EXPEDITION - Expedition Leader



Viking has grown to be The World’s Leading River Cruise Line, with double-digit growth in recent years. With the launch of its ocean fleet in 2015, the company has also become the leader in small ship ocean cruising. With operational headquarters in Basel, Switzerland, Viking provides destination-focused itineraries designed for experienced travelers who have an interest in geography, culture and history. Each journey includes a shore excursion in every port, and an exclusive Viking Culture Curriculum program that provides deep immersion in the destination through performances of music and art, cooking demonstrations, informative port talks and carefully selected guest lecturers. 


Viking currently operates a fleet of more than 80 vessels, state-of-the-art ships that have received numerous accolades since their launch from industry experts and travelers alike. Viking was voted the #1 River Cruise Line by Condé Nast Traveler in their 2018 Readers’ Choice Awards, and for the third year in a row, has been named the #1 Ocean Cruise Line* by Travel + Leisure readers in the World’s Best Awards 2018. 




Viking Expeditions is a new arm of Viking Cruises to deliver expedition cruises in destinations previously not operated by Viking Cruises. We are currently building two bespoke expedition vessels, designed to be the perfect platform for delivering expeditions. Each vessel operates a fleet of Milpro Mk5 zodiacs, two offshore 13m RIBs, two U-boat Worx Cruise 7 submersibles, and a fleet of kayaks.  The vessels will also operate as credible, rigorous research platforms, with a 40sqm wet-lab onboard, a range of scientific instrumentation, and with resident field scientists year-round.  Viking expeditions are partnering with a suite of academic institutions, notably Cambridge University’s Scott Polar Research Institute, US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (NOAA GLERL), Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA) to collaboratively deliver a comprehensive research program. 

 The Expedition Leader is responsible for delivering the itinerary as provided and will choose landing sites to complement this itinerary, working in close coordination with the ship management team and yielding to the vessel Master for vessel safety and navigational decisions. It is essential that the Expedition Leader has an exceptional knowledge of the voyage region, its possible landing sites and their specific characteristics in order to deliver a safe and enriching expedition program. Rigorous operational discipline, good public speaking and being able to communicate clearly are key skills for this role.



Professional Skills 

  • Strong leader, team player and an inspiration to others 

  • Ability to structure complex tasks 

  • Fantastic communication skills 

  • Extremely knowledgeable about expedition operations 

  • Works well under pressure 

  • Great risk assessment skills 

  • Smart, presentable, friendly and excellent people skills 

  • Excellent computer & Microsoft Office experience (Excel, Word, PowerPoint, etc) 

  • English speaking and writing to a high standard 

  • Good understanding of all the off-ship activities offered by Viking Expeditions, and their safety considerations and logistics. 


General Duties 

  • Responsible to ensure that all Viking’s guidelines, SOP’s and or local regional guidelines are being followed by all guests and crew during off-ship activities

  • Together with the vessel’s Master and bridge team, assess safety conditions for off-ship activities

  • Deliver daily recaps 

  • Deliver site specific, safety and regional mandatory briefings (i.e. IAATO and AECO) 

  • Together with the vessel’s Master and bridge team, assess safety conditions for off-ship activities 

  • Responsible to ensure that all Viking’s guidelines, SOP’s and or local regional guidelines are being followed by all guests and crew during off-ship activities 

  • Identify training needs within the expedition team and provide opportunities for the training to happen as possible 

  • Elaborate end of contract evaluation for all expedition team and share with the relevant personnel

  • Communicate with the Expedition Operations Manager on a regular basis, maintaining a good line of communication for updates and other relevant topics 

  • Socialize with guests on a regular basis 

  • Any other non-specified and unstructured duties required for the success of the voyages 


Mindset and Values 

  • Be well groomed and of professional personality and focused on delivering 100% satisfaction

  • Operationally disciplined, able to rigorously ensure all Viking SOPs are followed

  • Adhere to schedules, always setting good standards and an example to colleagues

  • Be willing to travel regularly to various Viking offices and vessels


Communication & Coordination 

  • Report to the on board General Manager and coordinate with other department heads as needed 


Role Model 

•Lead by example 

•Work with the Expedition Admin Team, providing training and mentorship to all staff and crew as necessary 

•Ensure a positive working environment 


Your profile 

  • Previous experience in  the Expedition Cruise Industry for a minimum of 2 years and/or extensive knowledge of The Antarctic Peninsula, Svalbard or North American Great Lakes

  • Excellent administration and organization 

  • Proactive and pragmatic problem solver

  • Entusiastic teamwork and good communication 

  • Well organized, efficient and positive 

  • Understand guest needs 

  • Good time management 

  • Reliable and pressure resistant 

  • Proactive in upholding Viking standards of excellence 

  • Marine Radio Operator’s VHF license or equivalent 

  • Small boat license, RYA powerboat level 2 or equivalent/higher 

  • Wilderness First Responder Certificate or equivalent/higher 

  • Leisure Skippering Course D5LA - Advantageous


Guidelines and Regulations 

  • Implement Standard Operating Procedures & STAR Service Standards within the department. 

  • Ensure appropriate appearance and clothing according to the updated Grooming Standards. 

  • For work in Polar Regions: have passed the appropriate and most recent field staff online assessment of IAATO/AECO.  

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


“As for conditions — in terms of contracts, special benefits and vacations during the season — Viking is far above average within the industry.”

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