Captain Melani is the first Italian-born female cruise ship captain
Explora Journeys has appointed Captain Serena Melani as Master of its first ship Explora I. Captain Melani will take charge of the ship when it enters operation in May 2023.
“We are delighted to have Captain Melani join us at Explora Journeys leading Explora I in the direction, style, and mindset we have envisioned for our first ship,” said Michael Ungerer, CEO of Explora Journeys. “Captain Melani will steer our first ship to some remarkable destinations across the world with her incredible experience as well as her passion for exploration and respect for the ocean and nature, which reflects our own. We wish her every success.”
Captain Melani was born in Livorno, Italy, and worked as bridge officer onboard several cargo ships before joining a luxury cruise line as in 2010. She was promoted to master in 2016, becoming the first Italian-born female cruise ship captain. She also became the world’s first female captain to bring a cruise ship out of a shipyard in 2020.
“I was very impressed by the love, respect, and knowledge our owners, the Aponte Vago family, have for the ocean,” said Melani. “Their personal involvement and care in each detail of the project, to deliver something truly unique in the market, is inspirational. Growing up on the Tuscan coast in Italy, I am thrilled to be part of a European luxury lifestyle brand and to take the helm of Explora I, sailing to amazing destinations, some of which have never been reached by cruise ships before.”
Explora Journeys celebrated the float out of Explora I in May at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone. The ship will visit 132 ports in 40 different countries during her first year of operation, including itineraries in the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, the UK, Iceland, Greenland, Canada, the USA’s East Coast, Caribbean, South America and Hawaii.
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