Born in Westbourne, Bournmouth, January 1956.Second of five children. Educated at Poole Grammer School, obtaining A levels in Biology and Chemistry, as well as the usual selection of O levels. Learnt to Sail on Poole harbour.
Captain Wells commenced his sea going career as a deck cadet officer with Shell Tankers, attending the Warsash Maritime Academy in 1974. After 4 years cadetship (partly at sea, and partly at college), he qualified as a second officer. Returned to Warssash for 'mates' exams in 1981 and again for 'masters' in 1985.
He remained with Shell for 16 years, progressing from third officer, through second officer to chief officer. Sailed on tankers big and small, bitumen carriers, bulk carriers for coal and iron ore, and finally LNG ships.
He joined the Royal Navy Reserve in 1986 as Lieutenant, and was promoted Lieutenant Commander in 1994 (still does 2 weeks per year with the RNR, in the Amphibious Warfare branch). He was awarded the Resree Decoration I 2006.
Captain Wells joined Cunard line as second officer, on QE2, in May 1992. From second officer, he moved progressively through the ranks, first officer, safety officer, chief officer, staff captain, serving also on Cunard Countess and Royal Viking Sun, before being appointed to the build team for Queen Mary 2, spending 18 months in France, and then her first year in service.
Following merger of P & O/Princess with Carnival, Captain Wells was appointed to Caribbean Princess, the Oceana, and the Oriana where he was promoted to Captain in 2006. Has subsequently commanded both Oceana and Queen Mary 2, before returning to Oriana in February 2009 and later to Pacific Dawn for P & O Australia, before returning to Cunard Line in command of Queen Victoria in 2010, and finally the first master of Queen Elizabeth.
Captain Wells is married to Hedda, whom he met on board QE2, and they have 3 children (6,8,11) and live in Barnham, between Chichester and Arundel in West Sussex.