A 3-week UKSA Superyacht Interior Foundation course helped Lucy Ratcliff get a ticket to a job in the maritime industry. After working at the Palma International Boat show as a day solestewardess/chef and training as a deckhand in Palma, she was ready. She networked her way into a second stewardess role in an 8-strong crew for an adventure on the water. “Although I was inexperienced, the chief stewardess was willing to give me a chance to prove myself as I had completed my training at UKSA”.

Follow Lucy’s story of her transition from UK graduate in International Relations & Spanish turned recruitment consultant in the Middle East, to a superyacht hostess in the Med. “I thought about a career change when I met up with a childhood friend and heard that her friend was about to leave to become a superyacht stewardess in Antibes. She told me about the course and I found that UKSA has good reviews so I booked for the open day and was convinced. I signed up for the March 2018 course and after training I headed off to dock walk.

I have always loved the ocean and outdoor sports. I completed Ironman in South Africa and qualified for Team GB in my age group at the Europeans. My first sailing experience was as a child going on a little fishing boat with my family in Devon. I then went on to sail at Uni and then in the Middle East on an 8m sailing yacht; tiny in comparison to the 40m superyacht I now work on. 

It isn’t all just glamour. Life on a big superyacht is hard work but it’s amazing as I’m in a great team. I like to muck in and help with lines and fenders as I am hoping to become a Deck/Stew for my next step. My routine while guests are on board involves 7 days of early shifts followed by 7 days of late shifts. However, when the guests leave, and the crew remain, it’s back to normal office hours with weekends off. Sometimes I’m on for long hours but it goes by quickly and I get to explore amazing places. My typical day while guests are onboard will include either serving breakfast or the lunch and dinner service, as well as laundry and housekeeping. When guests are off the yacht, the crew all take turns to go on watch.It’s a big challenge working on a superyacht; you have to be resilient and overcome the unexpected but if you do, the rewards are worth it. Bring a ‘can do’ attitude and don’t give up, is my advice”.