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Sailing Jobs in Australia

Learn to be a professional sailor

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Group Size: Max 12 

Trip code: AULE

Duration: 23 days or longer

Learn to sail Down Under
Get qualified and find work abroad
Explore the beautiful Whitsundays!

Want to find a sailing job in Australia? Spend 2 weeks learning all the basics of sailing, before climbing aboard one of our Maxi yachts as a uniformed crew member, taking the voyage of a lifetime! This course is ideal for anyone with an interest in Marine tourism and sailing work, as it includes the potential for further sailing job opportunities. Further employment is not guaranteed, so if you just have an interest in learning crewmanship, this trip is equally suitable. By the end of the course you’ll have completed an NSCV (National Standards for Commercial Vessels) Commercial Crew Course and be suitably qualified to put your new sailing skills to work around the globe. So climb aboard and gain amazing new sailing skills, setting yourself up to apply for a sailing job in Australia! 

Trip highlights

  • Spend 2 weeks learning all the basics of sailing and yachting as you breeze through the wonder of the Whitsunday Islands and get set for a sailing job in Australia! 
  • Gain NSCV (National Standards for Commercial Vessels) Commercial Crew Course training, and have your Commercial Seatime Qualifications logged from the very first day of your course!
  • After gaining your qualifications, you can become a working member of the crew, helping aboard some of our six Maxi yacht tours
  • Get to know your boom from your bowsprit and learn all the introductory basics of running a yacht (or at least remember which are the port and starboard sides!)
  • Keep your binoculars to hand and spot some incredible natural sights, from seeing humpback whales and exploring coral reefs as you sail through the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef Marine Park
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What's included
  • An introductory sailing course (6 days / 5 nights)
  • Great Barrier Reef Marine Park entry fees
  • All accommodation 
  • Comprehensive course notes
  • NSCV Commercial Crew Course training, with your Commercial Seatime Qualifications logged from the first day of your course
  • Commercial Seatime Logbook, signed off by Vessel Masters and endorsed in Airlie Beach by the Maritime Authority
  • The ship's captain on all vessels
  • Your meals (whilst at sea). Details of these are listed in the itinerary
  • Two crew uniforms to be worn aboard the Maxi Boats
  • Snorkelling equipment and instruction during your first week
  • All linen
  • Wet suit hire
  • 24 emergency support
What's not included
  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Airport transfers
  • Alcohol (You can bring your own, but only aboard the Spirit during your training)
  • All meals and drinks whilst ashore

When joining this trip you will need to bring 2 passport photos with you to use in your Commercial Seatime Logbook. 

Further trip information

Week 1-2: Training 

Your training trip begins at 9am, and you will need to make sure you have checked in the night before ready to begin your on-board training adventure. Your 6-day, 5-night training takes place on a training boat around the wonderful Whitsunday Islands. You will learn all the skills you need to begin your road to a sailing job abroad.

Week 2 sees you completing your training over a further 6 days of hands-on experience. You'll then return to Airlie Beach for a night before embarking on three 2-day 2-night sailing tours as a member of the crew.

Week 3: Sailing Tours

Based in our Airlie Beach hostel accommodation, you will work as part of a crew on board one of the exciting Maxi boats touring around the Whitsunday Islands. Working on a roster basis aboard a Maxi adventure boat, you’ll work alongside professional crews to put your new found marine skills into practice.

Maxi boat tours last for  two nights at a time at sea, so in-between each voyage your ‘shore leave’ will be spent back at the hostel in Airlie Beach. Whilst you’re ashore your time is your own, though it may only last for a single evening, as (depending upon trip schedules) boats tend to return at 4.30pm, setting sail again the next day around 9.30am.

All boats depart and return to Airlie Beach, which is the mainland gateway to the World Heritage Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and the Whitsunday Islands. Different Maxi boat tours depart at different times and on a range of different days throughout the week, so you’ll be advised on your sailing times once you’re positioned within the crew.

When joining this trip you will need to bring 2 passport photos with you to use in your Commercial Seatime Logbook.

