BE­HIND THE SHIELD

HOW SE­ABOURN COM­POSES EX­TRA­OR­DI­NARY VOY­AGES.

Seabourn Club Herald - - IN THIS ISSUE -

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If you have ever won­dered ex­actly how and why Se­abourn ends up call­ing at Pu­tu­oshan, China, or Mo­tobu on Ok­i­nawa, the an­swer is be­cause Ti­mothy Lit­t­ley said we should. Tim is Se­abourn’s Direc­tor of De­ploy­ment & Itin­er­ary Plan­ning, re­spon­si­ble for craft­ing the daily sched­ules of each of Se­abourn’s ships through­out the year. We talked to him about Se­abourn So­journ’s up­com­ing itin­er­ar­ies in Asia.

“Asia is an ex­cit­ing cul­tural ex­pe­ri­ence for trav­el­ers,” says Tim. “It’s ex­otic, steeped in his­tory, tra­di­tion and heritage, and it of­fers a huge va­ri­ety of new things to dis­cover.” He is also adamant that a small ship is the best way to cruise there. “Small ships visit ports in a more ex­clu­sive way, like trav­el­ing up the Saigon River into Ho Chi Minh City,” he ex­plains. “Our ships also en­able us to visit off-the-beaten-track ports like the Hun­dred Is­lands in the Philip­pines, Ishi­gaki in Ja­pan and Viet­nam’s pic­turesque Ha­long Bay.”

Set­ting out a de­ploy­ment is more com­pli­cated than sim­ply pick­ing ports, how­ever. “Be­fore I even think about the day-to­day itin­er­ar­ies, I have to know with cer­tainty the re­gions where each ship will be, and when,” Tim notes. “I pay spe­cial at­ten­tion to sea­sonal weather and ves­sel size,” he con­tin­ues. “I look at the nav­i­ga­tional ca­pa­bil­i­ties of the ship, as well as the lo­gis­tics in­volved with op­er­at­ing in Asia; fu­el­ing and sup­ply­ing the ship. I want to en­sure we are in the right place at the right time with the right ship, to cre­ate the best pos­si­ble itin­er­ar­ies call­ing at the most com­pelling des­ti­na­tions.”

One con­sid­er­a­tion unique to Se­abourn is be­ing alert for op­por­tu­ni­ties to cre­ate sig­na­ture ex­pe­ri­ences such as our Caviar in the Surf beach bar­be­cues and Shop­ping with the Chef. “Asian mar­kets are like cat­nip for our chefs,” laughs Tim. “There are so many ex­otic in­gre­di­ents and spices, veg­eta­bles and fruits you don’t see any­where else. Ho Chi Minh City has a huge mar­ket. We also op­er­ate a world-class beach party with wa­ter­sports on the small is­land of Ko Kood in Thailand. The set­ting is ex­trav­a­gantly beau­ti­ful and the ex­pe­ri­ence is once-in-a-life­time.”

The Ko Kood beach party is a fix­ture on Se­abourn’s 14-day cruises of Viet­nam and Thailand be­tween Sin­ga­pore and Hong Kong, one of our most pop­u­lar Asian itin­er­ar­ies and a fa­vorite of Tim’s. “South-East Asia is very rich cul­tur­ally and gas­tro­nom­i­cally,” he says, “and this par­tic­u­lar cruise is jam-packed with amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ences. It vis­its world-class des­ti­na­tions and ports day af­ter day, each unique in its own way. The ports give ac­cess to some of the most mon­u­men­tal nat­u­ral heritage and cul­tural won­ders in the world. Per­son­ally, I also rec­om­mend par­tic­i­pat­ing in the over­land Se­abourn Jour­ney to Angkor in Cam­bo­dia. You won’t re­gret it!“

Tim has planned a num­ber of new des­ti­na­tions for So­journ in Asia. “Puerto Princesa, in the Philip­pines, has the world’s long­est un­der­ground river, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Guests will see an un­ex­pected side of Ja­pan at Mo­tobu on Ok­i­nawa. Most guests might not be fa­mil­iar with Pu­tu­oshan,” he ad­mits, “But it is one of China’s four sa­cred moun­tains for Bud­dhists.”

Two more of his fa­vorites are Da Nang, Viet­nam, where guests can visit ei­ther the an­cient im­pe­rial cap­i­tal Hue or the pic­turesque old trad­ing town of Hoi An, and Thi­lawa in Myan­mar, where he plans a longer stay so guests can see Yan­gon and also tour Man­dalay and the amaz­ing Plain of Tem­ples at Ba­gan.

So should Club mem­bers plan a cruise in Asia? “I highly rec­om­mend that trav­el­ers choose a des­ti­na­tion they feel pas­sion­ate about,” he says. “Let your de­sires and emo­tions guide you. Se­abourn has won­der­ful itin­er­ar­ies in Asia, and to trav­el­ers who have not yet taken the op­por­tu­nity to cruise in Asia, I would say it is a ‘must-do.’ I in­vite you to look at our Asia cruises. I am con­fi­dent you will find some­thing ap­peal­ing.”

Mekong River Delta, Ho Chi Minh City

Pu­tu­oshan, China

Ha­long bay, Viet­nam

Angkor Wat, Cam­bo­dia

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