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The U.S. Gets Its First Female Cruise Ship Captain, What Took So Long?

It’s 2015. Women have been in space, they’ve been the CEOs of major tech companies, they’ve served in the military, but somehow, not a single one from the United States has captained a cruise ship until now. Celebrity Cruises announced today that next month, 37-year-old Kate McCue will take over as captain of the Celebrity Summit.

It’s no small ship, either — the Celebrity Summit is a 91,000-ton, 965-foot long cruise liner that will make the trip from the eastern United States to Bermuda. McCue will be in charge of 2,158 passengers and 952 crew members, but from the sounds of it, she’s had plenty of experience being a leader on the sea.

‘becoming the first female American captain of a cruise ship has been a goal of mine for as long as I can remember.’

McCue has had 15 years of experience managing ship logistics and holding leadership positions on cruise ships around the world. She was Master Mariner (in charge of commercial ships) with Royal Caribbean just before accepting the position with Celebrity Cruises, a luxury cruise line among luxury cruise lines. Apparently, even though we were unaware of the grievous lack of United States-based female cruise ship captains, McCue was well aware — in the announcement, she’s quoted as saying, ‘becoming the first female American captain of a cruise ship has been a goal of mine for as long as I can remember.’ Good thing someone was aware!