How to become a yacht stewardess? The fundamentals of the job

3 hôtesses sur le pont d'un voilier

How to become a yacht stewardess? The fundamentals of the job

The job of a stewardess on a yacht is growing more and more, just like the global demand for crew members. Although the stewardess position may seem the most accessible, it remains a passionate and demanding job.

Indeed, the job of stewardess on a boat is one of the most diversified and versatile in the maritime industry. In addition to the role of service and reception, a stewardess must ensure the safety of passengers on board alongside the captain/skipper; and be trained to react in case of emergency.

In this article, Capt’n Boat lists the prerequisites for the position of stewardess on a yacht, and the missions that are entrusted to her.

1. What is a stewardess on a boat?

A stewardess (or hostess) on a yacht is a person in charge of the reception and comfort of the passengers on board, whether it is a yacht, a sailboat, a cruise ship or any other type of boat.

The word comes from the Latin “hospes”, which means “host” or “guest”. Over time, the meaning of the word “hospes” has evolved to also include “person who welcomes guests”.

The term “hostess” is therefore used to refer to a person who takes care of the guests or passengers of a ship, ensuring their comfort and well-being during their stay.

The duties of the stewardess may vary depending on the type of boat and the company, and will be detailed later in the article.

2. What professional training to become a stewardess on a boat?

In order to be a stewardess, only one certificate is required: the Basic Safety Training Certificate (BST).

Obtaining the BST consists of 4 courses:

  • Individual Survival Techniques,
  • Basic firefighting training,
  • Personal Safety and Social Responsibility,
  • Medical First Aid.

The BST is valid for 5 years. Without this training, you cannot work as a stewardess on a boat.

An ENG1 certificate is also required, delivered by a doctor approved by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA).

There is no “degree” as such to become a stewardess on a boat. However, it is recommended to have experience in customer service or in the hotel industry. For stewardess/cook, some shipowners may require a Food Hygiene and Safety Training.

Of course, the best training is experience! Improve your skills on the job, go to sea, do missions! It is with experience that you will improve!

hotesse servant la table sur le pont d'un voilier

3. Qualities and skills expected from a stewardess on a boat

As a stewardess on a boat, it is important to have the following qualities in order to best manage customer requests:

  1. Communication skills: Be able to communicate effectively with passengers and crew.
  2. Service skills: Have a helpful and friendly attitude towards passengers to respond to requests quickly and efficiently.
  3. Organizational skills: Be organized to plan daily tasks, including cleaning of cabins and common areas, food and beverage supplies, and work schedules.
  4. For stewardess/cook => Culinary skills: Be able to prepare simple and varied meals to suit guests’ tastes and dietary restrictions.
  5. Safety knowledge: Yacht stews must have a basic knowledge of onboard safety procedures and be able to provide instructions to passengers in case of emergency.
  6. Ability to work as a team: With crew members and other personnel on board.
  7. Patience and resilience: Stewardesses must be able to deal with challenges and difficult situations that may arise on board, while remaining calm and professional.

Proficiency in multiple foreign languages is a major asset for this type of position.

➡ On Capt’n Boat, we regularly have requests for English, Italian or Spanish speaking stewardesses for sailboat/catamaran cruises.

Sign up if you haven’t already and find stewardess assignments all over the world! 👇

Of course, there are other qualities and skills, so don’t hesitate to put them forward in your seaman CV.
The more versatile and adaptable you are, the better your missions will be!

4. The missions of a yacht stew

The stewardess is an important member of the ship’s crew and her main role is to take care of the passengers. Indeed, she makes sure that she is available to answer the customers’ requests and ensure their comfort on board.
This includes:

  • The reception of the passengers,
  • preparation of the cabins,
  • serving meals and drinks,
  • organizing activities for customers,
  • maintaining the cleanliness of the boat,
  • management of supplies and stocks,

She also ensures the safety on board, with the other members of the crew.

It is important to note that the role of stewardess can vary depending on the size and type of boat, as well as the type of clientele. In some cases, you may also be responsible for preparing meals as a stewardess/cook.

Most of these missions correspond to the job of hotel staff, but here on a floating hotel!

table dressée par hôtesse avec victuailles et boissons sur une péniche

Furthermore, depending on the size of the boat, the stewardess may have to work with a crew. This difference will have an impact on the number of tasks and may place you as the manager of the team on board.

5. Salary of a yacht stewardess 

The average salary of a stewardess on a ship depends on many factors, such as experience, the size of the ship, the area of navigation, the type of clientele and the duration of the service at sea.
In the West Indies, Spain and Greece, the remuneration of a stewardess is around 200€/day.
In France, it is about 250€/day. (Indicative daily wage based on the market standards observed).

As an example, for a one week cruise from Corfu (Greece) on a Lagoon 42 catamaran, count ~ 1400 €.

For a stewardess/cook, this remuneration is higher. You are free to negotiate your salary according to your past experiences.


Working as a yacht stewardess is a rewarding work experience. Although there is no specific background required, experience in the hospitality industry can be a plus.

If you like customer relations, teamwork, and above all, have a liking for the sea: this job is for you! An affinity with the maritime world is obviously required: you will be housed on the boat, so you will certainly be subjected to the swell and potential bad weather!

Register on Capt’n Boat and find missions all over the world!