(9:45 a.m. EST) — Serena Melani took the helm of Regent’s Seven Seas Mariner on February 21, becoming the first female captain in the Regent Seven Seas fleet, as well as in all of NCLH (parent company for Regent, Oceania and Norwegian Cruise Line).
Captain Melani, 42, is a native of Tuscany, Italy. She went to nautical school and worked on oil tankers, gas carriers and other cruise ships before joining Regent Seven Seas in 2010. She worked her way up through various positions, including second officer, safety officer and staff captain before achieving the designation of captain.
Captain Melani takes her job very seriously, but also enjoys it. “On cruise ships, you travel to more exotic places and get to meet so many interesting people,” she says in a Regent press release. “The ship is like a small village, and I take pride in ensuring that all of our guests experience a unique and enjoyable journey.”
And how does she feel about her achievement in becoming the first woman to command a Regent Seven Seas luxury cruise ship? “Yes, I am a female in a traditional male environment. But when you are on board, you are part of a team. Regardless of your gender, you have a job to do. And you must do it well.”
Melani’s home-away-from-home, the 700-passenger Seven Seas Mariner, splits its time between the Caribbean and Alaska, with the occasional repositioning cruise around South America. The luxury cruise ship is scheduled for a refurbishment in spring 2017, focusing on the ship’s restaurants, lounges, library and suites.