Victoria Bolitho's Blog

My name is Victoria Bolitho, I am 34 years old and the Captain of the passenger ferry Scillonian III, owned by the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company. Between the months of March and November, I am lucky enough to sail to paradise every day, and here is how I did it…

After studying for a Bachelor’s degree in equestrian science at 18, I undertook the obligatory gap year that most 20 somethings do as a rite of passage. By the time I was 22 years old, I had decided I had needed to commit to a career. Being around boats from a young age and thanks to my father, boat handling was something I enjoyed very much, so my thoughts went past the horizon to 'who exactly works in shipping, and what is the industry all about?'. This led me to Google. 

The website provided me with enough information to contact sponsoring companies, and eventually ended with a Deck Officer Cadetship sponsored by Thomas Miller, the UK P&I club through Maritime London. I was lucky enough to sail on a variety of ships worldwide, taking me from the North Pole to some of the world’s most exotic locations. It was not always glamorous and at times hard and tiring work, but how can you beat seeing the sunrise on every ocean on the planet?

After living out of a suitcase lost its appeal, I went to work locally for the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company, serving the island community off Land’s End, the Isles of Scilly. I started as Chief Officer on the cargo ship Gry Maritha and eventually the passenger ferry Scillonian III. I gained enough sea time for my Master’s unlimited ticket and was promoted to Captain in December 2021.