For the first time in cruise industry history, a female seafarer will navigate the rich archipelago of the Galapagos as captain. A native of Ecuador, Nathaly Albán will command the ultra-exclusive Celebrity Xploration; as captain of the recently revitalised catamaran.
With a total of 12 years’ experience sailing throughout the Galapagos, Captain Albán has worked on several ships in the region, first joining the Celebrity Cruises family in 2006 as third officer on board the 100-guest Celebrity Xpedition.
Continuing the brand’s dedication to advancing the role of women in leadership, Albán’s appointment follows that of Celebrity Summit’s own Captain Kate McCue in 2015.
“Empowering strong women and elevating them to deserved leadership roles is a cause that is close to my heart, and one that Celebrity Cruises truly values,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. “When the opportunity presented itself to promote Nathaly, who radiates passion and love for her job and for Celebrity Cruises, to captain, the decision was easy.”
Albán was only one of six women in her graduating class at La Escuela de la Marina Mercante Nacional in Ecuador. Prior to graduating, she held a variety of roles in the maritime industry, most notably serving in the FLOPEC Tanker Fleet of the Ecuadorian Navy. Following her graduation, Albán worked on several ships in the region, including Celebrity Xpedition.
“Simply put, Captain Nathaly Albán was the ideal candidate for the job and we believe in celebrating and advancing our brightest talent,” said Patrik Dahlgren, SVP of Global Marine Operations, Celebrity Cruises. “Our goal is to attract, develop and retain the best people from many different regions of the world and backgrounds. Our industry has typically been very male dominated – yet we believe in inclusiveness and opening up opportunities for all.”
When asked how it feels to be named the captain of Celebrity Xploration, Albán responded:
“It is a great honour and privilege – I’m overwhelmed with positive emotion. I told my family many times that I would be wearing white one day and be the first woman to serve as a captain on a ship in the Galapagos, now it’s happening and I’m committed to delivering the very best experience for all guests onboard.”
Albán will begin her new role on Celebrity Xploration in August 2017.