News / First Canadian Female Captain of a Passenger Cruise Ship

Kathryn Whittaker promoted to Captain of SEA CLOUD II

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Supplier: Sea Cloud Cruises

SEA CLOUD CRUISES is happy to announce the promotion of Kathryn Whittaker to captain of the SEA CLOUD II by their crewing manager. Whittaker is the first female Canadian captain of a passenger cruise ship. In addition, she is the first female captain in the fleet of SEA CLOUD CRUISES consisting of two sailing ships, the SEA CLOUD, welcoming 64 guests on board and the SEA CLOUD II, with 94 guests

Whittaker’s path to captainship is unconventional. Unlike many captains, her family doesn’t consist of sailors, and her voyage didn’t start at an early age in the maritime academy. While at university in Toronto she took time off from school and worked on touring boats in Toronto Harbor for 3 years, and then made her way to SEA CLOUD as a deckhand in 1996. This first position on a sailing ship sealed her fate and began her journey into securing her captain’s license.

Whittaker did most of her training privately and achieved her certifications by passing the required exams through various Canadian Maritime schools. Whittaker’s hands-on experience was achieved on various sail training ships, including 5 years as Captain of Bytown Brigantine’s “STV FAIR JEANNE” and small passenger sailing vessels in the British Virgin Islands, where she held various positions including chef, first mate and training captain. She then held the position of Chief Officer for 2 years with Canadian Sailing Expeditions.

Whittaker grew up in St. Thomas, Ontario and when not at sea, she now calls Ottawa home.

For more information on Sea Cloud Cruises exciting destinations and itineraries, visit

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