Captain Kate McCue is to take the helm of new Celebrity Cruises ship Celebrity Beyond when it launches in Southampton next April, it was announced today.
Known simply as ‘Captain Kate’ to colleagues, passengers and nearly 3million social media followers, the first American female cruise ship captain will take control of the third ship in the Edge class.
Aged 12, McCue told her father she wanted to be a cruise director when she grew up. He replied she could do anything she wanted – including being a captain.
She took the helm of her first ship, Celebrity Summit, in 2015 and moved to Celebrity Equinox before taking over Celebrity Edge in September 2019.
McCue made history again in 2020 when she captained the first ever all-female bridge and officer team on Edge. She was also in charge in June this year when the ship became the first from a major cruise line to sail with American guests from a US port following the pandemic shutdown.
Making today’s announcement, Celebrity Cruises president and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo said: ‘This is a day that I’ve been waiting for since we made the first cut of steel on our beautiful Celebrity Beyond. Captain Kate has transcended what it means to be a captain as a voice and example of inclusivity, diversity, and change.
‘She constantly thinks about how she can go above and beyond, mirroring the exceptional design and imagination of the ship she will captain. I’m beyond excited to see her take our guests to locations that will open their eyes to the beauty of the world around them and experience travel on a new-luxury ship without comparison.’
McCue said: ‘To be the “take out” captain for a new vessel is an honour for any captain and it is an absolute dream come true for me. I always say that if you see it, you can be it, and I hope that Celebrity Beyond sails as an inspiration for all to see past convention in pursuit of any goal in life.
‘I’m forever grateful to Lisa for entrusting this labour of love to me to captain. The thoughtfulness and imagination she put into this ship is only matched by her forward thinking to move the industry beyond what it is now and see what it should be.’
Celebrity Beyond – 21 metres (69ft) longer than Celebrity Edge and Celebrity Apex – will be the line’s largest and most luxurious ship when she sets sail on April 27, 2022, from Southampton for a ten-night Western Europe cruise visiting Bordeaux in France, Lisbon in Portugal, and Seville, Malaga, Palma de Mallorca and Barcelona in Spain.
The 17-deck ship will then offer a variety of Mediterranean journeys including nine-night Italian Riviera and France itineraries and ten-night Greek Isles cruises until early October, when she then heads to the Caribbean. Voyages are on sale now.
For more information on the Celebrity Beyond inaugural 2022-2023 season sailings, please click here.