Captain Kate McCue is to take the helm of Celebrity Cruises’ newest ship Celebrity Beyond.
The decorated captain will take charge of the largest ship in Celebrity’s fleet on April 27, 2022, when it makes its maiden voyage from Southampton on a 10-night Western Europe cruise, visiting Bordeaux, France; Lisbon, Portugal; and Seville, Malaga, Palma de Mallorca and Barcelona, Spain.
McCue wanted to be a captain since she went on a cruise with her family at the age of 12. She told her father she wanted to be a cruise director when she grew up, and her dad told her she could do anything she wanted.
Captain Kate was the first – and only – American female to captain a major ship, Celebrity Summit, in 2015. She then moved to Celebrity Equinox before being appointed to helm Celebrity Edge in September 2019.
Captain Kate also led the Celebrity fleet back into operation on June 26, 2021, when Celebrity Edge became the first cruise ship to sail with guests from a U.S port in more than a year, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Celebrity Cruises president and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo said: “This is a day that I’ve been waiting for since we made the first cut of steel on our beautiful Celebrity Beyond. Captain Kate has transcended what it means to be a captain as a voice and example of inclusivity, diversity, and change.”
She added: “She constantly thinks about how she can go above and beyond, mirroring the exceptional design and imagination of the ship she will captain. I’m beyond excited to see her take our guests to locations that will open their eyes to the beauty of the world around them and experience travel on a new-luxury ship without comparison.”
McCue has also become a social media celebrity, amassing nearly 3.5 million followers across TikTok and Instagram by sharing a behind-the-scenes look at seafaring life.
Captain Kate McCue said: “To be the ‘take out’ captain for a new vessel is an honour for any captain and it is an absolute dream come true for me. I always say that if you see it, you can be it and I hope that Celebrity Beyond sails as an inspiration for all to see past convention in pursuit of any goal in life.”
She added: “I’m forever grateful to Lisa for entrusting this labour of love to me to captain. The thoughtfulness and imagination she put into this ship is only matched by her forward thinking to move the industry beyond what it is now and see what it should be.”
Following its maiden voyage, Celebrity Beyond will offer a variety of Mediterranean journeys, including nine-night Italian Riviera and France itineraries, and 10-night Greek Isles itineraries through early October, when it then heads to the Caribbean. Voyages are on sale now.