The Best Way To Travel The World And Get Paid

We all love travelling the world and seeing the amazing sights, tasting the delicious food and of course meeting its incredible people. So why pay to travel when you can travel the world and get paid. Here’s how it’s done.

Tendering Today Into The Beautiful Port of Marseille.
Tendering Today Into The Beautiful Port of Marseille ©MDHarding

The Best Way To Travel The World And Get Paid

One of the biggest employers is cruise companies with ships getting larger every year, the latest ship holding more than 6,000 people. There is a job for everyone, from working in the bars, restaurant or in the hair salon. What will you choose to do?

I started my seafaring career as a cruise ship photographer, meeting and working with people from around 600 worldwide countries. It was an amazing introduction to ship life. Although I must say it wasn’t easy, working unsociable hours and catching up on sleep whenever I got the opportunity. I loved the incredible, hardworking, friendly new family I had joined. Showing me the ropes and enjoying relaxing days off in some of the world’s most beautiful ports.

Travel The World And Get Paid, Day Off Exploring Gibraltar,barbary macaque,monkey
Day Off Exploring Gibraltar with a Barbary Macaque ©MDHarding

How To Become A Cruise Ship Photographer

Positions for cruise ship photographers can be found in the classified section of various photographic magazines and also online. Successful in the first stage, you will be invited to a group interview. These take place around the world by agents, that work on behalf of Image Photography based in Miami, Florida. If in the UK, most likely it will take place in London. Congratulations! You’re hired. Time to take a medical exam, apply for travel visa’s, schedule and pay for your flights, the uniform and camera (required on the first contract). Which ship will you be scheduled on for 6 – 8 months?

Travel The World And Get Paid, Cruise Ship Photographer Evening Duties Call
Cruise Ship Photographer Evening Duties Call ©MDHarding

What To Expect On-Board

Joining your first ship is like Christmas waiting to open that first present! Overwhelming, exciting, stomach churning and more. You’re gripped and biting at the bit in anticipation, wondering what to expect. It is life changing. You have possibly travelled a long distance and been unable to sleep, jet lagged and excited/nervous with no time to waste. You walk the lengthy gangway, looking up at the almighty ship. It’s an incredible feeling that something so large can float!

Once onboard it’s all hand’s on deck, not long till dinner when you will be capturing the memories of the cruisers first night in the glamorous dining room. Each day and night’s schedule varies with port arrival times, gangway or tendering to land, and the evenings in either the photo gallery, photographing in the dining room or by one of the backdrops including that of the famous Titanic stair entrance.

First Night At Dinner, Pirates On-board Arrgh
First Night At Dinner, Pirates On-board Arrgh ©MDHarding

Best Fleeting Moments

It is hard work although I get to travel the world and get paid.  When I look back on fond memories and appreciate the life-changing experience, from the back deck crew parties to the friendships that never end.

Ship Mates Working At Pompeii, Travel The World And Get Paid
Ship Mates Working At Pompeii ©MDHarding

I hope you have enjoyed reading.  Ship ahoy matey? Get in touch below with any comments/questions. If working on-board is not for you, enjoy cruising to one of the world’s beautiful destinations. Bon Voyage:) x

About MichelleDeansHarding


 Michelle has a love of travel and photography, which has currently taken her to six continents. Experiencing other cultures/history and food both independently and while working on-board luxury cruise ships. Discover more about Michelle, her enthusiasm for travel and photography via:

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  1. Insider Guide To Ship Life Around The World | Go 4 Travel Blog

    […] of the beautiful ports of call. Depending on when you start and how your contract falls you may be working onboard during the holidays. I missed celebrating Christmas and New Year at home for a few years but I did enjoy them onboard! […]


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