Life on board

Life on board Götheborg of Sweden

There are around fifty deckhands and twenty-five professional crew members on board Götheborg. The deckhand crew consists of a mix of people from all age groups, geographical origins, level of experience and interests. Everyone contributes in their own way with their unique life experience from professional and private life, whether you have sailing experience or not.

What you will be doing on board

We work according to a three-shift system where the deckhand crew is divided into three watches (teams) who share the 24-hour schedule. Each watch team works for four hours and is then off for eight hours.

During your watch you will be assigned to different posts. For the majority of the watch this means helping out on deck, for example setting and taking in sails, and climbing the rig. Other posts include being at the helm (steering the ship), standing watch or going on safety rounds (walking around the ship to see that everything is okay). You will also help to cook in the galley (kitchen). Life on board also means a lot of everyday chores such as cleaning and washing.

Helping out in port

As a deckhand you also help out on board the ship after we have arrived at port. This includes being part of "open ship", hospitality events, sale of merchandise, and other activities.

Open ship is when the Götheborg is open to the public. During these hours deckhands are positioned around the ship and gangway to help answer questions, tell stories of the previous sailing, and about life on board in general. There will be huge interest, and you will definitely get a lot of curious questions about your experience of sailing the ship and what life on board is like!

Curious how life on board will be?

Take a look at our films about our previous sailing adventures!

What is it like to sail on board Götheborg of Sweden as a deckhand? Have a look at what happens on board: From bringing your passport when you sign on, to rig training, lessons, fire round, lookout post – and all the other fun things that happen on board!

Life on board with Wilderness Stories

The adventurer Linda Åkerberg who runs Wilderness Stories joined the very first sailing leg on the Asia Expedition 2022/2023, The Pioneer Leg. She describes life on board in a beautiful way! 

”Brassa styrbord! Hala hals och skot!”. The commands hail up on deck as I’m lying in my bed below, trying to get some rest before my last night watch. The hull cracks as the waves lift the ship up and down and the sound of water just less than a meter from my head, accompanies the shouting above. And just like that, it all makes sense ... 

Follow her on Instagram. We also repost her stories on our instagram.

Clothes & personal belongings

Please note that all your belongings must fit inside a locker of the following dimensions (20x30x70 cm), bag included (foldable bag). We will provide you with working clothes, rainwear (not rubber boots), and a climbing harness. You will also get to keep two crew t-shirts. 

Sleeping arrangements

Onboard you will sleep in a hammock or a bed. You will be provided with a blanket and pillow and you will be able to store your personal belongings in a locker.


There are two washing machines and two dry tumblers on board for you to use together with the other crew members in your watch, usually once a week.

Climbing the rig!

Sailing on board Götheborg of Sweden involves climbing and working in the rig, at the highest about 40 meters up, or far out on a yard. Everyone who sails with the ship goes through rig training, and even though most are a bit nervous to begin with, it soon becomes one of the favourite tasks for many on board. This short film clip is footage from the midship watch on the sailing leg from Stockholm to Gothenburg in September 2021.

Are you up for it?

Who can apply? Read this information (terms & conditions) to see who can apply to be a deckhand. Because of the physically demanding work that we do on board, anyone joining us as a deckhand need to meet a number of requirements listed here. Read more
Available Sailing Legs Find out which sailing legs are available right now. Here you will find a description of each sailing leg, number of days sailing, sign on and off dates as well as the price for each leg. Read more
How to apply Do you want to apply for a position on board the world's largest wooden sailing ship and an adventure of a lifetime? Register here. Read more
Payment agreement & Cancellation rules Read more
FAQ Before applying to become a crew member on Götheborg of Sweden, please read the most frequently asked questions. Read more