Belinda Bennett

Windstar Cruises Names Its First Female — and First Black — Captain | Cruise News – Mar. 29, 2016

Cruise News – Mar. 29, 2016

Windstar Cruises made history by naming Belinda Bennett as captain of MSY Wind Star, becoming the line’s first female — and first black — captain.

Bennett, a British citizen, was born on the remote island of Saint Helena, and began working on ships as a deck cadet on RMS St Helena at age 17. She rose through the ranks, including stints as chief officer of the private yacht SS Delphine and of Isle of Man Steam Packet ferries.

“Having been with Windstar for the past 11 years, I couldn’t be more honored to serve as captain with such a respected and hard-working team,” says Bennett. “Earning this title has been a long and exciting professional journey and I’m ready to lead our guests through a safe and one-of-a-kind adventure around the world.

“My priority as captain is to see that my guests and crew are safe and that guests are having an enjoyable, memorable time on board our yacht and that our crew provides the best service to our guests.”

When asked about her favorite ports of call, Bennett singles out the beauty of the Dalmatian coast, the shopping in Sorrento, and the lobster pizza at Mac’s Pizzeria in the Caribbean island of Bequia.

“We are thrilled to have appointed Belinda as Windstar’s first-ever female captain and we understand may be the cruise industry’s first-ever black captain,” says Hans Birkholz, Windstar Cruises’ chief executive officer. “Belinda’s leadership qualities and hard work have made her an asset to our team and invaluable to her colleagues and crew. She has earned her spot at the helm and I’m excited to see her in action.”

Photo: Windstar Cruises

Sign up for weekly cruise news, fun contests, and exclusive offers delivered right to your inbox!

Now in its 25th year, Porthole Cruise and Travel Magazine is published bi-monthly and available worldwide through digital subscription. It offers the latest news in cruise and travel, with in-depth features on voyages, new ships, the best destinations, readers' picks, onboard cuisine, entertainment, and more!