Last updated: 11:55 AM ET, Mon July 13 2015

Celebrity Cruises Names Kate McCue First American Female Captain

Cruise Line & Cruise Ship | Celebrity Cruises | Donald Wood | July 13, 2015

Celebrity Cruises Names Kate McCue First American Female Captain

PHOTO: Kate McCue, inset, will serve as captain on Celebrity Summit, making her the first American female captain of a mega-cruise ship. (Courtesy of Celebrity Cruises)

In an age of great strides in equality, the cruise industry made a huge step forward when Celebrity Cruises named Kate McCue captain of the Celebrity Summit Monday.

McCue becomes the first American woman to ever take the helm of a mega-cruise ship.

According to Celebrity Cruises, the 37-year-old McCue will take over the controls for the 91,000-ton, 965-foot Celebrity Summit ship, which sails between the eastern United States and Bermuda.

McCue will begin her new role in August.

The new captain’s responsibilities include safely navigating the ship along its course, keeping the 952 crew members organized and making the 2,158 guests feel comfortable and safe. Her new position comes after 15 years of international experience, including sailing in Europe, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, the Pacific Northwest, Alaska and more.

McCue released a statement about the honor of becoming the first American female captain:

“Becoming the first female American captain of a cruise ship has been a goal of mine for as long as I can remember. 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.”

Captain McCue is a graduate of California State University's California Maritime Academy and has climbed the ranks in the cruise industry for years. Most recently, she was the Master Mariner with Royal Caribbean International.

In addition to earning valuable experience as she worked her way through the ranks, McCue earned numerous certifications, including leadership, navigation, ship management and security.

The company’s decision to name McCue the captain of Celebrity Summit comes seven months after the Celebrity brand hired its first female President and CEO, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo.

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