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From Cal Poly to CEO of Hornblower Cruises—Terry MacRae’s incredible ride

Terry MacRae CEO of Hornblower Cruises based in San Francisco
Credit Thomas Wilmer
Terry MacRae CEO of Hornblower Cruises based in San Francisco

Terry MacRae started his professional life journey at Cal Poly State University. MacRae eventually grew a two-man Berkeley yacht operation to eventually become one of America’ s foremost operators of cruise vessels that today comprises of a fleet of more than 70 Hornblower Cruise vessels. 

Cal Poly’s learn by doing model provided MacRae with incubator opportunities as a mechanical engineering major that cemented a solid professional foundation long before graduation.

Join correspondent Tom Wilmer on the docks in San Francisco for a conversation with MacRae .

MacRae is also a pioneer in creating revolutionary environmentally efficient vessels. His Hornblower Hybrid Alcatraz vessel uses solar, wind, and grid electricity, consuming 75 percent less fuel than similar tour boats on the San Francisco Bay.

Operations around the country include New York’s Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island cruises, San Francisco dinner yachts and Alcatraz Cruises--a concessionaire of the National Park Service.

MacRae also operates luxury yacht cruises out of Sacramento, Newport Beach, Marina Del Ray, San Diego (including Hornblower dinner cruises, and harbor and whale watch cruises), Mississippi river cruises, and Niagara Falls sightseeing tour boats in Canada.     

Hornblower San Diego whale watch cruis
Credit Thomas Wilmer
Hornblower San Diego whale watch cruise
Credit Cornreich Design San Luis Obispo

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Credit SATW Foundation

Tom Wilmer produces on-air content for Issues & Ideas airing over KCBX and is producer and host of the six-time Lowell Thomas award-winning NPR podcast Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer. Recorded live on-location across America and around the world, the podcasts feature the arts, culture, music, nature, history, science, wine & spirits, brewpubs, and the culinary arts--everything from baseball to exploring South Pacific atolls to interviewing the real Santa Claus in the Arctic.
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