Captain Christopher Rynd has been appointed Commodore of the Cunard Line fleet – Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria – the youngest fleet in the industry and The Most Famous Ocean Liners in the World. Captain Rynd assumes the title held by Commodore Bernard Warner who retired from the company on 19 April 2011.
“I must put on record our appreciation for the marvellous contribution that Bernie made to Cunard Line. We wish him and his family all the best for his retirement,” said Peter Shanks, president of Cunard Line.
Captain Rynd joined Cunard in 2005 when he took command of Queen Elizabeth 2. While on QE2, he came to appreciate Cunard’s distinctive product and traditions. Since then, he has commanded both Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria. He took Queen Mary 2 on her Maiden World Voyage and attended the Queen Victoria during her construction and sea trials and later proudly served as her master.
“I am delighted with the appointment of Captain Rynd as Commodore of Cunard Line and am sure that many of our regular guests will be as pleased as I and will join me in congratulating him on this notable achievement,” Shanks said.
Captain Rynd was born in New Zealand and grew up in Singapore, Sri Lanka, and in the islands of Fiji and Samoa of the tropical South Pacific. He began his sea career in 1970 at the age of 17 in New Zealand. The influence of his father and upbringing helped in this choice.
After completing his cadetship, Captain Rynd joined his first passenger liner, P&O’s Oronsay. His early sea days were in P&O vessels on routes between Australia and the UK, which also included cruising. Since then, most of his career has been in passenger cruise ships on worldwide itineraries. Additionally, he expanded his experience with eight years as a reserve officer in the British Royal Navy. He gained his qualification as Master in London in 1979. During his time with P&O and Princess Cruises, he commanded Royal Princess, Regal Princess, the first and second Pacific Princess, Pacific Sky and Sapphire Princess.
In 2008, Captain Rynd was elected a Fellow of the Nautical Institute, the international professional body for maritime professionals, and he took time out in 2009 / 2010 to work as a coach under the auspices of the Company’s training facility, ‘CSmart,’ in the Netherlands. This was an opportunity to travel in ships across the corporate fleets and be involved in the introduction of new procedures that enhance the safe operations in navigating ships.
Captain Rynd and his Australian wife Julie have three children who are now young adults, which allows Julie to accompany her husband at sea most of the time. When not at sea, they spend time in both Britain and Australia but visit New Zealand each year to hike and fish trout.