A day in the life of a Cruise Director – The Storyteller of the river

by Oana Silviana
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I thought if I should include this post in a normal article or if I should transform it in a portrait. Well, it’s definitely not a portrait, but a short insight in the life of a traveler, from other perspective. The position itself makes you a storyteller at first sight, but in the same time you are a public speaker at all times, on board and on shore.

I told you in all the Fairytale People interviews stories about traveling as a photographer, as a writer, as a film director, you had in this section the possibility to read about many types of people, and now you will discover a traveler on water at all times, with the sense of a tour guide.

After a week on board of Amadeus STAR, I had the exclusive opportunity to see how is life on board for a Cruise Director, I was trained for the position of Cruise Director and also I had the chance to see what it means every day to travel from one place to the other on board of a ship on the river Danube.

Christian Birner was my trainer for one week, so behind the “stage on board”, behind the presentations and his everyday activity, I had a few moments to take him an interview about life on board as a Cruise Director.

On board of Amadeus Star, December 2019

On board of Amadeus Star, December 2019

The cruise director’s primary responsibility is the passengers’ welfare and comfort. So you’re a greeter, a public relations coordinator, a cheerleader, an event coordinator and a problem solver. He interacts with hundreds of people in one day, making effective communication skills, flexibility and needs to have an outgoing personality.

Today he is out with the guests on an excursion, later on he presents the most important attractions for the next day or he is preparing the information for the guides on shore.

On board of Amadeus Star, December 2019

On board of Amadeus Star, December 2019

Cruise directors oversee the entertainment and other activities on board. They supervise the personnel that provide the entertainment and coordinate various types of activities to make sure the entertainment lines up with guests’ preferences. He oversees the musicians, he often takes the role of master of ceremonies for special parties and select occasions. He has to communicate with the dining crew, the captain and the hospitality crew to keep everything on schedule.

I would call Christian a master of humanity, because his friendly and open personality at all times makes him a storyteller with a fairytale life that everybody should know about.

What creates his fairytale on board of a river cruise and also on shore? I would definitely say the places he sees every day, the attractions he presents, the roads he takes during the cruises and his friendly attitude when talking to people of all nationalities.

Centre of Vienna

Giving directions in the centre of Vienna

“From the travelling point of view I discover a lot of things, a lot of places, I show them to people. (…) You discover people, history, food, everything. You are constantly on water, you are constantly moving. I think we have to be storytellers, cause we tell them the history of the places we visit, the story of the river. (…) I can show people the fairytale, this is what I love the most. ” (Christian Birner – Cruise Director, Amadeus STAR)

Trip to Nuremberg town centre and Christmas market

Trip to Nuremberg town centre and Christmas market

I let Christian tell you why you should book at least once in a lifetime a place as a tourist on a river cruise, what a Cruise Director will do for you on board of a ship and what river cruising is all about.

Interview with Christian Birner – Cruise Director, Amadeus STAR

December 2019, Nuremberg


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