Woman cruise ship captain in the spotlight

woman cruise ship captainBack in December of last year, Inger Klein Olsen took the helm of Cunard Line’s Queen Victoria and joined a small group of women in a male-dominated occupation. Now, P&O Cruises has made history with their first woman cruise ship captain sailing to Australia at the helm of Pacific Pearl. Captain Sarah Breton joins four other female senior officers on P&O Cruises Pacific Pearl along the biggest group of female senior officers on any cruise ship in the region.

“We are thrilled to finally have a female Captain in charge of one of our great Australian ships and believe that Captain Breton is a fantastic role model for girls who dream of a career on the high seas” said Ann Sherry, CEO of Carnival Australia, which operates P&O Cruises.

Captain Breton, 45, has served on board many ships including the former Royal Princess, Sky Princess, Canberra, Pacific Princess, Grand Princess and Star Princess as third officer, second officer, navigator, first officer and safety officer reports northernstar.com. After being promoted to staff captain in 2001 on the original Pacific Princess she went on to serve onboard Coral, Tahitian and now the new Pacific Princess.”Growing up near the water I always loved boats and the ocean, so it really does fulfill a lifelong ambition of mine to be a captain with P&O Cruises” said Captain Breton.

The worlds very first female captain of a major cruise line ship was Karin Stahre-Janson back in 2007 on Royal Caribbean‘s Monarch of the Seas. Since that time, few other women have been named master of the vessel on a number of lines.

Flickr photo by WexDub

Related Stories



Being a Girl or Woman Today

Women gaining (a little) ground as cruise ship captains

women cruise ship captainsShe’s not the first lady captain of a cruise ship, but when Inger Klein Olsen (pictured) takes the helm of Cunard Line’s Queen Victoria on December 15, she’ll join a small group of women in a male-dominated occupation.

“While we are far from being the first shipping company to have a female captain, it is nonetheless noteworthy when such a long-established British institution as Cunard makes a break with its captaincy tradition,” said Peter Shanks, president of Cunard Line.

43 year-old Captain Olsen joined Cunard in 1997 as First Officer on board the line’s Caronia and was then transferred to the Seabourn fleet in 2001, sailing on the Seabourn Sun and Seabourn Spirit before being promoted to Staff Captain on the Seabourn Pride in 2003.

Female cruise ship captains are few and far between.

The worlds very first female captain of a major cruise line ship was Karin Stahre-Janson back in 2007 on Royal Caribbean’s Monarch of the Seas. Since that time, few other women have been named master of the vessel on a number of lines.

Earlier this year, Sarah Breton became the first female captain of a UK-based P&O Cruises ship in the company’s 173 year history.

“But as Mark Twain drily observed, ‘the folks at Cunard wouldn’t appoint Noah himself as captain until he had worked his way up through the ranks.’ Inger has certainly done that,” Shanks continued, “and we are delighted to welcome her as our first woman driver.”

Photo courtesy Cunard Line

Largest cruise ship to have football field-sized park on deck

When I think of a cruise ship deck, I think a swimming pool, shuffle board and lounge chairs–maybe a tennis court. I’m not that imaginative, but those who design ships for Royal Caribbean certainly are. The latest undertaking of this company that already boasts the world’s largest luxury cruise liner is another ship that will be large enough to have a park as big as a football field. Think town square with eateries, entertainment and large trees. This deck will be only one of the ship’s fifteen others, according to this article published in The Daily Mail.

When complete, this liner will weigh 220,000 tons. And by the looks of one of the mock up drawings, if placed on the Thames River, it will dwarf London. St. Paul’s Cathedral looks small next to it.

%Gallery-7172%

As the airline industry is going through its woes due to fuel costs, and whatever else seems to be ailing it each week, cruise lines are doing swimmingly swell. Passengers’ desires to enjoy luxury and the wow factor when they head out on the high seas are adding to the push for bigger and bigger cruise ships.

Genesis, being built in Finland, will be ready to set sail in 2009. Its home port will be Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Join the other 5,399 paying customers who’ll be climbing aboard. There will be space since it can hold 5,400 passengers. I don’t think you’ll have a hard time spotting it because it will be 40% bigger than the other ships–until someone gets the urge to build a bigger one.

If you have an urge for a monster cruise ship trip before then, here are other options.