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BHWW CO. Mission Statement:

Creating a memorable, safe, and enjoyable experience for our guests through education, collaboration, and excellent customer service while also fostering a positive and productive working environment that promotes professional growth, respect, and dedication.

Goals for all BHWW CO employees:

  • Continuously learn and gain new skills
  • Treat everyone with dignity and respect
  • Bring passion, professionalism, and enthusiasm to your position
  • Educate passengers/visitors about the cultural and natural history of our area
  • Model environmental stewardship
  • Create a safe work environment for fellow employees and customers
  • Work as a team: communicate and collaborate

EmployeesBar Harbor Whale Watch Company is always seeking good people for employment and to provide an excellent work environment for all our employees. The following general job descriptions (not all inclusive) are for positions we have at Bar Harbor Whale Watch.

Per US Coast Guard requirements, all boat crew are required to pass a pre-employment drug test and be enrolled in random drug testing. Boat crew must also be US Citizens or have permanent alien status.

Please send a completed application form, cover letter expressing why you are interested in working for us, a resume, and 3 references to the following personnel:

Captains, Engineers, Crew, and Dock please email Capt. Larry Nuesslein at or mail resume and application to: Bar Harbor Whale Watch, 1 West St., Bar Harbor, Maine 04609.  Currently accepting applications for the 2024 season!

Naturalists (seasonal position, May-October) please email Lead Naturalist Julie Taylor at or mail to Bar Harbor Whale Watch, 1 West St., Bar Harbor, Maine 04609. Positions for 2024 are currently filled.

Ticket, Retail, and Office Staff please email Office Manager Melody Fletcher at or mail to Bar Harbor Whale Watch, 1 West St., Bar Harbor, Maine 04609.  Application period for 2024 season is currently closed.

Allied Whale Research Assistant Internship: (seasonal position, Late May- August or Late May-October): Bar Harbor Whale Watch partners with Allied Whale at the College of the Atlantic to offer an entry-level paid internship that hires current college students and recent graduates to work as the scientist and deckhand on whale watch cruises. Research assistants collect sightings data and help educate passengers while also performing deckhand duties during the trips. This internship is to provide opportunity to gain experience in the marine mammal science field. Hiring for this position occurs between late January through early March. The application period for 2024 season internship is now closed. For more information about the internship, please email Allied Whale:


a man sitting in a car

Job Descriptions

These job descriptions are not all inclusive.

Mate/Senior Deckhand

The Mate is a USCG licensed position on our boats. Senior Deckhand is similar to Mate except an unlicensed position. The company, per USCG NVIC 1-91, designates the Senior Deckhand in writing in the wheelhouse of the vessel. Both positions are similar in our company except when two licensed people are required in the bridge.   For the following we will refer to both positions as “Mate”.

Following are some of the responsibilities of the Mate:

  • Works with the Captain in ensuring the safe passage of the passengers, crew and vessel.
  • Understands and follows the Vessel Security Plan (if it has one) and educates the crew on the plan.
  • Has read and demonstrates knowledge of the BHWW Senior Deckhand Training Manual.
  • Is second in charge on the vessel and is expected to safely return the vessel home if the Captain is incapacitated. Has studied and demonstrates the understanding of the unique handling characteristics and equipment of the vessel.
  • Is competent in knowing how the machinery and safety gear on the vessel works and can train new crew how to use it. He/she routinely inspects the vessels safety equipment such as the life rafts and EPIRB and records this in the ships log.
  • Assists the Captain navigating the vessel, especially in marginal weather conditions. Also the Mate safely operates the vessel if the Captain is out of the wheelhouse. He/she will always support the captain and is expected to proactively address any problems or concerns with the Captain in a timely manner.
  • With the Captain, the Mate directly manages the crew, assigns jobs to the crew and makes sure the boat is clean and ready to sail the next day.
  • Understands and can fill all the positions on the station bill. In emergency situations, the Mate is the on scene director, while the captain is in the wheelhouse.
  • Holds a Transportation Worker Security Credential (TWIC) or be willing to apply for one. Able to lift and carry 50 pounds.
  • Acts in a professional manner and sets the proper example to the crew. He/she always has high professional marine standards. He/she makes sure the crew are conducting themselves professionally and fulfilling their work duties. The Mate reports to the Captain on the work performance of the crew.

The Mate should always strive to make the crew, vessel and trip better, safer and more enjoyable for passengers.

a woman holding a dog posing for the cameraNaturalist/Narrator

The Naturalist/Guide/Historian (NGH) holds a very important position on the boat as the voice and personality of the tour. In your position you are acting as a representative of the company in providing fun, informative and excellent education, answering questions and entertaining guests.

The NGH must be also able to perform the duties of a deckhand.

