Last month when the Mr. and I were on the Norwegian Jewel the Captain of the ship was Lars Bergstrom. Captain Lars has such a warm and welcoming personality it’s nearly impossible not to be immediately drawn to him. Proof of which was that after the Q&A on board with the Senior Officers, he was nearly rushed by what seemed like half of the ship, whom he happily and patiently spoke to and took photos with.
So I was particularly glad when after I asked he said that he’d be happy to sit down for an interview. I’ve also included the video of the Officer Profile – Question and Answer session that took place in the Spinnaker Lounge, where he, the Hotel Director and newly appointed Chief Engineer answered a variety of passenger questions. It was hosted by Cruise Director Dan “The Man” Olsen.
Where are you from?
The middle of Sweden 3 hours north of Stockholm.
How long have you been a Captain?
20 years – 8 years with Norwegian
What made you decide to go into this line of work?
Born and raised in middle of Sweden – My Father’s cousin who was sea all of his life, was like a big bear, he’d have 3 kids on each knee and he told stories from around the world 8 years old and decided to work on a ship.
While his parents weren’t initially happy when he officially decided on a life at sea at 17 his parents weren’t too happy about him leaving, but they were both happy and proud when he graduated from the Merchant Marine Academy of Stockholm in 1979.
What are your basic duties?
Office work. Bridge work. Overall in charge. Making sure that things are right at all times.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Everything. You have to love people. If not you would work on a cargo ship.
How would you define your command style? And how do you feel it benefits your officers, staff and crew?
Open and friendly. Everyone that works on board should have a good time when they are working here. Being happy, everyone should be happy. Try to get them in a good mood. They work hard here for 10 months. You’d better be alert .. say the right things to them and make them happy. I have to be the Captain sometimes too. Screaming shouting is not my thing. It’s better to have your crew on your side.
What has been your favorite ship in the Norwegian Cruise Line fleet to command and why?
The Jewel. I love this ship. I love the crew we have on board.
If you could sail anywhere in the world where would you go and why?
The Far East. Anywhere in the Far East.
What do you think is the most important thing that a passenger can do to increase their on board safety?
Participate in the drill. Read behind the door, there’s a big map of where to go and what to do in an emergency.
What do you feel distinguishes NCL from other cruise lines?
Freestyle cruising, definitely. We’ve come very far in that. All the ships that we’re building are for freestyle cruising. Norwegian is the innovator.
Check out the Officer Profile Q&A from the Norwegian Jewel below
A big thank you to Captain Lars for taking the time for the interview. I definitely hope to see him on future sailings on the Jewel.
Past Interviews with Norwegian Cruise Line Captains
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