EXPEDITION - Lead Kayak Guide



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 Expedition is a new leg of Viking Cruises to deliver expedition cruises in destinations previously not operated by Viking Cruises. Viking Expeditions is offering it’s guests the very exciting opportunity to kayak in some of the most remote and exciting regions of the world. The Hobie pedal kayaks, provide our guests a stable and easy platform to better explore. 

The Lead Kayak Guide will be the head of the on board Kayak Program, ensuring it’s safety, delivery of the program and maintenance of the fleet of kayaks, leading another two Kayak Guides. 




Professional Skills 

  • Strong leader, team player and an inspiration to others 

  • Ability to structure complex tasks 

  • Fantastic communication skills 

  • Knowledgeable about expedition operations 

  • Works well under pressure 

  • Smart, presentable, friendly and excellent people skills 

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

  • English speaking and writing to a high standard 


General Duties 

  • Present to guests the Kayak Program, safety considerations, logistics and destination specific aspects, amongst any other topics relevant to the Kayak Program 

  • Ensure the maintenance of the kayak fleet and equipment is performed to the highest standards and logged accordingly 

  • Responsible for the daily logistics of the Kayaking Program, liaising with the Assistant Expedition Leader 

  • Provide guidance and training to the team 

  • Lead walks, hikes or drive zodiacs as per instructed by the Assistant Expedition Leader 

  • Socialize and be visible in guest areas as often as possible 

  • When assigned, write a short blurb reflecting the day’s experiences 

  • Assist with embarkation and disembarkation duties as necessary 

  • Assist in any other general duties assigned by the Expedition Admin Team 


Mindset and Values 

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

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


Communication & Coordination 

  • Report to the Assistant Expedition Leader 


Role Model 

  • Be a role model to others and lead by example 
  • Work with the Expedition Admin Team providing training and mentorship to all staff 
  • Ensure a positive working environment 


Your profile 

  • Previous experience in similar roles in the Expedition Cruise Industry operating in Antarctica, the Arctic or the North American Great Lakes areas.

  • Good administration & organization 

  • Proactive problem solving 

  • Teamwork and good communication 

  • Well organized, efficient and positive 

  • Understand guest needs 

  • Time management 

  • Reliable and pressure resistant 

  • Proactive in upholding Viking standards of excellence 

  • Enthusiastic team member 

  • Marine Radio Operator’s license or equivalent 

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

  • NOLS Wilderness First Responder or equivalent/higher 

  • American Canoe Association (ACA) Coastal Kayak Trip Leader or equivalent / higher 


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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