What is the next big luxury cruise trend?
I think it's one of growth, clearly, but it continues to be very experiential. People want to go and experience a destination and discover interesting cultures and really feel and taste them firsthand in a very up close and personal way.
Affluent people tend to have experienced a lot. There's an element of having done so much that they are looking for something slightly different and they're also reflecting and realising what is important to them. It all ties in with people who are in their 40s and 50s.
What is your own personal litmus test for whether a cruise ship is worthy of the "luxury" tag?
It's definitely size and service, because you can't deliver really high-end luxury unless it's a very small ship. When we designed these ships we kept it at 450 even though we could have put a lot more guests on here. When you go through the ship you see there's an awful lot of space but there is that limiting factor of how many guests you have on board so you can deliver the service one to one.
What is your own personal litmus test for whether a hotel is worthy of the "luxury" tag?
I think it's the same. It's the boutique experience that can really deliver this form of intimate service.
What are your favourite hotels/resorts? (and why)
I would classify my favourite hotels as the Yachts of Seabourn because we think of them as hotels. I tend to be in hotels from a business purpose, but I don't go and stay in a hotel for pleasure. I would go and do that on a ship any day.
It's the ability to go places and not have the hassle of packing and unpacking. You get on once, you sort yourself out, the ship takes you to different places. So you sail in the evening from one place and you arrive at the destination and you just see things from a great perspective and you meet fascinating people onboard. To me it's so carefree and I find that very relaxing.
What is your favourite port visit?
I have so many. Clearly Sydney is an extraordinary port to sail into, but also, for us, we go to many small ports that other people can't, so they're really terrific. Sailing through places like Halong Bay in Vietnam
in the small ships where you've got these huge giant limestone structures and the ship is going in between that - it's magical.
One of the moments that absolutely sticks with me was sailing down the Thames. Being British it was a very memorable moment: going down the Thames on the Seabourn Pride on a summer afternoon with the sun going down. We were going east and the sun was setting in the west behind us.