White Hat Project on NCL EPIC’s Captain | Budget Adventure Travel

| October 13, 2020

The White Hat Project – II

This is the second White Hat Project story. You can read the earlier stories on the White Hat Project by clicking here.

When I agreed to go on my first cruise trip on the world’s 3rd largest ship (the Norwegian Epic) I instantly knew who was going to be the recipient of the White Hat. It had to be the Captain of the ship of course!

I contacted NCL in advanced to arrange for the culture exchange. Upon embarking the ship, I notified our on board concierge about the plan, and it was all arranged to do the exchange on the control room of the ship (initially!)

Finally the day arrived morning of September 22, 2012. Due to security reasons, the meeting was set to take place in the main reception of the ship instead of in the control room.

And then arrived Captain Sverre Sovdsnes.

Larkycanuck.com | Travel Adventures | Norwegian Epic

Captain of the Norwegian Epic signing the model ship as part of culture exchange

I have to be honest. I have never met a Captain of a ship before. Or for that matter a Captain of anything (high school football Captain does not count, ok!).

So I really did not know what to say to someone who comes from the maritime trades. Is there a sailors code for handshake, a greeting. I really did not know. But my worries were laid to rest as Captain Sovdsnes greeted with

“So you must be the hat guy!”

I knew it was going to be easy. It was a pleasure meeting him. We chatted briefly about what the culture exchange White Hat project was all about, about my hometown city of Calgary, and how I was enjoying the journey on the Norwegian Epic.

larkycanuck.com | Travel Adventures | Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL)

Calgary White Hat Exchange with the Ship’s Captain

Captain Sovdsnes signed on the replica model of the Norwegian Epic. This model is dedicated to the people of Calgary as part of the culture exchange from the Captain.

So the Captain just loved the White Hat. He mentioned how he had asked former President George W. Bush who was wearing this hat (gifted by the City of Calgary as part of formal protocol) when he met him and the President told him how he had received it when he visited Calgary. Everybody loves the White Hat indeed, and thus the Captain knew about it but never expected that a passenger on his ship would actually be bringing it to him one day. You know that thing about how serendipity works and all? Well I think this just had to be one of those moments.

larkycanuck.com | Travel Adventures | Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL)

Ship’s Captain Sverre Sovdsnes exchanging the model ship as part of culture exchange

It was an awesome exchange. I can imagine that the Captain must have returned to his crew and showing off the hat to everyone. I invited Captain Sovdsnes to visit Calgary with his family and if I recall correctly, he did mention he has passed through the City on his way to Banff.

Well I look forward to seeing him in future again on one of his ships.

Epilogue:Captain Sovdsnes emailed me after this post came out and he expressed the following.

Thank you for the very nice “report” with very kind words.
It was a pleasure to meet you, and yes, I am cherishing the Hat. How many can say that “I have the same hat as President W. Bush”! It is great.

Blogging is a labor of love. Reader comments in the form below are much appreciated as form of donation to my passion.


The official White Hat of Calgary is manufactured by Calgary’s very own Smithbilt Hats over several generations. The White Hat for this project was donated by the company, and I wish to generously thank them for this gesture. Please do stop by their website to read about the fantastic history of the hat making business as well photos of several incredible and iconic people who have received the White Hat from the City.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Category: Budget Adventure Travel, Budget Cruise Vacation

About the Author ()

Larkycanuck is the pseudonym for the spirited, spontaneous and zestful Canadian. The Blog is focused on showcasing budget adventure travels for working families. Larkycanuck has traveled to over 15 countries, 38 cities in 10 years. He has never quit a job to do this. He travels with his wife and on some trips with the house rabbit (Pepper).

Comments (2)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. careerbabs says:

    That was a lovely White Hat story. Amazing hat. Rock On, Larky!