Entry-Level Steward/ess Course

Want to start a new career?

We can assist with everything you need.


  • We believe in simulating real-life situations
  • We have an almost 100% success rate in past SYSA Steward/ess graduates finding employment on board yachts – a fact that we are VERY proud of!!

This course is offered in Cape Town, South Africa.

5 Day Introductory Steward/ess Training Course

  • This course deals with the breakdown of Steward/ess duties and acquiring the skills needed to be a Super Yacht Steward/ess – such as: detail cleaning, table settings, how to find a job, CV writing, visas, stain treatment, expert laundry skills, handling exquisite fabrics on board, Silver Service and other fine dining service, wine and mixology knowledge and service, basic yachting terminology
  • This highly interactive course consists of a balance between theory and practical, to give the students maximum exposure and experience

As part of our service to candidates looking to work in the super yacht industry, we assist our graduates in professionally preparing a yacht standard CV, provide confidential assessments to potential employers and advise you in regards to job opportunities, visa applications, career progression, offshore bank accounts and Seaman’s Discharge books.

We are a boutique company that focuses exclusively on the Super Yacht Industry and the additional services we offer focus on making our students stand out head and shoulders above the rest when entering this very specialized and professional industry.

Our team of Instructors and Directors tailor-made every SYSA course (following the strict international standards and syllabus) to provide crew with the skills required to make a fantastic impression and perform the required tasks to the highest standards. Our classrooms, equipment, training yachts and boats and jet skis are state of the art. Our standards of training, assessment and evaluation is very high, and we expect only the best attitudes, performance, discipline, punctuality and participation from our students, as this simulates the levels of quality and perfection that will be expected of our crew once they enter the industry.

  • This course is a total different course to the STCW and cannot be taken at the same dates as the STCW course

Apart from teaching you the Steward/ess skills needed to do the job, we also cover the following in the SYSA Steward/ess course:

  •  Advice/guidance on visas
  •  Advice/guidance on Seaman’s Books
  •  Assistance with opening an Offshore Bank 
  •  Yachting CV template – there is a very 
specific way to compile this
  •  Worldwide list of crew agencies to 
contact whilst seeking a job
  •  Worldwide list of crew accommodation
  •  Advice on daily expenditure in port of call 
prior to getting the job

It is highly recommended for entry-level crew to complete the full five day package to maximize your chances of finding a job quickly, acquiring all the skills you will need for your new career and making your CV as attractive as possible to a future super yacht employer.

We believe that students learn best when they actively participate in the lessons and practical sections of the course and that they feel valued when Instructors encourage them to share their knowledge with their peers.

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Module 1: 

Interior Introduction – 3 Days

The Interior Introduction module is a 3-day basic course created to immerse entry-level Steward/esses into the world of yachting. This module aims to give them an all-encompassing introduction to the varied role of and interior crew member.  It outlines all the major responsibilities that a Steward/ess will be expected to face – and will also cover a range of important issues from life at sea, to yacht etiquette and safety.  Upon completion of this course, new interior crew should be sufficiently prepared to take the next step in their onboard career.

  • Demographics of the industry
  • Different types of yachting
  • Guidelines on how to enter the industry (CV, visas, where to go, when to go, looking for a job, interviewing, crew contracts, salary expectations, crew agents)
  • Yachting life – life at sea on a professional yacht
  • The departments onboard a yacht
  • The role of the Interior Department
  • Your role as a Steward/ess
  • Personal presentation, correct dress, punctuality
  • Communication and behaviour, verbal and written communication and body language
  • How to interact with guests and awareness of cultural differences, such as guests from USA, Britain, Russia, Asia, etc.
  • Yacht Interior Housekeeping – guests onboard or no guests onboard
  • Pre-guest checklists
  • Steward/ess Scheduling and Rotations
  • Garbage/Rubbish disposal
  • Cabin cleaning and detailing
  • Cleaning caddy
  • Yacht interior surfaces – do’s and don’ts
  • Yacht interior fabrics – care and handling
  • Laundry labels
  • Crew and guest laundry
  • Washing machine, tumble drying and ironing
  • Correct way to treat various linens
  • Ironing, folding and presenting laundered garments
  • Yacht safety
  • Hazards in the interior
  • Cleaning chemicals – correct use
  • MSDS and Hazard Symbols

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Module 2: 

Basic Food Service– 1 Day

Wine & Mixology Introduction– 1 Day

Although many entry-level Steward/esses are already skilled in food service and hospitality, this basic service course covers a range of service types and has adapted guest table service to yacht industry standards, which are regarded as the highest service standards in the world.  Onboard, you will be expected to be extremely flexible and report to the style required by each guest – be it plated, silver service or platter.  This course component highlights the fundamental difference between the various service types and also describes the all-important practical overview of table service and decoration and beverage service as it is done on yachts.

