Role and Duties


The structure of the interior department varies depending on the size of the yacht. The duties of a steward or stewardess change accordingly. Small yachts require diverse interior staff who can help with service, laundry, food preparations and at times, help on with deck operations. Large yachts have a more segmented approach with job roles focused on specific areas of service or housekeeping. It is advisable to understand what the position entails so that you have realistic expectations of the job at hand.

Do you have what it takes?

A yacht steward or stewardess is responsible for the interior maintenance of the vessel and for delivering the highest standard of service to the guests on board. Although the interior structure is not consistent with all yachts, you will find a common breakdown of the departments and positions below.

Steward / Stewardess Department:

Service Department:

Whilst on service it is your responsibility to cater to the guests wants and needs and provide the highest level of service possible. Service duties include but are not limited to making and serving drinks, meal service, table setting, washing up, polishing crockery, cutlery and glassware, making conversation and entertaining guests. Superyacht guests expect the highest standard of quality and service levels that exceed the best restaurants, hotels and villas in the world. The role of service stew is a high pressure one and requires training and experience. The service role is usually operated by stews with strong experience on yachts or from high standard service industries. As a junior stew you may be required to help out during busier times. This is a good opportunity to gain experience and prove yourself in the service department.

Housekeeping Department:

The housekeeping department oversees the smooth running and immaculate upkeep of the guest areas. Roles include; cleaning cabins, making beds, drying and cleaning showers, cleaning toilets, replenishing toiletries, replacing used towels, removing all dirty laundry, tidying the saloon/s (lounge areas) and turning down the cabins before guests retire to bed. Whilst the guests are not on board the stews will deep clean all areas of the vessel, commonly known as detailing. Ear buds and toothpicks are even used to get the yacht’s interior as immaculate as possible.

Laundry Department:

The laundry department is in charge of all the laundry on board. Laundry will vary from washing, drying and ironing guest clothing, towels, table cloths, service napkins to crew uniform, galley tea towels and deck rags. It is important to keep the laundry functioning throughout the day and make sure it is cleared at the end of the night. It is essential to check the labels of clothing garments and other items to ensure they are laundered correctly, always double check with the chief stew or someone more experienced if in doubt – ruining guest clothing can be a costly exercise and can ruin the trip altogether. Duties will also include cleaning and maintaining the laundry equipment such as the iron, washing machines, tumble dryers, steamers and other equipment that you may have used.

Structure and Roles vary depending on yacht size:

It is important to understand that the structure will vary depending on the size of yacht and number of interior crew. Not all superyachts will fill every position and quite often on smaller yachts crew will perform a dual role, for example, stew/cook or deck/stew.


All superyacht crew need to hold both mandatory and department specific qualifications. All interior crew need to hold an STCW basic training certification, a Proficiency is Security Awareness or Duties, a food and hygiene certificate as well as other courses depending on your desired role and vessel type.

Although training courses are not cheap, it is important to invest in yourself and your employability. At the end of the day, it comes down to your budget and career goals.

The Ursus Yacht Institute is a professional training facility for personnel who want to enter on board a 7-star luxury vessel.

Superyacht Junior Stewardess course will equip you with all the skills needed to work on board to deliver the ultimate standard of service.

This intensive three-day course delivers all of the knowledge, practical skills, industry guidance and support required to launch a successful career within the superyacht industry.


Now that you have a good understanding of what being a stewardess is about and you have complete the necessary training it is time to take action. All crew need to hold an ENG1 medical certificate which will certify you as fit to work at sea. Visas are required in order to travel to super yachting locations to attend interviews. You need to register with crew agents and ensure that you are applying for jobs wherever possible. Building a positive reputation together with a strong network of individuals involved in the industry is key.


Essential stewardess courses to distinguish you in the competitive market.

Entry-level superyacht stewardess training courses are essential to your success in the industry. Selecting the correct courses at the correct training schools will raise your chances of getting your first job as a stewardess on a professional superyacht. The key is to do this without breaking the bank account on unnecessary courses.


Below is a list of courses you can take as an aspiring stewardess with little or no experience:

STCW 2010 Basic training

In order for you to legally obtain a job on a superyacht, ALL crew members have to be STCW certified, no matter their role.

STCW is the abbreviation for Standards of Training, Certification and Watch keeping for Seafarers. The STCW needs to be refreshed every five years and is offered in most countries worldwide.

The STCW ensures that all crew are competent and willing to engage in safety and survival operations that one may encounter while working at sea.

Food Safety and Hygiene Certificate

Although this course is not a minimum qualification, it might as well be. You will need to hold this certificate to work on any MLC compliant vessel and it is therefore highly recommended.

Proficiency in Designated Security Duties (PDSD)

Proficiency in Designated Security Duties (PDSD) is a course that must be undertaken by all seafarers and security personnel who are engaged onboard ship, who have been assigned designated duties under the Ship’s Security Plan. Although it is the Proficiency in security awareness that is the mandatory course, we strongly advise new crew members to complete the PDSD course instead as a large number of yachts are seeing it as a requirement for all of their crew.

Introductory Superyacht Stewardess Course

Many training schools offer Stewardess Courses where they prepare you for some of the duties and roles you will be expected to perform onboard. They are general crash courses that will better prepare you for the industry and teach you some basic skills and principals that will stand you in good stead. These courses can be very useful for people with no transferrable skills or experience and can be a good idea if you have the money and time available to you. These courses are not officially recognised and although they can help build your CV and teach you valuable skills, they are not internationally recognised.