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Cunard's First Woman Captain Commands the Queen Victoria
by Roy Witman © 2011 All Rights Reserved

For centuries, Cunard cruise lines (formerly White Star) upheld a longstanding tradition of men at the helms of their ships.  Recently, however, they warmly welcomed the first woman captain in their fleet: Inger Olsen.

Cunard is known for promoting employees who work their way up through the ranks. And while she left the company for a few years, Captain Olsen actually served onboard Cunard's Caronia in 1997 and transferred to the Seaborn Fleet (then part of the Cunard line) in 2001. As of December 15, 2010, Captain Olsen took command of the Queen Victoria, one of Cunard's crown jewels.

According to their blog, Cunard’s President and Managing Director, Peter Shanks, commented, "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. 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, and we are delighted to welcome her as our first woman driver.”

Captain Olsen Focuses on Guest Relations

How does it feel to be a groundbreaking captain?  Olsen is honored to hold the position.  While you may think the first woman captain in the fleet would spend her days on the bridge of her ship, that's actually not the case.  Primarily her days are filled with management responsibilities and onboard guest relations. 

Having described Queen Victoria as "elegant, stylish and truly a Queen," Captain Olsen is here to ensure the welcoming atmosphere, safety and security of her ship. 

When asked what her gold nugget of advice for guests was, she commented, "Lean back, and embrace the excellence and adventure that Queen Victoria can offer you and get the most out of a fantastic voyage."

A Regal Journey

Steeped in British tradition, the Queen Victoria indulges the privileged who sail with her through Enrichment Programs, white-gloved afternoon teas, stellar accommodations and several agendas to legendary ports of call.

Currently, Queen Victoria is making her way to Ft. Lauderdale, Bonaire, the Panama Canal and Mexico.

During the trip, you can look forward to scouring the well-stocked library for a literary jewel to keep you company while you relax on deck.  Enjoy world-class performances at the Royal Court Theater complete with box seats.  Or meander through the winter garden that allows you the dual pleasure of nature's beauty and indoor comfort.

Dining elegance is also yours as you choose from several onboard venues that deliver culinary excellence.  From formal dining to quaint cafes, the choice is yours.

Let Captain Olsen welcome you to her newly refit vessel that guarantees to impress, intrigue and indulge you at every turn.

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