Tibo Deprest, from hobby to dream job

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If you're one of the many people who regularly scroll through your Facebook or Instagram feed, you'll probably have come across Tibo Deprest. With the obvious exception of 2020, the 23-year-old seems to have captured a full catalogue of images covering every cruise ship that has entered the Port of Zeebrugge in recent years. His website, cruiseschepeninzeebrugge.be, is so well-designed that many visitors are unaware that it was designed by a fan, for fans, and born out of a private hobby rather than as an official information page.
For the past two years, Tibo has worked as a vessel planner at CSP Zeebrugge – a dream job for the shipping enthusiast. "My passion for shipping began when I took a ferry to Dover. Standing on top of the White Cliffs, the views over the port made a huge impression on me. This spark of interest was what brought me to Zeebrugge. I started going on tours of the port regularly and I bought myself a camera to take photos of the ships".

A lasting impression

When Tibo saw the Grand Princess, an enormous liner operated by Princess Cruises, it was love at first sight. "The ship was like a floating city and it left a lasting impression on me", he explains. "Cruise ships are incredibly elegant. They are very rewarding to photograph and I wanted to share those photos with others. That's why I started my website in 2011".

"The ship was like a floating city and it left a lasting impression on me."

Tibo Deprest

Tibo thinks it's wonderful that cruise ships dock in Zeebrugge: "The passengers are having the time of their lives and part of that experience is paying us a visit, isn't that a great thing?"

But he also thinks it's a shame that cruise ships and shipping in general are often painted in a bad light. "It's very unfortunate, especially when you see all the work that is being done to improve the environmental performance of ships".

Tibo's blog has opened up some opportunities for him to go on board ships. "This isn't something that happens a lot. Ship visits are usually reserved for travel agents only".
Tibo has been working as a vessel planner at CSP Zeebrugge for the past two years. His passion for shipping started in high school, after which he studied logistics management.

The mythical QM2

Tibo describes his visit to the Queen Mary 2 as a once-in-a-lifetime experience. "It's a legendary vessel. My dream is to go on a transatlantic cruise to New York on the QM2. But I still need to convince my girlfriend", he smiles.

"When I was in my last year of secondary school, I went to a study information day where I saw a banner advertising courses in transport management, and I knew immediately that that was what I wanted to do. I then went on to obtain a diploma in logistics management at Howest University of Applied Sciences".

As part of his course, Tibo was required to complete an internship, and he found a placement at the former APM container terminal in Zeebrugge. He was so passionate about his future career that he even worked at Zeebrugge during holidays periods!

After initially joining CSP as a dispatcher, he jumped at the chance of becoming a vessel planner when a position came up.
Discover the unique story of Tibo, who turned his passion into his dream job.

Video games

"It's a bit like playing Tetris", says Tibo with a smile. "But a lot more complex. We need to process the loading lists in the system, check customs documents and determine the weight of containers. During unloading, transhipment containers need to be separated from import loads. When we're loading a ship, the lighter containers are positioned above the heavier ones. There are a lot of things to think about".

"It's a bit like playing Tetris."

Tibo Deprest
Tibo's job at CSP is the perfect complement to his photography hobby. "Almost all of the ships pass my place of work. Sometimes I reschedule my break so that I can go and photograph a cruise ship".

"Being able to stand on the deck of a huge container ship and watch the sun come up over the port is the highlight of my day", explains Tibo. "People who don't work at the port don't understand it. This dream job really makes me happy".
Tibo combines his career at CSP with his photography-hobby. Before and after his shift, you can spot him in the port of Zeebrugge with his camera, ready to capture the action.
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