Palma v Antibes
The start of the Med season is soon upon us and many of you newbies should be giving serious thought to heading to a yachting hub. Many of you have already started asking the question: Palma or Antibes? I admit, when it comes to a job searching for those new to the industry, I heavily lean towards Antibes, and here are my reasons why:
- More access to ports/vessels. Palma is a beautiful place to be and you should see it someday, but as an island, you are highly limited to the amount of places you can dockwalk and therefore, access to the most vessels limited. Antibes’ location and ease of transportation allow you to be as pro-active and diligent as you want to be in your dockwalk search. From Genoa, Italy to even Marseille, France, one has the entire coast of the Western Mediterranean and a plethora of docks and shipyards along the way in which to seek potential daywork or proper job opportunities.
- More access to crew agencies. All the crew placement agencies are in the South of France, while only a portion of them have satellite offices in Palma. Having more agencies in the immediate vicinity offers you the convenience to make a personal connection and impression with an agent at every agency which will give you more exposure to the job market.
- More immediate opportunities for interviews. Many of the vessels, when seeking junior crew at the height of hiring season will often ask agencies for candidates who are as close to the vessel as possible; thereby saving hiring costs by not having to fly candidates in and having the efficiency to interview crew same day at the vessel for possible immediate hire. Vessels in Palma, knowing that the candidate pool is smaller in the immediate area, often will arrange to bring a candidate from Antibes to the vessel, but the reverse is not necessarily true. Because the candidate pool in Antibes is larger, vessels with fairly immediate access to candidates in the South of France, will simply choose from those candidates, opting rather not to bring candidates in from other areas for which travel plans are more extensive than a train ride.
This is not to say that if you went to Palma, you wouldn’t get a job – many do. There are great opportunities in Palma, I only suggest that as a starting point for someone new to the industry, you are limiting yourself to your potential exposure to the wider job market.
I do recommend Palma to those crew who are (1) significantly more interested in sail over motor yachts; (2) crew who have a very strong year or two in the industry (By strong, I mean a CV that – at the minimum – reflects one year on a reputable vessel from which you have a positive written reference and a verbal contact to back it up); and (3) crew with very specialised skills to offer for which a vessel will need to perhaps cast a wider net to find their perfect candidate; such candidates include but are not limited to: dive instructors, high level masseuse/beauticians, certified carpenters/shipwrights, chefs with previous Michelin work experience.
No matter where you end up deciding to stay – enjoy it but do your research prior to your arrival: make sure you have your visas in order, solid accommodations reserved, enough finances to last at least up to six to eight weeks (yes, that long!) and most importantly, make sure you’re ready to put your best self forward!
Article written by The Superyacht CV Company