Celebrity Cruises has signed a partnership with Regional Maritime University in Ghana.
For the first time in cruise industry history, female bridge officers will be openly recruited from a West African country through a new Celebrity Cadet Programme in partnership with RMU.
With the announcement, the brand is also excited to welcome the first official new crew member from the programme, RMU cadet Nicholine Tifuh Azirh, who will be joining the bridge team on-board Celebrity Equinox.
The partnership with RMU came about when Celebrity Cruises’ president Lisa Lutoff-Perlo met with students from the Mandela Washington Fellowship at Florida International University.
There, she met Azirh who shared her inspiring story of perseverance; Tifuh Azirh holds two degrees, yet following graduation she struggled to find opportunities in the maritime industry as an African female despite her academic performance, subsequent teaching at RMU, and cadet experience.
“After hearing Nicholine’s story, I met with our senior vice president of global marine operations, Patrik Dahlgren, to see what we needed to do in order to give her, and others, the opportunities they’ve earned.
“A year later, I’m so excited to share the news of our partnership with RMU and to welcome Nicholine on-board,” said Lutoff-Perlo.
“Nicholine isn’t just a new-hire, she symbolises hope for women around the world who dream of working in a very male-dominated industry; she’s the face of our industry-leading partnership; and she is an incredible example of Celebrity Cruises’ commitment to opening up the world.”
“The goal of our partnership with RMU is to inspire and disrupt the social norms that burden female officers in western African nations, such as Ghana,” said Dahlgren.
Tifuh Azirh is scheduled to join the Celebrity Equinox family on August 27th.
“Nicholine is our pioneer cadet and a pioneer for women in her country.
“Moving forward, we will continue to evaluate candidates and continue to push the envelope in developing a growth sector for marine officers in a part of the world that traditionally underserves female officers.”