Celebrity Cruises appoints first-ever American female captain

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Celebrity Cruises named Kate McCue as the cruise industry's first American female captain (PRNewsFoto/Celebrity Cruises)

Celebrity Cruises named Kate McCue as the cruise industry’s first American female captain (PRNewsFoto/Celebrity Cruises)

Kate McCue will become the first American woman in the cruise industry to take the helm of a cruise ship when she captains the Celebrity Summit in August.

McCue, 37, will command the Celebrity Cruises ship after 15 years of working in the maritime industry. This is a first for the entire cruise industry, let alone for Celebrity Cruises, to have an American woman in command of a ship.

“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 in a released statement. “The honor is amplified by being the first at a company like Celebrity Cruises.”

McCue’s ship, the Celebrity Summit, will sail between the U.S. and Bermuda. Her responsibilities as captain of the 91,000-ton ship include safely navigating it along its course and making sure the 2,158 passengers and 952 crew members are safe and comfortable.

“The cruise industry is ever-evolving, from the ships and the itineraries, to our guests’ expectations for vacation experiences,” McCue says. “Celebrity has a history of delivering on each of these and I am thrilled to be a part of it.”

McCue is a graduate of California State University’s California Maritime Academy, and began as a cadet and deck officer before advancing through successively more responsible roles, including her most recent position as Master Mariner with Royal Caribbean International. She has managed ship logistics for ships sailing to the Caribbean, Europe, Asia, Australia, Alaska and others.

Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, president and CEO of Celebrity Cruises, said in a written statement that of all the great moments throughout her career, having McCue become captain is at the top of her list.

“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 Lutoff-Perlo.

Lutoff-Perlo and McCue share a connection in being leading females in Celebrity Cruises. Lutoff-Perlo was named president and CEO of Celebrity Cruises in December 2014, making her the first female in the role.

“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,” Lutoff-Perlo says.

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Showing 14 comments
  • Jessica Wakefield

    She must be a brave woman as she’s agreed on this. I admire her choice. I would never do the same being just a writer in trustessaywriting.com. But who knows…

  • Jim Grosso

    Best wishers and smooth sailing Captain McCue. I sailed the Summit to Bermuda, great ship!

  • Johnson Fisher

    Congratulations Captain McCue. The recognition of your career efforts is clear but I know there is so much more to your fabulous story. Please get started on the book!

    Our son attended a military service academy with many courageous, intelligent and determined young women, so I know there are many great stories out there, but yours is a beacon of light and hope for so many. Thank you and thank Park West for this news of good things that really matter.

  • Jerry Klim

    Congratulations. May fair winds and calm seas be with you++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


    Anchors aweigh, Captain. Congratulations and smooth sailing

  • Robert Vos

    Congratulations to Captain McCue and to Royal Caribbean. I’m looking forward to,the day when something like this is no longer news because it is commonplace!

  • Joe Wojciechowski

    Congratulations on your new position. Fair winds and following seas.

  • Barbara Nelson

    CONGRATULATIONS and BEST WISHES to both Captain McCue and Celebrity. I am a travel consultant and cruise specialist, and am already advising my Celebrity cruisers and others about this GREAT FIRST for our cruise industry!!!

  • Rita Fanning

    My husband and I are sailing on the Summit on the 29th to Bermuda. Looking forward to meeting Captain McCue.

  • Stan Olsen

    Congratulations Captain!!! I just sailed the Summit a month ago. Great ship and great crew. Your addition can only make it better

  • jk cavanagh

    Sadly I did not realise Kate was the first EVER female captain,but congratulations to her and Celebrity for recognising women make better Captains

  • David Grunbaun

    Look forward to meeting you on the Summit on October 4th cruise.

  • Linda Grunbaum

    Congratulations and I look forward to sailing with you in October when I can congratulate you in person. Linda Grunbaum

  • Roy Nisja

    I’ve been on quite a few cruises, and without a doubt, she is the best looking captain that I have seen. Congratulations to Captain McCue. Looking forward to meeting her on a future cruise.

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