Captain Ian Stevenson
A career at sea was a natural progression for Ian, who grew up in Oban with a keen interest in all things nautical. Ian commenced his formal training as Deck Officer Cadet in 1992, gaining his sea-going experience with London & Overseas Freighters. Between 1997 and 2001, Ian was employed by The Scottish Fisheries Protection Agency. Ian joined Hebridean in 2001 as Second Officer, rapidly earning promotion to First Officer, and was appointed as Captain in March 2007. He is delighted to be sailing in the area he knows so well, the west coast waters.
Captain Richard Heaton
We are delighted to introduce Richard Heaton who was promoted to Captain at the start of the 2012 season, having spent 10 years on board. Known to many guests as Chief Officer and 2nd Officer prior to that, Richard has a detailed knowledge of Hebridean Princess and her regular cruising area. Growing up in Rugby a career at sea was not first choice. However while studying for a degree in Soviet Studies and Russian at Portsmouth University the sight of the ships coming and going gave rise to the idea of a seagoing career. Richard served his officer cadetship with an old, established shipping line, learning his trade on both supply ships and passenger vessels. As a senior cadet Richard served on the passenger vessel Edinburgh Castle before serving as a junior officer in container ships, RORO ferries and survey vessels prior to joining Hebridean.
Graduating with an HND in Hotel & Catering Administration in 1974, Charles worked within the industry before joining P&O Cruises as Assistant Purser in 1978. He transferred in 1980 to P&O Ferries, where he was promoted to Chief Purser and remained until 1985. After a spell in the Red Sea as Chief Purser with a Saudi Arabian company, Charles came ashore, developing and managing country house hotels in the UK for 13 years. The invitation to join Hebridean Island Cruises as Chief Purser in 1999 was the ideal chance to merge seafaring and hotel management experience. For Charles, Hebridean Princess forms the perfect blend between cruising and a country house hotel, in which he feels privileged to be involved.
David was born in Bristol and lived at Keynsham. After attending Weston-Super-Mare Catering College for two years, with a love for travel, he joined P&O as a steward in 1974. After two years sailing on the Canberra, he was transferred to Princess Cruises, where he met his wife Pat on board the Sun Princess in 1979. Following their marriage in 1982, he moved to P&O Ferries across the Channel and the Bay of Biscay. He seized the opportunity to join Hebridean Island Cruises in 2005. David says that he has not looked back since, enjoying all aspects of working for Hebridean and meeting so many friendly and interesting guests.
James joined BP Tanker Co Ltd as an Engineer Officer Cadet in 1973 and progressed through several ranks before joining the worldwide oceanographic research ships in 1986. In 1995, as a family man, he took a shore-based job as a Commissioning Superintendent/Trials Chief Engineer with Yarrow Shipbuilders, completing two frigates for the Royal Malaysian Navy. James returned to sea and was sailing on the fast catamaran ferry service between UK ports and Belfast when the opportunity arose in 2005 to join Hebridean Princess as Chief Engineer, an offer he could not refuse.
John began his career at sea at the age of 16 with the Norwegian bulk-carrier company, Gearbulk, where he remained for 10 years, rising to the rank of Second Engineer. Having decided to extend his experience to cruise ships, as a native of Oban it seemed a natural progression to join Hebridean Princess as Second Engineer some 18 months later. He was promoted to Chief Engineer in 2009. John feels deeply honoured to have been offered the position at what is considered in the industry to be quite a young age.