The following is a list of work goals and responsibilities:

  • All NGHs take supervision from the captain and lead naturalist. NGH’s always work closely with the captain in determining the best route for the vessel to maximize passenger satisfaction.
  • All NGHs will be required to narrate/guide at least two different tours including whale watch, puffin and lighthouse tour, nature cruise, and lobster fishing and seal tour. NGHs education and background will determine the trips/tours they will primarily work on for the duration of the season.
  • NGHs that work aboard the whale watch will work with Allied Whale research assistants in helping to educate passengers and promote the relationship between BHWW Co and Allied Whale.
  • NGH may help in fundraising efforts for a scholarship fund and groups such as Friends of Maine Coastal Island NWR and/or Center for Coastal Studies.
  • NGH serves an important role as a lookout (especially on whale watching or lighthouse trips in restricted visibility) for the captain, listening and looking for other boats.
  • NGHs constantly learn from captains and mates, how to use all vessel equipment, seamanship and proper line tying. NGH’s will fill the role of deckhand on bridge watch or other duties when needed. Report time for NGH’s is the same as crew.
  • NGHs demonstrate familiarity all the safety equipment located on any vessel they are serving on and how to use it.
  • NGHs know the Vessel Security Plan (if applicable) and must complete MARSEC training and safety drills aboard all vessels.
  • NGHs are required to take US Coast Guard drug test before working on vessels. Random drug tests are administered throughout season.
  • NGHs are under the supervision of the lead naturalist who provides direction in the areas of educational content, quality and delivery.
  • NGHs are the play-by-play announcer of the tour and should continually work to keep the passengers informed about where they are, what they are seeing and what to expect.
  • NGHs provide accurate (factual) information and make an effort to answer passenger’s questions on every trip.
  • NGHs are required to complete or hold Certified Interpretive Guide certification through National Association for Interpretation.
  • NGHs constantly work hard to gain more knowledge and improve their narration.
  • NGHs make every effort to keep the bridge and NGH materials clean and orderly and clean their boat stations thoroughly at the end of the day.
  • NGHs work tendering for cruise ships aboard BHWW CO. vessels as a deckhand. NGHs must be willing to work community outreach events and private boat charters.

NHG Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree preferably in sciences/natural sciences including ecology, biology, marine biology, oceanography, ornithology, history, and/or formal/informal education.
  • Interpretation and education background preferred, but not required. Interpretive Guide training is provided by Bar Harbor Whale Watch Company and is required for all hired naturalists to complete.
  • Seaworthy and have experience working on large sea-going vessels that carry between 100-400 passengers.
  • Able to pass US Coast Guard drug test.
  • Must be US citizen or have permanent resident alien status.
  • First aid and CPR certified preferred, but training is provided by BHWW CO. and required to complete, if hired.
  • Able to work 10 to 12 hour days and up to five days a week during busy time of the summer season.
  • Able to dedicate to full time employment through May-August or May-October.
  • Flexible to changing trip and boat schedules.
  • Physically able to lift 50 pounds and stand for long periods of time.
  • Able to assist seasick passengers and assist other crew with boat duties including cleaning and general maintenance.

a small boat in a large body of waterEngineer

The Engineer on our vessels oversees the daily maintenance of our vessels.  The Engineer has able knowledge of the vessels mechanical systems. They are able to complete tasks such as changing oil or replacing injector lines. They check and add fluids to the engines and other marine propulsion systems. He/she will ensure the boat is fueled up and watered up for the following day. He/she conducts routine checks on the engines and jets during trips.

The following are some of the responsibilities of the Engineer:

  • Maintains the vessels’ maintenance log and fuel logs.
  • Keeps track of service intervals on the engines.
  • Works closely with the Captain and Mate to change engine fluids and filters at the recommended intervals. The Engineer takes all practical steps to ensure the vessel is properly maintained for safety and to not miss any trips.
  • Always keeps the Captain informed of any potential problems with the vessel.
  • Strives to teach new Deckhands all the vessels systems.
  • Helps the Deckhands with their duties when not engaged in their own.
  • Takes direction from the Captain and Mate.
  • Safely fuel company vessels. Take Class “C” Underground Storage Tanks Operator training.
  • Holds a Transportation Worker Security Credential (TWIC) or be willing to apply for one. Able to lift and carry 50 pounds.
  • Understands and demonstrates knowledge of their place on the station bill, knows the other crew positions and how to operate all safety equipment, especially equipment associated with the engine room.

The Engineer should always strive to make the boat and trip better, safer and more enjoyable for the passengers.

a man standing next to a carGalley Manager/Crew

The Galley manager and crew are responsible for running the food concession on board the vessel. The Galley crew is considered specialized Deckhands.

The galley must be kept in a high standard that is mandated by the Food and Beverage license granted to us by the State. He/she demonstrates knowledge of all applicable laws to our licenses.

The following are some of the responsibilities of the Galley Person:

  • Responsible for making sure our stock room is kept full and reorders are made in a timely fashion.
  • Makes sure the vessel is stocked at the end of the day with both food and retail items.
  • At the end of the day, ensures that the galley area is completely clean, organized and ready to go for the next day, and then helps the Deckhands clean when finished with their own duties.
  • In charge of the cash drawer and it contents. He/she picks up the bank in the morning and turns it into the office at the end of the day, with any paperwork.
  • Takes direction from the Mate and Captain.
  • Demonstrates the knowledge on how to use all the safety equipment on board the vessel.
  • Is able to fill the position as a deckhand.
  • Knows his/her position on the station bill and what other crew are expected to do in case of emergency or security situation.
  • Holds a Transportation Worker Security Credential (TWIC) or be willing to apply for one.
  • Able to lift and carry 50 pounds.

