Cruise industry appoints its first American female captain

Captain Kate McCue Captain Kate McCue

JULY 13, 2015 — San Francisco native Kate McCue is to be the cruise industry's first ever American female captain. The 37 year old California Maritime Academy graduate and San Francisco native Kate McCue will next month take command of the 2,158 guest, 965 ft cruise ship Celebrity Summit, sailing between the eastern United States and Bermuda.

Royal Caribbean Cruises' Celebrity Cruises brand, which operates a fleet of 10 ships, says it has elevated McCue to the position of captain based on her 15 years of successful experience and leadership in the maritime industry.

"From the first time I met Kate, I looked forward to this moment, when I could extend my congratulations to her for being such a dynamic and highly respected leader who will continue to pave the way for women in the maritime industry," said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, who was named President and CEO of Celebrity Cruises in December 2014. "Of all the great moments throughout my career, this is at the top of my list. I am both honored that Kate accepted this position, and proud of the way our team continues to transform the way people think about Celebrity, and about cruising in general."

Captain McCue has held a variety of roles in the maritime industry, beginning as a cadet and deck officer, then working through a series of successively more responsible positions to her most recent role as a staff captain with Royal Caribbean International. During her career, she has managed ship logistics and has sailed worldwide itineraries, including Europe, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, and along the Panama Canal.
Captain McCue has also served as a maritime leader while sailing several transatlantic and repositioning cruises, and played a notable role in the revitalization of ships in Singapore.

"Becoming the first female American captain of a cruise ship has been a goal of mine for as long as I can remember," says McCue. "The honor is amplified by being the first at a company like Celebrity Cruises. The cruise industry is ever-evolving, from the ships and the itineraries, to our guests' expectations for vacation experiences. Celebrity has a history of delivering on each of these and I am thrilled to be a part of it. I look forward to working with an amazing team and the exceptional leadership who bring the Celebrity Cruises vision to life every day."

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