In the paper the problem of ship autopilot design based on feedback linearization method combined with the robust control approach, is considered. At first the nonlinear ship model (of Norrbin type) is linearized with the use of the simple system nonlinearity cancellation. Next, bearing in mind that exact values of the model parameters are not known, the ensuing inaccuracies are taken as disturbances acting on the system. Thereby is obtained a linear system with an extra term representing the uncertainty which can be treated by using robust, H∞ optimal control techniques. The performed simulations of ship course-changing process confirmed a high performance of the proposed controller despite the assumed significant errors of its parameters.