Meet our Captains
Our Captains are such a big part of the Saga Cruise experience, taking charge of our boutique sister ships as they seek out many remarkable destinations. Get to know our Captains before you step aboard.
Captain Darin Bowland
A Canadian by birth, but also proudly of "English, Scottish and Irish" descent, Captain Darin Bowland is an experienced Master, having previously held positions with Royal Caribbean, Holland America and Carnival, and starting his career as a cadet with the Royal Canadian Navy in 1985.
Captain Bowland is just as busy when he’s not at the helm of a cruise ship. “I split my time between our properties, including one in Finland, where my wife Minna is from. We have three children, and I spend my free time doing DIY and cheering on my kids at their various endeavours” he says. “During lockdown, I also found time to return to my hobby of restoring classic British cars, and worked on my 1929 Daimler 25/85 and a 1975 Triumph TR6.”
Finally, what does Captain Bowland like about Saga? “When I first joined the cruise industry, the business was all about the guests. After many years driving larger ships with 3000+ passengers, I really enjoy the smaller compliment, and really getting to know our guests and crew. Also, I love exploring, and I enjoy showing our guests the many fantastic destinations that Saga offers.”.
Captain Jason Ikiadis
“Call me CJ” says our new Master, who comes from a long line of seafarers, including his own father who was a ship captain, and his paternal grandfather who was in the Royal Navy. “Following in their footsteps was inevitable” he says.
Captain Ikiadis first went to sea in 1986, and has held many positions since, working up the ranks to captain for cruise lines such as Azamara and TUI.
What do you enjoy about working for Saga? “Saga is a well-established and well-known brand, with a loyal base of guests who enjoy that personal experience. Right now, having two brand-new ships is such an exciting time. I know the new sisters have a nod to the favourite parts of your previous ships. But this time with outside balcony cabins, which can sail our guests in comfort and style to many exciting ports”.
So what does Captain Ikiadis get up to when he’s not at sea? “Definitely not sailing or spending time on the water!” he laughs. “My time off is mainly relaxing, reconnecting, and being the best Dad I can be.”
Captain Kim Tanner
Working his way up from Staff Captain to fully-fledged Master, Captain Tanner has been at the helm of Saga ships since 2017.
Hailing from Jersey, Captain Tanner now calls the Spanish island of Majorca his home. Despite being our youngest Master he has been "messing around in boats since he could crawl", and has worked at sea professionally for almost 15 years, including service as a Chief Officer for P&O and Cunard ships such as QM2.
When he’s not on board, Captain Tanner still loves to travel along with many outdoor pursuits such as skiing, water sports and – in something of a busman’s holiday – spending time on his own sailing boat!
Captain Krešo Volarić
Captain Krešo was born in Rijeka, Croatia where he spent most of his childhood messing around on boats; it was inevitable that he would one day make it as a Master on one. His career began as a Cadet in 1991, allowing him to complete his BSC degree in Nautical Studies and Maritime Transport and Technologies in 1997. He first started on variety of container, cargo, reefer ships, followed by passenger ferries before joining the cruise industry. Captain Krešo, worked his way up and gained his experience as a Master, while with Seabourn Cruise Line for 16 years before joining SAGA. A proud husband to his wife Angeliki, born in Milton Keynes, UK, with whom he enjoys spending every day his not at sea with, creating memories with their two young children Karlo and Katarina.
"I am excited to take command of beautiful Spirit of Discovery in April and take you to my homeland Croatia, where apart from stunning Dubrovnik, Rovinj and Zadar are one of the highlights. Mediterranean as my number one destination is always full of life. Furthermore, looking forward to explore together the unique landscapes and wildlife of the island of fire and ice in July."
What does Captain Krešo enjoy about Saga? "SAGA is the perfect fit for me, as I like to work on a “smaller” ships where I get to know the guests we are travelling with. We have the ability to take our guests to places where the big ships are not able to. I am delighted to be given command of Spirit of Adventure and he cannot wait to take the helm on Spirit of Discovery in April 2023."
So what does Captain Krešo enjoy doing when he’s not at sea? Captain Krešo lives with his family in Kostrena, beautiful small place on the coast of Croatia. Family means everything to him therefore spending time and creating memories with his children and wife rests with him. Trips to places a ship’s won’t take him, skiing adventures or fishing dates are some examples. Since he has been sailing competitively since 7 years old, being very successful in the sport, he also still enjoys taking part in sailing regattas.
Get inspired by the latest blogs written by the captains of our ships. See where we've been and get behind the scenes details.Read them here