Celebrity Cruises President and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo has announced that Captain Kate McCue will be captain of the line’s newest upcoming ship, Celebrity Beyond.
The decorated, first American female cruise ship captain will user in a new era for the brand, sailing a ship brought to life by modern icons including British designer Kelly Hoppen CBE, American designer Nate Berkus, and Michelin-starred chef and restaurateur Daniel Boulud.
The seed to be a captain was planted in Captain Kate following a cruise she took with her family when she was 12. She told her father she wanted to be a cruise director when she grew up, and he told her she could be anything she wanted — including captain of the ship.
Since then, McCue was named the first — and still only — American female to captain a major cruise ship when she took the helm on Celebrity Summit. In September 2019, she took charge of Celebrity’s newest vessel at the time, Celebrity Edge. In March 2020, Captain Kate further cemented her place in history when she captained the first cruise ship sailing to feature an all-female bridge and officer team.
McCue also led the Celebrity fleet — and the cruise industry as a whole — back into operation when, on June 26, 2021, Celebrity Edge became the first cruise ship to sail with guests from a U.S. port in 15 months due to the pandemic-induced shutdown.
“This is a day that I’ve been waiting for since we made the first cut of steel on our beautiful Celebrity Beyond. Captain Kate has transcended what it means to be a captain as a voice and example of inclusivity, diversity, and change,” said Lutoff-Perlo.
“She constantly thinks about how she can go above and beyond, mirroring the exceptional design and imagination of the ship she will captain. I’m beyond excited to see her take our guests to locations that will open their eyes to the beauty of the world around them and experience travel on a new-luxury ship without comparison.”
Celebrity Beyond will be 17 decks high and 21 meters longer than Edge and Apex, making her the largest vessel in Celebrity’s fleet.
She will feature an expanded Rooftop Garden, a resort deck with cantilevered float pools, a multi-level Sunset Bar, a new specialty restaurant from Daniel Boulud called Le Voyage, a redesigned Grand Plaza, and the recognizable Magic Carpet cantilevered platform.
Beyond is scheduled to set sail on her maiden voyage on April 27, 2022 from Southampton, England for a ten-night western Europe cruise. She will then offer a variety of Mediterranean voyages through early October before heading across the Atlantic to the Caribbean. Bookings are already open for sale.
“To be the ‘take out’ captain for a new vessel is an honor for any captain and it is an absolute dream come true for me. I always say that if you see it, you can be it and I hope that Celebrity Beyond sails as an inspiration for all to see past convention in pursuit of any goal in life,” said Captain Kate.
“I’m forever grateful to Lisa for entrusting this labor of love to me to captain. The thoughtfulness and imagination she put into this ship is only matched by her forward thinking to move the industry beyond what it is now and see what it should be.”