Day in the life: Magnus Davidson, Azamara Captain

Day in the life: Magnus Davidson, Azamara Captain

From navigating rough seas to dealing with emergencies, the captain of Azamara Journey tells Amie Keeley what it’s like to command a cruise ship. When Magnus Davidson isn’t sailing the world, he’s back home in Edinburgh.

My typical day at work involves …

Every day is different. But I usually get up at 7.30am, check my emails, then go up to the bridge and take a look at the situation and the weather conditions. I check the speed and ask the crew if anything happened overnight. Then I grab a coffee and chat to passengers.

I have meetings during the day – one with the senior officers and, if we’re docking that day, another with the staff captain and officer of the watch about the manoeuvre. We’ll pick up the pilot, who has local knowledge of the port, and discuss a plan of action.

Once ashore, I have lunch at the Windows Cafe or in the staff mess. I catch up with paperwork in the afternoon, then go to the bridge and check the weather conditions. I have another meeting in the evening, then once we’re clear of the harbour, I hand over to the officer of the watch. The evening usually involves a social event – dining with guests, a cocktail party or watching a show.

The most rewarding part of my job is …
Every cruise develops its own character, but I love getting a ship full of new guests, then talking to them at the end of the voyage and hearing them say what a great holiday they’ve had.

The most challenging part is …
The weather. We are affected so much by weather conditions at sea, so we’re always having to monitor the situation.

My favourite part of the ship is …
The Prime C restaurant. I love the chateaubriand steak. But I obviously enjoy being on the bridge too.

The most common question I get asked by guests is …
Who is steering the ship? The bridge is manned by officers 24 hours a day.

The most stressful situations I’ve experienced at work …
Emergencies. You can’t call the ambulance or fire brigade – we have to deal with it on board. But we’re trained for every eventuality and have an emergency drill.

When I was younger I wanted to work …
At sea. I always liked ships, and my father was a captain and my grandfather was in the Navy. I made a list of countries that I wanted to visit – and now I’ve been to all of them.

My favourite locations are …
Australia and Japan.

To relax, I like to …
Read travel books and sometimes go to the gym because it helps to work off all the nice food.

If I was allowed to take only one possession to a desert island …
An Ice-Skate. Well it worked for Tom Hanks in Castaway.

Magnus’ CV

2015 to date – Captain, Azamara Club Cruises

2011-15 – Staff captain, Royal Caribbean/Azamara Club Cruises

2010-11 – Staff captain, Oceania Cruises

2006-10 – 1st officer and chief safety officer, Royal Caribbean

1997-2006 – Deck cadet, 3rd officer and 2nd officer, P&O Cruises


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