Whether you are a Yacht crew member, sailor or yacht owner, the Mediterranean Yachting Season is an alluring destination.
Idyllic coastlines flanked with picture-perfect beaches, delicious food, wine, and a host of cultural experiences make the Mediterranean a hotspot for the Yachting elite.
Unlike in the Caribbean and USA, yachting in the Mediterranean has a very specific time frame in which it operates, May to October. In order to increase your chances of finding a job, it is important to know where to be and when.
Here we will explore everything you need to know about the Mediterranean Yacht Season. From crew agents, marinas, accommodation, timing, transport, and key events to look out for.
When is the Mediterranean Yachting Season?
The Mediterranean Yachting Season runs from May to October. This is known as the Summer season (in the Northern Hemisphere), and these are the best months for cruising around the Mediterranean.
The Best Locations for you to Join the Mediterranean Yachting Season
There are a few locations where you can choose to position yourself if you are trying to find a job on a yacht.
Antibes (France) – The Best Location for Green Crew Entering the Yachting Industry
Antibes is one of the main yachting hubs in the Mediterranean.
Here you will find an abundance of crew housing options and an amazing network of crew agents located in the famous Port Vauban.
You also have access to the train which will take you down to Cannes or up as far as Genoa. So if any job opportunities or interviews come up, you can be there easily within hours. This is one of the main attractions of Antibes for job seekers.
It is a great idea to head out to some of the smaller marinas in Antibes as well as along the French Riviera while seeking work. Some of these marinas don’t have as strict security as you will find in Antibes.
Marinas in the French Riviera to Visit while Seeking Work for the Mediterranean Yachting Season
- Port Vauban: the main marina right off the Old Town of Antibes
- Antibes Marina
- Port Gallice (Juan-Les-Pins): walking distance from the Old Town
- Port Pierre Canto: home to the Cannes Film Festival
- Port de Cannes Marina (Cannes)
- Port Hercule (Monaco): one of the most famous marinas in the world
- Fontveille Marina (Monaco)
- Port de Cap d’Ail (Cap d’Ail): Located between Monaco and Nice, this is a popular Super Yacht location
- Marina La Ciotat (Port Vieux)
- Port de Beaulieu-sur-Mer (Beaulieu-sur-Mer)
- Nice port
Antibes itself is in fact a small town, however the Yachts pack up in the marinas at the start of the season so there will be a lot of other crew seeking work.
If you choose to head to Antibes before the season starts, you will need to book your accommodation far in advance!
If you are new to dock walking and feeling uncertain, check out my post on Dock Walking – 9 Tips to Increase Your Chances of Getting a Job.
Antibes Crew Houses
Crew houses are a fantastic way for Crew to network with other Crew members, as well as a cheaper option for accommodation while seeking work.
A few of your best Antibes Crew houses are:
- The Crew Grapevine
- Debbie’s Crew House
- The Crew House
- The Glamorgan
- Amma’s Crew House
For more detailed information on each of these crew houses with rates and booking information, check out my post on the 7 Best Antibes Crew Houses: Where to stay for first-timers.
Antibes Crew Agents
One of your best entries into the Mediterranean Yachting Season is through Yacht Crew Agents. These recruitment agencies are dedicated to placing crew on Yachts.
Once you have gone through the process of signing up online, it is a great idea to arrange an interview so they can meet you face-to-face.
A few of my favorite Yacht Crew Agencies in Antibes are:
- YPI Crew
- Luxury Yacht Group
- Hill Robinson Crew
- The Crew Network
- Northrop and Johnson
- Blue Water Crew
Getting around Antibes
If you are located in Old Town Antibes, you can easily walk around the port. However, you may want to get yourself a bike or e-scooter to save your energy while walking between all the marinas.
Uber is an easy way to get around however it is not cheap if you are on a budget.
If you are looking to travel around the French Riviera, the train is a fantastic and easy option.
The Gare d’Antibes Train station is only a 15-minute walk from the old town. The most common train service on this route is operated by TER (Transport Express Régional) and connects Antibes to Monaco. The journey involves one transfer at Nice so be sure to check your destination.
Prices vary but you can expect to spend €6-€20 for a ticket depending on your destination.
Gare d’Antibes can be found at: 11 Avenue Robert Soleau, 06600 Antibes, France
Events to look out for near Antibes
If a Yacht is involved in a big event, the crew will always need extra assistance. So be sure to head over to these Marinas before these events and hand out your CV!
- Cannes Film Festival: End of May
- Monaco Grand Prix: End of May
- Cannes Yacht Festival: Early September
- Monaco Yacht Show: End of September
Palma de Mallorca (Spain) – Home to the Start of the Mediterranean Yachting Season
Palma is a Spanish island in the Balearics and a very popular destination for Yachts and crew alike. In fact, it is so popular that many yacht crew choose to call it home when they leave the yachting industry.
Palma is known to have a wide range of Yachts including both motor and sailing vessels.
Marinas in Palma de Mallorca
The best locations for dock walking in Palma are the various marinas in the Bay of Palma, Puerto Portals and Port Adriano.
