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The Last Frontier

In my twenty years on the seven seas I have been able to visit many beautiful places on this earth. But Alaska remains a very special memory for me in many respects. I often had the feeling that I was traveling by ship somewhere between Mellau and the Hochtannberg. In Alaska we dismantled the wooden pier with the ship several times, we flew on glaciers and in Alaska I became hotel director for the first time on what was then the best cruise ship in the world. My impressions of the estimated 30 Alaska cruises between 1984 and 2000.


I started as a cook and after 4 months I changed to the reception.

Klaus Riezler at the saucier post on the Royal Viking Star in January 1984.

Purser Assistant at the reception of the Royal Viking Star in June 1984.


At the end of June 1984, I finished my first 6-month contract on the Royal Viking Star in San Francisco, California.

Also leaving with me were the cook Manfred Jaud from Tyrol and our 1st baker Bernhard Meusburger from Mellau. Norbert Bischofberger from Mellau (Norbert had been in California for 2 years) picked us up at the pier and we went with him on a 14 day round trip to Las Vegas and back to San Francisco.

Manfred Jaud, Bernhard Meusburger, Klaus Riezler, Norbert Bischofberger.

The Royal Viking Star under the Golden Gate Bridge on her way to the Alaska season.

Royal Viking Line, based in San Francisco, was the measure of all things in the luxury cruise industry at the time. Of course, it wasn't that hard at the time, because the cruise industry was still young.

In the meantime, the Olympic Games had begun in Los Angeles and we were back in San Francisco from our round trip.

At ONE Embarcadero Center was the headquarters of Royal Viking Line on the top two floors on the 43rd and 44th floor. That's where I had to go after 6 weeks home leave for training as a Food & Beverage Controller.


Anni Martinsson from Sweden then turned me into a useful F&B controller in 14 days.

In early September, I boarded the Royal Viking Star in San Francisco for the last Alaska voyage of the season.


The Royal Viking Star departs from the pier.

The voyage started with our beloved Royal Viking Star Waltz at every departure, which always sounded on all open decks.


Captain Ola Harsheim with the San Francisco skyline.


The new job also brought privileges, such as a single cabin with a magnificent view.


The cruise at that time went straight to Victoria, British Columbia in Canada.

Victoria with the Empress Hotel, where British High Tea is celebrated like nowhere else.


Now also I hailing from Austria had recognized that Alaska does indeed belongs to continental America, but is separated by quite a lot of Canada. (The state border is marked in red)


How Alaska was bought from the Russians.

Alaska was the only overseas colony for the emerging world power Russia, but it was hardly profitable and difficult to administer. Since passage through the Arctic Ocean was too dangerous, the only route from the then Russian capital of St. Petersburg was across the country to the east via the Chukchi Sea and took more than half a year.

Over time, as a result of hunting, fur-bearing animals, especially sea otters, became increasingly rare and the territory more difficult for Russia to maintain. In addition, the native Indians, primarily the Tlingit, were causing difficulties for the Russians. To replenish the state coffers after the lost Crimean War, Tsar Alexander II agreed to a treaty signed by his ambassador to the United States, Eduard von Stoeckl, with U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward in Washington on March 30, 1867. According to this agreement, the Czarist Empire sold Alaska to the United States for $7.2 million (roughly equivalent to $130 million today) (Alaska Purchase).

This purchase was one of the cheapest land acquisitions in history, with a price of only $4.74 per square kilometer.

Triggered by the Klondike gold rush in 1898, the border with Canada was precisely fixed in 1903.

In 1959 Alaska became the 49th state of the United States of America.


All towns and cities are located near the coast in southern Alaska. The state capital is Anchorage.


So now I had arrived in Alaska. The last frontier, as the Americans call it. In the middle of the snow-covered mountains with many glaciers and huge forests. Sometimes I had the impression that we were traveling from Lake Constance to Schröcken.

Chief Steward Dietmar Wertanzl and F&B Controller Klaus Riezler at the Hotel Manager's Party.


Our first stop in Alaska at that time was Ketchikan.

