HANSEATIC inspiration – a ship in limbo

What does the crew do on a ship with no guests? Are all the departments staffed? And where can you park a ship? We’ve received lots of questions in recent days and so we’ve passed them on to those in the know, such as Ulf Wolter, the captain of the HANSEATIC inspiration.

These are absolutely exceptional circumstances for us and we hope that we and everyone else will return to normality again soon.
– Ulf Wolter, Captain of the HANSEATIC inspiration

Interview with Ulf Wolter - 23 March 2020

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises: Where is the HANSEATIC inspiration currently?

We are at sea, on a transfer from Rio de Janeiro in Brazil to Bridgetown in Barbados. We are travelling 3,124 nautical miles or 5,785 kilometres, which involves ten days at sea. We will then stay in Bridgetown for the time being.

How many people are on board?

There are currently 148 crew members on board the ship. 

Are all the departments staffed?

All departments are staffed at the moment, except for the cruise department.

Uniform or everyday clothes – what’s the dress code for the crew?

We have swapped uniforms for overalls at the moment.      

A ship never sleeps. What will happen in the next few days?

A ship sails round the clock, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, even if we don’t currently have any guests on board. This means that staff in the deck and machinery teams are working their usual three-watch system. That involves a four-hour watch, eight hours free and then another four-hour watch.

What is your daily routine?

Work starts at eight o’clock, generally with various meetings in the morning, followed by inspection rounds on board. Then my current daily routine involves administrative work and two hours of watch duty in the afternoon.

Having time is also a blessing. What projects are you tackling?

Time is a precious commodity and we are using it to carry out maintenance work that can’t be done during normal operation with passengers on board. This includes deep cleaning every area of the ship and carrying out work that creates noise and smells. There are also various training sessions for the crew. But essentially, these are absolutely exceptional circumstances for us and we hope to get back to normality again soon.