A first in cruise industry history, Captain Serena Melani is set to lead Regent Seven Seas Cruises´ newest ship, the Seven Seas Splendor, after its launch in February 2020.
Melani’s career started 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. According to a statement, she graduated from Nautical College in 1993 and was one of only a few females holding roles of increasing responsibilities on oil tankers, cargo vessels and container ships.
In 2010 Melani, 45, joined Regent as a bridge officer, before serving as navigation officer, safety officer and staff captain on Seven Seas Voyager. In 2016, she became the company´s first female master captain and has led Seven Seas Explorer, Seven Seas Mariner and Seven Seas Navigator during her career.
“Captain Melani has distinguished herself as a trailblazer in the maritime and cruise industries,” said Jason Montague, president and CEO of Regent Seven Seas Cruises, describing her as an international role model admired by guests and crew.
“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.”
When not sailing the world Melani lives with her husband on the quaint Croatian island of Korcula. This year, however, she will spend much time in the Ancona, Italy shipyard, where Seven Seas Splendor is being built.
Designed to carry only 750 guests, the 55,000 gross-registered-ton Seven Seas Splendor is set to feature one of the highest space ratios and staff-to-guest ratios in the cruise industry. Its Regent Suite will be the largest suite constructed on a luxury cruise ship and provides more than 3,000 square feet of interior accommodation, a 1,300 square-foot veranda, an en suite spa, a personal sauna, a 270-degree view over the ship´s bow, a glass-enclosed solarium, a personal car with driver and much more.
A luxury ocean cruise line, Regent Seven Seas Cruises boasts a fleet of four ships visiting more than 450 destinations around the world.