Typical for Alaska are the extremely high wooden piers made of 'telegraph poles'.

Alaska has a tidal difference of up to 14 meters. Only in Alaska do ships need a so-called Alaska Gangway.

All cruise ships have a gangway on deck 3, just above the water surface and a gangway on deck 5.

In Alaska, you need a gangway on deck 7.

If you arrive in the morning at low tide, you have to leave the ship from deck 7. In the late afternoon, the tide comes in and you can just get back on board on deck 3.


Sitka, the old Russian capital.

Sitka has only a small pier and you have to anchor in the harbor basin and go ashore with the tender boats.

The small towns in Alaska were quiet with a fun population back then. There were all sorts of dropouts and some strange people who settled in Alaska. The gold rush days were long gone and the old saloons tried to keep that time alive.



Royal Viking Line had 3 ships at that time. We were with the Royal Viking Star in Alaska, while the Royal Viking Sky in the summer in the Mediterranean and the Royal Viking Sea in Northern Europe and the Baltic were.

You can't go to the southern hemisphere in the summer because it's winter there.


Glacier Bay.

On the half-day trip to Glacier Bay, they put a lifeboat in the water and some sailors brought a big chunk of ice on board. One of them always had to dress up as a polar bear.

The ice from Glacier Bay is said to have tasted particularly good in the cocktail to the guests.

Provision Master Luis Moosmann from Sulzberg-Thal, F&B Controller Josef Matt from Schlins and Hotel Manager Franz Langer from Cologne.



The old gold mining town has a very special charm.

Near the pier there is a rock on which the ships could immortalize themselves.

Our boatswain (chief of the sailors) was a kindly, elderly Portuguese, who was only called Papa Gonzales by everyone. He wanted to pay homage to Captain Ola Harsheim and came up with the idea to put our logo on the top of the rock. So we set off with about 20 men, armed with ropes, rope ladders and lots of paint and climbed the steep rock. Then the sailors went down with the rope ladders and painted our logo on the rock all day. Ours still towers over all the others today.

The action was celebrated afterwards in the Red Onion Salon.

A picture of a more recent date.


Mendenhall Glacier.

Captain Harsheim brought the Royal Viking Star very close to the glacier. Older captains kept more distance. Pieces kept breaking off, causing waves.



In 1984, the old wooden pier was still here. Before my time, Captain Peder Vebenstadt with the Royal Viking Star is said to have forgotten to retract the stabilizing fins during a docking maneuver. He is said to have mowed down half the wooden pier at that time.

The Russian Orthodox church.


The hotel department heads and staff with Bregenzerwälder Luis and Klaus at the back left.


As I said, this was the last Alaska cruise of the 1984 season and the Royal Viking Star sailed again to warmer climes. She spent the fall and winter in Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Usually, one made the repositioning to the South Pacific via Hawaii to Japan. Every few years our Marketing Division would get its way and they would choose the North route via Kodiak Island and the Aleutian Islands to Japan.

The Marine and Hotel Division always had their trouble with it. This route usually had rain, snow, icebergs, wind and rough seas.


Kodiak Island.

The king crab fishermen of Kodiak Island and the Aleutian Islands are also well known by the TV station DMAX in Austria.

Dutch Harbor, Aleutian Islands.


The International Date Line runs in the Pacific Ocean along the 180th degree of longitude.

( west it is one day later than east)

If you cross this line on your birthday, you celebrate for 2 days, or you don't have a birthday at all, depending on the direction.

If you cross the International Date Line or the Equator, the King of the Seas King Neptune comes on board with his entourage, just like when crossing the equator.

Some of the passengers and crew are baptized with all sorts of 'amenities'.


Along the Soviet peninsula of Kamchatka, USSR and the Kuril Islands, USSR.

Passing the Soviet prisoner island from the 1st World War Sakhalin, USSR. Today there are the largest Russian oil and gas deposits.


We had calm autumn weather throughout the crossing and were well on time. The captain suggested to the hotel manager that we make a side trip to Vladivostok in Siberia. We contacted the port there. Vladivostok was a restricted military area at the time, but we were allowed to call at the port of Nakhodka.

