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Coming Aboard

Coming aboard


Your Job Interview

After we have received your online application, we will check whether you are suitably qualified for the position you are applying for and meet our requirements. If you do, we will interview you in person – either at one of our recruitment days (alternatively via Skype) or at one of our offices at a previously agreed date and time.

Recruitment day agenda:

The recruitment day starts with a general information session, during which you will also learn more about sea chefs and the Hapag-Lloyd Cruises fleet. We will tell you about life and work on board, and inform you of the sea chefs Cruises Ltd company contract terms. If you have any questions at that point, our recruiters will be happy to answer them at any time, or to give you more information. Before we invite you to attend a job interview, we will ask you to complete a questionnaire that contains questions related to your profession, and to take an English test.

After this general session, which all invited candidates experience in a group, we will conduct a one-on-one interview with you. The interview is also a further opportunity to discuss any details with your recruiter, to ask questions and to mention any concerns you may have.

We also schedule appointments for one-on-one interviews for particular vacancies for this day, in which case we will have interviewed the candidate beforehand already on the telephone, and will have clarified important aspects.

Recruiting Film

Cash and Credit Card

To cover any expenses on your way to the ship and before you receive your first salary, we recommend that you bring some cash with you, as well as a credit card.

On board, you will then be given a crew card / crew ID. This card usually also serves as your cabin key (on some ships) and also as your "charge card" for making cashless purchases in the crew bar and in the shops on board.

Languages Aboard

The official crew language on board the ship is English. For safety and security reasons, every crew member must have a good command of the English language.

In order to serve our guests in their native language, German is the second official language aboard some ships.

All security instructions on board will be issued in English, and the on board security training is also conducted in English.

C1/D Visa

Crew members who work on cruise ships that regularly call at US ports need a valid C1/D visa.

On some ships, you must have this visa. You register your application online and are given an appointment at an American Embassy where you can then apply for your visa. We will let you know beforehand whether you need to apply for a visa for the region you are scheduled to travel in.

Yellow Fever Vaccination

Since the Hapag-Lloyd Cruises fleet sails all over the world and compulsory immunisation regulations are in place in some countries, a yellow fever vaccination is necessary.

Yellow fever vaccinations can only be obtained at specially designated yellow fever vaccination centres which can generally be found at the tropical medicine institutes of university clinics. A yellow fever vaccination will protect you for ten years.

Medical Certificate

A medical certificate is a mandatory requirement for employment.

It can be issued by one of the official agencies that conduct medical fitness for sea service examinations. If you have no such agency near you, you are welcome to contact us to discuss alternatives.

See here for a list of doctors in Germany who are qualified to issue a medical fitness for sea service certificate.

More information


To be able to work on board a cruise ship, you must have a valid passport (an ID card is not sufficient!), which must be valid for at least one year after the date on which you join us.

It is also important to note that at least four pages must still be blank to provide ample space for potentially necessary stamps and visas. We expect you to have a valid passport. Should you have to apply for a second passport in order to process visa applications simultaneously, we will let you know and pay the fees charged for this second passport.

Seaman’s Discharge Book

All Hapag-Lloyd Cruises crew members must have a seaman’s discharge book.

You will usually be sent the seaman’s discharge book we have applied for on your behalf by DHL Express or registered post to your home address before you join us, provided we have received your medical documents and your basic safety & crowd management certificate, both of which are essential for obtaining a seaman's discharge book, in good time. If we do not receive the seaman's discharge book before you embark, it will be forwarded to the crew purser/ chief purser on board. However, at some ports, you may not be permitted aboard without such a book.

Certificate of Good Conduct

Some positions on board require you to apply to the police for a certificate of good conduct.

We will let you know when you come for your job interview whether this will be necessary for the position you have applied for.

Power Sockets Aboard

Most ships are equipped with European power sockets (230V), similar to the power outlets in Germany and Austria.

You should always ask your crewing officer before you embark.

Training / Basic Safety & Crowd Management

On a ship, the crew members are co-responsible for safety and security.

In emergency situations, every crew member must always be aware of their role and of the relevant measures. This internationally required, 4-day basic safety training course is taught ashore before you join your ship. The training course is called "Basic Safety Training & Crowd Management" in accordance with STCW 2010 (Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers). It is offered at AFZ Rostock, for example. There is a choice of dates. We will be happy to register you for one of these dates.

On board, you will attend further safety training sessions. The safety officer will explain the safety aspects of the ship and your responsibilities in an emergency to you.

Uniform / Work Wear

All crew members must wear their uniforms during their working hours.

The uniform must be kept clean, ironed and immaculate at all times. The uniform will either be provided by us, or you may have to supply it yourself, depending on your position. Our crewing officer will tell you more about this before you join your ship.

All crew members get information about the shoes must be worn in the public areas of the ship. Crew members must purchase such shoes in black or navy before they come on board.

Ladies must also wear black or navy tights, and men black socks.

Crew Members working in the Cruise Staff / Tourism Area:

For the excursions, trainers or deck shoes must be purchased at your own cost.

You must also supply the sportswear required for sports activities yourself. Please remember to choose muted colours.


Crew members must not have any visible tattoos (on lower arms, lower legs, throat or face), piercings or tooth gems (men are also not permitted to wear earrings).

Men's hair must be no longer than collar-length; a shaved head or a beard is also not acceptable.

Ladies with longer than shoulder-length hair must not wear their hair open. It must be worn in a bun, tied back or plaited. Your hair colour must look natural - bright shades, e.g. extreme red or blonde, are not permitted. You may wear understated jewellery. Ladies should wear natural looking makeup.

If you make drastic changes to your appearance after your job interview, this may be a reason for instant dismissal.

We expect all crew members to be willing to comply with the above rules. These may seem restrictive; however, there is still sufficient scope for an individual and personal look.

Manner Towards Passengers

Passengers base the impression they have of the ship and the service on board on the friendly, polite and respectful manner of the crew members.

However, the guests can tell whether friendliness, politeness and respectfulness are genuine or feigned. For this reason, we expect you to show that you enjoy your work and to give the passengers the feeling that everything on board revolves around them, and that all that matters is to make the best time of the year, which they are spending on "their" ship, as pleasant as possible.

Certificates & Documents

As soon as you have all of the documents you need, scan them in and email them to your crewing officer.

Please do not send us any originals!The original documents must always remain with you and must be carried aboard in your hand luggage (never in your checked luggage!).


To ensure the smooth and efficient operation of our ships, teamwork is absolutely essential.

Shared goals can only be achieved if we all work towards them and present a united front. Efficient cooperation and teamwork are extremely important to us not only in the individual departments but also in terms of the cooperation between the various different areas.