Sailing home - Shetland Captain cruises into home port!
From the high seas to home port – that’s the special voyage made over the weekend by Shetland-raised Staff Captain, Magnus Davidson, when the cruise ship Azamara Journey sailed into Lerwick Harbour on Sunday.
Brought up in Lerwick, 30-year-old Magnus is second-in-command and Head of the Deck Department on the vessel which carries almost 700 passengers and over 400 crew.
He said: "This voyage on the Azamara Journey, I've been to Monaco during the F1 Grand Prix, sailed through the Kiel Canal into the Baltic, visited the Hermitage in St. Petersburg and stayed overnight in Copenhagen during their Jazz Festival. Next trip, I'll head up the Amazon River in November, drift off Copacabana Beach at New Year for the fireworks, have a cruise down to Antarctica - and the South Shetland Isles - in mid January, and warm up in Rio de Janeiro for three days during the Carnival in February.
“The visit to Lerwick is my highlight of the year for the special fact that it's the first time in nearly 15 years on cruise ships that I've had the chance to sail into my home town and have my family on board the ship. To see Shetland through the eyes of our guests makes me proud to be from here.
"It’s a shame we only had a six-hour visit this time before heading off towards Iceland - but it gave me the chance to have family on board for a long lunch and a look around the ship.”
Since 2006, Magnus has been with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, the parent company of Azamara Club Cruises, with which he is in his first year.
What does he like best about his job? Magnus explains: "Undoubtedly the variety of places that we sail to and the fact that we can visit many of the exotic ports and smaller harbours that many of the larger cruise ships can't get into. Plus, it's great to meet and work with so many people from different cultures and backgrounds. We have over 45 nationalities just amongst the crew and it's heartening to see how well everyone can work and socialise together, no matter where they are from.”
Magnus now lives in Leith, Edinburgh, and usually visits Shetland when on leave - the last time in May.
The Azamara Journey visit yesterday was her third to Lerwick, following previous calls in June 2009 and July 2010. She was on route from Geiranger, Norway, to Akureyri, Iceland, as part of a 12-day cruise. The 181-metre long, 30,277 gross tonnes cruise ship was refurbished in 2007 and has capacity for 694 passengers, looked after by 408 officers, crew and staff.
Lerwick Harbour, one of Scotland’s top cruise destinations, is heading for a record-breaking season this year.