Captain Melani Will Lead Seven Seas Splendor™ When Ship Launches in February 2020
Regent Seven Seas Cruises today announced that Captain Serena Melani will helm the cruise line’s newest ship, Seven Seas Splendor™, making her the first woman in cruise industry history to captain a new ocean cruise ship at launch.
Captain Melani, 45, has progressed quickly in her nearly 30-year career to roles of cruise ship leadership. She began her nautical career at age 16 as a cadet while attending school working on cargo ships in her hometown of Livorno, Italy, along the Tirrenian Sea in the Tuscany region.
After graduating from Nautical College in 1993, she was one of only a few females to hold roles of increasing responsibilities on oil tankers, cargo and container vessels. Captain Melani joined Regent in 2010 as a Bridge Officer, then served as Navigation Officer, Safety Officer and Staff Captain on Seven Seas Voyager.
She became the company’s first female Master Captain in 2016 and has led Seven Seas Explorer, Seven Seas Mariner and Seven Seas Navigator during her tenure.
“Captain Melani has distinguished herself as a trailblazer in the maritime and cruise industries,” said Jason Montague, president and chief executive officer of Regent Seven Seas Cruises. “She is an international role model and admired by our guests and crew. We are proud to appoint Captain Melani as the industry’s first female captain to deliver a new cruise ship and look forward to her many future successes leading Seven Seas Splendor™in the years ahead.”
“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,” Captain Melani said. “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. I’ve always believed in the motto that the cure for everything resides in salt water — sweat, tears and the sea.”
Captain Melani, who lives with her husband on the quaint Croatian island of Korcula when not sailing the world, will spend much of this year in the Ancona, Italy 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. In this capacity she will have an influential role in the ship that perfects luxury, even before she sets sail.