70 years after the first woman elected in Italy (Lina Merlin), now it is the turn of the first Italian female captain of a cruise ship. For some days, Serena Melani, from Livorno, has being the captain of “Seven Seas Mariner“, a Regent Group ship ( Norwegian Group). The ship, over 210 metres long and with a weight of 48,000 tons, can host 700 passengers and 400 crew members: a relatively small number for luxury cruises. If the election of Merlin happened when the female universal suffrage was introduced, the captain appointment for women has being a solution for several years but it is a not frequent event.
Serena’s career started with her high nautical school diploma in the 90’s, her shipboard jobs as cadet on ferries and tankers, and finally the passage to liners as First Officer.Serena joined Regent Group six years ago, in the captain’s staff.
She is not the first female captain of a cruise ship: last year, Celebrity Cruised gave the command of Celebrity Summit to Kate McCue, while Royal Caribbean chose a woman, Karin Stahre-Janson, as captain of Monarch of the Seas. These events are so rare they become news… It is difficult to give precise data:even experts’ memory is uncertain in front of the answer: “How many female captains are there in the world?”. But everyone agrees that it is paradoxically more frequent to find female captains in cargo vessels, while in the world of cruise ships men still predominate as regards command roles.