We speak to Sarah Wikevand, MD at ROL Cruise, about her daily routine and her never-to-be-forgotten moments in the cruise industry.

My alarm goes off at…

Six am and, if I’m not up already, I attend to my two very energetic sons. It’s fair to say I rarely have a quiet start to my day! I have an hour’s drive to the office and spend time on hands-free calls, or listen to my music – very loudly.

My job entails…

Doing everything from managing our commercial partnerships, supporting and motivating the team, to strategising our growth plans; my role is hugely varied. I love coming up with new ideas.

I got my job…

Nearly 14 years ago, when I began working in marketing before moving over to heading up the commercial team. I was then promoted to MD of ROL last year.

A typical day involves…

About six black coffees! I don’t think there is a typical day for me; I can be at external meetings with our cruise partners, involved in planning sessions, brainstorming ideas with the team and everything in between. I much prefer face-to-face meetings instead of email, because I find there is better engagement and it is easier to judge enthusiasm and body language.

At lunchtime…

I eat on the go. I rarely take a break over lunch but instead eat on the move.

The most stressful part of my job…

Involves external factors that are out of my control. For example, we can plan for the coming year and create new products, yet we can’t control market conditions. You only have to look at the uncertainty that Brexit is creating as a current example.

I love it when…

A new ship is launched – I’ve always loved this. It’s great to see the whole company get behind the new venture and really see the passion come out in everyone.

I’ll never forget…

When the Cunard QE2 retired; what an incredible day that was. I was completely taken aback by the loyalty and outright love that travellers had for that ship. We were astounded by the calls we took from people wanting to be part of her last few sailings. I think that’s when you realise just how special the cruising industry really is.   

We bring to the table…

Quality product marketing, customer service and our overall experience. Our team has a combined experience of more than 700 years in the cruise industry. As we approach our 25th anniversary in 2020, there’s a lot that we can look back on and learn from. As a team we are always seeking to improve, so our customers continue to experience the difference.

I’d shake up the industry by…

Focusing more on solo travellers. It’s the most perfect holiday for those travelling by themselves – I saw this first-hand when I worked on ships. I’m still passionate about it. There are costs and restraints that cruise lines face, but I’d love to find a workaround to make cruising more accessible for solo travellers.