Celebrity Edge to Feature All-Female Leadership Team

Celebrity Edge

Celebrity Cruises has announced that that the Celebrity Edge will feature an all-female leadership team for a March 8, 2020 departure, marking International Women’s Day.

Celebrity Captain Kate McCue will be at the helm of the 2018-launched ship for the week-long sailing from Port Everglades. Port calls include San Juan, Tortola and St. Maarten.

Celebrity is curating unique speciality programming, including evening gallery exhibitions and art auctions featuring female artists, celebrating the female form; collaborating on an exclusive design with luxury jewellery designer Reout Kallati; hosting special events, such as a cinema series featuring iconic and impactful female directors, leads and inspirational narratives; and other dedicated onboard programming, including Women of the World-themed trivia challenges, Fearless Female Officers vs. Guests Pool Volleyball tournament, and a Q&A panel with the ship’s inspiring female leadership team.

Additional speciality programming is still to be announced, including a moderated discussion panel with current confirmed special guests including artist and child prodigy Autumn de Forest and fashion designer Mary Frances; unique networking opportunities and more, all with the goal of inspiring a new generation of young girls and women to continue pushing boundaries and breaking barriers, according to a company statement.

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Captain Kate McCue

“We are all passionate about closing the gender gap,” said Celebrity Cruises President and CEO Lisa 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 the 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.”

Senior Vice President of Global Marine Operations for Royal Caribbean Cruises Patrik Dahlgren, who has spearheaded Celebrity’s bridge diversification efforts under the leadership of Lutoff-Perlo, added: “Since 2015, we have raised the percentage of qualified women on our navigational bridges from 3% to 22%. Now, we hope this all-time industry-high will continue to grow; we just need more women to raise their hands for careers at sea, especially in engineering.”

“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,” added Captain McCue. “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.”

Among the officers are Captain McCue, First Officer Rachel Arnold and Second Officer Nicholine Tifuh Azirh.

Celebrity Edge March 8, 2020, Sailing Leadership Team

• 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

Virgin Voyages Unveils Valiant Lady; 2nd Ship to Sail in Europe

Valiant Lady

Virgin Voyages announced its second ship will be called the Valiant Lady and that she will sail seven-night Mediterranean itineraries out of Barcelona, Spain when she debuts in May 2021.

Bookings for the three feature itineraries, that all offer overnight and late-night stops in destinations in France, Italy and Spain, will open December 19, 2019.

“We are thrilled to unveil the name of our second ship – Valiant Lady – and to deliver on our commitment to offering travellers a sea change in how they can experience cruising in this fantastic part of the world. Our Sailors will fall in love with the places we go and the moments and memories they will be able to create on our gorgeous ship. After all, there is no better way to sail the seven seas than doing it the Virgin way,” said Tom McAlpin, CEO of Virgin Voyages.

Virgin will offer three itinerary options from Barcelona. The first will call in Ibiza, Monte Carlo, Marseille and Olbia. A second offering will call in Ibiza, Toulon, Ajaccio, Marina di Carrara and Cagliari; and a third itinerary focuses on Ibiza, Palma de Mallorca, Malaga and the British port of Gibraltar. All three feature a Friday overnight in Ibiza.

New Magellan Explorer Christened

Magellan Explorer Christening

Antarctica21 christened the Magellan Explorer on a sunny Southern Hemisphere summer day in Punta Arenas, Chile. More than 200 special guests attended the Nov. 8 ceremony, a select few of which were invited for an overnight cruise.

Francesco Contini, executive vice president of sales and marketing, called the ceremony “moving” and that the friends-and-family overnight sail was a chance to test the ship out.

Magellan Explorer Christening

“It was the first opportunity to test the ship for guest operations, including boarding procedures, hospitality, dining, zodiac operations, et cetera,” Contini said. “We’re now very much looking forward to welcoming your guests and delivering our personalized, boutique service onboard our beautiful, new ship.”

The distinctive hull design and logo marks the company’s chance from Antarctica XXI to Antarctica21 last year. Several photographers are booked on the inaugural cruise Nov. 28 to Dec. 8.

Magellan Explorer Christening

The 90.7 meter, 4,900 ton, Magellan Explorer has a crew of 60. The ship was built for 100 guests but will sail with just 73 passengers for the season, the same number as the of seats on the company’s flights to King George Island, according to the 2019 Expedition Market Report by Cruise Industry News. The ship has been built for expedition operations, with a 60-day operational capacity, meaning huge amounts of cold storage space and fuel tank space.

The local operation has an edge in the market, as the only player operating a full season of fly-cruises, cutting days off sailing time with no Drake Passage transits.