Your expert guide to crew accommodation in the superyacht industry
Last updated: 04/04/2017
Whether you’re a first-time crew member looking for accommodation, or a regular that’s seeking some useful information, you’re in the right place. Working on a superyacht can be a big challenge and very stressful; to help the process go smoothly, see these handy pointers below, which will help guide you through the accommodation process before and in between working on the world’s finest superyachts.
Where to stay?
Wherever you intend to work, you will need a place to stay while you’re looking for a job, learning, or waiting in between. There are different options available, and you need to weigh up which is the most suitable option for you.
In almost every yachting town, you will find dedicated crew houses where you will meet other prospective yacht crew from all around the world. All crew will share a common interest in yachting and everyone will be typically looking for similar work; they can be a great place to network and meet people.Easy living
Crew houses operate similarly to hostels. Usually no deposit is required and you get: a bed, furniture, linen, phones, TV’s, with fully stocked kitchens and more often than not internet access.The price
Most crew houses charge rates on a weekly basis, depending on the time of the year and type of accommodation; you can expect to pay a minimum of around €30 per night to a maximum of €60 per night.Job opportunities
Keep in mind however that some of the better, more expensive crew houses may get phone calls asking for day workers. You may also find that by meeting other ‘yachties’, they too could help you out with networking, looking for accommodation, jobs, and day work etc...Be wary of cheap crew houses
Cheaper crew houses will save you money, but be prepared... the accommodation itself will be far from glamorous. It could possibly be worth paying more to stay in a better crew house; that help out with jobs.
Shared private accommodation
Another option is to find an apartment, flat or house share with other people. For example you can meet people through online forums, networking or during an initial stay in a crew house. This can offer many of the benefits mentioned above but with that little extra comfort and personal space.
Shared accommodation, depending on the location and quality, can be much cheaper than crew houses and is a viable option if you know a few people or can find anyone in the same boat.
There’s a chance you may need accommodation for a longer period, as it can sometimes take weeks to find a job and start work; renting accommodation this way could be cheaper for you.
You’ll want to make sure your accommodation has Wi-Fi, which can be a real positive when job hunting.
Youth hostels and hotels
Another option is a youth hostel or hotel. There are always many youth hostels in towns and cities around the world, and if you cannot afford crew houses, or they are full and private accommodation isn’t for you, this may be the best option. Youth hostels can also be very handy, as you can stay for just one or two nights.
Hotels can offer convenient, central locations but can be very expensive. If you’re looking for a job then you should be out most of the time applying, networking, and walking the docks etc., so hotels may not be the best route to go down.
Make sure you’re near to crew agents
It will benefit you to be situated in a location that is near to yacht crew agencies. Most agencies require a weekly check in from crew members as well as check out once you no longer need them. Crew agencies will be very important to you when looking for a job on a superyacht, so it’s a good idea to keep your agents informed of your ongoing job search and any successful job placements. If you check in with them every couple of days, it also ensures your name is top of the pile.
Is the quality of accommodation a necessity?
Though paying more for accommodation has its benefits, if you’re struggling for cash, or wish to try a different approach, the quality of the accommodation may not be as important as you think.
You’ll probably find you won’t spend much time in your bedroom – if you are then you shouldn’t be. An active crew member is a smart one. Never spend your day in a hotel or crew house; spend every minute tapping your resources, contacting crew agents, networking, walking the docks and exploring opportunities.
When to book
When the yachting season starts, it can get incredibly busy, so it would be wise to make some crew house/flat enquiries early and get booked in. For example if you’re going to the Mediterranean then it can be wise to get there in February or March time just before everyone else arrives.
General accommodation tips for first timers
You could beat the rush by going earlier than other prospective crew, however you may well be wasting money on accommodation as there probably won’t be much work around, and so you’ll just be losing money.
You can and probably will find day work during this period so you will be earning some money during this time. Day work can pay anywhere from €12 to €15 per hour or approximately €100 per day.
Where to target
There are several yachting hubs where prospective crew will base themselves in order to be available for upcoming positions. The most popular locations include the French Riviera, Mallorca and Florida.
The prime cruising season in Europe is during the summer, from June to September. Antibes (France) and Palma de Mallorca (Spain) are examples of two popular locations which welcome the largest amount of job-seeking crew, however don’t leave it until the summer to start seeking work, most of these yachts will be fully crewed in April.
Many yachts spend their summers in the Mediterranean and during these months, many additional crew will be hired to help out. Setting up accommodation near to these hubs is therefore a great advantage when looking for work.
Accommodation in Palma de Mallorca
Palma offers a number of options for yachties looking for acccommodation, and much like Antibes, is a popular location to find work.
Packed full of crew houses, hotels, hostels and apartments, Crew Accommodation Palma recommended the best locations to stay in Palma for yacht crew to be: Santa Catalina, La Lonja and Old Town.
Accommodation in Antibes
There are many crew houses in Antibes, but there are also a lot of people looking for work so you can expect the crew houses to be fully booked more often than not.
If you cannot find accommodation in Antibes, there are nearby locations such as Juan Les Pins or Biot—both are a very short train ride away from Antibes and are accessible by bus, bicycle and it’s even possible to walk.
Accommodation in Fort Lauderdale
Ft. Lauderdale (USA) is another yachting hub for crew, especially for beginners. Superyachts typically come to Ft. Lauderdale for repairs, maintenance and crewing once they have returned from trips to the Mediterranean, East coast of the USA and the Caribbean. They often depart in early winter and early spring for cruises so finding crew accommodation around these times is advisable.
North East USA
During the US summer months (May – September) many superyachts head to the northeast coast of the United States. Newport, Rhode Island (USA) is a popular location, particularly for sailboats and race crew. You will find lots of yachting activity in and around this area, all the way down to New York and the islands nearby.
Tips on accommodation rental by Crew Accommodation Palma
If you’ve decided to rent accommodation, there are still plenty of important factors to bear in mind once you have chosen a place or when you are looking. It’s a good idea to stay in contact with your rental agent as they have a duty to help you and meet your requests.
- When you check an apartment for the very first time, you normally do it by seeing pictures on a website. It’s important to make sure you personally check the apartment.
- Make sure you sign a contract and fill out an inventory. It sounds simple, but sometimes you might not be offered a contract, but you’ll need to have one to ensure your legal safety.
- When paying, international bank transfers can take more than three days. Cards work faster (within 24 hours). Ask for a receipt every time you pay in cash.
- Confirm what is going to happen with the deposit/bond after the rent period, before signing any contract.
- It’s better to have all communication with your agent written down in e-mails; this simple action can avoid any possible problems in the future.
- When you are inside the apartment and something doesn’t work, don’t be shy and make sure you tell your agent straight away.
- Only one person should communicate with the agent. If all the crew members start to call the agent, the communication won’t be as effective and things can get confusing.
- If you need to renew the contract, tell the agent as quickly as possible. Remember that after your stay, other crew members will be coming to the apartment.
- If something breaks while you are staying at the apartment, tell the agent ASAP, so they can find a quick solution.
- You always have the right to have your deposit back. If the agent says that the deposit won’t be returned, it must go with an explanation, and the explanation must be based on actual events with evidence.
- Agents can help with simple matters such as where to go shopping, where are the pharmacies, the closest place to leave the rubbish, parking areas, or any important matters that arise.