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Sabaton Cruise special: meet the sailors

The Sabaton Cruise attracts up to 2,000 metalheads from around the world and it’s fair to say that every guest onboard is a big fan of the Swedish War Machine.

But some dedicated sailors like to make sure they are first into the show venue and guarantee their spot on the front row.

In today’s special Sabaton Cruise feature, the team meets some of the faces from front row to get their thoughts on the cruise and what Sabaton means to them (all photos courtesy of

Marisa Rabiolo

Marisa Rabiolo: San Francisco, USA

“I’ve seen Sabaton three times before, but this cruise is such a fun and cool experience – and this time is a bit special because they are celebrating their fourth platinum album. On this boat they have the same energy as always, but they seem to be having even more fun, which is great for us fans. I hope to come back again.”

Stefan Miletic

Stefan Miletic: Serbia

“The cruise exceeded my expectations! Carolus Rex was the first Sabaton album I got into, so I adored their set with the whole album in Swedish. The way they tell moments from history sets them apart from other bands – Sabaton’s not just about creating great music, it’s about a whole new way of learning, and in that they are pioneers.”

Michaela Neumann

Michaela Neumann: Germany

“I’ve seen Sabaton so many times – at least 15 – and in Germany they play such big arenas now, but it’s like a new beginning here, seeing them in a hall where you can get really close to the stage. I love Sweden, and I often travel to other lands and see Sabaton in different venues. Our fan club, the German Saboteurs, went to a warm-up party yesterday, organised by the Danish club, where we met so many other club members from around the world. This cruise is so much fun!”

Monika Marro

Monika Marro: Switzerland

“My Mom is from Poland and back in 2010 when Coat of Arms came out I remember her calling to me to come and listen because there was a song about the Warsaw Uprising. She took me to my first Sabaton show – my first ever concert – when I wasn’t even 16. Sabaton will always be a sentimental band for me, and it’s thanks to them that I now have a concert addiction! I will always travel for Sabaton – I’m going to Sabaton Open Air and Wacken in 2019 – every show they do is different.”


Wendy Thielemans and Sjorven Van Brempt: Belgium

Wendy and Sjorven

Wendy: “This is my second cruise but my seventh time seeing them live. I’m coming to Sabaton Open Air in the summer, and I always catch their concerts in Belgium. I really liked that they played the full Carolus Rex album – 300 years is a milestone and that was a good idea.”

Sjorven: “I lost count of how many times I’ve seen Sabaton! In February I went on 70,000 Tons of Metal and saw them, and now I’m on their own cruise – I started and ended the year seeing Sabaton on a boat! For me, Resist and Bite is the most special song, because it’s telling people around the world about the Belgian Army, which is amazing.”

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Sabaton Cruise special: meet Carolus Rex

Jakob Karasiak (centre) as Carolus Rex, with two of his Carolean soldiers.

Remember the recent video of Joakim being delivered his platinum discs by Carolus Rex, who had returned to Sweden after 300 years?

Many people messaged the band asking who was the actor in this video, who looked so much like historical pictures of the king.

He was Jakob Karasiak, the Swedish historical re-enactment network’s official Carolus Rex. Jakob and two of his Caroleans were on the 2018 Sabaton Cruise, so the Sabaton team asked him how he became the modern day King Charles XII.

King Charles XII of Sweden
Uncanny resemblance: the real King Charles XII.

“I’m a blacksmith by trade,” Jakob explained, “and that is an ancient profession, so I’d always been kind of a history geek and I joined my local Carolean regiment as an infantry soldier.

“My brother has always called me Carolus because I look so much like the Swedish king, and the regiment saw that too and quickly converted me from infantry to king.

“That was 2016, and because the other Swedish regiments didn’t have a king, I began travelling to them to play Carolus in their re-enactments, and now they all accept me as their king!”

With 2018 being the 300th anniversary of Carolus Rex’s death, Jakob and the Swedish Caroleans have become known outside their home country.

He said: “We went to visit a group in Norway and re-enacted the siege of Fredriksten, where I was shot in the head. I also travelled to Dresden in Germany where I met the re-enactor who plays Augustus Rex, who was Carolus’ cousin.

“Sabaton first made contact with me in 2017 and invited me on stage with them at Tons of Rock. This involvement with a rock band is something I could never have predicted when I started out.

“If I were to speak for Carolus Rex, I think he’d be happy that people know of his memory and of the Swedish Empire, and he’d think it was good that Sabaton brings that to life.”

Watch Jakob as Carolus delivering Joakim’s platinum discs:

(Cover image by

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Sabaton Cruise: special report

The annual Sabaton Cruise is always a big event, and the 2018 edition – which set sail exactly one month ago today – was no exception.

The 24-hour trip, which takes 2,000 metalheads around the Swedish and Finnish archipelago, gives fans unequalled access to their favourite band and two back-to-back shows where Sabaton always bring something special.

Fresh from news of album Carolus Rex reaching quadruple platinum status, Sabaton treated sailors to a one-off performance of the Swedish version of this album – in full.

This was followed by a set packed with favourite tracks, including “Swedish Pagans” twice after pressure from the fun-filled crowd.

Bonus shows from fellow Swedes Bloodbound and Evergrey, plus an epic meet and greet where Sabaton met, chatted and took selfies with hundreds of cruise-goers, completed the perfect pre-Christmas metal trip.

In a series of special features for the band’s 20th anniversary year, the Sabaton team has been talking to sailors to find out what makes this trip so special for them. Come back to over the next few days for these and much more.

In the meantime, see the official cruise photos in our gallery below:


Final photograph by Timo Isoaho: Instagram @isoahontimo

All other photographs by George Grigoriadis @