Welcome to Mallorca!
Palma de Mallorca is the capital of the Balearic Islands and also one of the major yachting hubs in the Mediterranean. Here you will find large superyacht marinas, shipyards, crew agencies, crew training schools, a handful of crew houses and basically any other yachting service, you can ever dream of.
For yacht crew it is close to being the perfect destination to be based out of. Most marinas are located nearby shopping, nightlife and restaurants, perhaps with the exception of Puerto Portals and Port Adriano. The city itself has a great city vibe and is nothing less than breathtakingly beautiful! You will really enjoy your stay here, in particular on your days off, when you can explore the mountains, the old villages and of course the many beaches surrounding Mallorca. It is no wonder why so many yachties decided to call this little Mediterranean gem of an island home. There is little doubt that you will be leaving a rather large piece of your heart behind come the day, when you throw the lines and sail out through the Bay of Palma while watching the city and its’ cathedral with the mountains as a backdrop.
For those looking to find work or to get started in yachting, Palma is also a brilliant choice considering the large amount of crew agencies found here, the reasonably priced options for crew housing, crew training facilities, ease of networking and of course the large amount of yachts pulling in and out of port – all while being able to enjoy life to the fullest… On the flipside many marinas are gated, yet most dockwalkers seem to be able to manage to hand out CVs, find daywork and for some that elusive permanent gig on the yacht of their dreams!
This little mini-guide was written to help you find your way around the city and to get settled in as smoothly as possible;
In this little crew guide, you will find information about the following
1 Reserve crew house well in advance
The yachting hubs get very busy during the season with crew houses known to be fully booked from the end of March throughout June-ish. If you decide to stay in a crew house, then it is vital to make a reservation as soon as you know when you will be going. Make sure to bring a printed confirmation. A listing of crew houses can be found in the “Crew Houses”-section. Alternatively, you also have the option of staying in a hostel. HostelWorld is a brilliant tool to help you find the most suitable hostels for soon-to-be-yachties.
2 Passport- and visa copy
Keep with you a laminated copy of your passport and any visa you may be required. This way you limit the risk of being stuck overseas without any sort of ID. Include your emergency contact numbers on the backside – and possibly also your blood type.
- Credit Card numbers
Make a note of your credit card numbers and the related lost/stolen telephone help line. You can leave them on a note with your family, for instance.
4 Local Transport
This is usually pretty easy although during the evenings or on public holidays public transportation can be somewhat limited. Tell the driver where you need to go, and he will normally let you know where to get off.
Watch your belongings when using public transportation. Several cases of crew having lost bags, phones etc. have been reported in the past.
The public transport around Mallorca is actually quite good;
- city buses (EMT)
- island-wide buses (TIB)
- public train line serving Inca and Manacor
- scenic tourist train Palma – Sóller, where you can connect to Port de Sollèr via the vintage tram
- ferries to Menorca, Ibiza, Barcelona, Valencia and Toulon
To get into Palma from the airport get on Line 1 Airport–Palma.
Buses operate between 06.30 to 22.10h in direction of Palma and 05.30 to 21.30h in direction of the airport. A single fare is 5 Euros for non-residents. The bus stops just outside the arrivals and departures with easy access to both.
If you are looking to go dockwalking in Puerto Portals (Line 108N) and/or Port Adriano (Line 106N) you will need to get on the red/yellow TIB intercity bus, which operates between the main bus station underneath Plaza España and via the Paseo Maritimo (the port) to either of the two ports. All schedules and routes are listed here. Bus fares vary depending on your destination. Tickets are 40% cheaper when purchased in the bus station.
Airport taxis are found to the right of the pedestrian escalator just outside the arrivals terminal. The price into the city is approximately 18 Euros plus luggage- and night supplements. Taxis are usually plentiful but if not, they can be reached at
There are three different lines operating from underneath Plaza España;
All lines stop in Poligono Marratxí, where you find the Bluewater training facilities.
Additionally, the Ferrocarril de Sóller vintage train serves the very scenic route to Sóller from where you connect to Puerto de Sóller via the tram service. This makes for a great day of exploring. The Saturday market (8-14.00h) in Sóller followed by seaside lunch and drinks in the port is a Mallorca classic and a must-do!
- Uber: Not available in Palma
A few good pointers to how you can save money / avoid being scammed when using ATMs and shopping with your bank card overseas;
– ALWAYS withdraw in LOCAL currency (US$ in US, EUROS in EU/Euro zone, GBP in UK, Rand in South Africa, Swiss Francs in Switzerland etc.)
