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Cruise Diary: Meet Captain Bos

Carsten Korch, Chief Editor and Founder of Peru this Week, recently sailed aboard Veendam’s 21-Day South America and Antarctica Holiday Voyage with his family. While aboard the ship he chronicled his cruising experience for us on the blog. Enjoy!

Whenever I am flying, or in this case cruising, I always wonder who is behind that official-sounding voice who keeps us updated on the most important things during our trip. On board the ms Veendam, that voice belongs to Captain Peter Bos, who makes sure everyday that we are well taken care of, that safety is considered the first priority, that the rules are followed in order to ensure everyone’s well-being, and that we can all enjoy this great adventure. Captain Bos does a fantastic job, and I’d be happy to cruise with Holland America Line under his command anytime. Amid all of his responsibilities that include giving orders, managing his team and collecting and providing information, the captain took ten minutes out of his day to sit down and tell me a little about himself. This is what I learned.

Peter Bos was born to Dutch parents in Lagos, Nigeria, where his father worked on a cargo ship. He was later sent to Holland to study; his parents hoped he would become a doctor, dentist, or engineer, but his dream was to become a commercial pilot. As this was in the beginning of the 1970s and the world was in the midst of an oil crisis, however, the aviation school closed, and he changed his dream from flying to sailing. After five years of sailing on Shell oil tankers, he was offered a job as officer with Holland America Line. He has been with the company for 31 years and he has been a captain for 16 of those years. He loves his job and that becomes clear every time you see him or have the chance to talk to him.

 Captain Peter Bos is pictured here with the Korch family.

Captain Peter Bos is pictured here with the Korch family.

When I asked him what was the most important aspect of his job, he answered that besides sailing the ship and ensuring people’s safety, communication with his passengers and staff was the most important thing. By communicating with his passengers and staff regularly he can make sure that there are no unanswered questions hanging in the air and that his actions are transparent at all times.

Carsten Korch: What is the most difficult part about your job?

Captain Bos: It is when we have to disappoint one or more passengers. Sometimes we have to cancel a port due to weather conditions, return to the last port of embarkation if someone gets really ill or dies onboard and a helicopter cannot reach us. Whatever may affect my passengers in a negative way makes my job difficult.

Carsten Korch: What’s the nicest part of your job?

Captain Bos: After so many years at sea, I get to see so many friends on my different routes, of which I especially love Antarctica, Alaska and New Zealand; and the fact that I work 3 months and then can go home and be with my wife and dogs in North Carolina for 3 months, where I also have a chance to enjoy sailing and golf.

Carsten Korch: When you’re on sea, what do you miss the most?

Captain Bos: Of course, being disconnected from family and friends is always difficult, so when they send me mail and pictures about events I have been missing while I was away, but then when I get home for three months, I try to make up for it.

Carsten Korch: What’s you favorite dish?

I have tried almost everything from alligator to kangaroo. I like Thai food as well as Indonesian, Dutch food and all of them. If they are well prepared, it tastes very good. If I had to choose just one plate, it would be a well-prepared halibut. Nothing beats a delicious cooked halibut, maybe besides some nice lamb chops.

Carsten Korch: What are you planning to do after your time as a captain with Holland America Line?

Captain Bos: To retire, which still is a few years away from now, and then play golf, go sailing and walk my dogs everyday.

Carsten Korch and Captain Bos.

Carsten Korch and Captain Bos.

  • Cindy Schnell

    Hello Captain Bos,
    Good to see you are still sailing and now a Captain!
    We met on the Rotterdam in the late 80’s. I was traveling with my parents.
    Hope you are doing well…enjoying life with your wife and dogs in the Carolina’s : )

  • Mary Beth Burns

    Well hello Captain Bos. I am keeping up with the Dallas Cowboys and also the Texas Rangers as I love sports. Super Bowl was BAD this year, felt sorry for Peyton Manning. Watched it on the Statendam going through the Panama Canal.
    Will sail with you on the Veendam again sometime. Good luck and go Cowboys.

  • Mary Beth Burns

    Dec. 15, 2014
    Just got off the Statendam today. I asked Sybe de Boer what ship you were on now. He said he thought the Oosterdam. March 4, 2015 I am going to be on the Zaandam, 14 day cruise around Cape Horn. The Dallas Cowboys are now 10-4, hope they maybe can get into the play-offs this year.(syobwoc) what does that spell backward?
    Enjoy your home in Hickory,NC. My sister-in-law is from Hickory, beautiful country.
    Greetings, Mary Beth Burns

  • peter jansen

    Dear Peter Bos,Thank you for guiding your vessel and me safely on the dec 2014 to jan 2015 cruise to new Zealand and pacific.You running a very well a supurb oiled ship. As this was a retirement gift for myself,being an old dutch sailor myself and live in perth Australia. the statement mattres was the best. beautifull sleep, may have snored a bit!! Thanks again Hans peter jansen cabin 4091

  • Dan Long

    Dear Sir,
    Last January I had the pleasure of cruising with you to various Pacific Islands. Your ship, The Oosterdam, was not just clean, it was immaculate. The catering was 1st class, as was the entertainment, also the staff, in fact i found nothing i could fault. I have sailed twice with you and once on the Volendam and i can truly say Holland America has given me the holiday of a lifetime, for which i thank you. My cerebral palsy daughter was seen daily pushing her trolley and telling strangers she was Vicki and how she loved the cruise. My grandson also came with us to help take care of Vicki, which proved unnecessary. Myself and family all wish to congratulate you on your skilful handling of your ship, especially on the last wild night when you brought us safely home on time. My trip on the Oosterdam was a dream come true for which i thank you.

    Yours Sincerely
    Dan long

  • Robert Hogan

    Hello Peter
    Perhaps you might remember me , I am your past chief radio officer from the
    ssRotterdam, remember the swimming pool incident and the plaque you had
    made up and presented to Marie. I miss all you people from my sailing days,
    but these days I keep busy on my sail boat planning imaginary voyages to the
    south pacific and beyond, also I have been studying navigation and piloting for
    the past 10 years so I will be semi prepared for my next life , I am going to go
    to sea again.
    Take care and give our best to your wife Kathy
    Your friend and former shipmate
    Bob Hogan

  • Hermance Vietor

    Hi Peter, we lost contact after Hendrik passed away. How are you both? Hope to hear from you!
    With regards to you and Cathy,
    Hermance Vietor

  • Mary Ann Pavich

    I have had Peter for my captain on more than one cruises. Most recently on the Oosterdam to Alaska. Had our pictures taken at the Mariner’s reception. He told me he knows I like to have my picture taken! Well who would not in between the Captain and the Hotel Manager?

  • Mary Ann Pavich

    I hope I meet him on another cruise. Great man and so friendly.

  • David Morrison

    We are looking forwards to our sixth cruise from March 15. We will by then have ticked off four cruises with Captain Bos, the Captain who says “Wash those hands!” as no other Captain can say it. He has been our Captain on the Volendam and the Oosterdam and the Noordam, and will be again on the Noordam next month.

  • David Morrison

    It was a pleasure to be on the last cruise captained by Peter Bos. We hope he has a very good and long retirement.

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