Cunard Line has announced the appointment of three senior officers who will serve aboard its newest ocean liner, Queen Victoria, when she enters service in December 2007. The veteran trio joins Captain Paul Wright, whose appointment as Master of Queen Victoria was announced in October 2006. Together, they boast more than 85 years of seagoing experience, gleaned most recently aboard Queen Victoria's majestic sister ships, Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth 2.
William Robinson, Chief Engineer
With Cunard for nearly 20 years, William Robinson currently serves as Chief Engineer aboard Queen Elizabeth 2. Joining Queen Victoria in the same position, he will be responsible for all aspects of the operation and maintenance of the ship's technical equipment, which is considered among the most advanced in the industry. Robinson joined Cunard's "grande dame of the seas" as a Junior Engineer and quickly earned his Combined 1st Class Certificate, working his way up the engineering ranks. His first seafaring experience, over 30 years ago, was sailing oil tankers and gas carriers for Shell.
Robinson is a graduate of Sunderland University in Sunderland, England, where he earned his Bachelor of Education degree in Technology. Following graduation, he taught Craft Design and Technology for three years. Accepting the post as Chief Engineer aboard Queen Victoria, he says, is the realization of a lifelong ambition.
Robert Howie, Hotel Manager
Robert Howie brings more than 21 years of experience - on land and at sea - to his new post as Hotel Manager aboard Queen Victoria. Howie held the position of Food & Beverage Manager aboard Queen Mary 2 in the ocean liner's inaugural year and was then promoted to the prestigious position of Hotel Manager to Cunard's flagship in 2005. In charge of all onboard operations re housekeeping, food and beverage, entertainment and personnel, he was at the helm during some of the ship's most iconic voyages including her 2006 inaugural South America voyages, first World Cruise earlier this year including the ship's phenomenally successful Royal RendezvousTM with QE2 in Sydney and maiden call into San Francisco, as well as Carly Simon's DVD concert special in 2005. Prior to joining Cunard, Howie served in senior managerial Food & Beverage positions and new build projects for Princess Cruises - both shoreside and onboard - since 1990.
Alastair Greener, Entertainment Director
Alastair Greener combines his love of stage and sea, characteristics that will serve him well as he prepares to join Queen Victoria as Entertainment Director. The quintessential English gentleman has served as Cruise Director on both Queen Mary 2 and QE2, and in addition to being a vivacious host for the onboard production shows, he is an enthusiastic thespian himself, having been a presenter for training videos for Cunard's famous White Star ServiceSM. He was also asked to represent CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) as a media tour spokesperson. Greener is a member of the British Actors Union and has appeared in a wide range of film, theater and television productions, including the BBC's "House of Cards" and Warner Brothers' "Black Beauty." Prior to Cunard, Greener joined Princess Cruises in 1997 and has served on eight ships within the fleet.
"Our guests will be delighted to find 'old friends' aboard Cunard's newest ship," said Carol Marlow, president of Cunard Line. "One of our distinguishing characteristics is the number and frequency of our repeat guests and they will truly appreciate 'coming home' to these familiar faces."
The 90,000-ton Queen Victoria will offer the very best of Cunard's heritage and traditions, along with all modern day luxuries including some exciting innovations. These will include the first traditional West End-style private viewing boxes at sea in the Royal Court Theatre, the first Cunardia museum exhibit at sea, housing Cunard artifacts and memorabilia and the first two-storey library at sea featuring an elegant spiral staircase. The ship will also feature the line's celebrated Queens Grill and Princess Grill accommodations and dining, further enhanced on Queen Victoria with an exclusive deck terrace and al fresco dining in The Courtyard.
From the outside, her distinctive black and red livery will hint at the sophistication that differentiates a Cunard liner. This will be most evident in the ship's adherence to liner traditions of the past, with elegant public rooms, many on a grand scale, featuring rich wood paneling, intricate mosaics and gleaming chandeliers. There will also be a grand, colonial-style conservatory complete with a retractable glass roof.