Working for Uniworld River Cruises

Uniworld Boutique River Collection is a large company offering specialized river cruises to various locations around the world including Egypt, Cambodia, Russia, all along the European coast, and China. Uniworld employs many staff from many different countries provided that English is spoken as a first language.

Applicants are screened and interviewed, and are then sent to a waiting pool until a vacancy is available.

Please describe what your company does. What is your role in the staffing process?

Uniworld is a large company offering authentic river cruises all over the world including Europe, China, Cambodia, Egypt and Russia. We have just recently been voted the Best River Cruise Line of 2011 by Conde Nast Traveler – a huge achievement that we are very proud of. I am in charge of marketing for the South African office of Uniworld.

How many vessels does your company operate?

We have vessels all over the world, but partner with certain companies. We jointly operate the Douro Queen and the new Douro Spirit in Portugal. We also jointly operate the River Victoria in Russia. The vessels in Egypt are under a charter agreement, with the Chinese vessels offering booking space through Victoria Cruises, their premier river cruise company. The rest of our fleet consists of the S.S. Antoinette, River Ambassador, River Baroness, River Beatrice, River Countess, River Duchess, River Empress, River Princess, River Queen, River Royale, River Saigon, River Tosca, and River Victoria.

Describe a typical ‘cruise’ if there is such a thing. What would the shipboard experience be like for a typical employee?

Our typical cruises last anywhere from 7 days to over 2 weeks, and offer passengers the most luxurious accommodation with top class dining. Our employees have to ensure that the passengers have everything they need, so the main thing would be to keep passengers happy above all else, and maintain a high standard of service.

What are some of the common job titles you advertise for?

We require all kinds of personnel from IT professionals, to deckhands, chefs, reservations staff, marketing and sales managers, and much more.

Are some types of jobs more difficult to fill than others? If yes, then why?

The jobs that require more skills or the more senior positions that require a certain level of experience can be tricky to fill at times.

What are some of the selling points you use to get people onboard to work with your company?

We allow you to grow as a professional and in your own personal capacity. We offer great benefits, including travel privileges, and competitive salaries as well. You get to work for an award winning cruise line!

You are a local operator. Do you only hire people from the immediate area or do you occasionally hire people from other areas or even other countries?

We do hire from any country, but a strict requirement is that English must be your first language.

Do you have a ‘season’ or ‘seasons’ where you’re busiest? Describe the seasonality aspect of your business.

We are busy all year round with trips to different parts of the world. We also always have different specials on for the different seasons.

How many seasonal staff do you typically hire, and for which positions?

We probably employ about 5 or more staff each season depending on the area and what vacancies we have after the previous season.

During what times of the year are you recruiting the most?

We recruit all year and our current job openings can be found on our website.

What is the process that a non-citizen must go through in order for you to be able to hire them?

The candidate must have a valid passport and work permit for the country they are working out of.

Describe your perfect candidate. How can someone best make a great first impression with you?

We look for people who are hard working and loyal, who are dedicated and who have a good understanding of the river cruising industry. We want our crew and staff to give a good impression to the passengers, so you must be cool and calm at all times, but at the same time be friendly and attentive.

When we first meet a candidate, we like to see how well you communicate, dress, and how professionally you act. We must see that you are a good fit for the types of passengers we have.

What advice can you offer about CVs? And what are the most common mistakes you see in CVs?

Resumes are often too short, listing very choppy details and hardly mentioning anything about themselves. We don’t want essays obviously, but something more substantial so that we can get a good idea about who you are and what you can offer.

Are there any common traits people should have in order to get hired, and then to succeed in the cruise industry?

People need to have a friendly disposition, be warm and helpful, but also work really hard. You need to have a really positive vibe about you, with the ability to work long hours and handle a lot of physically demanding work as well. Other personality traits that you need include being organized, well rounded, confident, and quick thinking.

What are the typical terms of employment offered?

We offer full time and seasonal work with shift work of about 10-12 hours per day.

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