Disney unleashes bevy of initiatives to foster women in maritime careers

Capt. Minnie Mouse will be aboard all Disney ships, along with new youth programs, and Disney Cruise Line will fund maritime scholarships for women cadets. Capt. Minnie Mouse will be aboard all Disney ships, along with new youth programs, and Disney Cruise Line will fund maritime scholarships for women cadets. PHOTO: Matt Stroshane/Disney Cruise Line

New initiatives at Disney Cruise Line aim to inspire the next generation of female leaders in the maritime industry. The debut of Capt. Minnie Mouse, new youth programs and the funding of scholarships are designed to empower girls and young women to pursue careers in the cruise industry and chart a course for success.

Disney characters delight and inspire children around the globe, and the line is counting on the power of the mouse—Minnie Mouse—to spread the message of exploring new horizons, by land and by sea.

In her captain's uniform Minnie Mouse will make the rounds on all Disney ships starting in April.

Maritime scholarships

In 2019, Disney Cruise Line will sponsor four scholarships at the LJM Maritime Academy in The Bahamas for female cadets who aspire to be ship captains and shipboard leaders. The scholarships, one for each of the ships in the Disney fleet, will include tuition to the three-year program. They provide two years of study at the academy and one year of service aboard a Disney ship.

'Our Disney characters have a unique ability to inspire and connect with children, and we know Captain Minnie will encourage young girls around the world to consider a career in the maritime industry,' said Jeff Vahle, president of Disney Cruise Line. 'We are excited to work with LJM Maritime Academy to offer scholarships for young women who are pursuing their passions and following their dreams in our industry.'

Nautical fun and learning

Aboard all Disney ships later this year, Capt. Minnie Mouse will appear in an all-new youth activity where young captain hopefuls practice science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills in a fun maritime-themed activity. Children will hone their STEM and problem-solving abilities—skills that play an important role in the maritime industry—in a series of engaging, hands-on activities.

The interactive experience will be offered in Oceaneer Lab aboard all ships.

Community visits

As part of a commitment to encourage future generations to pursue careers in the maritime industry, Capt. Minnie Mouse will visit children in some of Disney's homeports and ports of call. She will be accompanied by a female Disney officer or crew member to showcase their roles in the maritime industry and raise awareness about careers for women aboard a cruise ship.

Merchandise

A special line of merchandise exclusive to the Disney fleet will feature a nautical-themed collection of apparel and gifts with the tagline 'You Can Call Me Captain.' A new Capt. Minnie Mouse plush figure will be introduced this summer, and a new Pandora jewelry charm will be available for purchase exclusively on board.

In the future, girls will get to dress the part with a Capt. Minnie Mouse makeover at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.

See the latest issue of Seatrade Cruise Review, whose cover story, 'Women wear the stripes,' features one of Disney Cruise Line's senior officers, Chief Officer Mary Dailey. Dailey is among the women seafarers profiled, from captains to cadets, in an accompanying online feature that can be downloaded here

Posted 18 April 2019

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Anne Kalosh

Editor, Seatrade Cruise News & Senior Associate Editor Seatrade Cruise Review