If you choose to apply for a sailing job after the programme ends, your itinerary will vary depending on your individual sailing and work schedule.

Please note: Although the average total duration of this sailing course is 23 days, this may vary depending on weather and other factors so you should book your flights with this in mind.

Booking options

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Please note that all start dates are departure days for the sailing trip, but you will need to check in to the marina by 7pm the day before you set sail.

Online booking is unavailable for this trip

If you'd like to discuss availability or would like us to help you find a similar trip please contact us...
Call us on: +44 1892 527392
Email us at: [email protected]
Arrival information

Your training trip begins on a Monday at 9am from Airlie Beach. Please make sure you have checked in at the Airlie Beach office by 7pm on the previous evening (Sunday). Once on board your training boat, you’ll have some incredible World Heritage listed marine vistas and an abundance of golden sunshine to enjoy while you’re learning and sailing the high seas!

If you choose to fly, you'll need to arrange your flights into Whitsunday Coast Airport (PPP) at Proserpine, then take a local shuttle transfer to Airlie Beach. Alternatively, you can arrive into Hamilton Island Airport (HTI) and take a ferry transfer to Airlie Beach. Both airports are served by Virgin Blue or Jetstar from Brisbane.

If you wish to arrive by road into Airlie Beach, Express Coach Services operate from Brisbane or Cairns to Airlie Beach.

If you wish to travel by train across Australia, Queensland Rail Trains operate services from Brisbane or Cairns to Proserpine.

During your stay you’ll be located in three main areas – aboard your training yacht, at one of our three backpacker hostels in Airlie Beach, and aboard some of our six Maxi yachts while you work as a crew member. At the end of your stay you’ll be returned to Airlie Beach, where it’s up to you to decide where to go next!

Accommodation & meals

On your sailing school adventures you’ll be located in a number of different places and living aboard a variety of different boats, from the training vessel you learn on, to our Airlie beach hostel accommodation and the Maxi boats you’ll be working on.


During your time on your training vessel, your accommodation will be in open plan/dorm style bunks with your fellow sailing students.

While working aboard the Maxi yachts, you’ll also be sleeping on board. Designed for adventure and fun across the high seas, our Maxi boats are large, at over 22 meters in length, and are mostly ex-racing yachts. Usually there will be between 22-and 29 guests and three crew member aboard each, and as Maxi tours are designed for people to party on, you’ll have plenty of time to talk and get to know the guests on board while you work. Accommodation here is again either open bunk or shared cabin style, depending upon the boat. You’ll spend twelve nights in total working aboard one of the Maxi yachts.

During your shore leave you spend a total of six nights in one of our three hostels in Airlie Beach. Situated in a range of gorgeous places from the beach to tropical gardens, you’ll enjoy a modern, clean and relaxing stay in all, and can enjoy a range of volleyball, pool, spa, bar, and restaurant and kitchen facilities when you’re not catching up on sleep in your dorm. All hostels are centrally located within easy reach of Airlie beach lagoon, and all offer parking facilities.


All meals during the times you are at sea are included. Meals during your ‘shore leave’ at the hostels are not included however, so you’ll need to factor some money for this into your budget. Restaurant and kitchen facilities are available at the hostels.

Meals aboard will be whipped up by our friendly crew (this may even be one of your jobs on the Maxi tours!) and you’ll find a storm of freshly prepared meals making sure you’re well fed and won’t catch scurvy!

With breakfasts, mid-morning and afternoon teas, lunches, pre-dinner snacks and evening meals, included at sea there’s enough food available to sink a battleship! Your daily menu while aboard may look a little like this -

  • Continental breakfast
  • Morning tea of fruit cake and tea or coffee
  • Lunch of quiches, breads, pasta and green tossed salads, plus tropical fruits
  • Pre-dinner snack of nachos, cheese, dips and crackers
  • Dinner of tasty barbequed chicken breast, served with rice, satay, salad and breads
  • Dessert of fruit and custard

Please let us know if you have any special dietary requirements. If you want to bring a little sailor’s tipple with you for relaxing evenings on the waves, we allow you to bring and store your own alcohol in our onboard fridges. Bear in mind though that you’ll be up early for more ocean education, so a morning of booze-induced seasickness is the last thing you’ll want!

