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Superyacht Stewardess

Superyacht Crew Hierarchy

Working on a superyacht is truly a unique experience, and I can honestly say that I have not worked in such a unique industry before or since leaving the yachting industry.

The Organisational Structure:

onboard a superyacht can best be described as being top-down and strongly hierarchical (as shown below) based upon a military model. Where positions, job duties and lines of authority are set, however, a superyacht is not the military, nor is it merchant shipping or large-scale commercial shipping like cruise liners.

Obviously, the larger yachts will have more crew with the same title and job description. Another area that may cause a little confusion is in the galley. Most yachts run with a chef or cook on a smaller yacht and only the larger super/mega yachts run with a team of chefs.

The following diagram represents clearly the formal structure by which superyachts operate. It also shows a clear separation of authority and duties of their hierarchical rank.

A Superyacht runs this way for a few reasons:

  • An authoritative chain of command is implemented for safety reasons, with the Captain is the master of the vessel… the king of the castle so to speak, with the Chief Engineer and Chief Officer following closely behind with the safety of the crew and vessel in their hands.
  • The middle managers follow in line to execute the commanding orders.
  • Followed by the lower ranks to carry out the orders.

This diagram broadly represents the chain of command on board a superyacht (please keep in mind that this example is a general summary and yachts will differ in organizational structure.). The horizontal specialization of the crew is again quite obvious, with each department specializing in their relevant departments:

Superyacht Crew Hierarchy

  • Engineering: Safety and smooth operational running of the vessel and hotel services.

  • Deck: Passage delivery, Safety, Outside housekeeping/maintenance, guest outdoor activities.

  • Interior: Guest wellbeing, guest control in an emergency, housekeeping, hotel management, activity planner, accounting and guest liaison.

  • Galley: Guest food preparation, crew food preparation, galley and store stock control, hygiene and maintenance.

Super Yacht Crew Hierarchy