RIVER - Trainee Program A3 - From 1st Officer to Captain

Deck Jobs
Captain / Master, 1st Officer / First Mate
January 23, 2023


Just like you we care about your professional development and career. We strongly believe best results come from investing in our employees. We, thus, created the Nautical Education Program to enable candidates and existing employees alike to make the next step in their careers. This program starts at the entry level of Sailor and continues all the way to Captain. During the program we provide you with opportunities for training to develop your skills and confidence needed to achieve your goals. Furthermore, Viking actively promotes gender equality in the inland shipping industry. We, therefore, have structures for both female and male applicants in place to support a successful completion of the program.


In the A3 program you will develop all skills, knowledge and experience needed to become a Captain at Viking. The training will focus on:

  • Sharpening your leadership style and management skills
  • In-depth exploration of safety topics, including crowd management
  • Different types of effective communication (with crew onboard, authorities, other departments)
  • Training and public speaking skills
  • Cross-departmental communication and cooperation with hotel department (especially Hotel Manager and Program Director)

The program is managed by a designated trainer team. They visit the ships and check in with you and your Captain, help with exam organization and coordinate the theoretical training. The duration of the program is 12 months, and upon a successful completion you will be offered a contract as Captain at Viking. All costs of the training and exams are covered by Viking. This program adheres to the EU regulations concerning inland navigation.



  • Active participation in online classes
  • Active participation in A3 Campus: leadership trainings, coaching programs, and safety trainings
  • Working in project groups and study groups
  • Attendance at the necessary exams


  • Overall responsibility for safety on board the ship
  • Compliance with the guidelines, instructions (nautical manual) and regulations
  • Co-responsible for the impeccable cleanliness, hygiene, and order on board
  • Testing, planned maintenance and operation of all life saving and fire fighting appliances
  • Planning and execution of the safety drills
  • Maintain and controlling the watch book (Night Watch)
  • Train new employees and explain their duties within the safety management system


  • Monitor and update certificates, credentials, and approvals
  • Responsible for the administrative process and timely submission of all mandatory reports
  • Exchange information with the involved departments (Management, Operations, technical department)
  • Attend nautical meetings (also remotely and during the season on a higher frequency)
  • Check whether the necessary patents for the driven route are present on board
  • Check if the nautical crew’s service books contain the necessary qualifications for the operating form A1, A2, or B
  • Daily update of the crew scheduling

Additional duties

  • Train employees
  • Ensure Viking’s grooming standards are always followed
  • Train new skippers, train and provide a patent to the 2nd Officer
  • Conduct frequent ship inspections
  • Participation in meetings and company relevant trainings
  • Good contact with the authorities, WSP, ports, etc.
  • Assignment and control of shipping work in the nautical field


  • At least 1-year professional experience as a First Officer
  • English language knowledge


  • Motivated and eager to learn
  • Polite and team player
  • Able to follow instructions and flexible
  • Shows ambition and initiative
  • People focused leadership approach

Your deployment with Viking depends on the requirements for the respective river or country:


  • Rhine license km 1’000 –499 (Amsterdam – Mainz)
  • Radar
  • VHF
  • Safety Expert (Sachkunde)
  • Languages:
    • German and English (mandatory),
    • Dutch and French are an asset


  • Danube license km 1’640 – 2’370 (Regensburg – Budapest)
  • Radar
  • VHF
  • Safety Expert (Sachkunde)
  • Languages:
    • German and English (mandatory),
    • Dutch and French are an asset


  • Longeur illimitée
  • Radar
  • VHF
  • Safety Expert (Sachkunde)
  • Languages:
    • French and English (mandatory),
    • German is an asset

Language Requirements

Good knowledge of the English language is required.




More than 20 years ago, Viking® set the standard for what river cruising should be, and today we are the leader that all others follow. In 2015, we took the same small ship, destination-focused experience to the seas and reinvented ocean cruising. Over the years Viking has won numerous ocean and river cruise line awards from Condé Nast Traveler, Cruise Critic, Travel + Leisure, Travel Weekly and more.

Viking is a strong and dynamic company—with a growing fleet of more than 80 river ships and seven ocean vessels cruising over 100 itineraries around the world.


If you have always dreamed of combining your love of travel with the ability to grow your career, consider a position at Viking. We are the world’s leading small ship cruise line, and there is tremendous potential to advance your career with us. As part of our crew, when your ship is docked at the many destinations we visit, you can explore ashore and refresh during your free time.

Additionally, with Viking’s award-winning service and thoughtfully curated onboard experiences, our guests are typically very satisfied. This, combined with Viking’s gratuity guidelines, means that you can expect to be well rewarded as an employee on board a Viking ship.

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