Comprehensive Guide Course

A 6-day intensive course 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.

Participants will gain a greater understanding of safe operating procedures and practices involved in working as an expedition guide. The aim of this course is to provide the very basic tools and skills needed to operate safely on and off expedition ships.

We offer this course in both Denmark and New Zealand.

Course Content:

  • Living and Working on Ships

  • Navigation

  • Communication 

  • Working with Small Boast/Zodiacs

  • Driving Small Boats/Zodiacs

  • Online pre-course component 


Language: English Proficient 

Age: 18+

Previous experience: None required

Who is the course for?:

Seasoned guides already working on ships who would like to train and potentially prepare for PTGA assessments and those completely new to the industry.

The course is designed for anyone looking to become more skilled and confident within expedition guiding

Minimum: 3 participants

Maximum: 6 participants

Price: USD $1979 per person



Course Segments Outline


Living and working on ships


Theoretical segment based on the Online Material as well as knowledge of the "soft skills" involved in expedition guiding. 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, professionalism, 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 element 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.  

Segment 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
















Pre-course Learning

We realise that participants will have a range of experience levels and come from different backgrounds. To ensure we maximise our learning during the actual course, there will be an online pre-course learning component to be completed before attending the course. We find it important to have all participants on the same page in regard to terminology and basic concepts around the course segments to maximize our time focusing on practical training and theory, best done when together.

Practical Course Information

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. This is not only useful to you in your personal training development, but it is also useful to companies - potential employers.  

Arrival and Departure

In the interests of maximizing 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$55 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. 

Assessment and Qualification

We highly recommend combining 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 Certification with EGA page for more details. 

Dates & Location:

September 7-12, 2021 in Denmark, Vindekilde

(Fully booked)

 October 1-6, 2021 in Denmark, Vindekilde

(Fully booked)