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.

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,

... said Jason Montague, president and chief executive officer of Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

At approximately 55,000 gross-registered tons and carrying only 750 guests, Seven Seas Splendor is currently under construction in the Ancona shipyard in Italy and is to be launched in February 2020.

Women in leadership positions remains a hot issue across all business sectors, maritime included, which claims the title of a male-dominated industry. Of 6,500 engine officers at sea currently, only 1% are estimated to be female.