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How is it to work on a ship in Italy? We found out what the best cruise ships are, how to apply for a job on board and how to refund your tax!

Nowadays there are many jobs that can be done on cruise ships or cargo ships. You could cover different types of job, ranging from bars to sales, restaurants, entertainment, fitness, and many others. Instead workers on cargo ships are employed in the boarding operations, security, travel, storage and others.

Perks and losses if you want to be a sailor working on a ship in Italy

Clearly, who sails the sea is looking for adventures, exotic places to discover and good time to spend with people from all around the world. But these are not the only reasons.

Choosing to take a job on board implies responsibilities and a bit of madness. We really suggest you to think about it twice before you apply. Those who already work on a ship in Italy report the extremely hard work they spend and nevertheless the great dynamic atmosphere they breathe. Be prepared: this could be the best experience you will have in your life!

An important topic is that of money: how much will I earn working on a ship in Italy? People employed on a ship earn from €300 per week up to €3,000 per month and more, depending on the position and not including the tips you will get. Moreover, you do not have to spend money on the ship: your cruise company provides you with food and accommodation. That is to say that almost all of your earnings stick in your pocket.

As you can imagine, a job on a cruise ship is not really a cruise. You will work more than likely seven days a week, or maybe with a half a day free when the ship is in a port, whether in Italy or in another Mediterranean country. In other words, you will be paid to make other’s cruise a perfect holiday and this is what they call “hard work”.

You will travel all over the world, experiencing something new every day, waking up in a different city every day, and the privilege is to get paid to make others travel.

Sometimes it will be difficult to make friends on board. You will not have so much time after all these full working days and, in addition, speaking English as a second language must be exhausting! But hey, you will be in the same conditions as every other colleague! There would still be lots of fellow citizens and you will find your own family under the deck.

How to find a job on a ship in Italy?

In order to find a job on a cruise ship in Italy, a certain cultural preparation would be appreciated. Hotel and restaurant school or even better previous experiences would be your extra kick. English is an absolute must so don’t try to cheat on your CV.

You could find yourself dealing with more than 3k clients/travellers and you will have a mere two weeks of training after the recruitment.

Here we listed the most important cruise company in Italy. The first two of them are hiring personnel for the whole year.
  

MSC is the world's largest privately held cruise company, employing 16,500 people worldwide and having offices in 45 countries as of July 2014. Here you find their job offer page.

Carnival group and Costa Cruises are growing in Italy. They will make new investments both to increase the fleet of ships and to take on new resources on board. They will have, in fact, 10 new vessels by 2024, while from the employment standpoint they are going to create 4500  jobs on cruise ships by 2022.

Other than these, lots of cruise companies sail the Mediterranean Sea, having offices in Italy: Grimaldi, Princess Cruise and Royal Caribbean are the major, but still, you can find others on job offer website like Careerjet or Formazione Turismo (both in Italian).  

It is very simple to candidate for any of the various job positions on a cruise ship and does not require a great computer skills; it is enough to go to one of the official sites, click on the chosen task and then follow all the instructions (usually it is necessary to fill in the data and send the curriculum vitae).

If the interview goes well, within a few weeks you will receive a "letter of employment". The letter will contain instructions on the vessel, date and place of embarkation, your position and other instructions.

You will have to undergo a medical examination to obtain the international certificate of good health. If your ship calls at a US port and you are not a US citizen, you will need to apply for a C1 (for sailors) and D (transit visa) visa as many cruise ships depart from the United States. If you have been hired by an agency, they will get visas for you. In case you are hired by an Italian flag company, you will need to be registered in the local “Gente di Mare” section and you have a seaman’s book. Most of the times, your company provides all of these requirements.

You will sign a contract for about 6 months, which you can possibly extend up to 10 in agreement with the company. A compulsory break will follow (from 6 to 8 weeks). After which if your work has been satisfactory you will be offered a new contract.

How much tax will you pay?

Every month, your employer will deduct from your salary health insurance, superannuation and income tax in order to contribute to the Italian welfare, or to the country where your company’s legal address is.

Unfortunately, most of the time if you are a non-resident (that is you spend less than 183 days in the country), you don’t have to declare your earnings in that State, but only in your home country! Sometimes it could happen you pay double tax and in this case, you are entitled to a refund.

Nevertheless, lots forget about Tax Deductions, that are specific conditions in which you can deduct different sums of money from your taxable earnings. For example, if you bought a house, you can deduct the expenditure in some countries, Italy included. 

In addition, pretty much every country assist married or single persons with an allowance for their children. The child benefits are paid regardless of your earnings and could be quite a lot, depending on various factors.


This is not one of that classical advertising to catch naive people. If you work abroad on a ship in Italy, you are likely to have your money back because your employer didn’t calculate everything right. We are Dendax, a company that provides tax refund in 22 countries and apply for your child benefit in 6 States, including Italy.

Re-calculate your last tax return is easy, fast and moreover FREE. After you receive the results, you choose whether to apply or not for a refund. Try now: 5 minutes of your time could mean money!

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