Retired Alex now working at Windermere Lake Crusies

Retired Alex is loving his latest Lake District job!

Published: 30th January 2024
Categories: Media Release

In the heart of the stunning Lake District, an incredible opportunity awaits as Windermere Lake Cruises opens its doors to a hundred new positions. Contrary to common belief, retirement doesn't mean missing the boat on exciting career changes!

Renowned as the Lake District's premier paid attraction, Windermere Lake Cruises proudly asserts that its jobs offer an ideal pathway for those seeking a late-career shift. Just ask 70-year-old Alex Hicks, a living testament to the possibilities that unfold within this picturesque work environment!

Alex retired from a long career in business, and as a lecturer in leadership and management, several years ago but has now become a permanent member of staff with Windermere Lake Cruises after first starting as a seasonal worker in his late 60s.

He works as a coach park assistant - a stone’s throw away from where cruise vessels carry visitors from across the world on tours of England’s largest natural lake.

“Retirement is nice but there is only so much gardening you can do!” says Alex who lives in Windermere. “I was looking for a job where I got to engage with the public and wasn’t sat behind a computer all day long – and this role is perfect.”

“We get coaches with both domestic and international visitors from all over the world arriving here. There are day trippers and people here for a longer holiday. I have to engage with them all,” says Alex. “I know it sounds terribly trite, but it’s my job to make sure people are happy!

“You need the confidence to step onto a coach full of visitors and tell them all about the cruise options available. The next minute you are making sure all the coaches are safely parked and that’s a bit like a 3D jigsaw! Then you are selling tickets and answering all the questions people have. It’s a lot of fun!”

Alex adds: “It’s nice to be part of a team. This is something you can carry on doing when you perhaps want a career change and while I’m healthy I have no plans to stop doing it.”

📷: Alex Hicks at Windermere Lake Cruises
Alex Hicks enjoying his new lease of working life with Windermere Lake Cruises

Windermere Lake Cruises is hosting a special Recruitment Day event onboard its newest vessel, the 300-seat MV Swift, on Saturday, February 3 from 10am to 4pm.

The Lake District’s biggest paid-for attraction is searching for people to work on its cruise vessels, self-drive boats, cafes, shops and ticket offices throughout this year’s peak holiday season and beyond. The jobs are open to people of all ages.

“We find the flexible nature of our job opportunities can be a perfect fit for those who have just taken retirement or at the other end of the scale students who are looking for work through the summer,” says Ian Wilkinson, HR manager at Windermere Lake Cruises.

“There are no unsociable hours, no split shifts and you can work one day a week or five days a week – it’s up to you,” says Ian.

MV Swift will be moored at Bowness Pier and the event is open to anyone interested in joining one of the country’s leading tourist attractions.

“It’s a great opportunity to work in a place where we can promise some of the best views you are likely to find!” says Ian. “There are good opportunities for career progression too. We have people who come to work temporary summer jobs who are still with us ten to fifteen years later working as Boat Masters or managers.”

Windermere Lake Cruises is one of the Top Five most visited paid for attractions in the country according to latest figures from VisitEngland.

Its popularity means that during the summer months, staff numbers need to more than double to deal with the huge demand from passengers exploring England’s largest lake on its fleet of historic ‘steamers’, modern launches and traditional wooden launches.

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