Work remotely from the high seas with these tips

Work remotely from the high seas with these tips

More and more employers are allowing their employees to work anywhere, outside of their actual workplaces in the company. “Working remotely” goes far beyond the home office.

Working on the high seas has now become a popular option for cruise ship fans. It doesn't take much to complete daily tasks in the most beautiful places in the world.

The basic requirement is a laptop. As long as you have a stable internet connection, nothing stands in the way of your work. We have summarized the best tips for working on board for you!

Telephoning on ships – mobile network and internet are problematic factors

Anyone who works online needs a powerful and stable internet in order to stay in touch with employers, colleagues and customers. The consumer advice center points out that: the mobile phone networks available on land do not work on board cruise ships. If you have to answer calls or create a connection to the Internet via the mobile data network, it will be difficult.

hal nieuw statendam flam

Nieuw Statendam in Flam

Cruise operators now know how important good network coverage is to their passengers. As a rule, a reliable network is provided via satellite technology. You use this by concluding a roaming contract with your usual provider.

Find out in advance what costs you will incur when using it. Roaming is significantly more expensive than using mobile data domestically; Flat rates are rare. It is important to clarify the following factors before the cruise:

  • Is there a satellite network?
  • How much do incoming and outgoing calls cost per minute?
  • How much does sending SMS cost?
  • What is the option to connect to the Internet?

Use WiFi on board – not every shipping company offers it

Working remotely on a computer or laptop requires access to the Internet. Due to the frequent lack of availability of mobile networks, mobile data is not recommended. Choose a shipping company that offers flat rates for the use of the WiFi network. Depending on the cruise ship's equipment, stable internet is available in designated areas or in the cabin.

hal koningsdam digital workshop

Koningsdam – Digital Workshop

The latter option has the advantage of allowing you to work and retreat away from noise. An internet package must be booked to connect the ship's WiFi to the network. Only very few shipping companies provide free WiFi. The richer the selection, the easier it is to plan the costs. If you are only on board for a short time, ask about individual day packages.

The prices vary: They depend on the provider, travel destination and local network strength. Expect to pay fees between €25 and €40 for a data volume of between 250 and 500 MB. Compared to average flat rates in Germany, the amount of data available is extremely small.

The following savings tips will help you use the Internet for longer:

  • Work offline in advance: Prepare your tasks and projects before you start your trip. Download all the necessary data so you can work on deck offline and without an internet connection.
  • Manual email retrieval: Set up your programs to check email manually. Automatic synchronization costs too much data volume.
  • Turn off system updates: Although updates are important for security, disable automatic downloading on the ship. Every time you go ashore, check whether there has been a necessary security update. If yes, install it.
  • Reduce cloud sync: Cloud services usually synchronize automatically and consume data volume in the process. Change the settings and retrieve the necessary data manually.
  • Communication: If you have to talk to colleagues, superiors or customers on the phone, avoid the data-intensive video call. Voice calls or voice messages cost less data and are often similarly efficient.

The right workplace – peace and space for maximum efficiency

Due to the large number of Cruise ships and the different practices of the shipping companies, a general recommendation for the “right” workplace is not possible. Before you leave, ask the on-board staff where there are quiet corners that you don't notice at first glance. If you would like to explore the ship on your own, look out for lounges and work corners with relaxation areas. Here you will mostly find like-minded people who have also come to work and won't bother you with holiday entertainment.

Most cruise ships offer public areas (with WiFi coverage) that are suitable as retreats. The on-board library is a real insider tip. Very few passengers on board know that this place even exists.

Tip: An ideal time for your work is shore leave. When the fellow travelers explore the surroundings, the ship comes to rest. These are good conditions for doing your work in a fantastic atmosphere in the sunshine.

Ask about conference rooms. Business people not only use cruise ships for pleasure, but also regularly hold events here. If the rooms are not occupied, ask if you are allowed to work there.

Working permanently on a cruise? This will be complicated

On the cruise ship you don't miss out on anything that is part of your daily routine. Food, leisure activities, service – it’s all there. The crew of the ships live here for a large part of the year, as one tour follows the other. Would such a ship theoretically also be a permanent replacement for the home office?

The following video gives an interesting insight and the personal opinion of an expert who travels a lot on ships:


Whether the cruise ship is suitable as a long-term workplace depends on several factors. The biggest challenges are internet coverage and creating an ergonomic workspace. For a two-week Caribbean cruise, you don't necessarily have to pack your office chair; if you want to work from the ship permanently, deck chairs and the usual seating are not enough.

When it gets loud, you can isolate yourself optimally

A few meters away from you, families are splashing and making noise in the pool while you try to work. This reduces efficiency. Permanent noise pollution in the workplace has a significant impact on concentration and needs to be remedied.

Use the following tips to stay calm during a cruise:

  • Active Noise canceling: To shield yourself from noise, use noise-canceling headphones. They also prevent you from being approached by other guests. Headphones are a direct signal that you are not available at the moment.
  • Use cabin: If you would like to work every day, rent a balcony cabin (subject to availability). This gives you a quiet and private retreat where you can work away from the hustle and bustle of the ship.
  • Prefer rest and adult zones: Large cruise ships offer different areas for travelers. Things are quieter in adult areas, which are often designated as quiet areas. Here you will find a place to work in noisy conditions where no one will disturb you. Remember that loud phone calls are undesirable in such places. If you have to talk to customers, change the location first.
  • Working on land: Depending on your route planning, most cruise ships offer daytime shore excursions that you can take advantage of. Suitable places are libraries or remote parks where you are protected from noise.

Work-life balance on the ship – stick to working hours on deck too

In order to work effectively on cruise ships, you need a lot of self-discipline. There are plenty of distractions all around and shore excursions invite you to take a break. Make a work plan before the trip that you will stick to during the tour. For example, use the days of the week to do your work at set times.

On the weekends, however, you use the ship's hardware or go ashore. Cruise ships are known to offer a lot of comfort. Keep your usual routines.

If you go to the gym at home every Monday after work, do the same on board. Your brain automatically stores routines and adapts to you. The fewer changes there are, the more efficiently you will work on vacation.

hal 816 koningsdam gym training equipment

Koningsdam – Gym

Important: Take a break and don't overwhelm yourself. The work is usually quicker and easier in a beautiful environment. On the balcony in front of your cabin you can enjoy the sun, a cool drink and your peace and quiet. Despite all the comforts, get up in between, move around and finish work on time. Take advantage of the opportunities for relaxation that the cruise ship offers.

Conclusion: Working remotely on the cruise ship is possible – with some restrictions

Working on vacation? This is part of everyday life for the self-employed; employees usually withdraw during their vacation days. Thanks to remote work, it is now possible to enjoy vacation even during working hours. The laptop is enough to stay connected to your boss and colleagues via the cloud and other online services. Cruise ships are comfortable enough to work here for 14 days or more at a time.

If you are a “digital nomad” and plan to rent a ship permanently, this requires an ergonomic workstation. In this case, it makes sense to set up the cabin according to your needs and work from there. For a short vacation, however, you will always find a place on board where you can pursue your job and start your vacation straight after work.

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