Princess Cruises have announced that British Captain, Tony Draper, will be at the helm of their forthcoming flagship, Royal Princess.
The 3,600 passenger ship — the largest and most innovative ship in Princess Cruises' fleet— will boast over 100 years of seagoing experience in her team of senior officers. The senior four-stripe team will also include fellow Brit Staff Captain Tim Stringer, Chief Engineer Fabio Braccelli, Hotel General Manager Dirk Brand, and Relief Captain Dino Sagani.
Paul Ludlow, Princess Cruises' UK Director, said: "It takes a talented team to launch a new ship of the calibre of Royal Princess, and we are particularly excited to announce that a British Captain will be at the helm on the ship's maiden voyage from Southampton. Captain Tony Draper and his team of experienced officers bring considerable seagoing and management skills that we believe will contribute to the success of the ship’s maiden season."
Captain Tony Draper has been in command of a number of the company’s vessels since 2006, including Ruby Princess, Crown Princess, Caribbean Princess, Dawn Princess, Sun Princess and Coral Princess, as well as ships for sister companies P&O Cruises Australia and Cunard. Draper began his seagoing career with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary Service, the civilian manned supply and logistics division of the Royal Navy.
After gaining his Masters Certificate in 1994, he also pursued a lifelong interest in aviation, gaining a commercial pilot’s licence in the same year. In 1995, he joined Princess Cruises as Navigator of the original Island Princess. It was on this, one of the original Love Boats, that he met his wife Joanna. Originally from Scotland, Captain Draper now lives in Cornwall with his wife and young daughter, Alysia.
Written by Charlie Hamilton-Beaufort