Home Travel Oliver Mills-Nanyn: Travelling the World as a Yacht Crew Member        

Oliver Mills-Nanyn: Travelling the World as a Yacht Crew Member        


Oliver Mills-Nanyn is an experienced deckhand who has been fortunate enough to visit numerous far-flung destinations with his work, including Mahé Island and Eden Island in the Seychelles. This article will look at what it is like travelling the world as part of a yacht crew, sharing unforgettable experiences together.

Having spent three years at sea aboard the superyacht Archimedes, Callum Casson cites the trip as one of his favourites to date. Traversing the Northwest Passage, the vessel braved the icy waters surrounding Canada and Greenland, presenting the opportunity to observe multiple pods of beluga whales, narwhals, polar bears and everything in between. Recounting the adventure, Mr Casson recalled seeing pretty much everything they could have wished for, accompanied by a dream team of experts from National Geographic and EYOS Expeditions who provided unrivalled insights into every encounter.

For someone in their mid-twenties, Callum Casson has racked up an impressive travel diary through his exploits as part of a superyacht crew. He cites the highlights of the job as meeting new people, being well-travelled and having friends all over the world. Mr Casson’s favourite destinations include Tahiti, Cuba, Cocos Island, Norway and French Polynesia, although he admits that the Northwest Passage journey on the Archimedes made a lasting impression.

Onboard for two months in total, the trip enabled crew members to tick the Arctic off their bucket list. Mr Casson recalls that one of the more memorable parts of the trip was taking the polar plunge and jumping into the bitter waters off Greenland. It was just getting dark, with a glacier in view. Mr Casson said that although it took a while for the brain to realise what happened, once they were in it was fine. In fact, Mr Casson and some of his crewmates decided to take the plunge twice.

As Callum Casson points out, it is once-in-a-lifetime experiences like this that bring crewmates together. Indeed, the Archimedes’ low turnover speaks volumes about quality of life on board the vessel. Casson credited the interior manager and captain with good instincts in the hiring process but also highlighted the special ambience onboard, with crew members encouraged to join in activities with both guests and the superyacht owners, whether snorkelling in the Bahamas or hiking in Polynesia.

Julie Perry is the author of The Insiders’ Guide to Becoming a Yacht Stewardess. Her first hire was via a crew agency in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, from where she was flown down to her boat in San Juan, Puerto Rico, with all of her flight costs covered. From there, the itinerary included Caribbean destinations such as Antiqua, St. Barts, the US Virgin Islands and St. Martin.

Recounting her trip, Perry was surprised when the captain suddenly announced that they would also be heading to Nevis, Anguilla, Tortola and Anegada. She was more surprised still when the vessel headed back to Miami to prepare for an upcoming trip across the Atlantic.

Prior to their transatlantic journey, Perry and her fellow crew members spent a month at the Miami Yacht Club, preparing the boat for their voyage and gathering provisions for the upcoming season. Following a first pit stop in Bermuda, they would be stopping in the Portuguese Azores, a destination which she had not heard of at the time but later learned is located far off the coast of Portugal and serves as an important stopping point for yachts crossing the Atlantic Ocean.

The yacht was then to journey on to Gibraltar before arriving at the seaside town of Viareggio in Italy, which was its final destination. Other stopping points en route would include Simi, Lindos, Fethiye, Gocek, Limassol, Kastellorizon, Hydra, Spetses and Kefalonia, all beautiful ports in Greece and Turkey. Perry had not realised any of these places existed, let alone planned to visit them. Discovering each in turn, she found they were ‘slices of paradise’, with glamorous beaches, white villas and azure waters she described as ‘dreamscapes’.

While the well-trodden Caribbean-in-winter-and-Mediterranean-in-summer circuit is nothing to be sniffed at, crew members with a thirst for adventure and visiting untouched destinations could potentially hit the jackpot with the right yacht owner. From exploring the remote, white wilderness of Antarctica to the balmy trade-winds and lagoon-like waters of the Pacific, for yacht crew, these dream destinations become infinitely easier to reach.

Many crew members are enticed to the job by the allure of travel, presenting the opportunity to not only visit some of the world’s most iconic locations but get paid for it too. Crew members also benefit from having all of their expenses, including everything from health insurance to toothpaste, paid for by the yacht owner. For savvy sailors, earnings can quickly accumulate, particularly when supplemented by generous charter tips from wealthy yacht owners and guests.

Claire James