Celebrity to Set Sail With First-Ever All-Female Bridge Officer Team

celebrity edge all female officer team women's day
L-R: Doctor Dr. Sumaya Guffar, Captain Kate McCue, & HR Manager Angel George - Photo by Celebrity Cruises

Did you know that only two percent of mariners across the world are women? Celebrity Cruises is working to change that percentage in their little corner of the maritime industry. The cruise line is working to #BRIDGEthegap, having hired Captain Kate McCue as the first American female captain of a cruise ship. The line has also announced that 22 percent of all the people on their bridge teams are made up of women, and are continuing the trend with another milestone: the announcement of the first-ever sailing with an entirely female bridge and hotel officer team.

The historic cruise will take place on International Women’s Day (March 8, 2020) aboard the line’s newest and most advanced ship, Celebrity Edge. Captain McCue will be at the helm, accompanied by 26 other women and 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 onboard.”

pool deck celebrity edge cruise
The main pool deck on Celebrity Edge - Photo by Celebrity Cruises

READ MORE: 5 Amazing Features on Celebrity Edge No One Is Talking About

Captain McCue added, “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. I am inspired every day by the amazing women we have working throughout this organization – both on land and at sea. They’re proof that there’s power in diversity.”

The all-women bridge and leadership team for this historical sailing come from 17 different countries, and are the following women: 

  • 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 (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

As part of this unique sailing, Celebrity is curating special programming and activities, some of which is the following with more to be announced at a later date.

  • Evening gallery exhibitions and art auctions featuring female artists
  • An exclusive jewelry design with luxury jewelry designer Reout Kallati 
  • A cinema series featuring iconic female directors, leads, and inspirational narratives
  • Women of the World-themed trivia
  • Fearless Female Officers vs. Guests pool volleyball tournament
  • Q&A panel with the ship’s female leadership team

Learn more about the International Women’s Day 2020 sailing by visiting celebritycruises.com/about-us/celebrity-cares/international-womens-day.

Join the discussion

Do you think Celebrity's #BRIDGEthegap initiative might help push the cruising industry to hire more female officers?

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