What Type of Doctor Works on a Cruise Ship?

By Alice Nichols

A cruise ship doctor is a medical professional who works on board a cruise ship, providing medical care to passengers and crew members. These doctors are usually general practitioners or emergency medicine physicians, but they may also specialize in areas such as family medicine, pediatrics, internal medicine or psychiatry. The primary responsibility of the doctor is to provide medical services to passengers and crew members in case of emergency situations or illnesses.

Cruise ship doctors should be board-certified and have experience in emergency medicine and other fields. They should also be knowledgeable about international health standards and regulations for ships travelling across the world. Depending on the size of the ship, a cruise doctor may work alone or with a team of nurses, paramedics or other medical personnel.

Cruise ship doctors must possess good communication skills as they will be interacting with passengers from all over the world who speak different languages. They must also be able to remain calm under pressure and handle crisis situations when necessary. Cruise doctors are required to keep up-to-date with all necessary vaccinations for passengers and crew members, as well as make sure that proper hygiene is maintained at all times on board the vessel.

A cruise ship doctor is responsible for making sure that all medical equipment on board is functioning properly and adequately stocked with medication and supplies. They are required to maintain accurate records of any medical treatments they provide on board the vessel. A cruise doctor may also offer preventive health advice to passengers regarding diet, exercise, vaccinations or other areas of health maintenance while at sea.

In addition to providing care for passengers who become ill during their voyage, cruise doctors may also provide onboard spa services such as massage therapy, acupuncture and reflexology treatments as requested by passengers. Cruise doctors can also serve as consultants for any onboard activities requiring special safety measures such as snorkeling or parasailing excursions that require additional precautions due to their potential risks.

Overall, working as a cruise ship doctor can be an extremely rewarding experience due to its unique combination of both travel opportunities and medical duties combined into one job position. Those interested in such a profession should possess good communication skills along with an understanding of international health regulations in order to provide quality care while at sea.


Working as a cruise ship doctor can be an exciting career opportunity that combines travel opportunities with providing medical services while at sea. These professionals should possess strong communication skills along with knowledge of international health regulations in order to ensure quality care on board vessels travelling across the world.