I have read in Yacht Crociere that according to a Eurisko research of 1994, in the year 2000 about 125,000 Italians would supposedly choose to spend their holidays on a cruise. In fact that number has doubled, thus rewarding shipowning companies such as Costa, which made a clear-cut choice in favour of cruises when the trend had not yet consolidated. The Mediterranean is currently the area of greatest development of leisure cruising in the world, being extremely rich in attractive proposals both in terms of landscape and historical-artistic contents. This is even the cause of a few logistic problems; in Genoa, for example, on the 28th of October five ships are going to be arriving simultaneously, with a movement of 6,000 passengers. Ships are now travelling on full loads, and continue to increase in number and size. Last year alone, sixteen ships were launched (the largest of them with a tonnage of 138,000, which would have been unimaginable until a few years ago) for a total investment of approximately 10,000 billion lire. Together with the growth of the “cruise system”, a selection is taking place in the recruitment of personnel for customer service. Standard ships tend to hire low-cost staff, from Asia or Latin America (is it a chance that Costa has never placed any ads in Job in Tourism?), whereas ships that rely on quality as an asset, tend to hire European personnel. Working aboard those ships provides excellent opportunities in terms of both experience and retribution, but it requires adequate skills to justify the higher cost borne by the shipowner, compared with the use of more economical though less qualified resources. Hence the need to train adequately in order to respond to such new opportunities. A suitable knowledge of English by now constitutes a fundamental requirement for any job on board (both internal and external), and prior experiences in foreign countries help prepare for an international environment as is found on cruises. In addition to this, however, technical skills are also required, which can only be based on field and school experiences. Flexibility and availability are the additional necessary ingredients. As always in life, the best positions are reserved – if not to the best – at least to those who pursue their goals with greatest commitment and determination.
The development of cruising: job opportunities
Di Antonio Caneva English translation Paola Pr, 4 maggio 2001