RIVER - Program Director (freelance)

Other Cruise Jobs
April 18, 2023


Viking is a strong and dynamic company with a growing fleet of more than 80 river ships and eight ocean vessels cruising over 100 itineraries around the world. In 2022, Viking guests could enjoy the comfort and elegance of our award-winning fleet with 8 new river ships, two expedition ships built specifically to explore the world's most remote destinations, and a unique Mississippi River ship in the U.S. In 2023 Viking celebrates the inaugural season of our Ocean vessel the Viking Neptune and our 9th Ocean vessel the Viking Saturn.


As a Viking Shipboard Leader, you represent Viking’s values and leadership philosophy (Hávamál). You are a hospitality professional who demonstrates passion for excellence, who takes ownership for your areas of responsibility, and who believes in empowering your team with the skills, knowledge, and tools to succeed. You are an exceptional role model for the Viking Family and have strong motivation to achieve the company’s goals and objectives. You are flexible, stress resistant, focused, and a truly committed team member.


To ensure fullest guest satisfaction, coordinate all shore-excursion activities, organize guest entertainment programs, and comply with the product book and all included as well as optional programs and services, both on shore as well as on board. 


This document is not a definite overview of the expected responsibilities, tasks, and duties. Items can be added in the future depending on the final departmental development. The holder of this statement can be asked to take on other tasks in addition of the ones stated on the paper.

Onboard Duties

  • Organization of embarkation
  • Ensure smooth operation of transfers (transfer / luggage / times)
  • Coordination of airport representative and assisting with passenger travels   
  • Handling / filing of cruise, land (if applicable) reports & daily program
  • Managing and filing vendor vouchers & onboard bookings
  • Promotion of Easy Survey cards and shore-excursion questionnaires
  • Organizing and presenting guest entertainment (games / port talks / presentations), according to the cruise layout & active guest relation
  • Responsible for all public announcements (including bridge commentary)
  • Professional operation of all required IT programs (MXP, MS Word, PPT, etc)
  • Training and liaising with Guest Services Department
  • Handling guest complaints in a professional manner

Shore Excursion

  • Coordination of all excursions including audio equipment
  • Liaising with local suppliers (reconfirmation of reservations, coaches, guides…)
  • Instructing and briefing local guides prior to shore-excursion
  • Accompanying of excursions
  • Presentation and promotion of all excursions
  • Controlling and monitoring the implementation and quality of the excursions


  • Outstanding flexibility and ability to co-operate within the entire ship team and under pressure is a must
  • Ability to lead guests in the most professional way, including but not limited to, crowd management and professional hosting, as well as representing the Company as a Viking Ambassador even in the most challenging circumstances, always in a professional way

KPI Performance

  • Achieves/succeeds the KPI goals set for the Program Director position
  • Actively participates in achieving shore excursions, enrichment and financial KPI goals
  • Strongly motivates and contributes to achieve the company goals and objectives


  • Full knowledge about safety & security procedures, participation in all training concerning safety & security, fire prevention, evacuation exercises as required by the company


  • Graduated education within hotel/tourism industry
  • Has minimum 3 years of professional experience in a management position/tour guidance
  • International experience/experience on a ship is an asset
  • Destination knowledge of the river(s) is an asset
  • Excellent English skills is a must, other languages are an asset
  • Must work independently, profound computer knowledge
  • Presents excellent management, organizational and communication skills
  • Has a positive personality, friendly and neat appearance
  • Shows stress resistance, flexibility, team player, shows commitment
  • Must be able to deal correctly with confidential information and must be discrete
  • Must be well groomed and maintain impeccable hygiene standards
  • Must be guest-focused, service-oriented, have a positive personality and professional appearance
  • Accompanying of excursions
  • Presentation and promotion of all excursions
  • Controlling and monitoring the implementation and quality of the excursions

Position: Program Director

Supervisor: Hotel Manager, Corporate Enrichment and Program Manager, Corporate Operations Manager

Gives instructions to: Guest Services, Guest Services Manager, Local Tour Guides, and other shoreside Viking staff


  • Implement SOP policies, procedures, standards, as laid out by the management.
  • Ensure appropriate appearance and clothing according to the updated grooming standards.

The company reserves the right to change/extend this job description, if necessary, at any point of time during her/his employment.

Our roles will be subject to our appearance standards (including in relation to visible tattoos) and employees are expected to project a professional image at all times. Visible tattoos are not permitted. Tattoos concealed with make-up, skin-colored sleeves or any covering other than the company uniform will still be considered visible for the purposes of our appearance standards. Exemptions to this may be considered on a case-by-case basis where appropriate. Tattoo removal may not result in successful employment and therefore is not encouraged and is the candidate’s personal decision. Furthermore, any offer of employment is subject to you passing all mandatory medical examinations as required by the company. After submitting your CV, we might ask you to introduce yourself with a personal video recording. We always encourage our candidates to take this step to add their personality to any written application. Please note, however, that this step is optional and not a mandatory part of the recruiting process. For further information please refer to our Recruitment Guidelines.


As part of any recruitment process, Viking collects and processes personal data relating to job applicants. We are committed to being transparent about how we collect and use that data and to meeting our data protection obligations. If you would like to find out more about how your information will be used, please view the privacy notice on our careers page.



Language Requirements

Good knowledge of the English language is required.

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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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