Celebrity Cruises announced with great fanfare today that it appointed Kate McCue as the master of the Celebrity Summit cruise ship. She reportedly will be the first U.S. woman to captain a large cruise ship when she joins the Summit next month.
McCue has been with sister brand Royal Caribbean for 15 years.
Royal Caribbean first named a woman as a captain of a cruise ship in the male dominated industry in 2007 when it appointed Swedish mariner Karin Stahre-Janson as the master of the Monarch of the Seas.
Royal Caribbean named its second female cruise ship captain, Lis Lauritzen, aboard its Vision of the Seas in 2011.
In 2010 Inger Klein Olsen took the helm of Cunard’s Queen Victoria and joined this very small group of women in the male dominated industry.
Later Sarah Breton became the first female captain in P&O Cruises’ 170 plus year history when she was appointed to sail the Artemis.
In 2012 Silversea Cruises promoted Margrith Ettlin to the position of captain aboard the Silver Explorer.
Sexism has been a problem for the industry over the decades. Having women in places of authority and control can only make the cruise lines a fairer place for crew members to work.
Kudos to all of these pioneers and best of luck to Ms., er, Master McCue!