Captain Inger Olsen, Cunard Line’s first female Captain, took her ship home to her birthplace when Queen Victoria made her maiden call to the Faroe Islands in Denmark, with visits to Klaksvik on 26 June and Torshavn the next day.
Captain Olsen was born in Vestmanna in the Faroe Islands, which lends some explanation for her maritime abilities, and she joined Cunard in 1997 as First Officer on board Vistafjord. In 2001, she transferred to the Seabourn fleet, which at that time was part of Cunard. She sailed on Seabourn Sun and Seabourn Spirit before being promoted to the rank of Staff Captain on Seabourn Pride in 2003.
Following some years with other companies within the Carnival group, Captain Olsen returned to Cunard in August 2010 as Deputy Captain of Queen Victoria and was then appointed Captain in December that year.
On 26 June 2013, landfall at Klaksvik was made at 17:30 hours with Queen Victoria remaining there until 04:00 hours. Throughout the ship’s visit there, all the shops remained open during the evening and a barbeque was held in the town square with live music and dancing.
Queen Victoria then sailed the short distance to Torshavn, where she arrived at 09:30 and remained there for eight hours. Events on board while there included the traditional Plaque Exchange ceremony, before guests enjoyed lunch in the ship’s new Verandah Restaurant.
“The undoubted highlight of my career so far was taking command of Queen Victoria in December 2010, thus becoming the first female Captain in the 170-year history of Cunard. That was a thrill I thought would never be overtaken,” said Captain Olsen. “But I have to say, taking Queen Victoria – ‘my ship' – home was on a par with first taking command. Not many people have the chance to take a 90,000-ton liner, and a Cunard liner at that, home! It was a proud moment for me and an event I was pleased to share with nearly 3,000 passengers and crew, and thousands more fellow countrymen.”
Captain Olsen added, “Queen Victoria's passengers have been intrigued to see and hear about the Faroes and I'm so pleased that it was possible to include calls at two of the islands so that our passengers can get more of a sense of what living in such a remote and rugged part of the world is really like.”
Peter Shanks, president of Cunard Line, said: “Homecomings are always very special affairs and we are delighted Inger was able to take her ship to the Faroe Islands, her birthplace. Both she and Queen Victoria received a magnificent welcome – one that I am sure will live long in her memory.”
The Faroe Islands are an island group and archipelago under the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Denmark, situated between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, approximately halfway between Norway and Iceland. The total area is approximately 540 sq. miles with a 2010 population of almost 50,000 people.
Queen Victoria’s passengers were able to enjoy a range of tours that included the countryside of Eysturoy, “Klaksvik past and present,” “Scenic Faroes and Pancakes,” and the island of Vagar.
Queen Victoria will return to the Faroe Islands on 2 July 2014 as part of her 14-night Geysers and Glaciers cruise, which departs on 22 June and calls at Flam, Alesund, Akureyri, Isafjordur, Reykjavik and Kirkwall.
For more information about Queen Victoria or Cunard Line, consult your Travel Agent, call Cunard toll-free at 1-800-728-6273 or go to www.cunard.com.