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Meet our Captains

At the helm of every Saga small-ship cruise

Our Captains are such a big part of the Saga Cruise experience, taking charge of our small ships as they seek out remarkable destinations around the world.

Find out more about the lives and careers of our Captains, and to see which of our upcoming cruises they will be leading.

Captain Julian Burgess

If you get up early, when most of the guests are still asleep, you might see Captain Burgess walking around the deck, in the gym, or a little later, cycling around that day’s port. He really is our keep fit Captain!

Captain Burgess hails from East Sussex, and was first inspired to try life at sea by his brother, who was already working on ships as a Communications Officer. Beginning as a cadet aged just 17, he has gone on to a prestigious career working for P&O Cruises, Cunard and Princess, with the past 12 years spent in command as a ship Captain.

And those sports he’s passionate about? Not only does Captain Burgess love exploring the destinations on his bike, but is also a big fan of golf, tennis and skiing, while a newer interest is exploring Central Europe with his family in a motorhome!

With his wealth of experience, passion for travel and warm personality, he has fast become a firm favourite with guests aboard our boutique cruises.

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Captain Stuart Horne

Captain Horne has enjoyed a varied and interesting career in the cruising industry.

First going to sea as a young cadet with P&O, he worked up the ranks to become a First Officer, including serving aboard SS Canberra during the Falklands War. After reaching Senior Master, he became the founding Captain for Island Cruises.

Captain Horne has also worked in other areas of the industry, including land-based roles as a Director of Fleet Operations and even a deep sea pilot.

In his spare time he has two passions – property developments and classic cars – the latter of which is not always popular with those at home!

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Captain Nick Sunderland

Coming from an RAF family, Captain Sunderland went against the grain when he set off for a life at sea.

After graduating from Durham University, he began working for Holland America Line and rose through the ranks, later becoming Chief Officer, then a Staff Captain at the tender age of 29. This certainly made him one of, if not the youngest Staff Captain in the entire cruising industry.

Having been a Saga Master since 2015, Captain Sunderland is well known for his good humour and fun personality when taking our guests on many adventures.

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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!

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Captains’ blogs

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