Ciaran's travel blog

I have a job with a difference. I am preparing for a second voyage at sea on one of the world’s biggest cruise liners. As rock-climbing instructor on a cruise ship and is preparing to leave for a six-month stint with Royal Caribbean

I am a 26-year-old from Buncrana Co Donegal. Last year I completed eleven months with Thomson Cruises and I am now looking forward to hitting the high seas once again. I am an outdoors and travel enthusiast. Being a rock-climber at sea is the dream job. I have already sailed extensively around the Mediterranean and across the Atlantic to the Caribbean, taking in scores of countries, including Spain, Italy, France, the Canary Isles and Barbados, Arbuba and St Marten.

No two days are ever the same. You are meeting new people and seeing new places all the time. The ship is a bit like a big town at sea but it’s always changing.”

I have also scaled Errigal and I have regularly taken part in rock-climbing events, including at Culdaff.

“I’ve always had an interest in climbing – but I never really thought I could make a career out of it.

Climbing on board a ship is relatively safe – instructors and participants wear harnesses – but it brings its challenges too, particularly given that the climbing wall is higher than a two-storey building and prone to moving from side to side on the waves!

“When the sea is rough the wall is shut down but generally you don’t even really notice that you are moving.”

“We would usually instruct around 50 people per day but that number would rise during sea days, when the ship is sailing constantly.”

“I show people of all ages how to climb – from young kids to people aged 70-years-old and more.”

You live rent-free, have all your food provided and meet people from all over the world. During your day off you could be strolling through Rome or Barcelona, depending on where the ship has docked.”

What made last year’s trip across the Atlantic all the more special was that he was joined on the cruise by two very important people, my parents.

“Having my parents on board was brilliant,“They absolutely loved it; so much so that they booked another trip once they came home.”

Remarkably, I also bumped into a few other Buncrana people during the inaugural cruise. “I happened to run into a few people from the town who were passengers on board. I couldn’t believe it; Buncrana people are everywhere I guess.