Silversea Cruises has broken a persistent maritime glass ceiling by naming its first female captain to the helm of a ship.
Margrith Ettlin took over command of the 132-passenger Silver Explorer on Aug. 7 in Reykjavik, Iceland. Her tour of duty as captain will extend into October.
Although she's not the first female to head a cruise ship, the presence of females at the helm is rare. "We hope Captain Ettlin's achievement will inspire other women to pursue careers at sea," Christian Sauleau, Silversea's executive vice president of fleet operations, says in a statement.
Ettlin is a Swiss national with extensive maritime experience in remote regions, including the Arctic and Antarctica. Before joining Silversea as a staff captain in March 2010, she worked for Germany's F. Laeisz shipping group. Her maritime career also includes nearly nine years as a staff captain with the German shipping company Hapag-Lloyd.
This item was written by Larry Bleiberg, former travel editor of The Dallas Morning News and Coastal Living magazine. Bleiberg is serving as Guest Editor of The Cruise Log while USA TODAY Cruise Editor Gene Sloan is away.
By Larry Bleiberg, Special for USA TODAY
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