Arne Wilhelmsen who is a co-founder of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd has sadly passed away at the age of 90.
Arne Wilhelmsen, A Founder of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd Dies
Arne Wilhelmsen who was a founder of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and an important part of the huge growth the cruise company went through has sadly passed away. He died on Saturday, April 11, 2020 on Palma, Spain at 90 years old.
Wilhelmsen served more than three decades on the board of directors and worked with the late and very first Royal Caribbean CEO Edwin Stephan to bring the cruise company into a more everyday type of cruise vacation.
Richard Fain, RCL’s chairman and CEO, said:
“At a time when the rest of the world thought cruising was a niche use for old transatlantic liners, Arne was already seeing glimmers of the growth that was possible.”
“He had a vision of the modern cruise industry when the ‘industry’ might have been a dozen used ships, total.”
He’s one of the main reasons why we’ve seen much larger cruise ships built of the last two decades. He convinced partners and management in Miami to build bigger ships to help grow the company and the company now has 61 vessels across all its cruise brands including the largest cruise ships in the world. In his own words, “My initial challenge was to convince my partners and management in Miami to build bigger and more efficient ships in order to grow the company.”
“Arne was a steady presence and source of wisdom on our board for decades.”
“And in 2003, when he was ready to step back, he was succeeded on the RCL board by his son, Alex, who has carried the involvement of the Wilhelmsen family in charting our company’s course into its sixth decade. Our high standards as a company, our insistence on excellence in operations and design, and our determination to persevere all owe a great deal to the long-term vision of Arne, Alex and the Wilhelmsen family. We salute our friend, and we will miss him dearly.”
Wilhelmsen was born in Oslo, Norway on June 15, 1929, and has been in the shipping business for the majority of his life. He was even a deckhand working for his family business Anders Wilhelmsen & Co AS. he ended up becoming the president of his family business 1961.
Our thoughts at Cruise Hive go out to his family and friends along with the entire cruise community. The industry will not be the same without him and thanks to Wilhelmsen for pushing the boundaries of cruise ships.
Photo Via: Royal Caribbean