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. Students are paid an hourly wage for their work shifts and attendance at required events during the internship, and will have the unique opportunity of helping to operate one of the last wooden-hulled passenger steamships anywhere in the country.

The internship program has been postponed until the 2022 season. For more information, contact Virginia V Executive Director, 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, CPR/First Aid training and exploration of maritime industry careers and post-secondary vocational training opportunities.


Internship runs late June through late August.

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. They will also do shifts working on a small boat building project at the Center for Wooden Boats in July and August. Shifts range from 4-6 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.

We are not accepting applications at this time. To view our past application, you may download the 2021 Internship Application.

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

Applicants must be 16 years or older.

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