Comprehensive Guide Course

Comprehensive Guide Course


This course is aimed at those looking to gain the foundation skills and knowledge for guiding aboard expedition cruise vessels. The Comprehensive Guide Course will lay the foundation for you to enter the industry as a safe, professional and confident guide.



Course Outline:


Living and working on ships


Learn about the specifics of living and working aboard an expedition cruise ship. We'll cover life on board as an expedition staff member, staffing structures, roles onboard, terminology and strategies for excelling in a ship-based workplace. 



Knowing how to drive a zodiac or lead a hike doesn't matter much if you don't know where you are and where you need to go. In this part of the course, we'll learn how to use and interpret maps and charts. We'll also learn to use a handheld compass and GPS. This is all tied together with specific applications for expedition operations and professional best practice. 




Efficient and effective communication is key for any expedition professional. The aim of this element is to use handheld VHF radios and portable satellite telephones. We'll learn about the advantages and limitations of these communication tools while we become proficient with the use of handheld VHF units.






Working with Small Boats/ Zodiacs

Part of being an effective and efficient team member is working as shore staff for zodiac operations. The aim of this course is to learn about zodiac operations from a landing party perspective. Catching zodiacs, loading and unloading guests and uses of shore stranding equipment are all elements that make up this part of the course. 

Driving Small Boats/ Zodiacs

Knowing how to safely drive zodiacs is a must-have skill for any expedition professional. Becoming familiar and proficient with zodiacs takes time and practice. With this course, you'll spend your time hands-on in the zodiac as you learn the techniques and strategies required for becoming a safe and professional small boat handler.  

Course content:


  • Learn the boat/gear

  • Driving techniques

  • Driver stances

  • High-speed manoeuvring

  • Embark/ disembark guests

  • Man overboard (MOB)

  • Anchoring techniques

  • Troubleshooting

  • Use of a throw bag

  • Towing and being towed

  • Gangway operations

  • Low-speed manoeuvring

  • Managing guests

Certificate of Training

On completion of the Comprehensive Guide Course, you'll receive a 'Certificate of Training' from the Expedition Guide Academy outlining the course content covered. 

Assessment and Qualification

We highly recommend combing the Comprehensive Guide Course with the PTGA assessments as they offer industry-recognised qualifications. The assessments are programmed directly after the completion of the Comprehensive Guide Course. Please refer to the PTGA Assessments page for more details. 

Arrival and Departure:

In the interests of maximising course delivery and instructor contact time, participants will need to arrive the evening prior to the course and will depart the morning after the final day. 



We offer accommodation on-site at our training facility for US$44 per night. You're more than welcome to organise your own accommodation and stay off-site but we do encourage participants to stay on-site and engaged in the full immersive learning environment. 

Price: US$ 1979 per person

Minimum: 3 participants

Maximum: 6 participants

Minimum age: 18 

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