Please note that the consumption of alcohol will only be permitted during your training and back at your hostel accommodation. Once you are a working, uniformed crew member onboard a Maxi Boat tour, alcohol is forbidden and as you will be seen as a representative of the boat company, we expect you to set and maintain a professional example.

Minimum age & eligibility

We have a minimum age requirement of 18 for you to join our hardy crew!

Don’t worry if you’re an ancient mariner, as we welcome all old sea dogs on this trip as long you’re fit and healthy!

If you’re planning on working in Australia (for example if you chose to join our crew at the end of your trip) whilst you’re out here you’ll also need a Working Holiday Visa before you arrive into Australia. This visa is only applicable for those aged between 18 – 30 years. If you are just heading to Australia for fun however, an ETA visa will suffice. Both visas can be applied for online.

This trip is aimed for, and suited to those with a specific interest in, seeking a potential career in marine tourism. Saying this, by no means do you have to work or even continue sailing once you’ve completed your stay, so please don’t feel pressured to drastically change your life because of us! As you’ll have certified sailing credentials by the end of your trip, you’ll always have the option to take to the open waves again in the future! At the end of each trip you may also have the opportunity to join our crew as an employee as we arrange a meeting/ interview for all our participants with our sailing HR manager at the end of each trip. Based on your performance with us and the availability of vacancies, we may offer you an employed position among our crew. Please bear in mind that this is by no means guaranteed, nor do you have to accept any employment offer we may extend. As references from your fellow crewmates will be used to assist our evaluation in this interview, it may pay to be a hard and friendly worker during your travels with us if you wish to secure a more permanent job!

Visa rules and regulations are subject to change. Please check the relevant embassy websites for up to date information.

Covid safety

This trip is designed with your safety and wellbeing in mind. As a result of Covid-19, many of our suppliers and partners around the world are introducing new policies and procedures surrounding health and safety in response to the Coronavirus outbreak. As the state of travel is evolving these new safety measures will adapt over time, and will be different for each trip. Here are some of the changes you may see on your trip:

Arrival safety meetings
Most trips have an arrival meeting on the first day where the guide or local team will run through the trip, the safety protocols, and to answer any questions you may have. Now more than ever it is important you arrive in time for these meetings.

Proof of vaccination or negative covid test
For the safety of all travellers, at the start of some trips you may be required to show evidence that you are fully vaccinated (14 days after your second dose) and/or show evidence of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of the tour start date in order to join the programme.

Updated hygiene and safety procedures
Our suppliers and partners have health and safety procedures in place on all of our trips. These protocols will be updated and adapted as a response to the Coronavirus outbreak, dependent on local restrictions and laws.

Transport and accommodation choices
Our suppliers and partners choose the accommodation and transport on our trips very carefully, and you may see a change to what would normally be used as a response to the outbreak. This may involve such changes as enhanced use of private transport or quieter accommodation.

Trained and knowledgeable staff
Our staff in the UK are trained to help you with your trip before you depart and answer any questions you may have. In addition, the local team and guides on our trips are there to help with any health and safety concerns and to ensure our trips run safely and smoothly.

Reduced group sizes
Some trips will run with reduced group sizes to start with. You may find that trips are more intimate and chilled, whilst still being packed with fun and adventure.

Your guide or the local team will be on hand to help you seek medical attention should you require it during your trip. As medical facilities and standards can vary around the world, you should ensure you have adequate travel insurance in place before you depart to cover you for any medical emergencies.

24/7 emergency support
We operate an emergency phone line for our travellers abroad. This is operated by a UK based member of staff 24/7 if you have a genuine emergency or urgent matter that you need attending.

It is important that you take measures to make travelling safer for yourself and others around you. Ensure you frequently wash your hands, cover your face when you sneeze and cough, bring and use your own hand sanitiser and facial coverings/masks, and enable social distancing where necessary. You should also ensure you listen to the instructions and guidance of the local team at all times, and follow all local laws and restrictions.