In-depth knowledge of wines and cocktails is something that develops gradually and with years of experience.  Interior yacht crew are expected to be ready to serve and suggest the correct wines or beverages to compliment meals and prepare cocktails in a professional manner.  Being prepared with fundamental knowledge in both areas is vital and can be achieved in this intensive course component.  We cover the basics of food and wine pairing, wine regions and grapes of the world, as well as the main spirits and cocktail preparation.

  • Service Definitions
  • Different Styles of Service – American, English, Russian, Butler Style, etc.
  • Caviar Service
  • Hors d’oeuvres, Canapés, Appetizers, etc.
  • Breakfast service
  • Mise en place for service
  • Beverage Service – Tea, Coffee, Cocktails, Wine, Water
  • Working with menus, preference sheets and cheat sheets
  • Introduction to the world of wine
  • Wine tasting principles as well as a practical wine session, tasting various SA and International wines
  • Food, wine and cheese matching
  • Faulty wines
  • Grapes of the world
  • Wine regions of the world
  • New world and old world wine making
  • Service of wine
  • Spirits and cocktails
  • Cocktail service
  • Main spirit styles
  • Practical cocktail blending session

What do we offer our Steward/ess graduates?

  • Ongoing support
  • 350 page manual and an 8GB flash disk loaded with relevant information for Steward/esses
  • Our classes are small to ensure that each student receives individual attention, guidance and assessment
  • We assist our students after graduating at Super Yachting South Africa with CV writing, career advice, future progression training and general guidance and industry advice
  • We believe in quality, realistic, practical, relevant and professional training, 
and expect very high standards of presentation, behaviour, manners, performance of each student to prepare them for their careers on super yachts
  • We believe in teaching our students what realistically and actually happens in the industry, rather than only focusing on the romantic and idyllic part of yachting
  • At SYSA, we focus on fully preparing new recruits (or ‘newbies’, as they are called in the industry) for working on board these amazing vessels and instilling the skills, attitude and highest levels of professionalism and etiquette, in order to make a fantastic first impression on board and following the correct career path. The internationally accredited, experienced-based training courses we offer, prepare crew in every aspect of being a Steward/ess on board.
  • Most courses run from: 07:30 – 17:00
  • Students are requested to not make any appointments during a day a course takes place, as our international accreditation require a minimum guided learning hours and a student cannot receive his/her certificate should they miss any of the training

Download Full Prospectus Here






Experienced Stewardess needed on 22 Sept in Cape Town for a charter (must have at least one season yachting experience).

If available and interested, please contact:
Chandelle 074 335 0007
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We have some great applications for the various positions already, thanks to those who already applied (we will be in touch with more info soon), but we are still looking for CVs for the following positions:

WORD CV format only, please!!! We will only send more info on the specific jobs if we receive a WORD CV. Spread the word to your friends who meet these requirements! Please mention which position you are applying for when you email us. The CV must also please contain a head and shoulders photo of you in a white formal shirt and females hair tied up.
***All applicants for CHEF positions must also provide a 7 day menu plan
***Yachting and Cruise ship backgrounds will be VERY beneficial
***South African passport holders (could have multiple passports, but one must be a SA Passport)

Senior Butler: Minimum 5 years full-time experience as a Butler and formal Butler qualification
Butler: Minimum 3 years full-time experience as a Butler and formal Butler qualification
Junior Butler: Minimum 2 years full-time experience as a Butler or at 5 star Restaurant/Hotel/Cruise Ship/Yacht
Pastry Chef: Minimum 5 years proven full-time experience as a Pastry Chef at a high-standard establishment or yacht and Chef qualification
Commis Chef: Minimum 2 years full-time Chef experience and Chef qualification
Housekeeping Team Leader: Minimum 2 years full-time experience in Housekeeping in a 5 star Hotel/yacht/high-end private residence
Housekeeper: Proven experience (at least a year) as Housekeeper in 5 star hotels/private residence/yachts
Female Lifeguard: Formal lifeguard qualifications and proven lifeguard experience
MEP Officer: Qualified and experienced in Electrical, Mechanical or Construction (someone who worked in a junior Engineer position on yachts will also be considered)

Please note that due to the high volume of applications, we will only contact the successful candidates with more information and an in-depth description of what each job will entails, as well as salaries offered.

A reminder that these are 1 year contracts, so please do not contact us if you are looking for a 'jol' for a few months.

Send CV to:
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