If you’re looking to take a cruise, you’ve probably wondered – Are there any female cruise ship captains? – but did you know that women aren’t excluded from the position? Historically, there have been some notable exceptions to this rule. For example, Belinda Bennett, the first black woman to command a cruise ship, served in the position from 1997 to 2001. And Serena Milani, who will be the first female to be the captain of a brand new mega ship in 2020, was a crew member on the vessel for a year during which she honed her skills.
While not many female cruise ship captains have made headlines, Belinda Bennett was named the first black female captain in the industry. She was raised in the British territory of St Helena, near the Atlantic coast of South Africa. She completed her maritime studies in Newcastle, England, and is now the master of the MSY Wind Star. The title was given to her by the Queen of England as a way to promote diversity in the industry.
Although the number of female cruise ship captains is small, the cruise industry is a great place for women to be. While it isn’t as glamorous as a male-dominated field, the pay is excellent, and women can experience the world at the same time as men do. The pay is good, too, and women can make their way to the top – and become a famous cruise ship captain.