– ALWAYS decline conversion (leave it to your own bank)
– ALWAYS pay good attention to the transaction fee – in particular in areas with lots of nightlife. (one yachty experienced being charged 50 USD in Cancun just to withdraw 100 USD!!!)
– Some ATMs will offer quite large amounts (to make a larger profit from the transaction). In such case, see what your alternative options are.
Check out this great explanatory video where you will see how it works in real life. Potentially, it will save you a lot of money!
6 Get a local SIM card
Getting yourself set up with a local telephone number is not strictly required. Yet, people prefer to call local numbers rather than overseas numbers despite everyone being on WhatsApp these days. Furthermore, you may avoid any roaming charges associated with your current provider.
In Spain many yachties use
All three providers offer pay-as-you-go plans with accumulation of unused GB.
As soon as you have a local number make sure to include it on your CV and business card as well as updating your number with any crew agencies you are signed up with.
- Print business cards and CVs
The sooner you have your CV and business cards (the Spanish call it a “Tarjeta de Visita”) printed, the sooner you will be ready to start the job hunt.
Both clip art and templates are available for free online. The very simple design above was made using Canva (which also offers great templates for your CV). They even give you the option to include nautical themes such as an anchor, a lighthouse, a compass, a sail, waves, a rising sun, a dolphin – you name it…
Alternatively, for a very minimal fee you can have a professional designer create a print-ready professional looking business card (and CVs) on FIVERR. The design below includes double-sided design and unlimited revisions. This business card was designed by a designer starting her design service at just 5 USD.
Make sure to include the following information:
- Telephone / WhatsApp / Skype
- Short objective / “Available for Daywork, Freelance, Deliveries, Full-time or Part Time work” – as applies to you
- Photo (optional, although it will help the recipient remember you)
- QR code* with link to your CV
*Free QR codes can easily be generated online. Next, download the scannable code and include it with your business card.
Your business card does not have to be the highest print quality available, but obviously the better quality the more it will stand out. Many yachties use Moo.com and VistaPrint.com. Both are great services and well-recommended. You can work on this in advance and have your business cards delivered straight to your crew house or your home address prior to traveling to Palma de Mallorca, although doing so you will not be able to include a local number.
Locally, crew have been recommending business card- and CV printing in the beginning of Carrer dels Oms (the pedestrian street connecting Las Ramblas with Plaza España). Here you will find a number of printing shops on the left side of the street. They are not expensive either.
- Copisteria Bohigas – Carrer dels Oms 40
( Mon – Fri: 9-13.30h 16.30-19.30h Sat 10.30-13.30h)
- Central Copistería, Carrer dels Oms 44
(Mon – Fri: 9-13.30h 16.30-19.30h)
- Paperoms, Carrer dels Oms 48
(Mon – Fri: 9-13.00h. Private appointments: 16- 19.00h)
A little closer to Santa Catalina and La Lonja you find
- Impresrapit, Calle Baró Santa Maria del Sepulcre 7 (one of the two streets opposite the main entrance to the small El Corte Inglès) on Jaime III (Mon-Friday 9-18.00h)
How many cards and CVs to print is up to you to decide, but somewhere around 50-100 CVs and perhaps 200 business cards should do you fine to begin with. It is easy to have more printed, if necessary.
As for printing CVs, one important thing to remember is that if you work on it or make prints in a public internet café etc. always remember to delete your CV off the computer, when you are done.
- Get to know the ports
Finding out which ports are most popular with superyachts is essential, obviously. Pick the brains of others staying in your crew house or hostel. They will most likely know where to go. Some marinas will be way better for dockwalking than others. Some may be gated, while others may have easy access. Some may have lots of large yachts, while others are for small pleasure yachts with no professional crew on board.
And then there are the shipyards, where there is always work going on. They will usually have security by the gate, often with strict security measures. There is a good reason for that; other than providing security for their clients, with a lot of heavy machinery moving around and the type of work going on, dockwalking can be dangerous, in particular for newcomers to yachting. Generally, dockwalking is not recommended in shipyards. Instead try and meet crew in the yachty bars after work.
