MEET FLORIAN KIBGILKA
Florian was born in Rinteln, Germany and started out his career in the Hospitality Industry as a chef in 1994. He completed his apprenticeship in his hometown Hameln, the town where the famous “Pied Piper of Hamelin” came from.
Florian has gained work experience in Switzerland, Germany, Austria and England – while working in one of the most prestigious Hotels in London, The Claridges.
After having worked ashore for several years, Florian decided to join the Cruise Industry to combine his job with his passion to travel. He served his first contracts on well-known Cruise Companies, where he worked his way up from Chef de Partie to Fine Dining Sous Chef.
Four years later, Florian decided to continue his education in the Hospitality Industry and acquired an Associate Degree in Hospitality Management at the Swiss Hotel Management School ICHM “Cesar Ritz” in Connecticut. After having studied there for one year, he applied for a managerial training at a private Hotel Golf Resort in California where he worked in the capacity of Room Service Supervisor, Head Bartender and Assistant Hotel Director.
During his last month in California, he realized exactly how much he missed the sea and decided to go back as Assistant Provision Master on board large Cruise Company after finishing his training in October 2005.
He was quickly promoted to become Provision Master, before stepping up to Assistant F&B Director in November 2006 and two years later he stepped up to become F&B Director. During the coming years, he served on most of the vessels of that cruise line, enjoying various exciting cruises from World cruises to South America cruises as well as several seasons in Alaska.
One of the most exciting duties during these years was always being on the search for local flavors and dishes guests could enjoy during their cruises onboard
Moving onto the corporate side
In 2012, Florian took the opportunity to step into a corporate position in his existing company, based in Miami, Florida as Assistant Director of Operations. In that position, he was the direct contact for the F&B Directors onboard, provided training and guidance, worked on various F&B projects with the goal to increase guest satisfaction.
Back at sea
In early 2017 an opportunity arose for Florian to become General Manager onboard of another prestigious company, and in 2019 he had the desire to try working on land close to home again… When he realized soon enough that:
Once a sailor always a sailor
Florian is very proud to have been part of the Fridtjof Nansen Launch team since 2020 and to share his experience from 20 years at sea, exploring the remote destinations Hurtigruten is traveling to and leaving a green footprint behind.
As he says, the two the most satisfactory aspects in this line of work are:
Seeing the smiles of guests during dinner when they share their travel experiences during a great meal and to see crewmembers developing their skills, being part of their coaching, and training, when they are climbing their carrier ladder