René Vogel

Captain Kasteelborg Wagenborg Offshore

“I started my seafaring career with Wagenborg in 1997. I’d just completed my training and I started as an apprentice on the Gaastborg. After that I served on a number of ships in the fleet, such as the old Kroonborg, Namai, Giessenborg, Roerborg, Dintelborg, and Reestborg. I ended up on the Schieborg in 2000 and enjoyed my many years on board her. Eventually, there were no more promotion options within Wagenborg, which is why my next step was outside the company.

I’d always said that if I did something else, it’d be either in the dredging sector or in the offshore industry. Not long after, I read in the newspaper that Vroon was looking for trainee DP officers, so that step was quickly taken. Since 2008, I’ve worked on various offshore vessels within Vroon, such as the Vos Sweet, Vos Sympathy, and Vos Sugar. They’re all multipurpose offshore support vessels that have also carried out ‘walk-to-work’ activities in offshore wind farms such as BARD 1 and Global Tech 1. Eventually I was appointed captain of the Vos Start, Vroon’s walk-to-work flagship. With almost 100 people on board, it’s been working at the Walney Extension 3 wind farm in the Irish Sea. 


“It was precisely then that Wagenborg crewing called to find out if I was interested in becoming captain of the Kasteelborg. I certainly was!”

But after a while I was itching to do something new. It was precisely then that Wagenborg crewing called to find out if I was interested in becoming captain of the Kasteelborg. I certainly was! I’ve always enjoyed working on Wagenborg ships, and I also liked the idea of going back to a smaller offshore organisation. It’s a nice challenge to now start with two walk-to-work ships and to make progress in the walk-to work-market in the North Sea. That challenge is definitely a real one: when I see from the practical perspective how this niche market is developing, then there are definitely opportunities for Wagenborg. 

In the past few weeks, I’ve often been on board the Kasteelborg while she was being converted. The Niestern Sander shipyard has done a really excellent job – they’re such professionals! I’m curious to find out how the ship behaves at sea compared to the Kroonborg. After all, we don’t have a Voith Schneider propulsion system… What we do have is a super-luxurious ship, but you can expect that when an offshore vessel is built by Ulstein. I’m really looking forward to working on the North Sea with an enthusiastic crew of 13. I can’t wait for my first official voyage as captain of the Kasteelborg!”  


“I’m really looking forward to working on the North Sea with an enthusiastic crew of 13. I can’t wait for my first official voyage as captain of the Kasteelborg!”