Last week we had the pleasure to meet Patrik Dahlgren – Senior Vice President at the
Global Marine Operations of Royal Caribbean Cruises in Miami. Patrik began his career at Royal Caribbean Cruises in 1999 as a second officer on board Grandeur Of The Seas. Since then, Patrik has worked his way up on different ships, having positions such as First officer, Chief Officer and Captain. Last command as Captain was the world’s largest cruise-ship the Oasis of the Seas. Today, in his role as a Senior Vice President for Global Marine Operations, he runs the operations, maintenance and innovation for all the 63 cruise-ship’s operated by Royal Caribbean. The brands span from Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Azamara Cruises, TUI Cruises, Pullmantur Cruises, Silversea Cruises.
In his role as a Senior Vice President, Patrik travels between Royal Caribbean Cruises offices worldwide, ship’s, drydocks and various government agencies. His group focuses on energy, environment and technology. He is proud to say that 65-70% of the environmental companies that Royal Caribbean Cruises work with related to environmental innovation/technology such as, emission reduction, cleaning waste-water and much more, are from the Nordics. “The power of the Nordic companies, related to environment and sustainability, is more impactful than most people think”.
Moving on to the history and success of Royal Caribbean Cruises, the company was founded 1968 in a small trailer in the port of Miami with owners from Norway. Today it is registered on the New York stock exchange as a 25-billion-dollar company. The company focuses on cruise vacations, destination immersion and port development but collaborates from an innovation- and R&D standpoint with other companies such as Wilhelmsen, Stena Line, Wallenius Marine and Maersk. Going to almost a 1000 destinations, Royal Caribbean Cruises can take you worldwide.
Patrik explains that each brand that Royal Caribbean Cruises operate is unique – there is something for everyone. They offer family oriented cruises for both thrill & chill, luxurious ones and smaller brands that are more intimate. Everything you could ask for on a vacation is centered in one place and their cruises have everything from waterslides, aqua lands, ice-skating rinks, theatres, Michelin star restaurants and much more. “One of our cruises even has its own real central park, with over a hundred real trees and plants!” Meanwhile, you also get to see the most beautiful places in the world – at a great price.
Royal Caribbean’s headquarters are in Miami, where the rest of the biggest portion of the cruise industry is located. It is also the number one travel destination in the US which makes its location even more beneficial. “The growth is massive in this area and all cruise line brand are somewhat based here, and it is also a very business friendly environment” Patrik says.
How do Royal Caribbean Cruises work with sustainability? It is a core focus of the company to partner with the best organizations & minds in the world to operate in the most sustainable way. They are eliminating all single use plastic, make sure that they are following regulatory frameworks on environment and that nothing goes overboard unless it is clean. They also work to reduce their fuel consumption and therefore CO2, where they are 12% more efficient than their closest competitors. Lastly, they work with the local communities where they operate, helping them to develop a sustainable tourism.
When it comes to future goals, Patrik is proud of where he is today. His group is currently, from a global marine perspective, the largest consolidate marine operations in the entire cruise- industry. Patrik still sees big potential within the industry, as it is a hugely growing business and cruise is still a small portion of the total tourism sector. “I have to say that it is an amazing concept, once you start cruising, you are kind of always going to come back!”.