Cruise Ship Jobs - Religious / Clergy Services

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  Ships that are at sea or in a foreign port on Sunday generally provide the passengers with on board church services performed by Catholic Priests and/or Protestant Ministers. This is especially true for religious holidays such as Christmas and Easter. If the need arises, Rabbis are also employed for the Jewish holidays. This is not normally a paid position, but rather a working vacation in which the clergymen render their services for the opportunity to cruise.

Generally the cruise lines assign clergy as cruise chaplains with free passage. Considered passengers, the clergy couples have a room assigned to them and all the amenities provided for passengers. They are responsible for their own transportation to the embarkation port and will not receive remuneration. However, they are richly rewarded because in addition to travel they also share in the joy of ministry. Meeting and ministering to people aboard ship is priceless.

Catholic priests are the most common cleric on board cruise ships for a number of reasons. They are required for Catholic Mass, but can also conduct interfaith services. In addition, many crew members are Catholics.

Every cruise line has a different policy on what sort of cleric sails and when, with many using nonprofit organizations or the same booking agents they use for entertainment, to schedule ministers.

"Pastor at sea - an unusual ministry opportunity" by Robert Bradford - a retired American Baptist minister:


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