Orphalese Holdings, parent company of residential cruise ship The Orphalese, is proud to announce luxury cruise industry veteran Captain Ola Harsheim as Captain of The Orphalese.  Captain Harsheim brings to The Orphalese more than 40 years of experience in the maritime industry, of which 25 years were spent as Captain of luxury cruise ships, including the first residential cruise ship, The World.

“Captain Harsheim’s extensive 40-year experience in the luxury cruise industry, especially his pivotal role in the construction of and sailing of residential cruise ship The World, makes him a valuable asset to the success of The Orphalese.  We want the best in the industry to lead The Orphalese in 2010,” said Donald V. Allen, CEO, Orphalese Cruise Lines.

Captain Harsheim will oversee every element of the design and construction of the 85,000-ton vessel, as well as plot The Orphalese’s unique event-driven itinerary.  He will draw upon his vast knowledge of the luxury cruise industry, especially as the first and only captain to oversee construction and sail a residential cruise ship, to ensure The Orphalese will set a new standard in cruising as the world’s most magnificent ocean liner.  Upon completion of the ship, Captain Harsheim will lead The Orphalese as she sets sail on her maiden voyage in 2010, touring the world’s greatest and most exclusive events.

Captain Harsheim began his career in the residential cruise ship sector in 1994, when he was approached to explore the possibility of building a residential cruise ship.  Two years later, he was employed by ResidenSea and worked with architects, ship personnel and designers to create The World, the first residential cruise ship.  The World set sail in 2002 and remained under Captain Harsheim’s command for five and a half years, visiting 114 countries and more than 500 exotic ports.

Beginning his maritime career at age 15, Captain Harsheim spent the next decade working on cargo ships before heading to Nautical College in Norway.  He signed onto his first luxury cruise ship the Royal Viking Sea in spring of 1974, which was part of the Royal Viking Line, the premiere luxury cruise line of the day.  In 1982, Captain Harsheim was promoted to Master of Royal Viking, becoming the youngest captain in the industry.  During his tenure, Captain Harsheim was instrumental in building the luxury cruise line into a respected commodity known for sailing to worldwide destinations previously unexplored by luxury travelers.  In 1986, Captain Harsheim was given the charge of building and commissioning the Royal Viking Sun, which under his leadership became the No. 1 rated cruise ship in the world for eight consecutive years.