Celebrity Cruises has announced plans for its first-ever Bridge the Gap sailing. Celebrity Edge will sail with an entirely female bridge and officer team on International Women’s Day, 8 March 2020.
Captain Kate McCue, the first US female cruise ship captain, will be at the helm, accompanied by 26 other women who will serve in the bridge and as officers. Celebrity’s president and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo will also be on board.
“We are all passionate about closing the gender gap,” said 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 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.”
Only 2% of the world’s mariners are women, a disparity that Celebrity Cruises is working to address through its hiring policies.
“Since 2015, we have raised the percentage of qualified women on our navigational bridges from 3% to 22%,” said Patrik Dahlgren,Royal Caribbean Cruises’ senior vice president of global marine operations, who has spearheaded Celebrity’s bridge diversification efforts under the leadership of Lutoff-Perlo. “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.”
As part of this Women’s Day sailing, Celebrity will curate special programming, including evening gallery exhibitions and art auctions that feature female artists who celebrate the female form; collaborating on an exclusive design with luxury jewellery designer Reout Kallati; a cinema series featuring iconic female directors, leads and inspirational narratives, Women of the World-themed trivia challenges, a Fearless Female Officers vs Guests volleyball tournament, and a question and answer panel with the ship’s female leadership team.
Image: Celebrity Cruises