Tuesday, July 14, 2015

First Female American Cruise Ship Capt. Named

By Mark Edward Nero

For the first time in the cruise industry, an American female will take the helm of a mega-ton cruise ship later this year.

Beginning in August, San Francisco native Kate McCue, 37, will command Celebrity Summit – a 91,000-ton, 965-foot ship in the Celebrity Cruises fleet, sailing between the eastern United States and Bermuda. As Captain, she’ll be responsible for the safe navigation of the ship and the onboard experience of its 2,158 guests and 952 crewmembers.

Celebrity Cruises, which operates a fleet of 10 ships, says it promoted McCue to captain based on her 15 years of successful experience and leadership in the maritime industry. During her tenure, McCue has managed ship logistics while sailing worldwide itineraries, including the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, Europe, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean and along the Panama Canal.

Kate McCue's appointment follows that of 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,” Lutoff-Perlo said. “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.”

A graduate of California State University's California Maritime Academy, 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 Master Mariner with Royal Caribbean International.

“Becoming the first female American captain of a cruise ship has been a goal of mine for as long as I can remember,” McCue said in a statement. “The honor is amplified by being the first at a company like Celebrity Cruises.”