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Ultimate Cruise Job: Lights, Camera, CRUISE

August 1, 2019

In the past eighteen months, Jesse Kipp’s job has taken him on 10 cruises to destinations including Alaska, Hawaii, Mexico, and Costa Rica. His work may be fun, but it’s not easy. 

As the video manager for Seattle-based company UnCruise Adventures, a small ship cruise line that bills itself as a personal, active, and immersive adventure company, Jesse works year-round to document  experiences of guests who have a thirst for exploration. 

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“People get on our ships and spend a week doing something they'll never forget,” explained Jesse. “We're trying to take people to parts of the world that they would never otherwise experience.” 

Jesse’s work as a videographer keeps him at the heart of the action, lugging his camera gear to places like Costa Rica, Panama, and Mexico to capture guests at their wildest, realest, most adventurous moments.

Between excursions, Jesse bikes to work at UnCruise’s headquarters in the Port of Seattle’s historic Fishermen’s Terminal to produce content that brings the company’s brand to life on the web and social media channels.

Fishermen's Terminal

Small ships, big green adventures

Founded in 1996, UnCruise’s fleet of eight small ships accommodate 22-90 guests as they explore the wilds of Alaska, hike Latin American rainforests, and follow in the footsteps of Charles Darwin through the Galapagos. Activities include kayaking, hiking, snorkeling, and bushwhacking.

UnCruise’s corporate office in Seattle has a team of more than 80 employees and their ships leave from other ports like Alaska, Hawaii, Baja, Costa Rica, Panama, and the Galapagos. 

As an adventure travel company, UnCruise also works hard to preserve the wild places they visit by opting out on single-use plastics, sourcing food from local farmers, and partnering with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program to ensure all seafood served to guests is sustainably sourced.

UnCruise Safari Endeavor 800

Seattle’s cruise boom

Jesse and UnCruise are at the forefront of an evolving (and expanding) Alaska cruise industry with Seattle at its epicenter. In 2019, Seattle’s 20th anniversary as a cruise port, the Port expects an estimated 1.2 million cruise passengers with 213 vessel calls from 10 cruise lines between April and October. The cruise business supports more than 5,500 local jobs and creates nearly $900 million a year in local business revenue, with each home port ship call contributing an average $4.2 million to the state’s economy. All these cruise ships boost Seattle’s economy through jobs like Jesse’s, tourism dollars, and provisioning home port vessels with local goods like wine, produce, seafood, flowers, and even services like piano tuning. 

Cruise ship provisioning at the Port of Seattle

As the cruise industry expands to cater to travelers seeking everything from five-star comfort to white-knuckle adventure, so does the supporting cast required to keep the industry afloat. Cruise lines employ IT professionals, world-class chefs and kitchen staff, doctors and nurses, engineers, clergy, sports instructors, photographers, activities coordinators, and guides. And, of course, full corporate staffs of accountants, marketers, sales and reservations experts, and more that keep the cruise ships full and the guests safe and happy. 

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Source: Port of Seattle Cruise Economic Impact Report 2019

“My background is in marketing and video — I hadn't ever considered working in the cruise industry before I started at UnCruise,” said Jesse. “It's been an awesome experience. I love travel, I love storytelling, and I love video. Doing all of that on a small ship adventure cruise ...  it's a dream job.”

Jesse Kipp

Jesse’s job also comes with a bonus most Seattleites would kill for: enough Vitamin D to survive the Pacific Northwest’s dreary winter months. “I'm able to maintain a nice tan all winter long by going out on work trips to Mexico and Hawaii and Costa Rica,” said Jesse with a grin. “It’s definitely a perk.” 

And, of course, kayaking in the shadow of Alaskan peaks or watching dolphins leaving glittering ribbons in the midnight ocean off the coast of Mexico isn’t the worst employee benefit. 

Find your way into the cruise biz

If you’d like to join the thousands of people in Puget Sound that work in the cruise industry, there are jobs for every skillset and experience level both onboard and in the corporate offices. You can get started by visiting or checking job boards for the Seattle-based cruise lines below. 

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