Before joining Celebrity Beyond in 2021, Sahira, who has a diploma in nautical studies from Singapore Polytechnic, worked on cargo and merchant ships, often the only female seafarer among dozens of men.

Since graduating in 2017, she has spent months at sea on such ships, undertaking physically demanding work and sailing to different countries around the world. 

“It’s not a life for everyone,” the 28-year-old told CNA Women. Although, for this eldest of two siblings, it’s exactly what she has always wanted to do.

“Since young, I knew I wasn’t for the conventional life. 

“I just couldn’t imagine doing a deskbound job, staying put at home in Singapore. I knew I wanted to travel and have different adventures.

“I remember looking at the cruise ships tied up at Marina South Pier and thinking how impressive it’d be to be able to work on such ships.” 

Still, being away from her family for most of the year isn’t easy. She has missed out on significant events, like her younger brother’s wedding, the birth of her nephew, and many Hari Raya gatherings.

She copes by calling her parents, especially her mother, every other day, and keeping them updated about her ocean adventures. Her parents were understandably worried about their daughter’s decision to work at sea, but have since come around. 

“I love what I do, but it never gets easier to say goodbye to my parents when I leave home for work,” she admitted. “I’m always thankful for their support and prayers.” 



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