical tasks include cleaning and organizing cabins, serving meals and drinks to guests, preparing snacks and refreshments throughout the day, and laundering linens and towels.
Additionally, communication is key in this role - whether it's working with other crew members to coordinate tasks or interacting with guests to ensure their satisfaction. Yacht stewardesses must be able to anticipate guests' needs before they're even expressed and provide exceptional service at all times. Time management skills are also crucial since there may be several duties that need attention simultaneously. Overall, a successful yacht stewardess is someone who is detail-oriented yet adaptable, and dedicated to ensuring a comfortable experience for everyone onboard.
While there is no specific education requirement to become a yacht stewardess, obtaining certifications such as the Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping (STCW) and an ENG1 medical certificate (or equivalent) is essential. Previous yachting experience is not needed for Green or Junior Stew roles, but they are very competitive.
Experience and Certifications
Previous experience in the hospitality or service industry can be beneficial, as well as any relevant certifications or credentials in the field. However, these are NOT required. Stewardess roles are some of the common yacht jobs available and a great way to get started is to relocate to a port full of yachts during the season. After networking with other Yachties at crew houses and/or dockwalking, there should be no problem finding weeks of work. This is the best way to find work because actual experience is valued much more highly than countless certifications without any time on board.
Many experienced Stewardesses attend specialized training programs to enhance their skills and knowledge, including silver service, cocktail making, and flower arrangement courses. Again, these are NOT needed for your first job and are more commonly used as the next step for Stews that are looking to further their careers. The most valuable experience for a Stew is accruing time working on a vessel.
These certifications include Food & Hygiene, Wine Service or Sommelier training, Silver Service, and many others.
Yacht Stewardess Job Recommended Skills
Being a yacht stewardess requires a diverse range of skills to provide the highest level of service and satisfaction to charter guests or family members on board a privately owned yacht. Although no formal education is needed, having an educational background and experience in hospitality or tourism industries is undoubtedly helpful. Good communication skills are essential as well, particularly since most yachts operate internationally where cultural differences may exist among guests from various countries. Physical prowess is another crucial skill for a yacht stewardess job since duties include stowing heavy luggage, serving food and drinks during bumpy seas, and keeping cabins tidy while navigating rough waters.
Yacht personnel preferably need expertise in laundry and cleaning fabrics - everything on board has to be kept clean even after numerous uses amid saltwater spray that can badly affect materials such as wood or leather. Finally yet importantly - having knowledge about international cuisines helps in preparing meals for clients with dietary restrictions while also understanding premium wine or cocktail preferences of high-end customers. With all these skills combined, becoming successful at pursuing a career as a yacht stewardess becomes more possible over time earning attractive salaries within the industry year by year.
- Hospitality Experience
- Bartending Experience
- Restaurant Experience
- Customer Service Experience
- Management Experience
- Organization Skills
- Communication Skills
- Critical Attention to Detail
- Health and Fitness
- People Skills and Great Disposition
These are only a brief overview of the interior positions. To see more, see here.
The Chief Stewardess is the highest-ranking Interior Crew aboard. Depending on the size of the boat, the number of crew will adjust and their department can be as small as only themselves or large enough to have many Stews working beneath them. This is why there is not an exact number of Stews per vessel since much larger vessels or busy yachts may elect to hire more than other programs.
On most vessels, the Second Stew serves as the right hand of the Chief Stew. They manage the rest of the Interior team as well as maintain the projects and work set out by the Chief Stew. They also run one of the meal services on board and work closely with the Chief Stew in other administrative tasks.
Head of Housekeeping
As a general rule, as the boat size increases so does the amount of Interior crew to take care of the larger guest spaces. In these instances, there may be a Stew that serves as Head of Housekeeping to manage all of the hotel services for the guest cabins.
Similar to above, large yachts may have a Service Stew to focus on the guest service offered during meal services and orchestrating all activities dealing with meal times.
Third Stewardess or Jr. Stewardess
Typically an entry level position for the interior department. Smaller yachts may only have 2-3 stewardesses, while larger yachts can have more than 4 or 5.
On the other hand, very small yachts may have dual positions for their Stews on board. These may include but are not limited to: Stew/Deck, Cook/Stew, Chef/Stew, and similar.
Base pay for yacht stewardesses depends on experience, qualifications, and the yacht's size. Entry-level stewardesses earn between $3,000 to $4,000
If you're considering a career as an entry-level yacht stewardess, it's important to understand the range of salaries that are typically offered in this field. The exact salary you'll receive will depend on several factors such as the size of the yacht and whether or not tips are included in your compensation package. Additionally, experience levels can play a role - if you have previous hospitality experience or have completed formal training courses for working on yachts, you may be able to get higher rates of pay than someone who is completely new to the industry. Despite lower wages at first, becoming a yacht stewardess is an excellent opportunity for personal growth and travel in a rewarding yacht career.
Charters & Tips
On charter yachts, stewardesses can receive additional income through tips at the end of each charter, which can significantly increase their earnings. Tips typically range from 15% to 20% of the charter fee and are distributed among the whole crew evenly. The size of the vessel impacts the tips received, since larger vessels cost more to charter but also require more time to reset as well as more crew to divide the tip. For vessels over 115 ft / 35 m, tips can range from $2,500 - $4,000+ for a week during the charter season.
Time Off & Vacation
Yacht stewardesses typically work on a seasonal basis, with periods of high activity followed by downtime. Vacation time and time off will depend on the yacht's program and schedule.
