P&O CRUISES president Sture Myrmell said the International Maritime Organization’s World Maritime Day was an opportunity to say “thank you” to the thousands of seafarers who work on P&O ships ensuring guests can enjoy safe and spectacular cruise holidays.

“World Maritime Day’s theme this year is gender equality and empowering women in the maritime community. We are proud that so many women play such a big part in delivering our onboard product and cruise experiences for our guests,” Mr Myrmell said.

“They really are the backbone of our cruise line and we salute their contribution and that of all of our seafarers.”

Amy Templeton has worked at sea for eight years and is one of an increasing number of female deck officers working on oceangoing vessels.

Seafaring and salt air run in her family – her father, Barry, was a deck officer on tankers before becoming a land-based firefighter and her younger brother, Aidan, is an engineer with one of P&O’s sister cruise lines.

Hailing from Sunderland in England’s north-east, Amy has been a seafarer since she was 18 years old when she became a newly minted officer cadet.

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Amy shelved plans to study history at university after accompanying her brother to a shipping career open day where both became hooked on going to sea.

Only 2% of world shipping deck officers are currently women but Amy doesn’t find it unusual to be working on the bridge of a cruise ship.

“When people mention that it is good to see a female on the bridge, it is not something that I see as strange. It is just something that I fancied doing and I did it,” she said.

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