What Is the Average Salary on a Cruise Ship?

By Alice Nichols

Cruise ships are a popular form of vacation for many people. Cruise ships offer an opportunity to experience a variety of different locations and activities in one trip.

As a result, the demand for people to work on cruise ships has increased significantly in recent years. While the range of salaries on cruise ships can vary greatly, depending on the job title, there is an average salary that workers can expect to earn.

Cruise ship workers come from a variety of different backgrounds and have different levels of experience and qualifications. However, the average salary across all positions is approximately $40,000 per year.

This figure includes tips, which can be quite generous depending on the cruise line and the customer base. Salaries also depend on the type of vessel being worked on, with those working on luxury liners typically earning more than those working on more budget-oriented vessels.

The highest paying jobs onboard cruise ships are typically those that require specialized skills or qualifications such as doctors, nurses, engineers and other technical staff. Chief officers such as captains typically earn well above the average salary at approximately $70,000 per year. Other higher paying positions include chefs, pastry chefs and maitre d’s who can expect to earn between $45-60K annually.

At the other end of the pay scale are entry level positions such as housekeeping staff or food service workers who may only earn around $20-25K annually. This amount is usually supplemented by tips from guests which can increase total earnings significantly.


Overall, what is the average salary on a cruise ship? The average salary across all positions is approximately $40K per year, though this can vary greatly depending on job title and vessel type. Those with specialized skills or qualifications often earn well above this figure while entry level staff may only receive around $20-25K annually plus tips.