With a long history of championing diversity and inclusion, Celebrity Cruises sets a new benchmark in the cruise industry, announcing that one-third of its bridge officers are now female, in an industry where less than 2% of mariners are women. As a display of its commitment to equality, advancement and the accomplishments of women, the brand is changing its global “X” logo to “XX” on its social media channels in honour of the female chromosome for International Women’s Day. Celebrating all those who identify as female, this symbolic display supports this year’s #BreakTheBias international theme.
The “XX” logo was also projected onto Celebrity BeyondSM, the company’s highly anticipated flagship under final construction at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in St. Nazaire, France in preparation for its April 2022 debut and set to be helmed by female captain Kate McCue. When McCue maneuvers Celebrity Beyond from the shipyard, she will become the first woman to helm an inaugural cruise ship sailing, an industry honour commonly referred to as being the “start up” captain.
With a penchant for rising above the industry norms, Celebrity has made maritime history for its progressive thinking and barrier-breaking initiatives. In 2015, President and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, a catalyst for change in the 200-year-old industry, appointed Captain Kate McCue as the first – and still only – American female ship captain, starting an intentional effort by the brand to attract more women to the industry and into leadership roles across its fleet.
The cruise line further captured the world’s attention on International Women’s Day 2020, when the first all-female bridge and officer team led by Captain Kate departed on a history-making sailing onboard the award-winning Celebrity Edge. Made up of 26 women representing 16 different countries, the all-female bridge and leadership team reunited virtually on International Women’s Day 2021, one year after their glass ceiling-shattering achievement, to reflect on the historic sailing and discuss the challenging year that followed amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
Then, on 26 June, 2021, Captain Kate led the Celebrity fleet – and the industry – back into operation 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 global coronavirus pandemic.
When Captain Kate takes the helm of Celebrity Beyond this April, she will be surrounded by an accomplished nine-person Bridge team, including four female officers: Chief Officer Rachel Arnold (UK); Second Officer Dionysia Giapappa (Greece); Third Officer Gifty Adu Gyamfi (Ghana); and Third Officer Antonina Kolodziejczyk (Poland).
For more information on Celebrity Cruises’ work to #BridgeTheGap in the cruise industry, click here.