The Weekend Australian - Travel - - DESTINATION AFLOAT -

Se­abourn En­core docks in Dar­win this week­end as part of a 16-day cruise from Bali to Syd­ney, and will fol­low with 16-day cruises from Syd­ney to Auck­land and Auck­land to Syd­ney. A 16-day cruise from Syd­ney to Bali, depart­ing March 6, starts at $8499 a per­son twin-share; the full 42day voy­age ends in Dubai. Se­abourn En­core will re­turn for a longer sea­son in our wa­ters in Novem­ber, of­fer­ing a range of 16-day voy­ages to Fe­bru­ary, 2018. More: 132 402; se­; en­­ Ma­rina Bay Cruise Cen­tre. It is a gala event, with lion dancers and drum­mers, ex­cited crew and inau­gu­ral voy­age pas­sen­gers, over­seen by the chief ex­ec­u­tive of Car­ni­val Cor­po­ra­tion, Arnold Don­ald. Mu­si­cal the­atre star and so­prano Sarah Bright­man has been des­ig­nated god­mother of the ship and will send it on its way with the cer­e­mo­nial bot­tle break.

The last time I was in the same space as Bright­man, it was Lon­don’s The­atre Royal in 1987; she was on­stage with Michael Craw­ford in Phantom of the Opera and Princess Diana just hap­pened to be in the au­di­ence, clad in red leather trousers. It’s a fair bet Bright­man doesn’t re­mem­ber me like I re­mem­ber her. On this oc­ca­sion she pays trib­ute to En­core and the hon­our of be­ing its god­mother, but doesn’t sing its praises, so to speak. She pulls a lever and we see video of the bot­tle’s crash against the bow.

In these first days, Ti­hany says he has en­joyed walk­ing the ship, lis­ten­ing for com­ments and any crit­i­cisms. “What could we do bet­ter? I’m still wait­ing for an an­swer,” he says.

Gra­ham Er­bacher was a guest of Se­abourn.

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