Cruise Ship Shore Excursion Staff

The responsibilities of shore excursion staff are to assist with shore excursions and land tours.

The position is comparable to that of a Junior Assistant Purser and, on some cruise lines the actual title is Junior Assistant Purser: Shore Excursions. Shore excursion staff lead outings off the boat like hiking, backpacking, rafting and other adventure related activities. They also will lead excursions such as shopping depending on the nature of the cruise and the region where they are employed. Excursion staffs are generally trained to safely and educationally lead their specific tour sand many college students find it to be an excellent summer job since the cruising industry is so popular during the summer months.

Office and secretarial skills are required, but no previous experience in tourism is necessary to lead excursions. A good way to find a cruise job of this kind is to take a look at the various seasonal land tour opportunities connected with the cruise lines. Alaska is full of them (many of which are listed in the Tour Guide section of JobMonkey). A large number of cruise staff and shore excursion personnel currently working in the industry got their start on land by working seasonal tours, then moved on to higher paying positions on the ships.

Seasonal land tours are a great way to “get in” with the company without interrupting an education schedule, particularly in Alaska, where ships generally only visit and use land-based tour guides during the summer months. A summer in Alaska can be a great experience. As one guide put it:

“It couldn’t have been a more ideal summer job . I got to work with people from all over the country, live in Juneau, which is one of the most beautiful towns I’ve ever seen, and get paid for the experience! I even got to work as a customer service representative for a week on one of our Columbia River cruises, and next year I hope to get hired as a cruise coordinator on one of our ships.”

Land tour jobs are a great segue to cruise ship shore excursion jobs because the responsibilities are very similar. Cruise ship excursion staff usually enjoy a change of scenery and will specialize in a number of different excursions along the cruise itinerary, while land tour guides stay in one location during their contract.

Shore excursion positions will vary in contract length and in salary. Depending on the cruise line, shore excursion personnel may earn $1,600 – $2,000 a month. Shore excursion managers can expect to make more.

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