OceanEvent celebrates 20 years – Team Offsite events on the 7 Seas!
PIONEER IN HIS GENRE
With the exotic idea of chartering entire cruise ships for corporate events, OceanEvent founder Christian Muehleck launched a business 20 years ago that didn’t exist before. Today, it’s common practice to host a Team Offsite anywhere in the world. In 2003, the captain was a true pioneer.
The idea was born in the Mediterranean. Christian had already sailed several seasons as captain on mega yachts. During one summer, one of the owners had chartered the yacht to a Swiss company for 14 weeks. Sales partners and employees came on board for weeks at a time, and he was to show them ‘a good time’ as captain. That suited him!
He worked out special routings for a varied social program in which one ‘gets to know the country and its people’, as the saying goes. He took the guests to the most beautiful beaches and to the hottest jet-set ports. Christian knew the Mediterranean like the back of his hand, and he made valuable contacts with local service providers in the process. Together with his crew, he gave the guests on board the feeling of cruising on their own yacht. That was inspiring. No one had ever experienced anything like it before!
OceanEvent – a Star is born
That summer, Christian realized that this kind of work made him happy, gave him wings, inspired him beyond belief. When he returned to Germany to Lake Starnberg in the fall (where the native of Würzburg still lives), the business idea was put into action.
“The name OceanEvent was quickly found,” he recalls. “I told friends about it and suddenly this claim was in the room: let the sea inspire you.” The company name and slogan summed up what the young entrepreneur had in mind: “I wanted to hold events on cruise ships and yachts on the seven seas and set no limits on imagination.” A bold vision that came true!
Team Offsite – what is that?
In their anniversary year 2023, the accomplished OceanEvent team stages about 20 maritime events per year. Several freelancers and local service providers complete the team during the charter cruise peak season with their competence. The beginnings, however, were anything but easy. Quite pragmatically, Christian Muehleck picked up the phone and asked his way through to the event managers in the company. “I don’t know how many times I heard: a Team Offsite on a ship – what is that supposed to be?” Today, two to three charter requests come in every day online and through other sales channels!
Christian’s mother Wilhelmine was a rock of strength for him during this time. She believed in his idea whenever he had doubts. But deep inside he always knew that his company would be successful. Success came when VW Bank agreed to hold its world conference at sea! The only crux: the project manager envisioned the event on a sailing ship, the romantic Royal Clipper it was to be. “The problem was that this beautiful five-master was the worst possible choice for a conference,” laughs Christian Muehleck. There are no conference facilities of any kind on board, neither adequate rooms nor conference technology.
Let the Sea inspire you
Christian remembered his claim: Let the Sea inspire you. And indeed, he made the impossible possible. The restaurant was converted into a meeting room outside of dining hours. At the pier in Civitavecchia, two four-ton trucks unloaded vast amounts of lighting and sound equipment – for a perfect sound system and spectacular illumination of the 5,000 square meters of sail area. His team did a tremendous job: participants traveled from all over the world. Part of the OceanEvent team took care of them in a picturesque borgo near Rome. This is where the first sessions of the world conference began, before the participants boarded the ship in Civitavecchia. Meanwhile, the other team members had coordinated the preparations in the port. Literally one minute before the guests arrived, everything and everyone on the Royal Clipper was ready to go. Including the party band that had been flown in.
The event was a mega success! The conference ran smoothly, the social program on Capri and other spots along the gorgeous Amalfi Coast were celebrated by the participants. Every evening they cried with happiness at the Sail Away – the moment when the sails are set, and the majestic windjammer set course for the next destination highlight. Every day, the OceanEvent team, crew and band gave their utmost – and had incredible fun in doing so!
An important milestone for Christian, which reinforced the entrepreneur’s belief that he had a special gift and knowledge: “You need nautical know-how to implement such high-profile events at sea!” he knows from experience. “You have to be able to calculate cruise routings yourself, know the procedures on board the cruise ships, speak the language of the crew. Only then do they go along with every idea, no matter how crazy, with the same enthusiasm as we have.”
Enthusiasm is what continues to drive him and his team unabated in the 20th year of the company’s existence. Today, Christian is accompanied by passionate event managers, a dedicated marketing team, experienced project managers and relationships with shipping companies and service providers all over the globe that have grown over many years. He and his team have now covered over 300,000 nautical miles and know every cruise ship on the market suitable for events – from 30 to 3000 cabins, holding between 60 and 6000 event participants in double occupancy.
Almost everywhere in the world, the former yacht captain has implemented truly unique events, incentives, conferences, weddings, anniversaries, or charity events for his clients. If you ask Christian Muehleck if he would dare to do it again: Just start a business that doesn’t even exist yet, the answer is: “Yes, because when passion, inspiration and know-how complement each other, it can only go well!”
Let the Sea inspire YOU!
You want your next corporate event, team offsite, a round birthday in the family or the wedding of your children to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience? As legendary as the participants of the global conference felt at that time – joining now almost 200 other customers of OceanEvent, write to Christian Muehleck and charter your own cruise ship with us! We will take you to the most beautiful places in the world and take care of the planning, logistics, organization – in other words: the entire charter and event management – for you!