Captain Jonas Lyddby

Captain Jonas Lyddby

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Interview with Captain Jonas Lyddby

Q: Where did you grow up and where are you living now?

A: I come from the south part of Sweden, born in Lund in 1971. I went to Stockholm when I started an education at the Royal Institute of Technology and have lived there ever since.


Q: You recently sailed as Master on the TUI-fleet, how was your experience there and do you have any takeaways?

A: TUI was a very good experience. In all I spent almost ten years with the company. The TUI ships are considerably bigger than the Azamara ships but at the end of the day I don’t think the difference is so big. I always made sure to treat every crew member with friendly respect. A well-treated and happy crew will also take good care of the guests and elevate their onboard experience.


Q: How did you get where you are right now?

A: I received my Bachelor of Nautical Science in Kalmar in 2005. I was aiming for passenger sailing from the beginning and after a lot of hard and loyal work, I saw myself as captain in 2015. I have tried the work as marine pilot for the last three years but life on board called me back. I am very happy to be back on Azamara as Captain.


Q: You’ll be joining Quest in a few weeks, what destination are you most excited to sail to?

A: All small ports not reachable with big ships appeal to me, for example Nice, Greece with its islands, Ho Chi Minh, and Bangkok to name a few. To name a geographic area, it would be Asia. It is so different from where I come from.


Q: What has been your biggest challenge as a Captain?

A: It is always challenging to read about bad weather coming since it has a potentially big impact on the ship and its operation.  Apart from that, it is a challenge to have a big crew. On a cargo ship the crew consist of maybe 15-20 people while a passenger ship may have 1,000. To allow every crew member to find their place and to feel comfortable with it is crucial for a ship to run smoothly. It is a big challenge. And a very interesting one!


Q: What’s great about being Captain? Everyone wants to be CEO of their own company, but what do you love about what you do?

A: Everyone on board looks to the Captain. The Captain has a big influence on setting the standard for the rest of the crew when it comes to performance, respect for each other etc., basically how the crew interacts with each other.

Q: Tell us about your first Azamara voyage?

A: I signed on the Azamara Quest in Hong Kong on February 2, 2009. Captain Carl was the captain. I came from Star Cruises and the difference was obvious immediately. Even then, Azamara was already an elegant brand with a very high level of service. The first voyages went to the north part of China, Dalian, Shanghai, and Tianjin. It was very cold weather (quite normal for the area in February). It was a very challenging voyage in many ways. Strange docking positions, neighbouring coal bulk carriers doing cargo operations, delayed pilots etc. The voyage continued with Japan Inland sea. I can’t wait to get back there. 


Q: Tell us about some of the best things you’ve heard from guests. And the hardest.

A: The best thing was the guest feedback after a voyage to Svalbard and Iceland with very difficult weather, cancelled excursions, and an aborted call to Nordkapp. I felt that the voyage was a disaster, but the ratings were the highest during that season. It is hard to come back from a voyage like that and be able to fully meet the expectations of the guests. As cruise ship employees, we do quite a lot to meet and exceed guest expectations. During those types of events, we need to put ourselves in the guests shoes. There are some things we can’t control, like weather in this case. But there’s always a solution, even if it takes a little longer to get there. I have great respect for the crew working long contracts and long days on board to care for their families at home. They show great loyalty to the company and their families.


Q: Final Question: We know food on Azamara is delish! What is one of your favourite dishes?

A: I am a big fan of seafood as long as I don’t have to eat oysters.

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