Port area of Nakhodka, USSR.

There our guests spent 2 hours ashore and Russian tea was served in this building. Of course, this was the highlight of the trip for our US passengers and for us as well.


The Japanese port of Otaru, Japan on the northern island of Hokkaido is located 30 km from the Olympic city of Sapporo.

The port of Hakodate, Japan.

The port of Tokyo, Japan.

The 14-day crossing ended with an overnight stay in Kobe, Japan.


In 1985, I came back to Alaska by chance. I was F&B controller on the Royal Viking Sky and was scheduled to disembark in San Francisco after crossing from Japan to Hawaii. My vacation replacement Alexandra Don was supposed to get on in Honolulu, but she didn't. It always took us a couple of days to turn over all the work. Alexandra came on board in Portland, Oregon and so I couldn't get off until Juneau Alaska.

Sous Chef Fritz Mariacher, Provision Master Sverre Skagen, F&B Controller Klaus Riezler,

1st Chef Heinz Sohm, 1st Chef Egidius Exenberger, Executive Chef Helmut Zuber.


Royal Viking Sky.

At that time my brother Norbert was already on the ship as a bar waiter.

My brother Norbert waiter Roman Feurstein from Mellau, who later became one of our best head waiters.

We spent the night in Juneau. In the late afternoon I went to the crew purser to get my wages. At that time there was a 14-day payout, where you could get the necessary pocket money. The rest of the pay was paid in cash or in traveler's checks. There were no bank transfers yet.

For me, of course, only real bills came into question. I stayed in a hotel because my flight didn't leave until the following morning. I had a fat envelope with the equivalent of about 200,000 Austria schillings. I hid it in the toilet cistern. Then I met my brother in town, went to dinner with him and afterwards we went to the still original Red Dog Saloon.

After a few beers, I said goodbye to my brother and went back to the hotel. The money was still there and the following morning I flew with Alaskan Airways to Seattle, Washington. On board was a woman with a large wicker basket with 4 chickens and a long haired Alaskan farmer with a sheep on a leash.

At noon, we continued on SAS non-stop to Stockholm, Sweden. A black elementary school teacher from Seattle took a seat next to me. After lunch, she asked for a wool blanket and put it over both of us. It was a very amusing flight to Europe.


For the next two years, I alternated between the Royal Viking Star and the Royal Viking Sky. I was promoted to Provision Master and then Chief Steward.

The Chief Steward having dinner with a lone lady.


By 1987, I had actually said goodbye to Christian seafaring. Then a call came from Head Office and I was offered the position of Hotel Manager.

In 1988, in spring, I worked with Hotel Manager Hannes Furlan on the Royal Viking Star. He coached me on the side. Hannes and his fiancée Connie Salutos from the U.S. were getting married because Hannes was offered a job as Director Hotel Operations at the Head Office in San Francisco.

Connie Salutos and Hannes Furlan from Carinthia.


The wedding took place aboard the Royal Viking Star on June 25, 1988 in Juneau, Alaska. We Austrians had told the US best man Jamie Logan that we were going to kidnap the bride and that he would have to release us afterwards. Of course we went to the new Red Dog Saloon.

In the saloon the floor is covered with sawdust, but I dared a little dance with the bride.

Something was misunderstood, because more and more people came from the ship to the saloon and finally the whole company was there.

Shortly before midnight we said goodbye to the bride and groom and at midnight the Royal Viking Star left with the new Hotel Manager.

Jamie Logan (front) took it easy and settled the whole bill.


By the way, a short time later the titles were adjusted to the international hotel hierarchy.

Chief Steward became Food & Beverage Manager and Hotel Manager became Hotel Director.


So now I was the boss of 360 hotel employees from over 50 different countries.


Shortly after my promotion, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (U.S. Public Health) came on board for their annual unannounced inspection. These inspections are dreaded to this day because you have to deal with almost impossible regulations. You have to meet 86 out of 100 points to pass.

