Seabourn Club Herald - - IN THIS ISSUE - CAP­TAIN MARK DEX­TER

Se­abourn staff goes above and be­yond.

When Se­abourn Encore leaves the Fin­cantieri ship­yard in Marghera, Italy, in De­cem­ber, she and her crew will be un­der the ca­pa­ble com­mand of Cap­tain Mark Dex­ter. No doubt many of the ship’s crew, and many of the guests who will em­bark dur­ing her maiden sea­son, have had the plea­sure of sail­ing with him in the past, ei­ther on board Se­abourn Pride or Se­abourn Odyssey. He joined Se­abourn in 2007, at­tracted from sis­ter-com­pany Cu­nard Line to try Se­abourn’s smaller ships.

“I was al­ways at­tracted to the smaller ships for their in­ti­macy, and their abil­ity to reach the most re­mote parts of the world,” he says. “I love the fact that dur­ing a cruise I meet the ma­jor­ity of our guests, many of whom have be­come per­sonal friends.”

Cap­tain Dex­ter was born in Portsmouth, Eng­land, and grew up in var­i­ous places in Eng­land and Scot­land. He now lives in Christchurch, New Zealand.

“I am re­ally at home and feel I be­long here now,” he con­fesses. “I love the open spa­ces, the awe­some scenery and the out­door life­style.” That love of scenery and the out­doors ac­counts for the fact that he fills his time off pur­su­ing hob­bies that in­clude bee­keep­ing, act­ing as a New Zealand Cricket um­pire and fly-fish­ing New Zealand’s pris­tine rivers. He also loves to take in the spec­tac­u­lar scenery, ei­ther up close on his Har­ley David­son mo­tor­cy­cle or aloft, pi­lot­ing a glider or a small plane.

Cap­tain Dex­ter joined Se­abourn Encore’s team in mid-June in Italy. He has ex­pe­ri­ence with in­tro­duc­ing ships. In 2009, he was mas­ter dur­ing Se­abourn Odyssey’s maiden Mediter­ranean sea­son, and took her on her first-ever World Cruise.

“There is a team get­ting the ship ready for our guests; my main fo­cus is get­ting my­self and the crew ready to de­liver an out­stand­ing prod­uct from day one. With a new ship, we need to prac­tice every­one’s rou­tine du­ties and pro­ce­dures to be sure we’re well-pre­pared.”

As for the ship it­self, two ar­eas are par­tic­u­larly in­ter­est­ing to him:

“The bridge lay­out and equip­ment is im­por­tant to me, for ob­vi­ous rea­sons. And hav­ing seen the draw­ings of the Adam Ti­hany-de­signed pub­lic rooms, I was re­ally ex­cited to see those in the flesh. Par­tic­u­larly Se­abourn Square, which is the so­cial heart of the ship.”

As for the itin­er­ar­ies dur­ing Se­abourn Encore’s in­au­gu­ral sea­son, Cap­tain Dex­ter knows the ports well, and holds them in high es­teem. “Sin­ga­pore is a sim­ply amaz­ing city with some­thing for every­one, and Syd­ney, Aus­tralia must rank as one of the top ar­rival ports in the world. The guests al­ways line the decks to see the Opera House, Har­bour Bridge and other views as we sail in. But I guess I am bi­ased to­wards New Zealand,” he ad­mits. “Sail­ing into Mil­ford Sound, dom­i­nated by the lofty height of Mitre Peak, is sim­ply breath­tak­ing in any weather. And I am look­ing for­ward to in­tro­duc­ing the ship to my home port of Akaroa. I have been learn­ing much about the na­tive Maori peo­ple from my best friend Ruru, who is a Maori de­scen­dant. In a way, our ar­rival can be seen as sym­bolic for them, be­cause ac­cord­ing to their tra­di­tion, the first Maori peo­ple ar­rived in New Zealand from the sea, in a waka (ship).”

His ad­vice for guests sail­ing with him on Se­abourn Encore: “They will not have seen any­thing like this ship. She will set stan­dards for oth­ers to fol­low. Be­tween us, we are go­ing to show this ship off to the world, and share some amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ences do­ing it.”

Artist ren­der­ing, Se­abourn Encore

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