Issuu on Google+

Ocean Magazine, 54 March April 2014

1 of 7

http://oceanmagazine.realviewdigital.com/global/print.asp?path=/djvu...

31/03/2014 6:57 PM


Ocean Magazine, 54 March April 2014

2 of 7

http://oceanmagazine.realviewdigital.com/global/print.asp?path=/djvu...

31/03/2014 6:57 PM


Ocean Magazine, 54 March April 2014

3 of 7

http://oceanmagazine.realviewdigital.com/global/print.asp?path=/djvu...

31/03/2014 6:57 PM


Ocean Magazine, 54 March April 2014

4 of 7

http://oceanmagazine.realviewdigital.com/global/print.asp?path=/djvu...

31/03/2014 6:57 PM


Ocean Magazine, 54 March April 2014

5 of 7

http://oceanmagazine.realviewdigital.com/global/print.asp?path=/djvu...

31/03/2014 6:57 PM


Ocean Magazine, 54 March April 2014

6 of 7

http://oceanmagazine.realviewdigital.com/global/print.asp?path=/djvu...

31/03/2014 6:57 PM


Ocean Magazine, 54 March April 2014

7 of 7

http://oceanmagazine.realviewdigital.com/global/print.asp?path=/djvu...

31/03/2014 6:57 PM


154

Ocean cr u i si n g

Roderick Eime / SeaDream Yacht Club

It’s all just a SeaDream Good things come in small packages, especially when it comes to luxury superyacht cruising SeaDream style. By Roderick Eime.

S

eaDream Yacht Club (SYC) knows exactly what they’re about. The company launched with two identical vessels just a couple of weeks before the calamitous 9/11 event and founder, Norwegian-born entrepreneur Atle Brynestad, thought he was doomed. But against all predictions, not only did SYC survive, it flourished. I’ve had my eye on these ships (whoops, ‘yachts’) for years and when their ground-breaking Asian itineraries were announced, I pounced. It was a calculated risk for the regular Mediterranean and Caribbean-operating line, which had come under increasing (gentle) pressure from their growing legion of repeat guests to find new playgrounds to explore. Long time SYC Club Director, now Business Development Director, Asia, Thailand-based Richard Jones, was behind the push and with his extensive knowledge of the region, oversaw the 13 new itineraries that include major ports such as Yangon, Singapore, Hong Kong, Phuket, Langkawi, Bali, Bangkok and Cairns. At time of writing, SYC had not announced itineraries for 2016. Constantly lauded by the cruise industry’s independent arbiter, the Berlitz adventurecruiseguide.com

Guide, SYC has consistency ranked at or near the top of the tables for ‘Boutique Ships’ category (50 – 250 passengers) against some pretty stiff competition. Chatting to some of the repeat cruisers, many of whom count their days aboard in the hundreds, it keeps coming back to service. Being treated like royalty with your every need predicted, without being fawned over or stifled. Our sommelier, Frank, a dashing and lively Hungarian of some ten years standing with SYC, would address us cheerfully with ‘How ya going mayte?” then proceed to elaborate on the salubrious wine list for the evening’s fine dining menu in the Deck 2 formal restaurant. But dining is not limited to Deck 2, and in the balmy evenings a pre-dinner G&T is a prefect prelude to a meal on Deck 5’s al fresco Topside Restaurant. From there, it’s but a meagre amble up to the Top of the Yacht Bar for nightcaps. There are five passenger decks on SeaDream with regular staterooms on 2, 3 and 4. Pricing works upward from Deck 2, but honestly, unless you’ve opted for one of the suites, there is little difference except window size. Speaking of suites, there are three ranging upward from Commodore, Admiral and Owners. One

on each deck. Another of the things topping many repeat cruisers’ list of favourites, was the all-inclusive beverages. Super quality wines, aperitifs and spirits are there for the asking. Okay, if you want Dom Pérignon, there’s a surcharge but the included drinks would satisfy most discerning tastes and many a late night was had at the Top of the Yacht Bar in entertaining company. SYC might sound like a retirement plan for well-heeled and sozzled seniors, but my experience did not support that myth. Most passengers were middleaged or older couples, some with young adult families in tow enjoying some true luxury time together. Active types can utilise the water sport ‘toy box’ with Jet Skis, snorkelling, kayaks or Hobie Cats and when aboard, there’s a golf simulator to keep you swinging, although the a/c needs a tweek to keep it comfortable. To find fault with this well-oiled offering is to appear churlish, but if pressed I would say the bathrooms are a bit tight (especially if you’ve been enjoying the cuisine) and more simple, included shore excursions would be nice, such as a city walk led by one of the crew or staff. The shore-ex on my itinerary were add-ons ranging from Shwedegon Pagoda ($49) to Bagan by air ($795). The only included tour was a tender visit to the Sea Gypsy village. Voyages are typically seven days, with some 10 to 14 also on offer. Brochure fares are around $1000pp/day but substantial discounts can be had for early bookings.   

LOREM IPSUM Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium

SeaDream II Launched 1985, refitted 2002, 4260 tonnes, 105m, 112 passengers. In the revered (and feared) Berlitz Complete Guide to Cruising and Cruise Ships 2013, the identical SeaDream I and SeaDream II achieved the top two ratings in the ‘Boutique Ships’ category (50 – 250 passengers) with 1786 and 1788 points respectively. For vessel details and fares see www.seadream.com and for reservations and bookings see local specialist, Cruise Express. www.cruiseexpress.com.au  


Ocean 54 Hong Kong - SeaDream