Queen Victoria sailing at sunset



Great to meet you Captain Hoyt! Tell us a bit about your history: how did you get to where you are today?


After graduating from the US Merchant Marine Academy I went to sea on ocean-going tugs in the Bering Sea. I progressed through the ranks on many types of vessels – cruise ships, sailing ships, freighters, tankers, and government auxiliaries.


I attained Captain’s rank on ships in service with the US government and later shifted back to my first passion, passenger ships. I worked on some of the biggest in the world and did multiple new-build deliveries before being chosen for Cunard. The incredible history and depth of tradition in Cunard, combined with the interesting people you meet on board and the fascinating and varied itineraries, make it an honour to command one of the Queens.

What top tips do you have for our guests to make the most of their voyage?


Plan ahead for your visit ashore. There are so many offerings in each of the ports we visit that it is best to do your research. The internet is a good resource, as well as the knowledgeable Shore Experience team. Whether you’re taking an excursion or striking out on your own, they are a wealth of knowledge and love to share it. Most people like to book their Shore Experiences in advance, but you can chat to the team on board at the Shore Experience desk as well.


You must know Queen Victoria pretty well by now. What is your favourite on board venue?


I've always been fond of the Commodore Club. The décor celebrates the vibrant history of Cunard and you have a panoramic view of the sea in a refined and comfortable space.

Wide shot of the Commodore Club on board Queen Victoria, showing bar, sea views and ample comfortable seating

And your favourite destination?


Sailing into New York in the morning is one of the most special moments at sea and, after years of visits to the Big Apple, I have made many friends there.


What is your one unforgettable moment?


The day I officiated at the wedding of a young military couple who had just been reunited after a year deployed away from each other. Just wonderful.


What could not travel without?


My favourite insulated coffee mug!


What is your proudest moment as Captain?


It has to be coming up the gangway of my first command.


What is your dream cruise as a passenger?


I have always loved the idea of seeing the Northern Lights on a voyage to Norway.

Article first published in Cunarder (Summer 2022 edition).

On board with Cunard