Thursday,  June 30, 2022  3:04 am

Explora Journeys appoints Serena Melani as captain for EXPLORA I

  • Cruises
  •   06-08-2022  6:45 am
  •   Pax Global Media

Explora Journeys appoints Serena Melani as captain for EXPLORA I
Explora Journeys has appointed Serena Melani as captain for EXPLORA I. (Supplied)
Pax Global Media

New cruise line Explora Journeys has announced the appointment of Captain Serena Melani as Master of EXPLORA I, the first of four ships on track to set sail in May 2023. 

This milestone celebrates an exciting step towards the ship’s maiden voyage and "marks a significant move" in bolstering the inclusion of more women in senior positions in the industry, the MSC Group brand said Tuesday (June 7). 

“I was very impressed by the love, respect, and knowledge our owners, the Aponte Vago family, have for the ocean. Their personal involvement and care in each detail of the project, to deliver something truly unique in the market, is inspirational. Growing up on the Tuscan coast in Italy, I am thrilled to be part of a European luxury lifestyle brand and to take the helm of EXPLORA I, sailing to amazing destinations, some of which have never been reached by cruise ships before," said Captain Melani in a statement. 

 Captain Melani starts a new chapter and adventure in her career and is excited to support the brand’s aspiration of redefining ocean travel. Serena was first drawn to Explora Journeys as it resonated with her personal passion for the ocean, exploration, and discovery; integral elements of the brand’s `Ocean State of Mind` ethos, enabling those travelling across the world to reconnect with what matters most in their lives. 

Similarly, Explora Journeys’ guest-centric approach echoes Serena’s quest for “emotional and interpersonal connections with staff and guests – both onboard and ashore.”

“It is gratifying to see Captain Melani join Explora Journeys at this important moment as we get ready for EXPLORA I to take to the seas. She represents all that I and the founding family envisioned for our new luxury lifestyle brand as a disruptive force in our sector, that will make it more diverse and inclusive. We look forward to welcoming more experienced women officers to the brand and our overall Cruise Division as it continues to grow and go from strength to strength," said Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of the MSC Group’s Cruise Division. 

In 2020, Serena’s impressive background led her to become the world’s first female Captain to bring a cruise ship out of a shipyard. 

In 2010, she became Bridge Officer with a luxury cruise line and was promoted to Master in 2016, which made her their first female Captain and first Italian-born female cruise ship Captain. 

Serena began her studies at the Nautical Technical School in Livorno before gaining experience as Bridge Officer onboard different types of cargo ships. 

Serena was born and grew up in Livorno, an Italian port city on Tuscany’s coastline which is also a major port for the cruise industry today. Never venturing too far from the ocean, she splits her time between Italy and her home in Croatia, where she lives with her husband.

On May 30, Explora Journeys celebrated the Float Out Ceremony of EXPLORA I at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy. 

During her first year, EXPLORA I will visit 132 ports in 40 different countries, including two destinations (Kastellorizo, Greece and Saint Pierre, Martinique) which have never been visited by cruise ships before. 

The itineraries include Canada, the Caribbean, Hawaii, the US East Coast, the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, the UK, Iceland, Greenland, and South America. 

Sailings start from six-night journeys and culminate in an epic 44-night Northern Europe, Grand Journey.

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