The cruise company is assisting west-African women break into the cruising industry by employing them as bridge officers. Photo: Celebrity Cruises
Miami- American based cruise liner Celebrity Cruises announced that it will now be partnering with the Regional Maritime University (RMU) in Ghana to provide employment for west-African women that have recently graduated from the university.

According to a statement released by the company, this will be the first time in cruise industry history, that female bridge officers are openly recruited from a West African country through a new Celebrity Cadet Program in partnership with RMU. 

"With the announcement, the brand is also excited to welcome the first official new crew member from the program, RMU Cadet Nicholine Tifuh Azirh, who will be joining the bridge team onboard Celebrity Equinox. The partnership with RMU came about when Celebrity’s President and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo met with students from the Mandela Washington Fellowship at Florida International University (FIU). 

"There, she met Tifuh 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," it read. 

Kotoka International Airport, Accra - Ghana. @celebritycruises @opareakyeampong @chris.divine @captainkatemccue

A post shared by Nicholine Tifuh Azirh (@nicholineazirh) on

Lutoff-Perlo said after meeting with Nicholine, she set the ball rolling to afford her, and other young women the opportunity to work in the cruising industry. 

 “A year later, I’m so excited to share the news of our partnership with RMU and to welcome Nicholine onboard,” said Lutoff-Perlo. 

“Nicholine isn’t just a new-hire, she symbolizes 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’s commitment to opening up the world,” she added. 

Patrik Dahlgren, SVP of Global Marine Operations, Celebrity Cruises, said:  “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”. 

 “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 under serves female officers, ” he added.  

Tifuh Azirh joined the Celebrity Equinox family on August 27.