Cruise & Ferry Review - Spring/Summer 2022

1 2 5 Jethro Beck will be responsible for managing all aspects of marine operations for American Queen Voyages' river cruise fleet merger of American Queen Steamboat Company and Victory Cruise Lines as part of Hornblower. The multiple-brand and shared-services approach to vessel management, the evolution of robust compliance, and world-class training programmes are the major experiences that have prepared me well to take on this new position. The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, on the other hand, exposed me to the business side of vessel management. Reporting directly to CEO Douglas Prothero and being part of the executive team there really allowed me to graduate from thinking about daily operations into thinking longterm business strategy. Of course, The Ritz-Carlton name is synonymous with ultra-luxury and exceptional service, and I was lucky enough to work very closely with the hotel operations team at The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection. My time spent with the exceptionally bright, industry-leading talent over there really took my understanding of hotel operations, and guest experience, to another level. Having held command in my previous position, I can bring an elevated level of understanding of the unique burden of responsibility ship captains bear in their daily operations. I have also gained my Steam and Motor 3rd Engineer Licenses, helping me negotiate the more unusual elements of vessel operations. Can you give us an insight into the daily tasks of a vice president of marine operations and whether they have changed since the pandemic? I’ve been asked what marine operations is over the years and it’s not an easy answer to put in a box. On any single day, I can be involved with any issue that arises from the realms of nautical, technical, safety, security, environmental protection, port operations, human resources, recruiting, maintenance, guest experience, emergency response and more. But the tasks we complete on a daily basis can be summarised into two simple statements: deal with whatever just happened, and do whatever is necessary today to make operations successful in the future. When it comes to Covid-19, we’ve had to remain nimble with the flux in protocols and US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations. As with most of the country, staffing challenges arise due to isolation requirements, social distancing and personal protection guidelines mean adjustments to operating processes and procedures. Travel disruptions trickle down to affect project management targets while supply chain issues left unchecked can affect onboard operations.