Our very own Kevin Morrissey, third officer on Queen Mary 2, is proud to be flying the flag for Cunard as he’s made the news where he’s from in Nashua, New Hampshire in the US. You can read the full article below:

Deep blue sea; Nashua sailor mans bridge on ocean liner

Nashua’s Kevin Morrissey could drive a Harley like his dad’s or a pickup truck or any other vehicle, but… no.
His mode of transport weighs 150,000 tons and is propelled by 200,000 horsepower.

Morrissey, 35, is a navigator on the bridge of the Queen Mary 2. It is a transatlantic passenger liner that is the flagship of the Cunard Line’s trio of grand vessels – the QM2, the Queen Elizabeth and the Queen Victoria.

Morrissey, a graduate of the 2000 class of Nashua Senior High School, is a third officer, one of a handful of seasoned navigators whose manipulations on the bridge of the 19-deck passenger liner take the ship and an average of 2,800 passengers on regularly scheduled, 14-day round trips between New York and Southampton, England.

Warmer destinations visited by the QM2 during wintertime travel include Singapore, Bermuda, the Caribbean, Sydney, Australia and many more.

Morrissey said he has always had a passion for sailing. His father, Dennis, his mother, Susan, and an older brother, Eddy, spent summers with him at the family’s camp on Lake Winnipesaukee. They owned two speedboats through the years. Young Kevin always waved to people on the Mount Washington excursion boat as it passed.

“I never realised how much my parents did for us,” Morrissey said. “We had boats and the camp on the lake. In junior high, they let me go on educational tours to Spain and France.”

Morrissey said that seeing faraway lands was one motivator for him to find employment at sea. His training at State University of New York Maritime College, the University of New Hampshire, the Coast Guard Academy and the Massachusetts Maritime Academy honed his navigation skills and secured solid maritime certifications in ship handling.

“My passion for sailing was fired up even more when the Queen Elizabeth 2 went aground in 1993,” Morrissey said. “I was 12. My dad took me to see it in dry dock in Boston. I couldn’t believe how massive it was.”

These days, he said he also finds it hard to believe that his workplace offers him and his six fellow bridge mates such an interesting lifestyle. He always broadcasts a heads-up to guests whenever he sees humpback whales swimming along the Grand Banks, a stretch of hundreds of miles of continental shelf off Newfoundland.

Morrissey, the only American on the bridge, is one of three third officers who work shifts of eight hours. Alongside him may be the captain. There also may be a deputy captain, a safety officer, a first officer and one or another of two second officers. Each has many duties attending to the steering, the radar system, the computers, the engine performance indicators and a multitude of weather surveillance components. Winds can top 90 knots, or 103 mph, he added.

“It’s a 24/7 operation,” Morrissey said. “It’s not a cruise, it’s a voyage. We could power Nashua, Manchester and Merrimack with the power of the ship.”

Morrissey said he enjoys connecting with the ship’s guests when he is off his shift. He spends time walking the ship’s length of 1,132 feet and looking in on its 47 venues, where guests and celebrities find entertainment, dining, sports, shopping, spa treatments or relaxation. The ship has a casino and five swimming pools. Luxurious staterooms and suites, dozens of restaurants and bars, and world-class entertainment in the grand Royal Court Theatre or elsewhere are highlights of a voyage. In addition, Morrissey said the QM2 has an extensive library, an art gallery and the only planetarium, a 500-seater, to be found on any ocean liner.

“It’s all about guest service,” Morrissey said. “It’s about going above and beyond. That’s why we’ll go around and meet guests, do bridge tours and tell them when we spot sea life. It’s reminiscent of a more grand time in ocean travel.”

Morrissey has worked for Celebrity Cruise Line and Disney Cruise Line. His maritime license credentialed him to help his Coast Guard brethren during Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill that poisoned the Gulf of Mexico starting in 2010. He applied for his current job when he saw a post on LinkedIn, an online networking site. It said the Cunard Line was hiring. “I actually put an email on LinkedIn, and Cunard got right back to me,” Morrissey said. “I did a Skype interview.

“I knew I got the job when my request was answered with, ‘You must be the American who’s begging to get on a Cunard Line. Which ship would you like to be on?’ ”

He chose the QM2, and has realised his passion. He sails. He socialises. He hobnobs with film stars, rock stars, business moguls and ordinary people from many continents. He gave a televised tour of the ship that was featured on “Chronicle,” a WMUR production, in July.

“It’s the only time in my life I’ve felt a little cocky,” Morrissey said. “I’ve worked hard to get here, and I love my job.”

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