“Welcome to my office,” Allison Haworth West beams as she plunges into the crystal clear waters of Fiji’s Monuriki Island, where the Tom Hanks survival drama Cast Away was filmed.
Armed with a business degree, the international ski instructor and author took control of her family’s company, Captain Cook Cruises, two years ago.
It would be some time before the newly minted chief executive could visit her fleet of ships or the 150 staff employed by the cruise company throughout the Fiji Islands.
As the first waves of the pandemic hit, Haworth West was given just four days to close the company’s entire operations after the Fijian government put tough Covid measures in place.
As the youngest daughter of Australian tourism royalty Captain Trevor Haworth and his wife, Geraldine, who together built up the company to cruise the waters of Fiji as well as Sydney Harbour (where they had a fleet of 15 ships) and the Murray River, Haworth West always knew that one day she would be heavily involved.