Captain Serena Melani at the helm of Regent Seven Seas Cruises cruise shipRegent Seven Seas Cruises has announced Captain Serena Melani will helm its newest ship, Seven Seas Splendor, making her the first woman in cruise industry history to captain a new cruise ship at launch.

“There is a growing number of very talented female captains emerging in our industry, and we’re proud to be pioneers for those women who aspire to lead the bridge,” said Captain Melani.

“Captain Melani has distinguished herself as a trailblazer in the maritime and cruise industries. She is an international role model and admired by our guests and crew,” added Jason Montague, president and chief executive officer of Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

Coffee Connection bar on board Seven Seas Splendor
The Coffee Connection bar on board Seven Seas Splendor

As part of the role, Captain Melani will spend much of this year in the Italian shipyard where Seven Seas Splendor is being built, collaborating with engineers and designers to ensure the ship’s form and function is perfect from a captain’s perspective before the launch in 2020.

The captain first joined Regent in 2010 as a bridge officer and held various other positions in the company before becoming the cruise line’s first female master captain in 2016.

Prior to this, she was one of only a few women to hold roles of increasing responsibilities on oil tankers, cargo and container vessels after graduating from nautical college in 1993.

“Exploring the world and leading ship teams has been a love of mine and I enjoy sharing this passion with everyone who sails with us,” added Captain Melani.

Regent suite on board Seven Seas Splendor
The Regent Suite on board Seven Seas Splendor

When Seven Seas Splendor launches it will boast one of the highest space-to-guest ratios in the cruise industry, with the Regent Suite featuring more than 3,000 sq ft of interior accommodation complete with an in-suite spa and a 1,300 sq ft wraparound veranda.

The ship will also have one of the highest staff-to-guest ratios seen on a cruise ship, with Regent Suite guests benefiting from a dedicated personal butler.

Other guests will also be able to enjoy sumptuous accommodation, with 14 other suite categories available.

Discover more about Regent Seven Seas’ fleet of cruise ships, by reading our in-depth Regent Seven Seas Explorer review.