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Chicago’s First Lady Cruises Career Opportunities for USCG Captain - 100 Ton Master Great Lakes and Inland Waterways

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For more than 80 years, Chicago’s First Lady Cruises and its parent company, Mercury, Chicago’s Skyline Cruiseline, have been well-respected members of Chicago's tourism community and classic must-do Chicago experiences. Both cruise lines are fourth-generation family-owned and operated and their fleet of eight vessels carries passengers from around the world for sightseeing along Chicago's river and lakefront.

By day, Chicago's First Lady Cruises' hallmark tour is the award-winning Chicago Architecture Foundation Center River Cruise aboard Chicago's First Lady; by night, the luxury vessels transform into the ultimate Chicago venue for private parties, corporate events and weddings.

Complementing Chicago's First Lady Cruises' tour offerings, Mercury Cruises' family-friendly tours offer a myriad of specialty cruise experiences including their popular daytime and evening river and lake cruises, summer 3D Fireworks tours, an educational science cruise and the beloved Canine Cruise, Chicago's only cruise for dogs and their human companions.

Looking for an OUPV Captain's or 25/50/100 Master License or Towing/Sail endorsements or Renewal/Upgrade? - Look at these options to get the license completely Online

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Job Opportunities Available

Immediate Requirements

become a captain

  • Captain - 100 Ton Master Great Lakes and Inland Waterways: Chicago’s First Lady fleet consists of 8 Subchapter K and T vessels ranging from 60’ - 98’ in length, operating on the Chicago River and Lake Michigan. Chicago’s First Lady provides architecture tours and private events. Each Captain's primary responsibility is ensuring the safety of all passengers and crew. Captains must demonstrate leadership qualities among their crewmembers in order to ensure any emergencies can be handled quickly and efficiently. Captains must also demonstrate proficiency in helmsman ship, provide strong customer service skills, work well with others, and have a positive attitude.
  • As required by 46 CFR Part 16, all mariners are subject to pre-employment and random drug testing of controlled substances, which includes cannabis. The captain position is seasonal, with an invitation to work in our winter maintenance facility during the offseason.
  • Relocation and Sign on Bonus!
  • Full time is preferred.
  • Experience on twin screw, similar sized vessels in narrow channels is preferred.
  • Candidates should have flexible availability including evening and weekend shifts. You must be able to pass a background check and drug test as required by U.S. Coast Guard.

Key Job Responsibilities

  • Ensuring safety, operational, and appearance standards are maintained on each vessel Demonstrating excellent customer service skills to all passengers and private charter clients
  • Maintaining professional standards in conduct and appearance
  • Following and enforcing company policies and procedures to crewmembers
  • Inspecting and ensuring proper function of vessel operating systems
  • Proper recordkeeping of vessel logs, engine room logs, incident reports, and cruise reports
  • Knowledge of applicable safety, security, and regulatory requirements among small passenger vessels
  • Assisting in USCG annual and 5-year COI Inspections
  • Conducting and maintaining compliance of all safety drills and training of all crewmembers
  • Complete training as the Vessel Security Officer and implementing all security measures as prescribed by the vessel security plan
  • Maintaining professional and courteous working relationships with all crewmembers, vendors, docents, and customers
  •  Demonstrating flexibility and a willingness to work with other departments in order to accommodate client requests

Minimum Qualifications

  • USCG Licensed 100-ton Master of Great Lakes and Inland Waters
  • USCG Medical Certificate
  • USCG Approved First Aid/CPR Certification
  • FCC Marine Radio Operator Permit
  • TWIC Card
  • At least two full seasons operating as Captain

Benefits for Full Time

  • 401K Retirement Plan with 4% match (available to those age 21 and up, after 6 months)
  • 75% CTA Monthly Pass Reimbursement for Full Time Employees
  • Health Insurance
  • Dental Insurance
  • Life Insurance
  • Paid Vacation Days
  • DIVVY Program (Inquire for details)


  • Base wage of $ 33 per hour, higher rates available based on experience.
  • Overtime pay
  • Relocation Bonus - Up to $ 3000 based off of experience in similar market
  • Sign on Bonus - $ 1000
  • Retention Bonus - $ 2000
  • Paid Sick Time

Other Jobs Available

  • Senior Bar Manager
  • Deckhand
  • Tour Guide
  • Bartender
  • Outdoor Podium - Guest Service Ambassador
  • Guest Service Ambassador
  • Dock Security
  • Access Management Agent
  • Dock Custodian
  • Associate Bar Manager
  • Director of Finance
  • Controller

To Apply

  • Download the employment application listed below.
  • CFL Employment Application (PDF)
  • Email completed application along with your resume to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  • Please specify the position you are applying for in the subject line.

Disclaimer: EduMaritime do not conduct job recruitment for Chicago’s First Lady Cruises. Please send the Employment Application directly to the company email  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Looking for an OUPV Captain's or 25/50/100 Master License or Towing/Sail endorsements or Renewal/Upgrade? - Look at these options to get the license completely Online

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