Carol Benbrook



Grazia Franco

Maria Grazia was born and raised in Rome and has developed since a young age interest for the sea. At 16 she became a certified scuba diver, at 21 she was an Instructor and ever since she has dived some of the most amazing and remote locations around the world.
Following her passion for the ocean she began sailing for fun and competition, participating in several races in the Mediterranean.
The key moment in her career was the move to Australia in 1998, where she worked on a small boutique cruise ship for 3 years.
Her career progressed to large private and charter yachts in 2001. In 2002 she obtained an MCA master 3000GT Certificate of Competency, also getting her first command position of a 38m sailing yacht.
In 2003 she joined during the build, the largest yacht of the time as Deck Officer and spent over 6 years traveling across all oceans and landing on all continents, including Antarctica. During those years she also gained a high level of knowledge and academic qualifications, including a British HND in Nautical Science and Unlimited Certificate of Competency. She has worked with helicopters, submarines, ROV & Dynamic Positioning, building a diverse and wide experience throughout, including also a successful and rewarding experience as an event planner for the Venice Film
Festival and Olympic Games.
From 2010 Maria Grazia worked on two more large yachts, including 2 years spent cruising and diving the South
Pacific and a contract on a luxury sail assisted cruise ship before obtaining the command of MARIU.
She’s very passionate about sports, as an accomplished skydiver, she takes every possible opportunity for some fun
jumps and training with her husband David, whom she met jumping out of planes.
Maria Grazia is also a pianist, having obtained a Diploma at the Conservatory of Music in Rome at a very young age,
and she used to be a private teacher before her career at sea started.
Maria Grazia is a true professional, enthusiast, organized, hard working and multilingual