The National Geographic Sea Bird and National Geographic Sea Lion are in Southeast Alaska during the summer months, the Pacific Northwest in early fall, along the Columbia and Snake Rivers in the fall and spring, and in Baja California Sur, Mexico and Costa Rica & Panama for the entire winter. Our guests fly into these areas and join the ship for a trip of exploration and discovery. Trips range from 4 to10 days in length, but average 7 days. Although we carry many independent guests, we also have quite a variety of special interest and alumni groups that travel with us.
Stewards and deckhands are hired to work seasonal agreements. All other shipboard positions are full-time, year-round positions which have a work rotation of approximately two months on board and one month off the ship. Everyone works varying shifts, which average 12 hours a day over the course of a week. Time off may be spent hiking, viewing wildlife, taking photos, attending lectures, going on guided walks, kayaking, writing letters, reading, watching movies, or relaxing in the crew lounge. It is rare that time off will be available in a port-of-call; in fact it can be one of the ship’s busiest work days.
Employees receive a daily wage. The seasonal positions and some of the year-round positions also receive a share of crew tips, which is guaranteed at a certain rate each day. Year-round employees also receive 10% vacation pay that is paid out during the month off. All earnings are subject to IRS tax withholding. In keeping with the team spirit on board, tips are pooled and divided equally amongst the crew. Room and board is provided by Lindblad Expeditions. A less tangible, but in many ways more valuable form of compensation is the opportunity to see an area in a special way that few ever experience. Since you aren’t in port very often, crew find that working on the National Geographic Sea Lion and National Geographic Sea Bird is an excellent way to save money. They take cash advances on board and will typically only spend money on purchases such as hygiene products, books, magazines, souvenirs, or the occasional taxi ride.
Lindblad Expeditions offers a supplemental employer-paid medical, dental, vision, and life insurance for year-round employees. Additional details of health and other benefits are described at the time of offer.
Lindblad Expeditions has selected uniforms for its employees that are comfortable and professional. Uniforms must be kept clean, neat, and orderly at all times. Employees will be responsible for the laundering and ironing of personal uniforms using the washer, dryer, and iron provided. You are responsible for cleaning and pressing your uniforms, and there is a washer and dryer on board available at no cost.
Your appearance must be professional as a matter of respect to our clients and in keeping with the company’s image. You may be asked to cut your hair. While on duty jewelry must be very basic for both men and women. Bracelets, necklaces and anklets are not to be visible while on duty. Earrings may be simple hoops and studs, and cannot exceed 1/2” in diameter. Crew may wear only one earring per ear while in uniform. No other visible piercings are allowed. Tattoos/body art must not be offensive.
Safety is of utmost importance to Lindblad Expeditions. Each job on the ship is physically demanding, and we have a list of physical expectations for the position, which describes the amount of lifting, pushing, pulling, reaching, etc. When you are interviewed, this will be discussed with you in great detail. In general, all crew members will be required to lift boxes, haul bags of laundry, and climb stairs regularly.
Crew quarters are located below decks and you will have either one or two roommates. Each room has a shower, sink, and toilet. Storage space is limited on board a vessel this size.
The crew lounge on board is small, however it does have an entertainment center solely for crew use, which provides a location to relax. There is a top level outside deck for crew use only. Although it is a storage area for inflatable boats, there is deck space to observe wildlife, stretch out or use the exercise equipment. A reference library with books on the areas in which we travel is available for the guests and crew. We are too small a vessel to have an exercise room, although crew members in the past have brought along weights and other compact exercise kits. If you are currently enrolled in an exercise program, you will need to modify your regimen to small spaces. There are two pieces of exercise equipment outdoors, which are available for crew during limited hours. We strongly recommend hiking and kayaking.
The crew meals are served three times a day and provide a combination of healthy choices including vegetarian options.
Smoking areas are limited to outdoor decks. You will not be permitted to smoke in your cabin or in front of the guests while in uniform.
During your employment on board, you will be covered by Lindblad Expeditions marine insurance policy for any injuries or illnesses contracted on board. Coverage does not extend to pre-existing conditions or preventative treatment. Medical and dental care in the remote locations we cruise are limited. Visit your doctor and dentist prior to leaving home. If you have put off attending to medical or dental procedures, get the necessary treatment before joining the vessel. This is for your safety and the safety of those on board.
Mail sent care of our office will usually be delivered to the ship once a week. We can only forward paper mail. Packages will be returned to sender. Telephone communication can be difficult, expensive, and is frequently unavailable. Internet access is available on board with the purchase of an Internet card and many crew bring personal laptops. Internet cafes are also available in most ports.
Yes. All crew members must have a valid U.S. passport to sail on the ship. To apply for a passport, you must have a certified birth certificate, two passport photos, and passport fee.