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Sea Change

Sea Change

There are moments in life when slowing down perfectly captures the essence 0f luxury. As it turns out, sailing the high seas is one of those moments.

Don’t hold it against me, but I came to cruising quite late in life, having spent my twenties and thirties chasing destinations from one dreary airport to the other. And even though I was usually sitting at the back of the plane jammed into a middle seat with only dreary food and a tiny TV screen to help while away the long hours, I was utterly convinced of the glamour and unbearable sophistication of air travel.

These days - as I lounge indolently on the balcony of my suite, watching the sun set below the horizon of that vast ocean, our ship gently sailing us towards tomorrow and another pretty destination - I am reminded of Oscar Wilde’s quip that youth is wasted on the young.

I think sadly of all that time I wasted packing and unpacking, checking in and out of an indifferent hotel, airless airports, the tedium of long immigration lines, frightening customs officials, and traffic jams, when I could have been lazily sailing the world, undisturbed by anything more serious than the afternoon’s offerings of nap, spa, lecture, movie, art class, mah-jong, yoga or, since these are serious existential questions, a cocktail.

Because for a while there, everyone was talking about the slow food movement, whilst meditation classes told us all to live in the moment. Why, I now think to myself - as I leisurely wander the hilly terraces of Santorini, and stand in the middle of a rocky beach in Antarctica surrounded by thousands of gently honking Gentoo penguins and a few seals - did no one ever tell me about slow travel?

Specifically, on a cruise? Filled with breezy languid days that are alternatively washed with endless blue horizons and leisurely explorations of fascinating destinations, an ocean cruise is, for me, easily one of the most extraordinary ways to travel and see the world.

Of course, there are cruises and there are cruises. Some people are thrilled by the idea of spending time on the high seas with 2000 other passengers and a three-storey-high waterslide. Me? Sign me up for a small, luxury liner, please, where the staff to passenger ratio is 2:3, there’s a bathtub in my suite, and a team of travel concierges on hand to work out whether I’d like to do a private tour of the Coliseum in Rome tomorrow when we dock in Civitavecchia, and lunch at the Four Seasons the next day in Florence. Ah, decisions, decisions.

Sidebar…the first time I was in Rome, I missed the Coliseum because I had to rush to the airport for a flight that ended up being delayed for 14 hours. So, there’s that to be said for a cruise.

I wish someone had told me all this when I was younger; but chances are, I wouldn’t have listened. I would’ve been too busy knowing better.


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We look forward to journeying with you.

Daven Wu is a freelance journalist based in London and Singapore. He is the Singapore Editor at Wallpaper*, and also edits the Louis Vuitton City Guide Singapore.

Daven Wu is a freelance journalist based in London and Singapore. He is the Singapore Editor at Wallpaper*, and also edits the Louis Vuitton City Guide Singapore.

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