Cruise line appoints first female Canadian captain of passenger ship

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(HAMBURG, Germany) — Sea Cloud Cruises has promoted Kathryn Whittaker to captain of the 94-passenger Sea Cloud II, Cruise Industry News reported. She is the first female Canadian captain of a passenger cruise ship, the company said, and the first female captain for Sea Cloud.

While at a university in Toronto, Whittaker took time off from school and worked on touring boats in Toronto Harbor for three years, and then made her way to Sea Cloud as a deck hand in 1996. This first position on a sailing ship began her journey to securing her captain’s license.

Whittaker did most of her training privately and achieved her certifications by passing the required exams through various Canadian maritime schools. Her hand-on experience was achieved on various sail training ships and small passenger sailing vessels in the British Virgin Islands, where she held positions including chef, first mate and training captain. She then held the position of chief officer for two years with Canadian Sailing Expeditions.

Prior to being promoted last month to captain, she held the position of chief officer for six years.

“When the opportunity arose for our crewing manager to promote Whittaker, who conveys dedication and love for her job, to captain, the decision was easy,” said Daniel Schafer, managing director of Sea Cloud Cruises.

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By Professional Mariner Staff