|A Ticket to a Career on a Superyacht|
Phuket’s burgeoning superyacht industry now sees many companies providing luxury products and servicesfor these vessels and their wealthy owners andguests. There is one that takes personal service to the elite level: Galileo Maritime Academy.
With a vision of becoming the best maritime training academy in the world, Galileo Maritime Academy is based in Phuket, and has been accredited by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) of the governmentof the United Kingdom as being the only MCA approved superyacht crew academy in the Asia-Pacific. Courses and real life experiences,including training on Galileo’s own vessels, are provided for students to fulfil roles as steward/stewardess, deckhand, bosun, deck officers, cook, crew cook and yacht chef on superyachts in 1, 5, 10, 15, 21-day courses in facilities designed to reflect real life conditions encountered on a superyacht. Students learn the duties and responsibilities relevant to their positions and the importance of working effectively with others. For some, it’s a “zero tohero” route to reach the pinnacle of a rewarding career on a superyacht.
Galileo instructors also teach the STCW 2010, or International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watch-keeping for Seafarers, a mandatory course for anyone working on a marine vessel over 24 meters in length as required by the IMO, the International Maritime Organization. The course covers the modules of fire prevention and firefighting, personal survival, first aid, safety and social responsibility and security awareness for crew aboard superyachts, cruise ships and in oil and gas operations.
Andrew Gallagher, Rotational Captain on the superyacht M/Y April cites that all crew who completed the refresher STCW: “…have been impressed with the level of intensity, professionalism, facilities and knowledge shared by GMA’s staff and our crew found their time well spent. All crew are not only happy to have received their MCA certification, but feel they have taken away an experience which will assist them onboard for years to come, as well as knowing the MCA certified STCW-R qualification is recognised all around the world”.
The most popular courses are the Deckhand and Steward/Stewardess that cover a range of proficiencies from superyacht terminology, etiquette and life on board, practical experience at sea, tender driving, rope work, engine and electrical systems, basic seamanship and navigation, exterior and interior cleaning, care and maintenance of tenders and sea toys, table settings, napkin folding, cutlery handling and elegant table decoration, dining service, wine appreciation, floral arrangements, interior cleaning, cabin makeover, laundry and garment care. Silver service is extensive training yet many further broaden and develop their skills to improve their career opportunities.
Anthony Gould, Director of Galileo Maritime Academy, explains that “a career on superyachts is exciting, it’s adventurous and it’svery rewarding.” Furthermore, “graduates from Galileo are fully qualified, fully certified to work anywhere in the world on a superyacht and recognised as one of the best of the very best. It’s a fast track to a great career.”
Galileo candidates must possess certain characteristics that will enable them to succeed in the industry. Says Galileo instructor and course administrator, Mary Mardsatool, “Individuals must possess strength, determination, willingness to try new things, to dare themselves to be better because they’ll be pushed to be the best they can be, and also to pursue real excellence not just for luxury service,but seven-star service. They must also learn to work with their fellow crew as a team.”
In addition, course applicants are screened for appropriate health, presentation and career background in order that Galileo can recommend graduates to client captains and place them on a superyacht.
Benjamin O’Leary who completed his STCW 2010 and then the Deckhand (DKH) Course in November 2015 says of his training at Galileo, “Galileo Maritime Academy has taught me the essentials in working onboard a yacht and how to conduct myself appropriately. The knowledge that has been passed on to me will guide me for the rest of my life in the industry that I will pursue to a lifelong career.”
Within days of graduating Galileohelped Ben secure a job as a deckhand aboard M/V Latitude, a Vripack-designed motor yacht of 52 meters in length of impressive exterior styling and luxurious interior that accommodates 12 guests. Privately owned and used for exploration and fun, M/V Latitude boasts state-of-the art technology, leisure and entertainment facilities along with a Jacuzzi, gym and “sea toys” – ideal for luxury world travel.
Since January 2016, Ben’s journey has taken him to the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Denmark, Estonia, Russia, Finland, Sweden and Norway. M/V Latitude has been cruising the Arctic Circle once again, having completed two historic voyages through the Northwest Passage in the summers of 2014 and 2015.“
This year looks to be a truly amazing adventure, all thanks to Galileo Maritime Academy and their Deckhand & STCW training,” declares Ben.
For other Galileo graduates, working on superyachts has taken them on cruises around the Andaman Sea, Bali and Indonesia, from Phuket to the Mediterranean, to the Caribbean, the Seychelles and the Pacific Islands. Exciting adventures with amazing tales to recount!
Contact info: Anthony H. Gould Director of Academy (