Silversea Cruises has appointed its first female captain, for an assignment that began this month and will continue through to October.
The captain is Margrith Ettlin, and she has taken command of the Silver Explorer, which can carry 132 passengers. The executive vice president of fleet operations for Silversea, Christian Sauleau, said “We hope Captain Ettlin’s achievement will inspire other women to pursue careers at sea.”
Ettlin is originally from Switzerland, and has worked for the F Laeisz shipping group in Germany, along with another shipping line called Hapag-Lloyd. She also has plenty of experience in sailing in remote areas, including both the Arctic and Antarctica. She’s worked for Silversea Cruises since 2010.
She’s been quoted as saying “I’ve always been fascinated by the beauty of our planet, and its countless different cultures. I thought that spending a life at sea would be the perfect way to explore the world.”
While Ettlin isn’t the first female captain of a cruise ship overall, she is the first for Silversea Cruises and female captains are still relatively rare. The first female captain of any major cruise ship was Karin Stahre-Jansen who took command of Royal Caribbean International’s Monarch of the Seas in 2007. P&O Cruises appointed Sarah Breton as the first female captain of a UK cruise ship in 2010, and then Inger Klein Olsen was appointed as the captain of the Queen Victoria for Cunard in the same year.
When Olsen was appointed, the Cunard president Peter Shanks said “While we are far from being the first shipping company to have a female Captain, it is nonetheless noteworthy when such a long-established British institution as Cunard makes a break with its captaincy tradition.”
Based on these quotes and those of Christian Saleau above, what do you think of the way this news is being presented? Is it good to see special mention made of these ground-breaking women, or is too much of a fuss being made, and is it something that should just be accepted as normal rather than talked up as a major event? Let me know what you think in the comments.
By Ian Lewis