As The Yachts of Seabourn continues to expand its fleet of intimate, all-suite vessels, the company is also privileged to add to the roster of its most responsible, and most highly visible officers on board. The ultra luxury line has managed to attract some of the cruise industry’s most respected and popular captains, and built itself a sort of seagoing dream team to oversee its award-winning fleet.
The latest to join Seabourn is Captain Dag Dvergastein, a well-known Norwegian seaman most recently with Regent Seven Seas Cruises. Englishman Captain Ian McNaught, a longtime favorite of many guests aboard the Cunard liners, joined Seabourn this year. Also joining the roster in 2010 were Captain David Bathgate, a Scot who now lives in the South of England and has sailed on virtually every sort of ocean-going vessel, and Captain Sean Whalley, another Englishman whose 25-year career includes commands in the Falkland Islands Fisheries Patrol.
“With the addition of Seabourn Odyssey, Sojourn and Quest, we have created new opportunities for the right sort of senior officers,” noted Pamela C. Conover, Seabourn’s president and CEO. “With a complement of just 200 to 450 guests, our six intimate yachts offer an unusual degree of accessibility that really appeals to captains who like to socialize with guests and share their adventures,” she added.
Two of Seabourn’s captains were added to its rotation in 2009. Danish Captain Bjarne Larsen had extensive experience sailing ice-rated exploration vessels in the Arctic and Antarctic. Andrew Pedder, from Yorkshire in England, had sailed aboard Cunard liners, then served as a maritime river pilot, joined Holland America Line and later the sailing vessels of Windstar Cruises.
Captain Magnus Bengtsson was born on Sweden’s Gotland island, and had previously commanded passenger vessels in the Far East before joining Seabourn in 2008. That same year saw the welcome return of one of Seabourn’s very first captains, Norwegian Erik Lund Anderssen, who sailed as First Officer and then commanded Seabourn Pride during its, and the company’s, maiden year.
Captain Mark Dexter, another Englishman who now lives in New Zealand, joined in 2007 and had the pleasure of taking Seabourn Odyssey into his hometown of Christchurch during its maiden World Cruise in 2009. Captain Hamish Elliott, who also joined in 2007, lives in England’s County Durham and had worked on all manner of passenger vessels from the smallest, Sea Goddess, to what was at the time the world’s largest, Queen Mary 2 before taking command of Seabourn Pride.
Captain Gier-Arne Thue-Nilsen, from Norway, was the first in his family to go to sea, and started out on North Sea oil rigs before taking up the sailor’s life. He is an avid cyclist and photographer who maintains a website gallery of his travels on Seabourn since 2002 at www.captain-ga.com.
Captain Karlo Buer, also from Norway, first joined Seabourn in 1989 to supervise the building of Seabourn Spirit. Since then, even with intermittent stints in shoreside positions, he has commanded every Seabourn yacht, including Seabourn Odyssey and Seabourn Sojourn during their respective maiden Voyages.