Wendy Williams will the be first Canadian woman to be a captain for a major cruise brand (Image: Virgin Voyages)
Virgin Voyages has appointed Wendy Williams as captain for its first cruise ship, Scarlet Lady, which is set to debut in spring 2020.
Born in Sept-Îles, Quebec, Williams will be the first Canadian woman to be the captain of a ship for major cruise brand. She has more than 28 years of experience working on ships at sea, including over a decade as a deckhand on commercial fishing vessels, time as a ferry captain and over 15 years working on the bridge of mega cruise ships.
“I have saltwater in my veins and nothing brings me more joy than being at sea,” said Williams. “It’s a dream come true to be working with Virgin Voyages, a company that is focused on creating an incredible experience not only for our sailors but for our crew as well; while also taking action to minimise our footprint on our oceans.”
Virgin Voyages appointed Williams as part of its Scarlet Squad programme, which aims to recruit, support and mentor female shipboard talent. The initiative will also see the cruise line increasing the number of opportunities for women to take on leadership roles in marine, technical and hotel management positions onboard its ships.
“Captain Wendy’s extensive maritime background makes her an excellent choice to lead the Scarlet Lady, but it is her spirit and drive to approach life at sea differently that make her the perfect fit to join the Virgin Voyages family,” said Tom McAlpin, president and CEO of Virgin Voyages.
Virgin Voyages has also revealed that it has created new itineraries with multiple late-night departures to replace Scarlet Lady’s planned Cuba cruises, which are now unable to go ahead due to the US government’s restrictions on travel to Cuba from the US.
Scarlet Lady will now offer five-night ‘Riviera Maya’ voyages to Cozumel and Playa Del Carmen in Mexico, giving guests the chance to go diving on coral reefs, explore Mayan ruins, or visit Tulum.
Meanwhile, the planned four-night sailings will now become ‘Fire and Sunset Soirées’ that include a sunset departure from Key West in Florida and a midnight departure from Bimini, The Bahamas. The highlight of the cruise will include a late-night ‘beach bonfire soiree’ in Bimini.
Virgin Voyages has also developed seven-night itineraries for the 2020 festive season, including the ‘Holidaze and Nights’ and ‘New Year’s Ahoy’ voyages. They feature calls in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic and late-night departures in Bimini and Puerto Rico’s capital San Juan.
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