Cruise & Ferry Review - Spring/Summer 2022

1 2 4 INTERV IEW A new adventure Rebecca Gibson asks Jethro Beck about his new marine operations role at American Queen Voyages and the challenges facing river cruise operators Born and raised in Scotland, Jethro Beck began his maritime career at the age of 16 as an engineering apprentice on an LNG tanker out of Brunei, Borneo. Over the past two decades, Beck has captained vessels for Holland America, Shell Oil and Global Marine Systems. and served in marine leadership positions for Holland America Group, Carnival Corporation and ultraluxury start-up The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection. In January 2022, he started a new venture as vice president of marine operations for American Queen Voyages, taking responsibility for the nautical, technical, compliance, safety and security operations of its river cruise fleet. Why did you take the new role? Growing up in the tiny village of Strathy in the far north of Scotland, I can tell you river cruising is not what I first thought of when I embarked on a career at sea. However, I’ve been following the evolution of American Queen Steamboat Company – now American Queen Voyages – since before I moved to the USA, so I was thrilled when the company approached me regarding this role. While I’m sad to leave an amazing team at The RitzCarlton Yacht Collection, this role at American Queen Voyages affords me the opportunity to immerse myself in a new division of overnight cruising that I’ve previously only seen from afar. I’ll now get to work with exceptionally talented professionals, both onboard and ashore, who have been extremely welcoming. So, in essence, I get to learn something new, travel to the most beautiful parts of America and work with amazing people, all while getting paid. It’s a win-win! How have your previous roles at other cruise organisations and captaining ships helped to prepare you for this new position? While my tenures at Carnival Corporation (Holland America Group) and The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection were very different in several ways, yet they both had one thing in common – they were both periods of great personal and professional growth. After having spent my entire career at sea, my position as director of marine operations for Holland America Group was my first foray into shore-based vessel management. A few months after my wife and I moved to Seattle to take that position, Holland America (which already had Seabourn in shared management) merged with Princess Cruises and P&O Australia to form Holland America Group under the parent umbrella of Carnival Corporation, very similar to the recent American Queen Voyages' paddlewheel riverboats sail to historic ports along the Columbia River (pictured) and other US waterways