We were anchored in Sitka, Alaska. I took the tender boat ashore in the morning to call my boss in San Francisco at our port agent's office. On the way back, I saw the US Public Health officers standing on the pier. Immediately, I grabbed a radio from a sailor and informed the ship. This was a valuable half hour's warning. The Hotel Division only got a 2 point deduction and I was looking forward to a great final report. At the final briefing, I learned that we had been deducted another 25 points. The ships were able to make 100 percent potable water from seawater with a desalination plant while they were running. Only it's an absolute mortal sin to do that near the port. The Asst. Chief Engineer had forgotten to shut down the plant.


As Hotel Director on the Royal Viking Star, I exercised my privilege of inviting family and friends.

So I invited my then 17 year old brother Gerhard and my good friend and former boss Tone Matt from Gasthof Adler in Mellau. At the beginning of August, the time had come.


In Vancouver, I booked a hotel room for the two gentlemen at the Abbodsford Hotel in order to board the Royal Viking Star the following day.

After checking in at the hotel, of course, they immediately had to hit the Gastown entertainment district. Tone was open to exotic culinary delights, my brother on the other hand belonged to the category 'I only eat, what I know'. . Tone tried to convert him several times, unsuccessfully.

Of course, it wasn't long before the two woods discovered the Lamplighter Pub.


The following morning they checked out of the hotel and with great anticipation headed for Canada Place, where our ship was expected. There they learned that the ship would not arrive until tomorrow. The gentlemen had not taken into account the time difference.

So they went back to the hotel and were able to check in again in the same room. Now they had a full day and night to get to know Vancouver.

When Tone suggested the restaurant 'Mongolian Food Experience' for lunch, Gerhard went on strike. They agreed on another restaurant.


When they checked out the next morning, the receptionist asked if he should keep the room in case they came back again. There was no need, as the Royal Viking Star had docked on schedule at 8:00 am.

Vancouver Cruise Terminal Canada Place.


It was good to see my brother and my friend Tone again. My brother Norbert was also on the ship. He was working at Galaxy Nightclub as a bar keeper at the time.

Our two hostesses, me, Tone, Gerhard and Norbert.

The reception in the cabin.


We departed promptly at 6:00 pm with a fully loaded ship. 720 passengers and 420 crew.

After a leisurely dinner at my table, at least I went to bed. I had had a busy day, as always on turn-around days.


The following day we sailed up the Inside Passage between Vancouver Island and the mainland towards Alaska.

Tone was fascinated by the never-ending forests. He borrowed binoculars on the bridge, then sat on the open deck for hours looking at the forests.


That evening was the first Formal Night. Captain's Welcome Party and Welcome Dinner were announced. Now I was anxiously awaiting Toni in his new suit.

Not bad, except for the shoes, but as we all know, you can't have everything.


Captain Vebenstadt, Hostess Carrie Salutos, Cruise Director Ron Marriott and myself.


At the Welcome Dinner, Gerhard spurned oysters, caviar, foie gras and lobster and switched to proletarian fare.


After seeing the Broadway show in the Bergen Lounge, we had to hit the Galaxy Club. Norbert was already waiting at the bar.

It didn't take long for Tone to start talking to a gentleman who didn't seem averse to worldly pleasures either. He was the Dean of Harvard University, whose first name was Antony. He spoke broken German and for the rest of the trip, the two namesakes met regularly at the bar in the Night Club.


The next morning we reached Ketchikan, Alaska

I wanted to wake them up, since I didn't spot them anywhere having breakfast.

In the corridor on the Promenade Deck I met their Swedish stewardess. She told me it was still very quiet in the cabin.

In the immediate neighborhood lived a family from Singapore with two pretty daughters in a large suite. The stewardess told me that Gerhard had already inquired about the 'two little sweet Chinese girls'.


After a leisurely day at sea looking at forests, we reached the Juneau the next day.

In the late afternoon we visited the famous Red Dog Saloon.

At the Red Dog Saloon with shipmates.

A great video about the Saloon.

At 10:00 pm we left for Glacier Bay.