Here is a list of some of the marinas and shipyards popular with superyachts in
- Port Forum*
- Port Vell*
- Vilanova Grand Marina*
- Port Tarraco*
- Port Ibiza Town
- Marina Ibiza*
- Club de Mar*
- Pantalán del Mediterráneo*
- Marina Port de Mallorca*
- Moll Vell*
- Real Club Nautico – RCNP*
- Puerto Portals (Portals Nous)
- Port Adriano (El Toro)
- Marina Juan Carlos
- Marina Valencia “T” dock*
- Marina Alicante
- Puerto Banus
* Gated Marina
** Gated Shipyard – dockwalking not encouraged
Job seekers will primarily be looking for work in Palma de Mallorca, which is the main yachting hub in Spain. If you are in or close by any of the other locations, you can also try your luck there.
You can use MarineTraffic to see how busy the various ports in your area are.
There is little doubt that he large majority of crew jobs goes through word of mouth. For this reason, it is really important for you to start building a good network within the industry already from Day 1.
The more people, who knows you are looking for work, the larger are your chances of finding work. It is often seen that a yacht already employing a dayworker or two needs more dayworkers the following day. In such a case the captain will nearly always ask the dayworkers if they know of anyone else, who may be available. That’s where you get in the picture, but only if you have an established network. Here are a few of ideas of how to do that;
First off, build a good reputation for yourself as being friendly and helpful – and be sociable.
- When you do yachting courses meet up for a drink or two after training is over and connect with everyone attending the course on Facebook.
- If you do your STCW and other entry-level training keep in touch with your fellow students.
- Stay in a crew house instead of private accommodation.
- If you stay in a crew house be sociable with everyone.
- It is no secret that sailors like a drink or three. Neither is it a secret that the best way to meet yacht crew is either when dayworking or in the bars.
- When you daywork, be friendly and sociable with everyone on board– without interfering with their work. You may run into them in the bar one of the coming days or perhaps in years from now on a different yacht!
- Try not to miss out on any yachting events such as boat shows, crew events, webinars or crew dinners. These events will normally be announced ahead of time in the Yacht Crew Facebook groups, among others.
- When you meet people in the industry, share your business card and within reason ask them if you may add that person on Facebook.
- Use Facebook to build your network. Set up an account purely for yachting and add other yachties and industry professionals. Be active with posting photos etc., which gives them something to comment on. Make sure, they can tag you in job posts.
- In the Facebook group covering your current location ask if there is anyone, who might be interested to meet up. You could ask if there is anyone from your country in town or if there is anyone interested in participating in an activity that you both share (rent a car together and go exploring for the weekend, go for a run, go to the beach, go on a hike, go to the movies, go for a drink, go to watch rugby or Champions League in a bar, go out for a pizza etc.).
After work many venture out for a drink just to get off the boat for a little while. Crew tend to frequent the same bars, no matter where in the world, they are located. Some of the more popular yachty bars in the area are;
- The Corner Bar
- Bar Cuba
- Havana Bar
- LAB Bar
- The Anchor (Cala Mayor)
- The Crow’s Nest (Cala Mayor)
- Mojo Beach (Cala Mayor)
Long story short, making a good name for yourself and being proactive in your quest to build a larger network will pay off, eventually. The more people you know, the larger are the chances that work will come to you. Good luck!
- Weekly budget
Make your money last as long as possible. As simple as that may sound, you will have a fair few expenses including;
- Travel insurance
- Local transportation
- Printing of business cards and CVs
- Mobile phone
- Training & ENG/1
- Unforeseen expenses
Your expenses will vary all depending on the location. South of France is by far the most expensive destination in Europe, while Palma is not exactly super cheap either. Fort Lauderdale is somewhere in between.
To keep you going for as long as possible, it is really important to keep your expenses in control. A good way to make your money stretch a bit longer is to create a weekly budget for the expenses mentioned above. When you reach your weekly set budget for “beers”, then you know to kick back on that account for the next few days – or perhaps you can go all in on beers on Sunday afternoon 🙂
You can also save a fair amount of money on making your own food or sharing with others rather than going out for pizzas, kebabs and burgers.
Over in Antibes some have been using the local campsites in the past, which saved them a bunch of money. Unfortunately, camping is unavailable in Palma de Mallorca. Many end up renting a private room or share a flat with other job seeking yachties. These options are cheaper than most crew houses and hostels, but keep in mind the importance of networking, which will be limited in particular when renting a private room. If you choose to stay in a hostel or in a crew house inquire about prices prior to booking. You can find a list of crew houses and hostels in the crew house section.
There is also money to be saved on local transportation. To get around the city, you can buy a second hand bicycle or moped on Facebook or travel by bus and train instead of by taxi, even though they are not terribly expensive in Palma. Simon Chippindale has a great service offering fixed-up second hand bicycles at fair prices. His “buy-it-back”-policy is also very popular with yacht crew, so you may want to check out which bikes he has in stock. Most public transportation will offer discounts on multiple journeys or day passes so look into that. There are links posted in the “Local Transport”-section.
