From Antibes to Palma de Mallorca, the Mediterranean is a hub for some of the most glamorous and incredible yachting destinations -- and it’s a great place to start a yachting career.
Here are our top tips on how to get hired on a yacht in the Mediterranean!
Spain or France?
Should you head to Palma de Mallorca, or to Antibes? The good thing is, there’s not a bad choice. A lot of this comes down to personal preference, and possibly your goals or budget.
Palma de Mallorca, Spain. This port is generally considered to offer a wider variety of yachting jobs and often tends to have more sailboats (while motor yachts tend to prefer Antibes).
Many sailboats winter over in Palma, so you can also arrive a bit earlier and get a head start on your search while the boats are preparing for the season.
Palma is spread over a large area and is inspired by the Spanish culture of later nights and a vibrant social scene.
Palma is also generally found to be less expensive when it comes to places to stay and eat. If you’re not sure how long you’ll need to pay for housing while you dockwalk and wait for your first placement, Palma might be a wiser choice.
And since it’s a larger area, you’ll have more options to choose from and less concern about being crowded out by fully booked hotels or hostels.
On the flip side, Antibes, France is a yachting powerhouse and leverages a huge amount of yachting in a small, concentrated area. You’ll find more yacht crew agencies, large motor yachts, and the full spectrum of businesses focused on the yachting world here.
In addition, Antibes is positioned right along the French coast where you could hop from town to town, and marina to marina, easily -- making your hunting area for a yachting job even larger.
Antibes is known to be a bit more expensive, but the tradeoff is the concentration of all things yachting and the intensity of the yachting culture. You’re less likely to be distracted and more likely to make serious progress in building your network in Antibes.
The Mediterranean season really starts to pick up in late March and April and is in full swing from June through September.
While it comes a bit after the start of peak season, if you’re still trying to find work by late April, heading to the International Boat Show in Palma is a good choice. This huge event attracts more than 100 superyachts.
And while you’re likely not in the market to buy one -- this event means that boats may be in greater need of dayworkers to get everything shiny and perfect for the show. It’s a great chance to get your foot in the door and meet more and more people in the industry.
Finally, some job seekers choose to travel to the Med in the winter and try to find a job while boats are under repair or at rest in the marina.
While this is tricky as it’s not common to find a full-time position, if you have the flexibility in your schedule and budget, you can get a jumpstart on building relationships and perhaps finding some daywork. That way when the season begins in earnest, you’ll have a better chance at getting hired by someone you already know.
In this expensive marina city, you’ll want to set your sights on a crew house to make connections in the industry quickly - and given the focus on yachting, there are many to choose from!
A few favorites include the Crew Grapevine - which offers three different houses in the area. As a bonus, they also offer updates on job openings or potential opportunities in the field, only to those staying at their houses.
Image: Crew Grapevine
Debbie’s Crewhouse and The Glamorgan are also popular choices. Finally, Amma’s Crew House, while located a bit farther from the marina and pretty limited amenities, is one of the most affordable options in this expensive city.
When you’re ready for a refresh, head out and explore Antibes’ bars & pubs. One popular hangout for current or hopeful yachties is Le Blue Lady Pub. Others head to L'Enoteca Tapas Bar, or for a bit more lively outing, The Drinkers Club and Absinthe Bar Antibes are local favorites.
Since Palma isn’t quite as focused on the yachting industry as Antibes, you can fast-track your network of yachties by choosing to stay at a crew house.
One of the more popular spots in Palma is the Crew Guest House Palma. Another popular choice is The Boat House Palma. Of course, you can also stay at a traditional hostel or a mid-term rental. Hostel Apuntadores isn’t specifically targeted to yacht crew, but it’s near the marina and offers affordable lodging, so you’ll still find some yachties there.
When you’re not in your room or walking the docks, you’ve got to get out there and be social! A few yachtie hotspots in Palma include:
The Corner Bar and Escape Bar - Escape Bar is especially known to have a stellar breakfast.
Heading out for the evening? Check out Cuba Bar, Havana Bar and the Crazy Chef restaurant. These are located in a neighborhood where many yachties live in the offseason or rent out their apartments to job seekers, so you’ll find great opportunities to build connections.
No matter where you go, you’ll need to have focus and dedication to land your first yacht job. The most successful candidates treat the actual job search like a job itself -- making a certain number of new connections each day, dedicating hours to dockwalking, and having ready a digital CV, business card, or another easy-to-share backgrounder.
Make sure you show up with all of your training complete your mind ready for the challenges of the yachting industry -- and with a little time and effort, you’ll land your first amazing superyacht job here in the Mediterranean!
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