Glacier Bay.

According to an old tradition, a lifeboat was launched in Glacier Bay to fetch a large chunk of ice.

Afterwards, the drinks were served on the open decks with this glacier ice.

Shore Excursion Manager John Bender, Concierge Lena Wickström, me, Executive Housekeeper Bruni Amann.

We had a group of ladies from Hawaii on board this cruise. The ladies were all 60 plus and often hung out at the Night Club in the evenings. They were desperately trying to get Tone, a notorious non-dancer, onto the dance floor. For Tone, it was the Hawaiian Skittles Club.


The next day we were at sea heading for Anchorage.

Tone was always wearing his Birkenstock tires during the day. Several times American passengers spoke to him about his footwear. A few years later, Birkenstocks were also available in the U.S., but only in select, expensive stores.

So Toni was also a trendsetter.

That evening we had dinner served by our penthouse butler to my little apartment on the Bridge Deck.


At 8:00 am we docked in Anchorage. With Anchorage we had reached the northernmost point of our cruise.


City stroll in Anchorage.

In a garden I noticed the huge heads of cabbage with a diameter of 30-40 cm. I went to a flower store and wanted to buy seeds. The saleswoman enlightened me. Due to the many hours of sunshine (midnight sun) in these latitudes in the summer, the cabbage simply became larger.


Now we went on again in southern direction.

Tone was a regular visitor at the Galaxy Club and mostly he closed the bar together with my brother Norbert.

Once the two of them went to the Crew Bar afterwards. There a cook asked Tone if he was the new supervisor.

Supervisor at that time was Daniel Durand, who was in charge of the fleet's culinary program from his office in San Francisco. He was often on the ships implementing new menus.

Tone said he didn't know what that was, but probably he was. The chef said they had never had such an easygoing supervisor at all.


In Sitka you always drop anchor and take the tender boats to the mooring station.


At 6:00 pm we left the harbor.


The next morning we stood in front of the mighty Hubbard Glacier.

The entrance.


The next morning we docked in the small gold mining town of Skagway.


From here the passengers made the tour by rail to White Pass.


We preferred to go to the Red Onion Saloon.

In the gold rush era around 1900, the Red Onion Saloon was a well-known whorehouse.

At 6:00 pm we sailed.

We said good bye to Alaska because now we were going back to British Columbia, Canada.


The next day we were at sea. In the evening Tone had to squeeze into his suit one last time for the Captain's Farewell Night.

Gerhard and me.

With Food & Beverage Manager Frans van Walle.


On the last day we reached the pretty town of Victoria in Canada.

Port of Victoria.

One of the tours we offered was the British Tea Time at the Empress Hotel. I don't know of a classier tea time setup than the one at the Empress in Victoria.


We left at 5:00 pm. Now it was time to pack the suitcases for Tone and Gerhard. The suitcases had to be in front of the cabin door before midnight to be collected.

After a last dinner together and a few drinks with Norbert in the Galaxy Club we went to bed.


The next morning we were together on deck when Vancouver was in sight.

Joint farewell lunch at noon at the Spaghetti Factory in Gastown.

Tone Matt, the three Riezler boys and a colleague of Norbert.

They spent the night once again at the Abbotsford Hotel in Vancouver.

The next morning they went back home.

My father was chosen to pick up the boys from the airport in Munich. Only from Tone and Gerhard nothing was to be seen. My father asked and was told that the flight would not come until tomorrow. Now it became clear that they had a problem again with the time difference. The double day in Vancouver had now of course been missed.

My father did not want to go home and spent the night in the car in the underground garage in the airport. When Wälder do a trip...........?


Einar Kloster, owner of Norwegian Cruise Line had bought Royal Viking Line back in 1984. In 1989, the two companies were managed by Kloster's Florida office.

The Royal Viking Star was in Alaska in the summer of 1989. I had switched to the Royal Viking Sea for the first time at that time. So I missed all the 'action' that was happening on the Royal Viking Star.

On August 19, 1989 a murder occurred on the Royal Viking Star.

