Expedition Cruise Doctor

Expedition Cruise Doctor


Employment Type:


We are looking for adventurous, resourceful and experienced doctors to work on expedition vessels sailing in the polar regions. Ideal candidates are physically fit with strong critical care skills and a background in Emergency Medicine or experience in remote medical care delivery. Responsibilities include handling all types of medical events in a remote setting for guests, officers and crew onboard the vessel and ashore.

Assignments range from 16-20 weeks in length. Attractive salary with additional benefits including paid flights/travel to/from ship, room & board, single cabin, officer privileges, opportunities to attend ship tours and expeditions and explore regions few ever get to visit.






The Ship’s Expedition Doctor is responsible for overseeing the activities undertaken by members of the medical staff. The medical staff are the sole providers of medical care to crew and guests onboard the ship. These responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Attending Ship Management, Safety Committee, Public Health meetings, and any other meetings on behalf of the Medical Staff.

  • Outbreaks, infection control, communicable diseases on board, and mass casualty or mass trauma events should one arise onboard.

  • Will be an essential part of the Senior Management team.

  • Is overall responsible for all Public Health matters including outbreaks onboard.

Duties and Responsibilities

    • Provide general and emergency medical care to guests and crew in the event of an accident, illness, or injury.

    • Ensure that all guests and crew are treated with respect and confidentially.

    • Perform intubation, use mechanical ventilation and ICU care when required.

    • Accompany expedition excursions and carry 25-kg supply bag for up to 3 hours on uneven terrain.

    • Able to get in and out of zodiacs at beach landings and assist guests or crew with injuries shore side under sometimes harsh conditions, including steep walks in snow.

    • Maintain and adhere to all posted medical center hours.

    • Initiate an investigation and in the event of an outbreak, alert departments of any highly contagious conditions, airborne, droplet and contact-based diseases including gastroenteritis, tuberculosis, measles, mumps, rubella and respiratory disease, such as influenza, SARS base, MERS.

    • Is responsible for overseeing the activities undertaken by members of the medical staff. The medical staff are the sole providers of medical care to crew and guests onboard the ship.

    • Ensure that Crew are placed off duty and isolated when appropriate.

    • Actively participate in drills, simulations and training exercises conducted onboard where their participation is required and provide associated training.

    • Act as an advisor on all matters related to medical services, guest/crew health, and ship hygiene.

    • Report any undesired events, unsafe practices or near accidents observed as indicated by the Safety Management System and assist with rectifying them as safely as possible.

Medication Administration

    • Be familiar with the indications, side effects, and precautions to be observed for medications available in the formulary for use onboard.

    • Dispense and prescribe appropriate medications upon their clinical assessment of the Guest or Crew.

    • Ensure medication is dispensed in a safe and accurate manner.

    • Review and discuss appropriate warnings and precautions with the patient and verify their understanding of the use of any medications provided.

    • Be available for any follow-up questions the guest or crew member may have regarding medications dispensed and/or prescribed.

    • Considering side-effect of medications based on crew positions (e.g. drowsiness when working in the engine room or bridge).

Shoreside or Evacuation Care

    • Make appropriate referrals for shoreside follow-up for guests and crew and complete all required documentation.

    • Make informed decisions in the event of the need for emergency evacuation of a guest or crew member and will provide all documentation required.

    • Notify VIKAND's Manager, Shipboard Medical Operations prior referral or evacuation.

    • Inform the Hotel Manager and/or Captain of shoreside referrals and coordinate with Ship Command the urgent evacuation of either a guest or crew member.

    • Ensure clear communications with the Port Agent, establishing follow up documentations, admissions or events that can delay departure of vessel.

Communicable Diseases Management

    • Ensure the medical center is equipped with a sufficient amount of PPE and outbreak supplies to be able to manage any type of communicable diseases onboard.

    • Ensure the medical staff are adequately trained in outbreak prevention, management and the wearing of PPE for each type of outbreak.

    • Manage with the Ship’s Senior Officers any outbreak, reporting to the Captain and Medical Management company ashore.

    • Ensure the ARD log is updated, accurate and maintained.

    • Ensure VIKAND medical management team is kept appraised of the outbreak.

    • Assist and manage crew and guest screening and testing.

