Virgin Voyages Appoints Captain Wendy Williams as Master of Scarlet Lady

Sir Richard Branson and Captain Wendy Williams // Courtesy of Virgin Voyages

Virgin Group Founder Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Voyages President and CEO Tom McAlpin have appointed Captain Wendy Williams as Master of Scarlet Lady. The company says Captain Williams will become the first Canadian woman to be captain of a ship for a major cruise brand.

Captain Williams has over 28 years of experience working on ships at sea in a variety of positions. These include working as a deckhand in commercial fishing off the western coast of Canada for over 10 years as well as working as a ferryboat captain. Her role with Virgin Voyages will be her first promotion to Master of a cruise ship.

In 2018, Virgin Voyages unveiled its Scarlet Squad program, an effort to equalize the number of men and women in leadership roles across the maritime industry. The program aims to recruit, support and mentor female shipboard talent, and to create opportunities for leadership roles in marine, technical and hotel management positions on board.


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Virgin Voyages has already recruited Captain Williams as well as nearly a dozen other female officers, including Jill Anderson as hotel director, Christin Wenge as safety officer, Lindsay Kerber as environmental officer, among other incredibly talented female engineers, as well as second and third officers, although the company is still in the early stages of developing the crew for Scarlet Lady.

In other Virgin Voyages news, Sir Richard Branson is calling on South Dakotans to book with Virgin Voyages. The first person in The Mount Rushmore State to book a voyage gets a prize package.   

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