The penthouse butler Michael Michaelis from Cyprus came to the hotel director's office in the morning totally aghast and asked him to come along.

Michael in a picture as a tour guide at the Great Wall of China.

There lay 80-year-old Mrs. Muriel Collins Barnett in her blood. In true Royal Viking style, she was slain with a bottle of Dom Perignon champagne. There was no trace of her 59-year-old lover. A short time later, he was spotted on the open deck and arrested. He immediately confessed to the murder. The Royal Viking Line ships had a jail cell behind the bridge, accessible from the outside deck. This is where the man was now taken. The following morning he was handed over to the police in Victoria, Canada.

Later it turned out that the murderer was the butler of the Barnett's and furthermore he was the lover of Mr. Barnett who died 3 years ago. According to the will, he would have inherited 3.7 million US dollars after Mrs. Barnett's passing. He just couldn't wait for it.

I have often thought that the so-called perfect murder could only take place on a ship. At that time there were no cameras on the ships and it would have been easy to throw a person overboard.


I was also in Alaska this summer with the Royal Viking Sea.

The crew also enjoyed the view.

No one has sailed as close to the glaciers as Captain Walter Holst.

As we approached Hubbard Glacier from the side, I could see the clutch of birds in a bird's nest at the edge of the glacier on a rock.


This summer, Captain Walter Holst was succeeded by Captain Odd Strøm (left).

During a mooring maneuver in Juneau, Alaska I stood on the side wing of the bridge. The mooring ropes were hooked to the pier and the winches on board were put into operation. Instead of pulling the ship to the pier, we pulled the old wooden pier into the water. There was an old wooden shack on the pier that collapsed in slow motion. After that, it was time to build a new, modern pier.


The old gold rush pictures could be made in Skagway.

A photo of me with Executive Chef Werner Unterberger.


The Chef from Mellau, Kurt Bischof, started working for Royal Viking Line before I did and made it to Sous Chef.. He left the company in 1985 and has since been a Executive Chef on a large Norwegian oil platform. Last year he told me that he would like to do a vacation relief for the Executive Chef.

In the summer of 1989 the time had come. He still worked this trip with Chef Gottlieb Oberweger and then took over the next trip.

Kurt with his kitchen brigade. In the foreground Rosemarie Roberts, who shortly before was making her 300th cruise with Royal Viking Line. She has been staying with us on the Royal Viking Sea for several years.


Kurt knew the fine art of ice figure carving, we needed the ice figures for our large gala buffets. I made a video at that time in Glacier Bay with the explanations of Chef Gottlieb Oberweger.



We were 4 Vorarlbergers on the Royal Viking Sea at that time. I can no longer remember the other names.


After this trip I got off in San Francisco and flew home.


After two weeks at home I received a call from my boss in San Francisco. My vacation replacement had health problems and I had to come back before crossing to Japan. I was sick myself and boarded the plane in Zurich with a fever of 39 degrees. I flew to Anchorage, Alaska and then by propeller plane to Dutch Harbor, Aleutian Islands.

The infamous runway in Dutch Harbor.

That happened before too, thank God not with me on board.

On the approach I saw cows still grazing on the right side. Our agent was waiting for me with some rubber boots. I was totally sweaty from my fever and was looking forward to a hot shower at the hotel. But there was no hotel. So I spent the night at the agent's house. His only heating was the oven from the kitchen stove.

Maitre d' Hotel Stefano Fattori, Hotel Director Klaus Riezler, Executive Chef Werner Unterberger, Food & Beverage Manager Salvatore Marrale.


I left Royal Viking Line in January 1991. The head office was now in Florida and the ships were being sold off piece by piece.

From March 1991 I managed 3 hotels in Zürs am Arlberg.


In the meantime, the legendary president of Royal Viking Line Warren Titus had founded Seabourn Cruise Line in San Francisco. Two ships, actually large yachts with 200 guests and nearly 200 employees. This was now the new measure of all things.

In the early summer of 1993, I received an offer as Hotel Director on the Seabourn Spirit.

