When I was younger, I had no idea that you could become a captain. As a kid I thought it was something you earned with age and a salty greying beard. That was until my uncle called and told me he was going through a course to obtain a 100-ton master’s license. I had no idea what he was talking about but having grown up around the water I was intrigued.
After fielding more than a dozen of my questions about this seemingly magical class that produced captain’s. He asked if I wanted to join. The rest, as they say, is history… I never imagined I would end up making a career from that phone call. Nor the people, places, and cultures I’ve been able to experience around the world. I was hooked and couldn’t get enough- the views, salty air, never ending horizon, the stars, flying fish, orcas, whale sharks, Australian meat pies, mortuary poles of SGang Gwaay, pirates- yes- pirates of the Caribbean, and one of the more unique things: an active underwater volcano called Kick ‘em Jenny all made life intoxicating.
My friends thought I was crazy- some great explorer, perhaps. I thought they were crazy, land locked living their lackluster lives. I was getting paid to travel, provided with free room & board and part of something important. There are no extra jobs on vessels, so everyone working onboard becomes a critical component of the operation. The vessel cannot survive without each member of her crew. It gave purpose to my presence onboard these floating experience makers.
I had filled my first passport before turning 25. I had become a modern-day explorer, the oceans far reaches were my only boundaries. Being involved in an industry that saw its earliest vessels in prehistoric times is a very special thing to think about. The evolution of the maritime industry over the history of mankind is remarkable. Now there is structured career growth build in- clear paths for everyone to advance. Endless training opportunities, where learning new skills is part of the job, the excitement of the unknown and no two days ever being the same. With the unlimited fresh air, front row seats to every sunrise & sunset it truly is a great way to make a living.
Water transportation is the most economical and historically significant method of transport. Running on a massive natural track with an unlimited load capacity, needing little to no maintenance- aside from dredging, and man-made water paths. Water has brought the world together; we consume items every day that crossed the sea.
The characters I’ve met around the world could star in a sitcom. So naturally- as I reflect, I think to myself- why doesn’t everyone do this? The only thing I can come up with is simply because their uncles haven’t called them to let them know about this field. See, the thing I’ve discovered about the maritime world is that it’s tiny. Funny that small comes to mind when referring to an industry operating on more than 71% of the earth’s surface, but that’s how it is. I’ve found that many people are apprehensive around things they’re unfamiliar with, it’s our job to educate the mariners of tomorrow. Empower them that they too can take this journey- there’s enough ocean out there for everyone and even starting with zero experience, there’s a route for all to climb the proverbial ladder.
It’s my obligation to now educate, lead, inspire and spread awareness of this exciting & intriguing industry. I challenge you to call your nieces and nephews and let them know that there is a path for them that leads via water to the furthest corners of the world. Awaken the explorer within.
Hornblower has become the leader in the USA domestic passenger vessel space and the footprint continues to grow globally. Operating over 300 vessels worldwide, rather you’re new to the maritime industry, or a salty captain with a greying beard, there’s a position for you. If you wish to live and work aboard, or work on day vessels and be home nightly, Hornblower offers paths that can fit the bill.
Being able to experience the views and excitement through guests’ eyes daily makes working on passenger vessels unique and keeps being on the water fresh and exciting for crewmembers. Rather folks are commuting, celebrating an event on the water, or going on a once in a lifetime cruise, the enjoyment of being on the water is thrilling and it makes for a very positive environment.
For me, after having traveled for so many years, it’s nice to now be able to sleep in my own bed at the end of every day and work for a company that encourages me to effect change and be involved with the direction we’re heading. It’s a special thing to be part of a team whose mission it is to create amazing experiences each day for our millions of guests around the world.
For more information on careers with Hornblower you can visit: www.hornblowercorp.com/careers
About Bob Langlais:
Bob Langlais serves as the Global Director of Marine Recruitment, specializing in training and development. Bob earned several certifications and licenses gained throughout his career. A graduate of Southern New Hampshire University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, Bob has traveled the globe. He continues his career with Hornblower Group. Starting as a Captain, M/V Odyssey out of Boston, he has progressed his career with Hornblower Group. Bob is a trusted advisor to colleagues and industry professionals.
Sign up for our newsletter