Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of the MSC Group’s Cruise Division, said: ‘It is gratifying to see Captain Melani join our Explora Journeys at this important moment .... 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.’
Michael Ungerer, CEO, Explora Journeys added: ‘We are delighted to have Captain Melani join us at Explora Journeys leading Explora I in the direction, style, and mindset we have envisioned for our first ship.
Livorno born and bred
Melani was born and grew up in Livorno, and began her studies at the Nautical Technical School there before gaining experience as bridge officer onboard different types of cargo ships.
In 2010, she took on the role of bridge officer with Regent Seven Seas Cruises and was promoted to master in 2016, leading to her becoming their first female captain and first Italian-born female cruise ship captain.
Brought out Seven Seas Splendor
She now splits her time between Italy and her home in Croatia where she lives with her husband.
Talking about the next step in her career, Melani commented: ‘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.’
A week ago Explora Journeys celebrated the float out of Explora I at Fincantieri's Monfalcone shipyard.