I flew to San Francisco and got on her sister, the Seabourn Pride. There I worked for one voyage with Hotel Director Peter Tobler from Switzerland. Where did the trip go? To Alaska, of course.

After that trip, I flew to Boston and took over the Seabourn Spirit.

In my office on the Seabourn Spirit.


Over the years, new destinations had been added to the program again and again in order to be able to offer variety. Partly also ports, where only the smaller ships are allowed to enter.

Wrangell, Alaska.

Seward, Alaska.

Whittier, Alaska.

Haines, Alaska.

Homer, Alaska.


Captain Karlo Bür from Norway and Kazumi Masua from Japan on board the Seabourn Spirit.


In 1994 I received a call from Norwegian Cruise Line. They had built two new ships and would like to entrust them to me. I then worked on the Windward and the Dreamward.


I also went to Alaska with the Dreamward. On board was Hans-Hermann Weyer with his wife from Germany. (right in the picture next to me).

The handsome consul, as he was called, filled the German-language tabloids in the 1970s. He sold titles of nobility and became filthy rich.


Einar Lindrupsen came on the Dreamward as a vacation replacement for Captain Nielsen. The last time I had seen Einar was as Chief Officer at Royal Viking Line.

When we docked in Ketchikan, Alaska one gloomy morning, Einar came into my office afterwards. He asked me if I wanted to go salmon fishing with him. I had never fished before in my life. I agreed and we arranged to meet at 10:00 am.

Einar had already launched our zodiac boat with outboard motor and was waiting with fishing rods. Since he was the chief fisherman from Tromsö, I had to steer the boat. Only we did not catch any fish. I suggested to try it further to the right because I spotted a few boats there. All of them were pulling out salmon, except us. I showed my rod to one of the fishermen. He started laughing, and said 'without a downrigger you will never catch a salmon'. When salmon fishing, you have to go slow with the boat (trawl) and pull the line behind. For that you need a piece of lead on the line so you are not just fishing on the surface. The fisherman lent me a rod and in a short time I had caught six handsome salmon. Now Lindrupsen was what he actually was, the captain and I was the fisherman.


In 1994, another new cruise line emerged that was to become, and did become, the measure of all things. Silversea Cruises in Monaco. After a bumpy start, the entire management was replaced in 1995 and I worked first on the Silver Cloud, later on the Silver Wind.

A completely new concept with only outside suites, 95 percent with a veranda.

The first all-inclusive product on the world's oceans. Except for a few very expensive wines and cognacs, all drinks and even the tip were included.

The Silver Cloud

300 guests and 250 employees.

The Silver Wind.

Jerry Orbach and his wife (the papa from Baby in the film Dirty Dancing), Rita Moreno and her family (Rita Moreno was 'Anita' in the movie of the Broadway-Musical Westside Story).

These two ships have never been to Alaska during my time.


In 1998, in late fall, I joined Seven Seas Cruises. At this company, I was also responsible for new ships as a project manager.

Seven Seas Navigator.

In 2000, I was in Alaska with the Navigator when I trained Oliver Hammerer to be Hotel Director.


Along the way, I had enough time and made videos the whole trip. The narration is im my Austrian dialect.


From 2000 to 2002, under my project management, the Sevens Seas Mariner and Voyager were built (now Regent Cruises) for 800 passengers.


An impressive video of the construction of the Seven Seas Mariner in France.

Shortly before Christmas 2000, our marketing department decided that a golf teeing ground and putting green were still absolutely needed on the open sports deck. For this I needed additional cabinets in solid teak and shellac for the equipment outside. It was impossible to find a carpenter within 200 km of St. Nazaire who was not fully booked. Everyone was working for the shipyard.

So I took the plans home for Christmas vacation.

I got together with my neighbor Josef Köss. The joinery Köss from Egg built the desired teak cabinets in the usual top quality and the company Bischofberger delivered on time . In the meantime Josef's cabinets have circled the globe many times.

The Mariner sailed in April 2001.

With the Captain and the Chief engineer of the Mariner.

This promotional video was shot during an Alaska c