Captain Ian McNaught is the youngest captain of the Queen Elizabeth 2 in the ship's 34-year history.
He completed his initial cadet training at Fleetwood Nautical Colleges and spent four and a half years as a deck cadet with BP Tanker Co. He found life on board a deep-sea tanker to be rather monotonous, so he signed on with the Bibby Line, first aboard the general cargo ships Warwickshire and Herefordshire and later the gas tankers Hampshire and Wiltshire. By 1979, he felt that this latter type of ship was not for him and he joined Hull Gates Shipping, an English coasting outfit based at Grimsby. He stayed eight years until the company was sold when he applied to Cunard for a job.
He joined the QE2 as second officer on September 2, 1987 and stayed with the ship for two years before serving on several other Cunard liners. He became the QE2's Staff Captain in 1999. In the summer of 2001 he was appointed Captain of the Sea Goddess I, but later that year he rejoined the QE2. Then on December 15, 2002, he was to leave the QE2 to become supernumerary on the Caronia in preparation to take over as Captain in May. But while still aboard the QE2 on a World Cruise, Cunard President Pam Conover arrived at the Port of Singapore to appoint him Master, the same day that Captain Ron Warwick was leaving the ship for the last time. Captain Paul Wright finished the cruise as Master, and he too joined Captain Warwick as Master of the Queen Mary 2 then under construction at St. Nazaire in France.
At 1730 on 17th April, Ian McNaught stood on the QE2's bridge. Under McNaught's command, the QE2 sailed from Southampton for New York with 1646 passengers.
Captain McNaught is married with one son. Home is the town of Washington in North East England, only seven miles inland from where he was born.