Captain Jens Hansen has sailed the oceans of the world most of his life. Yet he does not miss the years at sea. From his company office he has a clear view of the strait between the island of Mactan and Ceby City in the central Philippines.
From captain to consultant
“I think we have about 12 ships in our fleet – all included”, says Jens Hansen. He has just been on the phone with an employee and has given orders in a way that only a captain knows how.
“I spent many years on cruise ships”, he says with reference to his former employer, Norwegian Cruise Liners. The first time he was made a captain was when he was only 29 years old.
“I had to make a speech in front of 800 passangers. It was terrifying”, he recalls.
In 1987 the company sent him to Manila, but after three years there he decided to move to Cebu in order to start his own company, Norwegian Marine Consultancy. Today, it comprises of 4 different companies making everything from underwater surveys, sea maps, navigation equipment, and all sorts of consultancy work. The company has a little under 100 employees.
A sailor by heart, Jens A. Hansen is unattached and has been so more or less his entire life, but that has not made him childless.
“I have a daughter in Norway and two sons in Hawaii”, he says.
“I sometimes visit them, but more often they some here and visit me”, he says. That is a real sailor, but does he have an anchor tatooed on his shoulder?
“No, not on my shoulder”, he laughs and that is all he has to say about that.
Jens Hansen has no plans of returning to Norway.
“I have too much invested here in Cebu and I feel responsibility towards my employees. Every year at our Christmas party, I can see how many lives are
affected by the company”, he says.
“But I miss the climate and surroundings in Norway”.
A workaholic resort owner
“I will not move back, I think, because I like my work here in the Philippines too much. I work almost every day and when I am not working I am planning next days work”, he laughs. He does sometimes find the time for a game of golf or a dive from the resort that he has also invested in. The resort is only a couple of minutes drive from his home and office in Cebu Yacht Club.
“We have 26 rooms in the resort and mostly accommodate divers, because we have som excellent dive sites around this island”, he says.
“The businesses are my income, but I dont know if it has made me rich. I feel enrichened by my surroundings here”, he says gazing out of the panorama window of his office.