Hostel Boat Crew, Manchester, UK (live-aboard management position)

Do you love people? Do you have a passion for travel? How would you like to experience life on the UK’s canals?

Wandering Duck is a unique hosted canal boat experience. Our main focus is running 2 & 3 night canal boat tours for individuals and small groups. Our tours are hands-on and adventurous, encouraging guests to get involved in steering our 69ft narrowboat, operating manual locks and bridges and immersing themselves in an unusual and very relaxing slow-paced way of life. We also offer day trips which can be tailored for families, hen do’s and team-building days.

Ruth and Mark came up with the idea of offering multi-day canal boat experiences after travelling all over the world. We wanted to show off an alternative side to the UK. Wandering Duck was set up in 2012 and is the only canal boat experience of its kind.

Working for Wandering Duck is a lifestyle choice. It involves living on a Canal Boat from March to October, immersing yourself in a unique way of life. The canals are home to a community of tens of thousands of people who live full-time on canal boats. With the right dedication and passion to the job, this is a hugely rewarding, once in a lifetime opportunity.

Sound exciting? Could you run our tours?

Current Position Available
Wandering Duck Crew (live-aboard position)
(Date added: 19 December 2014)
Full-Time Temporary Contract: March to October 2015
Deadline for Applications: Fri 30 Jan 2015 at 17.00

Interviews will take place on Friday 6th February in Manchester

Are you a people person? Are you well-organised? Practical? Self-motivated? Good sense of humour?

If this sounds like you then Wandering Duck could have the ultimate adventure lifestyle for you.

Wandering Duck has established a reputation as one of the most authentic and friendly tour experiences in the UK. This year we were awarded “Tourism Experience of the Year” at the Manchester Tourism Awards. Our reviews on Trip Advisor speak volumes about how we value the customer experience. We pride ourselves on offering an experience which is truly authentic and doesn’t feel too pre-arranged. It’s an adventure. Our guests have come to expect a level of hospitality which is unmatched in the budget tourism industry.

We are excited to be taking the next step in Wandering Duck’s growth. We are looking for 2 special people to take over the running of our trips. Before applying, serious thought should be given to the commitment required for living and working in such close quarters. However, for the right couple with the right mix of personal and practical skills, this is about as exciting a job we can possibly think of.

All applicants must be over 18yrs and able to work legally in the UK.


What we’re looking for:
Live-Aboard Crew
Wandering Duck crew will live on our 69ft narrowboat. They will act as tour guides for our unique canal boat tours and will have full responsibility for Wandering Duck’s guests.

We are looking for 2 people. Due to the nature of living on the boat together and sharing a cabin, this job would be suitable for a couple; however individuals who are at ease with sharing their living space are also encouraged to apply.

This is a temporary contract lasting from March to October 2015 with the option to come back and work a second season should this be suitable to both parties.

A Typical Weekend Cruise on Wandering Duck
Friday: Your day starts at around 9am and involves getting the boat cleaned inside and out ready for a trip. Food shopping is delivered and home-made cake and the first evening’s dinner are to be prepared.

Guests arrive at 6pm when they are welcomed, offered drinks, shown around the boat, and given a safety briefing. After a couple of hours cruising you moor for the evening and have dinner.

Saturday: A simple breakfast of cereals and toast is served from 8am and you commence cruising at 9am. Depending on the route you may be travelling through a flight of locks which involves a lock briefing to explain how locks work and safety awareness around them. Lunch is normally a platter of bread, meats & cheeses or baked potatoes with a mix of toppings. In the evening you moor near to a pub. If hosting individuals you will join them for a pub meal, but if you’re hosting a group then your work is done once you have moored for the evening.

Sunday: Again breakfast is prepared from 8am and cruising starts at 9am. Today there may be more locks, or there may be more time for walks and canoeing. You will be required to give a safety briefing and instruction on using the canoe, and offering to guide the walks should guests prefer not to go alone. The tour finishes at 4 or 5pm.

Essential Requirements
Excellent People Skills – You love meeting new people. You’re an attentive listener, and you have an ability to see the world through another person’s perspective. You are a natural communicator with a good understanding of people and their emotions. As our guests come from all different backgrounds and cultures, previous travel experience is highly desirable.

Attention to Detail – You have an eye for detail and notice the smallest of imperfections. You understand that the whole is worth more than the sum of the parts.

Resourcefulness – You must have experience of working autonomously. Hostel management, tour guide or similar experience of being responsible for guest’s enjoyment, safety, and wellbeing is essential.

Physical Ability & Good Health – Wandering Duck’s tours are physically demanding and your health and physical ability is imperative to the safety of our guests.

Shared Skills
The following skills can be shared between the two crew members. In the case of individual applicants we encourage you to focus on the areas in which you are most capable in order to help us find the right match in your fellow crew member.

Passion for cooking – You must possess excellent home cooking skills and have a passion for learning new recipes.

Practical – You should be comfortable with carrying out simple DIY duties and able to take action when problems arise on the canal or with the mechanics of the boat.

Desirable but not essential
- Boating experience (full training will be given)
- First aid qualification
- Good photography skills
- Previous experience of using social media channels in a business setting

Responsibilities include:
- Looking after the safety and wellbeing of guests
- Briefing guests on various aspects of boating safety
- Acting as the face of Wandering Duck when dealing with the public and other boaters
- Navigating the narrowboat and operating locks and bridges
- Communicating with Canal & River Trust when you come across navigational problems with the canal
- Supervising guests whilst they steer the boat and operate locks
- Cleaning the boat inside and out ready for trips
- Meet & greet guests
- Hosting guests, including preparation of home-made meals
- Shopping for food and supplies
- Acting as tour guide; offering information about the canals and the wider area
- Carry out routine boat maintenance
- Taking photos and videos and posting to social media channels
- Keeping to a tour schedule and making alternative arrangements when route stoppages impact on the tour itinerary
- Selling alcohol and merchandise

More information and application form




Job first posted: 02 January 2015