Serena Melani Named Captain for First Vessel in Explora Journeys' Fleet

Serena Melani, Captain of Explora Journeys' EXPLORA I.
Serena Melani, Captain of Explora Journeys' EXPLORA I.

MSC Group's luxury cruise travel brand, Explora Journeys, announced the appointment of Captain Serena Melani as Master of EXPLORA I, the first of four ships to set sail in MAY 2023. According to Explora, this milestone marks a significant move in bolstering the inclusion of women in senior positions in the industry.

“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,” said Captain Melani.

“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,” added Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of the MSC Group’s Cruise Division.

In 2020, Melani's background led her to become the world’s first female Captain to bring a cruise ship out of a shipyard, according to Explora Journeys. 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.

For more information on Explora Journeys, visit its web site.

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