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Industry insight: Trendsetters and trailblazers - Subscriber Access Only

By BCShippingNews 06 April 2015

Securing an interview with Captain Wendy Williams, Staff Captain, Anthem of the Seas, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, was a bit of a coup for BC Shipping News. Not only is Captain Williams second in command to the newest cruise ship in the RCCL fleet, but she calls British Columbia home when not at sea and gained all of her experience and training here on the West Coast. And as one of a handful of female senior officers, Captain Williams personifies the cruise industry of which she is a part — a  trendsetter and trailblazer that the shipping industry as a whole looks to for leadership in innovations and operations.

BCSN: Let’s start with an overview of your career.

WW: I’ve always had a great love of the sea — my father was a marine electronics engineer and he would take me to work when I was a little toddler. I remember being so excited about working on the ocean. Deep down, I knew I would pursue a career on the sea, however, it took me a bit of time to realize it. I actually got my Bachelor of Science in Nursing first. I really enjoyed being a nurse but, ultimately, it wasn’t what I wanted to do, so I suppose my maritime career started when I went to work for a company called Archipelago Marine as a fisheries observer.

Intermittently, I worked as a deck hand on the B.C. Coast, and the more I worked with fishing and around boats, the more I became enamoured with finding out how they worked. I found the navigation aspect especially fascinating. That led me to the Pacific Marine Training Institute — now BCIT Marine Campus — and worked to get my Watchkeeping Mate Licence and then my Watchkeeping Mate Unrestricted.