Captain Alistair McLundie
Allow us to introduce you to our Captains - if you don't know them already.
This week we focus on Captain Alistair McLundie.
Captain Alistair McLundie was born in Swansea in 1965, but was brought up on the west coast of Scotland, near Oban.
As his father, grandfather and uncles were Master Mariners, it was only natural that Alistair wanted to follow in their footsteps.
Growing up near the sea, Alistair was frequently messing around in small boats. Fishing and sailing were his favourite hobbies too.
After leaving school, Alistair decided to study mechanical and electrical engineering at a college in Glasgow, because at that time there were no vacancies within the Merchant Navy. After completing his two years, he was lucky enough to be offered a cadetship with Harrisons (Clyde) of Glasgow.
He went on to travel the world on various vessels, including container ships, offshore platform supply ships, bulk carriers and ferries: he especially enjoyed cruising the west of Scotland when he briefly worked on the cruise ship Hebridean Princess in the 90s. Along the way, he continued to study and gained his Masters ticket.
Enthusiastic as ever, Alistair was rewarded for his for his hard work and promoted to Master on offshore platform supply vessels in 1996.
In 1997, a new and exciting challenge was needed, so Alistair took a post as Chief Officer with Sea Containers, a company who ran the high-speed ‘sea cats’ which sailed from Stranraer to Belfast. In his short time with the company, he was asked to command them after completing his Commander training for the craft.
But by October that year Alistair felt the need to head back to deep sea, and our much-loved Scotsman joined Saga Rose as First Officer where he was swiftly promoted to Staff Captain. Alistair held this rank for 18 months before he was chosen to take command in May 2000.
Throughout his 12 years as Master, he has had the privilege of not only taking command of Saga Rose, but he introduced Saga Ruby and Spirit of Adventure into the Saga fleet.
Alistair also took command of Saga Pearl II as one of the Masters in her inaugural season.
Friendly, down to earth and known as one of Saga’s most talkative Captains, Alistair has been asked to command our new ship Saga Sapphire on her Inaugural Cruise. He gladly accepted and is really excited about welcoming customers both old and new on board this spring to discover our new ‘gem’.
When he’s not sailing the seas, Captain McLundie lives on the banks of Loch Long with his wife, Jennifer, and their son, Scott.
Alistair’s hobbies include sailing, playing around with anything mechanical, teeing up on a golf course and a little bit of warm water scuba diving – obviously not something he gets to do in Scotland!
But his favourite hobby at the moment is riding his 1200cc BMW motorbike through
Scotland’s stunning scenery.
Some McLundie trivia…
Favourite place: I took the Saga Rose to Antarctica in 2004. It was the inaugural visit of a Saga ship to this area. I found it to be the most inspiring place I have ever seen and enjoyed the challenges of navigating within the ice, something all Mariners are trained in but many don’t get the chance to utilise this. Working with Saga, I use all my training everyday in the wonderful places we go to.
Favourite read: I like non-fictional books and biographies.
Favourite shop: I enjoy the Yacht Chandlery. Here I find a treasure trove of bits and pieces to maintain and renovate my yacht.
Most memorable travel moment: I took the Saga Pearl II to Cuba last year and visited a special school for children with chronic illness. I found the children and staff to be so warm and welcoming and when they learnt I had recently had a son, they quickly went away and made cards and notes and pictures as a welcome from Cuba. They asked me to give them to my son to have that bond between the children across the seas. I found this very moving and when my son Scott is old enough, I will explain this to him. Very humbling moments that we Captains enjoy doing the job we do.