Swiss company offers free Mediterranean cruise to all 800 employees

Swiss company offers free Mediterranean cruise to all 800 employees

Swiss entrepreneur and former state councillor Ruedi Noser, has given paid leave a rebranding by chartering a cruise ship to take his 800 employees on a free week-long holiday.

Free cruise offered to 800 employees and their families

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Noser Group - a group of ICT companies based in Zurich - Noser announced that he had chartered a ship to take all 800 employees and their families on a free cruise. The ship is set to leave Genoa on October 5, stopping at Barcelona, Mallorca, Valencia and Marseille before returning to Genoa on October 11. 

Speaking to the Tages-Anzeiger, Ruedi Noser said he expected 2.000 workers and their family members to take the cruise, occupying 1.000 cabins. When the charter cost is combined with the estimated loss in working hours, the offer is set to cost the Noser Group 5 million francs. 

In an email sent to staff, the company promised “unforgettable activities both on board the ship and on land” for employees, their partners and children. “We want to provide a social event for our employees and their families…This seems important to us after the restrictions during the Corona period,” added Noser Group CEO Herbert Ender.

Environmental considerations are still a big issue, Noser acknowledges

Given Noser's offer, some have questioned, and the fact that he was an FDP state councillor for Canton Zurich from 2015 to 2023 who was instrumental in drafting referendums designed to combat CO2 emissions, whether it is hypocritical for him to use a cruise as a reward. An employee told the Tages-Anzeiger that the Noser Group ruled out using cruise ships for company events after a similar free cruise was offered back in 2017, mainly due to the amount of CO2 they produce.

Responding to the comments, Noser told the newspaper that the free holiday idea was among many proposed to staff in an internal survey, in which the “free cruise” won a big majority of votes. However, he acknowledged that the environmental impact remains a “big issue.” He said that the company is pushing employees to use public transport and cycling to get to work, and for staff to take the train to Genoa rather than fly. 

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Editor for Switzerland at IamExpat Media. Jan studied History at the University of York and Broadcast Journalism at the University of Sheffield. Though born in York, Jan has lived most...

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