Marinas in the bay of Palma to name a few include:
- Club de Mar
- Marina Moll Vell – Home to the International Yacht show
- La Lonja Marina Charter
- Marina Port de Mallorca
- Puerto Palma
I must point out however that it is not easy to dock walk in Palma. The marinas are gated and security is tight. If you walk over with confidence and look the part, you may just get in.
Ideally, you want to know a Yacht or crew member in the marina. Network, network, network!
Crew Houses in Palma
If you are going to seek work in Palma, then your ideal locations to stay are Santa Catalina, La Lonja, or the Old town.
As with any popular Yachting destination, you will need to book your accommodation well in advance.
Some popular crew housing options in Palma are:
- Crew Guest House Palma
- The Boathouse Palma
- Caimari Crew Accommodation
- Hostal Apuntadores (A hostel option if the crew houses are booked)
- Monzly Rentals (A great option for short to medium-term rentals)
Palma Crew Agents
Given that dock walking in Palma can be a little tricky, you want to emphasise getting signed up to the crew agencies. Take your time and try to get a face-to-face interview if possible.
Some of you may have already signed up with these agencies. Remember to log in regularly, and change your location if you moved since your last login!
- Luxury Yacht Group
- Sovren Crew
- Blue Water Crew
- Van Allen Crew Agency
- Global Crew Services
- Hill Robinson
- A-Z Yachting
- El Crew Co
Getting Around Palma de Mallorca
Getting around Palma couldn’t be easier. The good old Bus. It is easy, cheap, and efficient.
You will want to use the EMT bus as there are an abundance of bus stops and they travel all through the city.
The fare for the EMT bus is €2, and they take CASH ONLY.
Please note that in the summer months, these buses get very busy, and sometimes they will pass bus stops if they are too full. If you have an interview or job lined up, be sure to head out early to allow for delays.
Palmas Big Events during the Mediterranean Yachting Season
The Palma International Boat Show is known to inaugurate the Mediterranean Yachting Season. This 4-day event hosts spectacular yachts both for sale and for charter.
The Yacht show usually happens at the end of April and marks the start of the Mediterranean Season.
You can expect to see over 250 boats on display during the show so the month leading up to this time would be an excellent opportunity for day work.
Timing for the Mediterranean
If you are looking for work in the Mediterranean, you can head over as early as February/March! There will be 2 categories of vessels to look out for:
The Yachts that Spent the Winter Season in the Yard
When the Winter season hits in the Mediterranean, it becomes bitterly cold and rainy. Some owners choose to leave their vessels in the Yard during the winter months.
Most yacht crew choose to leave these programs in the winter and these boats will run on skeleton crew.
Therefore, in February/March, these boats will start hiring crew again in order to start getting the boat operating and ready for the upcoming season.
Yachts that Head Over from the Caribbean
These vessels went to the Caribbean for the Winter and now they are crossing the Atlantic and making their way back to the Mediterranean to start a new season.
As these vessels arrive in March/April, they will need a lot of extra help getting cleaned and organized after the big ocean crossing they just did.
These vessels may also see crew changes as they head into a new season.
My advice here is to get onto Marine Traffic. Depending on where you have located yourself, you will be able to see as vessels are entering the harbor. You should make a point of being available to offer help as they arrive.
If you are interested in finding out more about the Caribbean, check out my post on The Caribbean Yachting Season: Ultimate Guide.
Visas and Passports Required for the Mediterranean Yachting Season
If you are not a European citizen, it is important to understand how you can get into Europe and how much time you can stay there. Your visa requirements will depend on your personal home country and passport.
For more detailed information on your personal requirements, go to the Schengen Visa Website.
A Schengen visa is a short-stay visa that allows a person to travel to any member of the Schengen Area, per stay for up to 90 days for tourism or business purposes (Usually 90 days within 180 days).
Schengen refers to the EU passport-free zone that covers most of the European countries.
Currently, there are three types of Schengen visas that apply to non-EU seafarers:
- Transit (Type B) Schengen visa
- Short-stay (Type C) Schengen visa
- Long-stay (Type D) Schengen visa
Seafarers are likely to be issued with the Short-stay visa. This allows you 90 days within the Schengen area, at which point you would need to leave for 90 days.
Additionally, you also need to try to get yourself a multi-entry visa. This allows you to travel between the different European countries.
DO NOT OVERSTAY YOUR VISA! Keep a close eye on your days. If you overstay, you could be banned from coming back for 3 years or more.
My Favourite Hangouts during the Mediterranean Yachting Season
Over the course of my 10 years in the industry, there are a few spots in the Mediterranean that have really stood out for me. The options are endless but below is a list of a few of my favorite places to check out:
- Drive the winding roads of Sa Colabra
- Take a dip at Illetes Beach
- Take the old train to Soller
- Eat delicious local tapas at Ca n Toni in the Old Town
This hilltop village offers breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea and boasts beautiful gardens like the Jardin Exotique d’Eze.
This town on the coast is truly charming, with a beautiful harbor and an Old Town rich in history.
The Amalfi Coast
Rent a Scooter and drive along the coastline anywhere from Naples through Positano and into Amalfi. Stroll through the bougainvillea-lined streets and have lunch down near the port.