The Galley person should always strive to make the boat trip better, safer and more enjoyable for the passengers.

a group of people in uniformDeckhand

The Deckhands on our vessels are the backbone of our seafaring staff. Passengers get their first impressions of our oceangoing service from you.

Following is a list of some of the responsibilities of the Deckhand:

  • Responsible for the safety of his/her passengers, crewmates and vessel. He/she should point out any potential problems on the boat or with the crew to the Mate.
  • Demonstrates knowledge on how to use all the safety equipment on the boat, is competent in appropriate line handling skills and knows what to do in situations that may jeopardize the vessels security. The deckhand understands and can perform the duties in his/her position on the station bill and knows what other crew are expected to do in case of emergency. The deckhand is expected to speak up and ask if they are uncomfortable or do not know or understand emergency equipment or procedures.
  • Keeps the vessel clean, during a trip primarily watches out for passengers comfort and safety. Assists vessel engineer with maintenance when needed.
  • Takes direction from the Mate and Captain. He/she will assist the Naturalist and Engineer in their duties if needed.
  • Should always be interested in learning more about the vessel, seamanship, the ocean and advancing his/her position on the boat.
  • Rotates through different deck positions including operating the galley.
  • Works around the docks, tying up boats, fueling visiting boats and boarding passengers. Works in the shipyard maintaining our vessels and equipment.
  • Able to lift and carry 50 pounds.

The Deckhand should always strive to make the boat and trip better, safer and more enjoyable for passengers.

a group of people in a boat on a body of waterDock Person

The person who takes care of our docks needs to be a self-starter. This person often times works alone and can work with little supervision to get the job done in a professional manner. There is a lot of responsibility with this position and the day-to-day tasks can be numerous.

The following are some of the responsibilities of the Dock Person:

  • Should hold a TWIC card; this position has security duties which include screening passengers, screening and storing deliveries for boats, observation of cruise ship tendering operations and requires access to Restricted Areas of the facility. Demonstrates a working understanding of the Facility Security Plan. Has more in depth security training than “standard” employee. Security is always a concern and part of this job is looking for unusual activity and or packages around our docks.
  • Act as the sale agent for our public fuel sales. Willingness to be trained as a Class”C” Underground Storage Tank Operator.
  • Responsible for ensuring the docks, piers and building at Harbor Place and the Harborside are clean, well maintained and safe for our customers.
  • Hoses off the docks when they are dirty, throws away any garbage on or near the docks from our passenger vessels or visiting yachts. He/she checks the underground fuel tanks daily. The dock person routinely opens the hatches on the steel floating docks at Harbor Place and pumps out any significant amount of water.
  • Makes sure the docks and piers look clean and professional, always remembering that a neater area is more secure and safe than a messy one.
  • Understands the correct way to use a VHF radio and carry handheld VHF and UHF on his/her rounds. This person will assist visiting vessels when tying up at our marinas. Remember to be extra friendly and helpful to visiting yachts.
  • Picks up the crew lunches and distributes them to the boats and offices.
  • Able to lift and carry 50 pounds.
  • Takes direction from many supervisors including the general manager/FSO, captains/ VSO, mates and retail managers. Although you may be asked to work in other areas, it is important to remember your primary responsibility is the dock and pier area.  Getting your work done at the dock and pier area is a priority.

Without the dock person, this fast-paced business cannot function smoothly. Your role is of utmost importance because of your contact with the guests and crew.  You are responsible for keeping them safe and happy by providing a clean and organized environment.

a fire hydrant on a grassy hillTicket Sales / Reservations

Ticket sales personnel are responsible for the following:

  • Work directly with the public at the ticket counter making reservations and selling tickets.
  • Ensure each customer has the correct trip / date in the reservation system.
  • Must give all pertinent information to customers such as when / where to board, necessary items to take with them, cancellation policy, etc…
  • Occasionally will be asked to answer phones.
  • Ticket personnel will be responsible for ringing up merchandise, keeping store well stocked.
  • Ticket personnel will report to direct supervisors before starting shift to gather important information pertaining to boats, weather, and cancellations.
  • Ticket personnel will be expected to keep store and work areas tidy, including light dusting and cleaning when possible.
  • Each day one person will be responsible to check the public lavatories downstairs to be sure they are stocked as needed.
  • Ticket personnel will be responsible for their cash drawer.
  • Ticket personnel will be trained to understand our security system and will be expected to follow all rules and regulations set forth through our security plan.
  • Ticket personnel are expected to keep a positive attitude and treat all customers and co-workers with respect.
  • As stated under the Notes for all Mariner Positions, your uniform will consist of khaki pants, skirts or shorts (no more than 4” above knee) and company issued shirts.  No facial jewelry or tongue rings may be worn while on duty.  Perfume or cologne will be kept to a minimum.  Any tattoos must be completely covered while working.

Questions, complaints or suggestions should be directed to immediate supervisors or security personnel where appropriate.