Captain Terje Willassen
Master of SeaDream II
Captain Terje Willassen was named after his grandfather, a man who spent his entire life at sea. The younger Terje grew up on the banks of the Glomma, Norway’s largest and longest river. As a boy, he watched large seagoing vessels going by and dreamed of sailing to foreign lands. He even kept a log, just as “real” Captains do, recording the names of the ships that passed, their companies and owners and distinctive markings.
Recalling those days now, Captain Willassen says “my parents actually wanted me to go into the construction business as my father had done.” Fortunately, his parents were understanding and supportive when he chose a different course. “When I turned 16 I went to school on the famous, three-masted, full-rigged sailing ship, Christian Radich. I suppose it was natural that at first I cried and wanted to go home to my family. But soon,” he says now, “I came to love the life. I still do.”
In 1982, Captain Willassen went to navigation officer’s school and the experience convinced him he was to be a sailor. In 1993 he received his Master Mariner’s Certificate. Terje served on Norwegian coastal steamers for some time, and then moved to cruise ships. He became Captain of SeaDream I in 2001 also having served as Chief Officer with SeaDream. After spending time ashore with SeaDream in our Norwegian headquarters as Director of Marine Operations, he is back at sea as Master of SeaDream II.
We asked Captain Willassen: What do you like best about being at sea? “I have been at sea for almost 33 years. I love it. I like the atmosphere aboard a ship that is sailing the oceans of the world, heading for new destinations, the fresh air, the colors of sea and sky always changing. To me it is the best lifestyle possible.”
The Captain is a proud father of three children, lives in an old Norwegian timber farmhouse close to the North Sea in the small Norwegian city of Kristiansund. He is constantly refurbishing it; a daily interest, along with small wooden rowing boats. He hikes in the mountains and forests of Norway and elsewhere. The highest he has climbed is Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa. When you are aboard SeaDream II ask him about his mountain climbing exploits.