    • Ensure the medical team and stretcher teams use PPE’s correctly and conduct fit testing.

    • Ensure the medical staff wipe down all equipment after use.

    • Ensure the medical center is kept clean and sanitized when treating patients with communicable diseases as per MED-1303 Cleaning and Sanitizing of Medical Center and Equipment.

    • Notify the housekeeping staff member to take precautions when entering a cabin (e.g. Sars-Cov-2 case been in the room < 1 hours).

COVID-19 Related Duties

    • Oversee the medical team’s adherence to company specific covid policies including, but not limited to, medical screening, testing, isolation, and quarantine procedures.

    • Keep up to date with COVID-19 related news/issues, local, regional and international regulations and COVID-19 specific treatment options.

    • Ensure the medical team is trained in communicable diseases and appropriate use of PPE on a regular basis.

    • Participate as required by the company in all COVID-19 drills, training and any other requirements stipulated by the company.

    • Ensure all medical staff must adhere to appropriate use of personal protective equipment based on the clinical status of each patient and/or situation.

Ship Management/HOD Duties

    • Perform security related duties as required by the ship’s Security Officer.

    • Perform any other duties as delegated by the Captain or Staff Captain, as appropriate for their position.

    • Accompany the shipboard management on rounds of inspection, as instructed by the Staff Captain.

    • Responsible for providing oversight of water testing as requested by the Staff Captain and/or Chief Engineer.

    • Assist with inventory management and reconciliation of stocks as per standard inventory requirements set by Flag State and the Medical Management company.

    • Ensure that controlled substances and other medications are stored as per Flag State and the Medical Management company.

    • Be provided a master key and an elevator key for use in emergency situations.

    • Contact the Staff Captain or Captain as necessary to apprise him of the state of health on board, the activities of the Medical Department, and of any medical problems that may impact ship operations.

    • Relate vital information discussed in shipboard management meetings with potential impact upon the medical center to the Medical Management company.

    • Confer with Medical Management company regarding disciplinary action involving a member of the Medical Staff.



  • Internationally recognized Medical Doctor Degree.

  • Current full registration, in good standing, to practice medicine.

  • At least 3 years post-graduate experience in an emergency medicine setting.

  • Previous shipboard experience is preferred, but not required.

  • Proficient in the English language. Fluency in German and/or French is a plus.

  • Valid ACLS, ALS or BLS, ATLS or equivalent certification, and PALS, APLs or equivalent.

  • Valid Sexual Assault Training certification, following ACEP guidelines.

  • Experience performing intubation and using mechanical ventilation.

  • Ability to interpret EKG, radiology, and arterial blood-gas results.

  • Experience in STEMI/ACS management, including fibrinolytics.

  • Competency in basic procedures needed in trauma care, such as cast application, advanced airway management with ET tube, blood transfusions, suturing, and sedation. 

  • Ability to set up and use a ventilator.

  • Experience in stroke management and occupational medicine.

  • Competency in emergency cardiovascular care.

  • Physical fitness and the ability to carry a 25-kg supply bag on uneven terrain for up to 3 hours.

  • Able to get in and out of zodiacs at beach landings and assist guests or crew with injuries shore side under sometimes harsh conditions, including step walks in snow.

  • Work well independently under pressure in remote environments with limited medical support.

  • Familiar with remote medical evacuations.

Requirements to Join:

  • STCW95 Certification: Basic Safety, Crowd Management, Crisis Management, Ship Security/Security Awareness.

  • C1D Visa and/or Schengen Visa (dependent on ship and joining port).

  • Seafarer Medical Clearance.

  • WHO-approved COVID vaccination.

*One application permitted per applicant per position. Applicants with shipboard experience, will be prioritized at this time.

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Note: Resumes will be shared with our cruise line clients for consideration when recruiting for onboard medical staff.

*All applications and CVs sent into Vikand will be reviewed personally by one of our dedicated in-house recruitment team, you will then be contact directly with details on next steps.

We will never ask for fees during any part of the recruitment process.

*Please be aware there are fraudulent companies operating within the cruise line industry that might publish scam job offers posing as Vikand, asking for upfront fees to acquire visas, work permits or specific cruise line training. If you receive an email from one of these companies, please disregard. Only submit your application through this page on our official website.