Experiencing Life as a Ferry Steward to England’s Isle of Wight


I once worked for Wightlink Ferries, the ferries that take you from mainland England across to the magestic and lovely Isle of Wight. In the last ten years of nomadery, this was perhaps the one job that it felt where I was at home. Whatever fate befell me in 2008 led me to become a seasonal ferry steward on Wightlink ferries.

Needles Isle of Wight Wightlink Ferries

Nearly all of these jobs will be seasonal, typically running from May – September.

Yarmouth harbour Isle of Wight

I was employed by Seamariner who at the time sorted out seasonal staff for the Isle of Wight ferries run by Wightlink.

Wightlink ferries coming into Yarmouth harbour

If you ever want to try this for experience simply because it’s such a unique and fun way to experience culture, you can also look into ferries that run between Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. It is typically a 5-6 day week of either an “early” or a “late” – each shift varied from 6 hours to 12 hours depending on how busy it was and overtime was paid and a rota/roster was handed out each week and was easy to follow. I was assigned to a certain crew, though the captain of the ship and the other crew members often changed.

Lymington train coming into the ferry terminal

 They run you through Fire Safety and Crew Briefings before your first shift.

Wightlink ferries Cenwulf

I worked as a steward and my main duty was safety of the passengers, as is everyone’s on board a boat.

On board the Caedmon:

The Wight Light in its first week of sailing:

Yarmouth to Lymington on Wightlink Ferries:

Jonny Scott Blair
Jonny Blair is a self confessed traveling nomad who founded and blogs at Don't Stop Living. He sees every day as an adventure. Since leaving behind his home town of Bangor in Northern Ireland ten years ago he has traveled to all seven continents, working his way through various jobs and funding it all with hard work and an appetite for travel. Don’t Stop Living, a lifestyle of travel' contains over 1,000 stories and tips from his journeys round the globe. He wants to show others how easy it is to travel the world, give them some ideas and encourage them to do the same but most of all he aims to constantly live a lifestyle of travel. He is currently based in Hong Kong and on Twitter @jonnyblair.
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