BASEL OFFICE - Director Onboard Operations


The Director Onboard Operations for Viking River Cruises is responsible for the onboard operations of an entire division of 32 vessels sailing along the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers. His/her responsibility is to ensure that all vessels within the division operate according to the set company Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), that guest satisfaction and quality targets are achieved, and that financial budgets are met.
The Director Onboard Operations leads 2 operations managers, which together with their corporate teams oversee and support the vessels within their region of responsibility. The Director coordinates with various departments (such as the Nautical, Land Operations and Human Resources departments) at the main headquarters and reports to the Vice President Onboard Operations.

This position is based in Basel, Switzerland and requires significant travel. Thus, applicants must be able eligible to work in Switzerland or have a valid work permit.



Leadership & Crew staffing
• Leading and managing a team of 2 Operations Managers and their respective teams, which are responsible for approximately 14-20 vessels each with approximately 50 crew members on each vessel
• Planning, leading, and supporting regular corporate operational meetings and activities
• Conducting performance evaluations with corporate staff and supporting their development by creating development plans and training initiatives
• Assisting in the recruitment of senior management staff, both on-board and at the corporate level
• Collaborating with the Learning & Development team to implement training

Quality Management & Guest Excellence
• Ensuring excellent guest satisfaction across the fleet, as measured by quality KPIs
• Making sure that all vessels implement the defined Standard Operating Procedures
• Achieving onboard revenue targets set by the company
• Managing the onboard operation within the defined financial budgets
• Defining, implementing, and auditing current and/or new service standards and operational procedures to ensure high-quality services and operations
• Evaluating guest and management feedback to continually improve on-board services and operations

• Leading and participating in project groups to further develop the guest experience and the operation
• Analyzing, summarizing, and presenting relevant operational input and suggestions for executive approval
• Managing deviation schedules according to pre-defined escalation and approval levels, including planning major deviation events during unusual business hours such as weekends or public holidays
• Approving area deviation plans in collaboration with the Director of Nautical Operations and Director of Land Operations
• Communicating effectively across various departments using clearly structured communication lines



Education and professional experience

• A graduate degree, preferably in hotel management or business/economics
• Advanced or postgraduate education in hotel management or business administration is a plus
• Several years of professional management experience in a corporate/executive role within the hotel, cruise, or travel industry, with a leadership role in operations


Leadership & Functional skills
• Proven leadership skills
• Excellent management, organization, and communication skills
• Ability to work independently and in a collaborative team environment
• Ability to work in a multi-faceted decision-making structure with different stakeholders across the organization
• Ability to analyze and present ideas, results, and solutions effectively to the rest of the team and to executive management
• Skilled in interpreting numbers and analyzing various KPIs to identify areas requiring focus across the entire operation
• Proven track record in driving the implementation of projects and corporate initiatives
• Excellent communication skills, with strong presentation skills


Soft skills
• Strong focus on guests and exceptional service mindset

• Goal-oriented, self-motivated, and self-directed
• Positive and open-minded team player with a collaborative attitude
• Flexible, with strong social and intercultural competencies

Other skills & requirements

• Professional appearance and demeanor
• Excellent English skills (written and verbal), with additional languages being a plus
• Flexible and able to work extended and/or irregular hours, including weekends
• Able to travel extensively within the operational areas, including on short notice
• Proficient in using MS Office (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Teams, Power BI)


• A dynamic and fast-growing environment where you can drive your future
• A free cruise for you and your +1 every two years
• A highly talented, passionate and international team
• On-site restaurant
• Regular company events such as sport events, barbecue, cooking classes
• A modern working environment

If you have a proven track record of leadership, excellent management skills, and the ability to work effectively in a collaborative environment, we invite you to apply for this opportunity to lead our onboard operations division. Join our dynamic and fast-growing team as the Director of Onboard Operations and make a meaningful impact on the future success of our company.

Please apply via our website including your CV and motivation letter in English.

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