Celebrity Cruises announces all-female bridge and officer team

In an industry first, Celebrity Cruises has announced that an all-female bridge and officer team will set sail to mark International Women’s Day on March 8, 2020 under its #BRIDGEthegap initiative.

It comes at a time when the industry is still heavily male-dominated, with just 2 per cent of the world’s mariners women.

The all-female bridge and officer team will include three British female crew members. The sailing will take place on International Women’s Day aboard the line’s newest ship, Celebrity Edge, led by Captain Kate McCue. She will be accompanied by 26 other women including British First Officer Rachel Arnold, British Cruise Director Sue Denning and  British Guest Relations Director Jule Sherrington – as well as Celebrity’s President and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo.

“We are all passionate about closing the gender gap,” said Lutoff-Perlo. “Over the last few years, we have worked hard to diversify the crew on board and bring more women than ever into our industry. None of this could have been possible without the leadership and shared vision of the extraordinary men and women I work with every day, led by Patrik Dahlgren and Brian Abel – who take this challenge to heart and have made it possible. We are fortunate to have many incredible, experienced and beyond-qualified women who have worked tirelessly to achieve these positions. And we also celebrate the many men who continue to support them and help champion having more women crew on board.”

The line has raised the percentage of qualified women on its navigational bridges from 3 per cent to 22 per cent. 

“Excitement does not even begin to describe how I’m feeling about working alongside these incredible, barrier-breaking women on Celebrity Edge for this truly historic sailing,” said Captain McCue. “I am inspired every day by the amazing women we have working throughout this organisation – both on land and at sea. They’re proof that there’s power in diversity.”

The below all-women bridge and leadership team for this historic sailing of Celebrity Edge represents 17 different countries, including:

  • Captain Kate McCue – USA
  • Staff Captain Maria Gotor – Spain
  • Hotel Director Niina Hautaniemi – Finland
  • Guest Relations Director Julie Sherrington – United Kingdom
  • F&B Director Byliana Velikova – Bulgaria
  • Senior Doctor Jennifer Bernardo – Philippines
  • Cruise Director Sue Denning – United Kingdom
  • Safety Officer Ionela Burduja – Romania
  • Associate Hotel Director Milana Dortangs – Netherlands
  • Revenue and Marketing Director Sarah Guinot – France
  • HR Manager Angel George – USA
  • Financial Controller Teresa de Guzman – Philippines
  • Chief Housekeeper Lyudmyla Miroshnychenko – Ukraine
  • Safety Investigation Officer Alexandra Villarreal – USA
  • Environmental Officer Maria Karoutsou – Greece
  • Chief Security Officer Mor Segev – Israel
  • Chief Officer Maria Koliou – Greece
  • Chief Officer Maria Agius – Malta
  • Doctor Sumaya Guffar – South Africa
  • First Officer Rachel Arnold – United Kingdom
  • First Officer Despoina Tsairi – Greece
  • Third Engineer Anna Avgoustaki – Greece
  • Second Officer Nicholine Tifuh Azirh, who was the first West African woman to ever work on the bridge of a cruise ship when hired in 2017 – Cameroon
  • Second Officer Ioana Tzovara – Greece
  • Third Officer Esperanza Romero – Spain
  • Third Officer Cassandra May Mead – New Zealand
  • Apprentice Officer Gifty Adu Gyami – Ghana

Guests can experience the all-female bridge onboard the seven-night Eastern Caribbean sailing, departing from Fort Lauderdale, Florida on March 8, 2020. Prices are now £974 per person based on two people sharing an Oceanview stateroom.

As part of this special sailing, Celebrity is curating a programme that includes evening gallery exhibitions and art auctions featuring female artists and special events, such as a cinema series featuring iconic and impactful female director and leads and women-of-the-world-themed trivia challenges.

The aim if to inspire a new generation of girls and women to continue pushing boundaries and breaking barriers.

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