Regent Seven Seas Cruises has announced the promotion of Serena Melani to captain of the Seven Seas Mariner, making her the first female captain in Regent's fleet.
Overseeing 700 passengers and a crew of 450, Melani embarked February 21 on her maiden voyage as captain – a 12-night South American itinerary, from Buenos Aires to Rio de Janeiro.
A native of the Tuscany region of Italy, Captain Melani became enamored with the sea at a young age and prepared for her career by attending nautical school. She attained her first shipboard position in 1998, serving on a roll-on/roll-off ship carrying cars and general cargo. Later, after four years working on oil tankers and gas carriers, she made a career switch to the cruise ship industry.
After seven years with another cruise line, Captain Melani joined Regent Seven Seas in 2010. She has served in several increasingly-responsible officer-level roles, including 2nd officer and safety officer. She most recently served a two-year stint as staff captain aboard Seven Seas Mariner, which she now captains.
When not at sea, Captain Melani lives with her husband in Croatia and her native Italy.