Other Salary Factors
Yacht size plays a significant role in determining the salary of a yacht stewardess. The larger the yacht, the more demanding and extensive the job responsibilities become, resulting in higher compensation. Typically, yachts that are over 165 feet / 50 m long require three to four experienced stewards for an optimal guest experience. As such, large yachts have significantly increased salaries compared to small or mid-range-sized vessels. These vessels also typically have larger budgets as the potential employer wants to attract and retain top talent. To learn more about yacht sizes, see here.
The itinerary of the yacht and its location also impact the Yacht Stewardess salary or earnings. Those who work in popular destinations such as Monaco or St. Tropez in the summer will earn higher wages (and in Euros) due to increased demand for their services by a more prestigious crowd - this is because international billionaires travel there frequently during the summer season (which typically runs from May through September). In general, Mediterranean summer seasons often attract more opportunities and high-profile clientele than other yachting regions during the same period such as Fort Lauderdale or Rhode Island in the US. Thus, yacht stewardesses may expect to earn more while working during peak seasons when there is increased demand for their services.
Furthermore, stewardesses working in Europe usually earn more than those working in the Caribbean during the winter season, such as in the British Virgin Islands, Bahamas, or St. Maarten. Tips in the Caribbean also average to be a little bit less than in the Mediterranean.
The type of program and the yacht's charter or private status can influence a stewardess's salary, workload, and overall experience on board. A private boat is limited to the owner, their family, and friends who are not obliged to tip the crew after usage of the vessel. Although some may choose to leave a small amount at times, this may amount to a few hundred dollars as opposed to the thousands we discussed above.
While the salary of a yacht stewardess is certainly an important factor to consider when looking into this profession, there are also plenty of additional perks and benefits to be gained from working in this field. For one, many yacht owners and guests can be incredibly generous with their tips, meaning that you have the potential to earn quite a bit beyond your standard base pay. Additionally, as part of a high-end service team, you'll likely enjoy exclusive access to luxurious amenities such as private beaches or upscale restaurants in amazing locations.
But perhaps most appealingly, becoming a yacht stewardess allows you to travel the world while getting paid. You may find yourself cruising through stunning Mediterranean waters one season, then exploring exotic Caribbean islands the next. This kind of adventure and variety can make for an incredibly satisfying career path - not to mention some truly enviable Instagram photos! So while it's important to consider financial factors when weighing job options, don't forget about all the other amazing bonuses that come with being a professional yacht stewardess.
Yacht stewardesses can advance in their careers by gaining experience, expanding their skillset, and building a strong professional network. This can lead to higher positions like Chief Stewardess, Purser, or management/recruitment roles within the yacht industry.
If you are starting as a yacht stewardess, there are plenty of opportunities to progress in your role and climb up the ladder. As you gain experience, build relationships with clients, and earn certifications for specialized skills, you may be able to negotiate better salaries. The path towards higher-paying positions can also involve moving on from smaller boats onboard larger yachts or even transitioning into land-based roles within the marine industry.
Negotiating your salary: Tips & Tricks
Once you have a general understanding of the salary range for yacht stewardesses in your area, it's time to negotiate your own pay. Start by highlighting your relevant skills and experience, as well as any additional qualifications such as specialized training or language proficiency that make you stand out from other candidates. You can also gather information about the average salary for similar positions in your industry by looking at salary guidelines posted by recruitment agencies and other industry professionals. Make sure to approach the negotiating process with confidence and professionalism; be clear but tactful about what you are seeking in terms of compensation. Consider adding other benefits to sweeten the deal, such as more paid vacation. When entering into negotiations, always remember to put yourself forward positively and highlight how much value you bring to the team; this way, both sides will feel good about reaching an agreement that is beneficial for all parties involved.
- Yacht stewardesses
are essential members of the yacht crew
They are responsible for maintaining the yacht's interior and ensuring guest satisfaction
Salaries can range from $3,000 to $9,000+ per month, with additional tips on charter yachts
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it hard to become a yacht stewardess?
Becoming a yacht stewardess can be challenging due to the physical demands and long hours. However, with dedication, the right qualifications, and a strong work ethic, it is possible to succeed in the industry.
How do you move up the hierarchy?
Gaining experience, expanding your skillset, and building a strong professional network can help you progress in your career and move up the hierarchy within the yacht industry. Extra certifications coupled with experience will make you a great candidate.
Is being a yacht stewardess worth it?
Being a yacht stewardess can be a rewarding career, offering unique travel opportunities, attractive salaries, and the chance to work in a luxurious environment. It requires hard work, dedication, and adaptability but opens you to many opportunities after passing the initial stages.
Should you work with a yacht recruitment agency?
Working with a reputable yacht recruitment agency can help you find job opportunities, network with industry professionals, and access valuable resources and advice. However, these agencies usually work with Stews once they have acquired a season or more of experience.
How to become a Yacht Stewardess with no experience?
Obtaining necessary qualifications and certifications, attending specialized training programs, and leveraging relevant experience in the hospitality or service industry can help you break into the yacht industry with no experience. Consistency and persistence to finding your first role is critical to lay the foundations for your career. While having relevant experience is beneficial, many entry-level positions provide on-the-job training.
If you want to learn how to become a yacht stewardess, click here.
Are there a lot of Stewardess jobs available on the market?
The yacht industry is continuously growing, and there is a steady demand for qualified and dedicated stewardesses. However, competition can be high, so it is essential to have the right qualifications, experience, and network.
Are references necessary?
References are paramount to apply and land Stewardess jobs and having strong references from previous employers or industry professionals can significantly increase your chances of securing a job as a yacht stewardess, as they can vouch for your skills, work ethic, and reliability.
If you'd like to learn more about the positions available on board a Superyacht or how to become crew on board, click here.
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