Captain Chris Wells has been appointed Master of Cunard Line’s new 90,000-ton liner, Queen Elizabeth, which will enter service in October 2010. Captain Wells joined Cunard as second officer on Queen Elizabeth 2 in 1992.
Captain Wells was born and brought up in Bournemouth, England. His love of the sea developed when he learned to sail in Poole Harbour and resulted in his commencing a four-year cadetship with Shell Tankers at Warsash College in 1974. He qualified as a second officer in 1978 and obtained his Master's certificate in 1985. He served with Shell for 16 years.
He also found time in 1986 to join the Royal Naval Reserve. He still undertakes two weeks' training with the RNR each year, and was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Commander in 1994.
“It is a well deserved honour for Captain Wells to be appointed Master of Queen Elizabeth," said Peter Shanks, president of Cunard Line. “His experience on our longest serving ship QE2, and our flagship Queen Mary 2, will ensure that guests on our newest ship will enjoy all of the same famous traditions offered by Cunard Line.”
After joining Cunard and QE2, Captain Wells worked his way through the ranks to become staff captain. He later joined Queen Mary 2’s New Build Team and spent 18 months at the St. Nazaire shipyard. Having seen the ship develop from the beginning and bringing her into service as staff captain, Wells was extremely proud when appointed to the command of Queen Mary 2 last year.
Queen Elizabeth, currently under construction at the Monfalcone yard in Trieste, Italy, will be a classic Cunarder, offering the very best of Cunard heritage and tradition along with all of the modern luxuries Cunard guests have come to expect. She will join her sister ships Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria next year, ensuring one of the oldest shipping lines in business has the youngest fleet in the world.
Commenting on his new appointment, Captain Wells said, “Bringing Queen Elizabeth into her British homeport of Southampton will be one of the proudest moments of my life, and I very much hope that the people of Southampton and beyond will take the ship to their hearts as they have done with all the Cunard Queens since Queen Mary was launched in 1934. Queen Elizabeth certainly will follow in that great tradition."
Captain Wells lives in Barnham, West Sussex, with his wife Hedda, whom he met on QE2, and three children.