Inger Klein Thorhauge has been announced as the new captain to Queen Victoria – and Inger will be Victoria’s first ever female captain.
This is a small milestone for the cruising industry as a whole – because traditionally captains have always been men.
Inger said that becoming captain felt like a natural career path as she had started her career on the seas in 1997 as a deck officer. It had soon become clear that only hard work and dedication would lead her to a captain’s role.
When asked about the competition to become captain Inger said she was unaware of any other women attempting to become captain. She also commented that the tough competition was “nothing out of the ordinary,” compared to elsewhere.
Inger had grown up by the sea and at 16 years old she became a stewardess. She realised shortly afterwards that she didn’t enjoy it and was eager to find a different occupation on-board. A captain’s role combined her curiosity to see the world and her enjoyment of sailing which drove her ambition to further her career.
It then took nine years before her Master License was fully endorsed. Inger explained: “the training involves basic seamanship tasks, safety awareness and knowledge, stability and navigation, among other things. It’s a demanding education and you have to work hard, regardless of gender.”
When asked if being a woman changed the way people treated her, Inger answered: “my position is pretty unique and will always create attention.”
“I strongly believe that being a woman in this line of work, you decide for yourself what obstacles you face- that it is all about how you present yourself and how hard you’re willing to work.”
Queen Victoria is one of the fleet of ships that belong to Cunard. Geared for transatlantic and transpacific crossings, she is known for her luxurious and nimble splendour.
Inger concluded by saying; “it’s a great honour to be part of the line’s 175th anniversary year – I’m delighted to be a part of the team.”
What do you think about Inger being named as the first female captain? Do you think the industry needs to give more female captains opportunities? Let us know in the comments below!