C. Keith Birkenfeld Youth Maritime Internship Program

The internship program introduces students to the skills and tasks required to operate and maintain the SS VIRGINIA V, a U.S. Coast Guard inspected vessel and National Historic Landmark, and also provides students with an introduction to career opportunities in the maritime industry. High school students ages 16 and up and recent high school graduates are eligible for the program. Interns are paid an hourly wage for their work shifts and attendance at required events, and will have the unique opportunity of helping to operate one of the last wooden-hulled passenger steamships anywhere in the country.

Applications will be accepted for the 2022 season from April 1 - May 16th. See "How to Apply" tab to download the application.

For more information, please download 2022 Internship Details.

And help us get the word out by downloading and sharing this flyer.

If you have further questions, contact Debra Alderman at debra@virginiav.org


  • 4 shifts in engineering (typically includes lining up pumps, performing oiling rounds, engine maintenance, etc.)
  • 4 shifts in deck (typically includes handling lines, stewarding passengers, navigating the ship during cruises, etc.)
  • 4 shifts in maintenance (typically includes varnishing, painting, small woodworking projects, etc.)
  • Training including pre-season orientations aboard the ship as well as exploration of maritime industry careers and post-secondary vocational training opportunities.


Internship runs late June through late August.

Commitment: approximately 90 – 100 hours of paid work throughout the summer season. The underway season will begin in July but we may begin the program with training after school gets out at the end of June. Once students are selected for the internship, they will work with The Steamer Virginia V Foundation staff to schedule work shifts based on their availability and the ship's cruising schedule. Interns will serve onboard during dockside or shoreside maintenance shifts as well as underway shifts as engineering and deck crew trainees. In addition, other skill-building opportunities may be arranged with partner organizations such as the Center for Wooden Boats, Seattle Maritime Academy, Northwest Seaport and others. Shifts range from 4-8 hours depending on the event or tasks to be completed. Evening and/or weekend availability is often required.

Attendance at some additional pre-scheduled weekday training events will also be required; please contact us with any specific questions about the interns' schedule.

Student Outcomes

During the course of the internship, students will:

  • Receive practical experience in all aspects of operating a small passenger vessel like SS VIRGINIA V, including deck, engineering, and maintenance tasks.
  • Participate in fun hands-on learning experiences at a variety of local maritime organizations including Northwest Seaport, the Center for Wooden Boats, and more.
  • Learn essential soft skills for success in the workforce, including resume and cover letter writing, interview prep, and networking.
  • Learn about maritime career and education opportunities available to them post-high school.
  • Have the chance to meet and socialize with other students interested in maritime career pathways.
  • Receive current City of Seattle minimum wage for their time spent working onboard shifts and attending required intern events.

Following their internship, interested students are encouraged to continue volunteering aboard the ship as crew members, and can receive post-internship support and mentorship if they choose to pursue a career in the maritime industry.

Please download and complete the 2022 Internship Application and submit it by May 16th via email to: debra@virginiav.org.

After the application deadline, some applicants will be invited for an in-person interview. Those being offered a position for summer 2022 will be notified in early June.

For more information, feel free to contact Debra at debra@virginiav.org.

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