Captain Paul Bickley of motoryacht Latitude believes cruising grounds hasn’t always been at the top of junior crewmembers’ priorities, but that things are changing. “Yachting’s changed over the last 20 years. Before, the boats didn’t have the capabilities for extended cruising, whereas now you’re getting offers to go to Antarctica or the Poles and the younger crew [like it].”
With so many more options, the typical milk run of the Mediterranean and Caribbean can, simply put, get boring. “I find a lot of the junior crew get bored. I’ve got a wife and family and I don’t want to go far from home,” Captain Bickley adds. “But the junior crew want adventure, so you find that after two or three seasons they get bored of doing the Western Med. The geographical location is an attraction to some crew.”
Louise Cailbourdin, crewing manager at The Crew Network, adds that there are a multitude of reasons for crew changing jobs – cruising grounds being just one. “There are numerous potential reasons why crew jump ship, such as sudden change in yacht programme, an unexpected or dull shipyard period, new owners or management company, change in captain or other crewmembers, the crewmember not being in tune with crew dynamics, a salary cut, yacht reputation, the desire to be with a partner and of course the opportunity to head to more exciting cruising grounds,” she says.
"But once [crew] have a season or a year under their belt they do start to get a bit more demanding as they have a better idea of what to expect and what they would prefer to do next."
This is something more expected of junior crew already in the industry, as opposed to new crew entering the industry with these requirements. “When junior crew are looking for their first job in the industry they are very flexible in regards to yacht size, itinerary and salary as their main goal is to get the foot in the door and gain some experience,” explains Milicia Seguela, headhunting specialist at The Crew Hunter. “But once they have a season or a year under their belt they do start to get a bit more demanding as they have a better idea of what to expect and what they would prefer to do next.”
Seguela adds the most common requirement is a yacht that travels, enabling the crew to see new places, as well as being busy with guests so crew can build up their service skills. “They feel if they stay in the shipyard over a period of six months that they are not improving their skills, which is why we strongly believe training is a way forward during down time so the crew benefits from learning new skills together and can be a form of a team building exercise at the same time.”
How much does a yacht’s cruising grounds influence your choice of job? Tell us in our comments section below.