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Dušan, 34 years, Viking – Sous chef

Why did you first apply for a job on a ship?

I come from a small town where opportunities for any progress were limited, and I wanted to travel and earn money. That is why I applied to work on the ship, on which I have been working for 8 years.

What was the most difficult thing for you when you started working on a ship?

Since my first ship was an ocean liner, the departure itself was very difficult for me. Back in 2015, I got my first contract. It was the first time I was actually leaving the country and the first time I got on a plane. The embarkation took place in Australia which made it even harder and more complicated 😀 It really seems scarier than it is, especially when you’re young and inexperienced.

What are the advantages of working on a riverboat?

The salary on a river ship is more than good. In addition, river ships have many advantages – easier visa process, cheaper and less complicated medical examination, and most importantly, boarding the ship itself is really easy considering that the embarkation place is in Europe so it is not far. Almost every day the ship docks at a port, which compared to the ocean is really a big advantage (who has sailed across the Indian Ocean, knows what I’m talking about). Also, taking a rest is possible on a river boat, which does not exist on oceans.

What challenges did you face on a daily basis?

A multinational environment is really a challenge, given that due to cultural differences it is sometimes difficult to find a common language. Sometimes I had to work in the kitchen during the night because the next day we were loading groceries, which resulted in a lack of sleep and exhaustion. All in all, life is generally difficult. That’s why it’s interesting. 🙂 However, for me personally, all that is not important because I enjoy the job, and working on a ship is something special and different from everything else.

What advice would you give to first-timers?

Going on a ship is like training. If you set bad goals, you will very quickly lose motivation and give up. Life on a ship is tough, but rewarding and beneficial in many ways. It gives you the opportunity to see what you have never been able to and to visit the most beautiful places in the world. You will meet really good people from different parts of the world who will eventually become your friends. And what is most important, it brings you enough money to provide a decent life for yourself and your family.