When it comes to printing business cards, then you can have FREE business cards printed on VistaPrint. They come with a small advert on the backside, but they do the job.
Phone plans continue to change, so it is impossible to say which one is cheapest and which one suits your needs best, but also there you can save yourself a bunch. Shop around, check online rates and if in doubt, ask on Palma Yacht Crew to see what other crew recommends.
Finding daywork is obviously a complete game changer when it comes to your budget. Suddenly, you have an income, which will make life so much easier plus you spend less if you eat on board. Keep spending your money wisely. You never know when you will find work next – it could take weeks!
Putting a number on any of the expenses mentioned above is nearly impossible, as we are all different. Some will not mind sleeping in a tent, while others may want to share an AirBnB rental apartment. Some may be partying everyday while others will meet up for a cup of coffee here and there. Some may not find any daywork at all (it is not uncommon these days, unfortunately), while others find daywork on day 1. In Palma, count on a monthly budget in the range of 1,000-1,500 Euros (not including training and medical expenses).
Watch over your money like a hawk! If you piss it away, apart from having a good time, your job hunt could come to an end much sooner.
Having the right credentials is key to finding a job on a yacht. In an industry that is surrounded by rules and regulations, there is just no way around it. Common for all crew, you must have your STCW/10 Basic Safety Training (sometimes referred to as STCW/95) and the ENG/1 or a similar seafarer medical certificate.
The minimum requirements to work on a yacht depend on the position you are looking for;
- Deckhand: STCW/10, Powerboat 1+2 including VHF
- Stewardess: STCW/10, Food & Hygiene Level 2
- Engineer: STCW/10, AEC
- Chef: STCW/10, Ship’s Cook Certificate
Desirable courses, which will improve your chances of finding work:
- Proficiency in Designated Security Duties (PDSD) (all crew)
- Personal Water Craft Instructor (PWC Instructor) (Deckhands)
- Yachtmaster Offshore (Deckhands)
- Silver Service (Stewardesses)
If these courses are not available in your current location, you can do them in Antibes, Palma, Fort Lauderdale and UK – among others but remember to book your courses well in advance!
In the “Crew Positions” section, you can read more about which certificates are necessary to work in the position you are looking for and to progress up the ranks.
Course prices vary hugely between destinations. In countries such as South Africa, the Philippines and various Eastern European countries, you will find some of the best prices. In the UK and US prices are fairly reasonable while in Palma and Antibes some prices are at the higher end of the scale. It definitely pays to compare prices between the schools if you are on a somewhat tight budget. Do keep in mind any added travel expenses should you decide to do courses in other locations. Also make sure whether or not VAT is included in the course price. Some schools list their prices excluding VAT.
There are a number of training schools in Palma. All of them have a good reputation, and prices are mostly about the same. Some may offer you 10% Palma Yacht Crew discount off some courses, but you will have to inquire directly.
Courses available locally include (but are not limited to)
- STCW/10 (English or Spanish)
- Powerboat Level 1+2
- Yachtmaster Offshore and Ocean
- Proficiency in Designated Security Duties (PDSD)
- PWC Proficiency / Instructor
- OOW modules
- AEC 1
- Food Safety & Hygiene Level 2
- Silver Service
- U.E.S.T. interior modules
- Medical training
Below, you find a list of schools conducting courses for yacht crew in Palma;
Bluewater Yachting (English)
Escuela del Mar (Español)
Sovren Nautical Academy (English)
Crew Training Solutions ((IYT)
Deep Blue Sea Training (RYA)
Escuela del Mar (Español)
Nautica Pro (Español)
Palma Sea School (RYA)
Pollensa Training (RYA)
Solaris Sailing (RYA)
Sovren Nautical Academy (RYA)
Tradewinds Engineering – marine refrigeration
Bluewater Yachting (MCA)
Club de Mar Medical (MCA)
Escuela del Mar (Español)
Medical Support Offshore (MCA)
You have many other alternatives to these training providers in other locations, including in France, UK, South Africa, US, Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines, just to name a few. In Eastern Europe prices are known to be less than half of those in Antibes, Barcelona and Palma, why for Eastern European crew in particular there is money to be saved there.
If you have any questions, remember you can always ask on Palma Yacht Crew!
Good luck to you – and enjoy Mallorca!