Female Cruise Execs Talk Leadership at Seatrade Panel

Immediately following the “State of the Industry” discussion, three top female cruise line presidents took the stage for the first “Rise of Female Leadership in the Cruise Industry” keynote roundtable session.

“Well, I certainly think it’s about time, because this even has been going on for 30 years and we finally made it,” enthusiastically proclaimed Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, to the claps of the audience.

Similarly, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, president and CEO, Celebrity Cruises, said she’d met many people over the past few days who were excited to come to the discussion “as we are running multi-billion-dollar brands.”


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Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises, said she was honored to represent the thousands and thousands of women at Princess, both at sea and ashore including those who are partners in the destinations.

She told an engaging story about a woman who started on a Princess ship as a spa therapist but wanted to “drive the ship” and after the appropriate training, experience and hard work, that woman is now a second officer with Princess.

Collectively, the women talked passionately about being role models for women desiring to enter the cruise industry, often in non-traditional roles, as well as their responsibility to increase diversity within the industry. Lutoff-Perlo said Celebrity now has four female captains.

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