Join On Board

We are not an everyday holiday cruise and have a somewhat different schedule as well. We will be working with a lot of Dive Centers, Charter companies, and NGOs in the upcoming season making our schedule a bit shifty at times. But it also means we will stay in the locations we visit for a few days before setting sail again, so some patience will be needed but it also means a great opportunity to get to know the area, go diving, snorkelling, and explore amazing islands.

Join us as a Research Volunteer

We are currently seeking Research Volunteers for the season of 2021 to sail with us in the Mediterranean sea, run marine research projects and develop new methods and further outreach efforts involving communities, dive centres and research stations!


Our sailing season starts in April (usually the second half of April weather dependant) and lasts until mid of October. While we do offer spots on board for joining researchers space is limited to a maximum of 4 volunteers at a time and preference will be given to people, who have a specific research goal to pursue (As in running their own project for a thesis) and people who can commit to a longer stay on board.

The minimum duration is one week onboard – but we highly recommend to stay at least two weeks and you will see your learning curve going up as you have more time to get used to the underwater environment and will start to see and discover more details every day!

Project Description

SY Independence will spend the season of 2021 sailing south from the northern end of the Adriatic starting in Italy and following the coast of Croatia. During the trip we will run daily snorkelling trips looking for species distribution (focus on invasive species) as well as transects to assess the composition of habitats in the changing environment of the Mediterranean. While these are the projects we run on a daily basis there is always room for additional tasks for designated thesis as well as collaborations with NGOs and Dive Centers along the way – such as beach cleanups, underwater cleanups, removal of ghost nets, pinna nobilis counts, etc.

The Work

Our work is a mix of Conservation and Research work, so as part of the daily routine, you will be snorkelling on a daily basis collecting the data we need to observe changes in species compositions throughout the Mediterranean Sea as well as keeping a close eye on the substrates and habitat systems doing our transect work. While underway we also keep a constant log of marine debris we encounter.

The Research Volunteer Position

We are seeking Volunteers who are willing and able to help with all the projects on board and are self driven enough to take leadership in their own project that can be developed on board or agreed on beforehand (giving us a chance to start data collection before arrival even). You will have food as well as accommodation available on board (Breakfast as self service meal) and lunch and dinner usually prepared by the crew (including yourself) in turns. The boat is our home and work place and we all work together to keep it a safe and clean ship – meaning basic housekeeping falls into everyones responsibility and if things don’t seem right always make sure to let the crew know!

Our Expectations

We are looking for motivated, enthusiastic individuals that understand the importance of work like this and that are able and willing to work along with us to get “the job done”.

Being on a working boat we need our volunteers to pull their weight and be able to chip in if some else is unable to for some reason. The joining researchers will be flexible, self driver individuals who are able to adjust to a variety of tasks (including night watches on anchor, handling equipment and maintaining it, data entry, helping to keep workspaces and boat clean, etc.)

A large portion of our work includes swimming, snorkelling and other waterbed activities and depending on the season it can be chilly at times, so make sure to be equipped accordingly. While some equipment is on board we are unable to provide wet suits and snorkelling gear in all sizes at all times.


  • 18+ years old.
  • Student or enthusiastic person in Biology, Marine ecology or other relevant fields.
  • Willingness to sign our waiver.
  • Travel health insurance.
  • Fulfilling all health (CoVid19) related requirements to join aboard.
  • Good physical fitness.
  • Being comfortable staying in remote, shared accommodation (No A/C, Internet, only cold showers, … life on a small boat)
  • Positive and upbeat personality – even after long exhausting days.
  • Fluent in English (and ideally one other language)
  • Previous experience with fieldwork desirable but not necessary.
  • Ability to swim a must, diving certificate a bonus.
  • Not prone to seasickness.
  • Flexible, patient, able to follow instructions but also able to come up with own ideas.

Costs of the Program/Contribution

The position is a volunteer position and no salaries or stipends are paid from our end.

Because of limited funds we are sharing running costs of the boat as well as food costs on board (including immigration fees, occasional marina stays etc) averaging at 50 Euros per day and person. This fee covers 3 meals a day on board as well as snacks, drinks, transportation ones you are on board. So except for dinner on shore or other outstanding trips all expenses on the boat are covered.

Travelling costs to and from the boat have to be covered by the volunteer.

Benefits of working with us

  • Working with us is a great way to experience the life at sea as well as fieldwork for Marine Biologists: Combined with the ease of a sailing trip in the Mediterranean sea, building a network with people from all over the world and NGOs throughout the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Practical data collection and handling data entry.
  • Access to Research equipment such as ROV, Underwater cameras, microscopes etc.
  • Opportunity to work and live in an international team while sailing in some of the most amazing boating grounds in the World.

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