History has been made at P&O Cruises with the appointment of Leanne Robertson as first engineer, a rank that no female has previously achieved at the cruise line.

Robertson will take on the role on the Azura while awaiting her first contract in rank. She will report to the staff chief engineer and be responsible for the management of the 90-strong engineering team in maintaining the main propulsion machinery and engine room auxiliaries.

The 31-year-old, who hopes to obtain her chief engineer’s license in 2019, said: “I’m incredibly proud to be P&O Cruises’ first female engineer and hope that my success will inspire and motivate other women to achieve their dreams.

“It just goes to show that if you study and work hard, you can succeed, even in a career such as engineering that is traditionally male dominated.”

P&O Cruises’ senior vice president Paul Ludlow added: “Everyone at P&O Cruises is absolutely delighted that Leanne has achieved her promotion to first engineer.

“This is such an important milestone in our company’s history and I look forward to seeing more women taking on similar roles over the coming years.”

Robertson started her career in marine engineering in 2005 and qualified as a third engineer two years later, and as a second engineer in 2013.