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One of the most rewarding things about my role as the editor of Luxury Travel Magazine is the fascinating people I meet and the extraordinary places I’m lucky enough to visit. People like Paolo Zegna, Chairman of Italian luxury fashion house Ermenegildo Zegna; Sarina Bratton, Chairman (Asia Pacific) of French luxury expedition cruise line Ponant, and a pioneer of the booming luxury cruising industry in Australia; and Yvonne Yeoh, managing director of ytd., the owner of Italian fashion and accessories brand Tod’s, which sponsored our recent Gold List 2018 awards.
Over lunch at Sydney’s Otto Restaurant, Zegna introduced me to his new luxury travel brand, Altagamma Italian Experiences by IC Bellagio, offering exclusive behind-the-scenes experiences at some of Italy’s most iconic brands. If you love Italy like I do, our story on page 29 is your passport to a new world of luxury, la dolce vita style.
My cherished friendship with Bratton dates back to the earliest days of luxury cruising in Australia, when she launched Orion Expedition Cruises into the local market in 2004. Today, luxury cruising is by far the fastest-growing sector of the global travel industry, a multi-billion-dollar empire taking well-heeled, savvy and sophisticated travellers to every continent on the planet from the Arctic to Antarctica and all compass points in between.
Australians are riding the luxury cruising wave in huge and everincreasing numbers and the market has never been more competitive – or exciting – with more than 20 major cruise lines offering voyages on five-star ocean, river and expedition ships. Their continued success is in no small part due to Bratton’s trailblazing work promoting her life’s passion. If you haven’t cruised before – or are looking to sail again – I urge you to sit back and devour our 40-page cover story (page 46) showcasing the best in Australian and international luxury cruising. I can assure you, it’s the holiday of a lifetime.
Talking of exceptional luxury travel brands, we celebrated our Gold List 2018 award winners recently at a gala dinner at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth. I had the pleasure of sitting next to the delightful Yeoh, managing director of our principal sponsor Tod’s by ytd. For the past four years, she and her team have made Tod’s a household name in Australia, bringing a new level of Italian style to our shores. Tod’s made the winners’ dinner a fun and fabulous event and a celebration of some of the finest luxury travel brands on the planet (page 37).
The highlight of my own travels this edition? A special pinot noir weekend at the incomparable Saffire Freycinet in Tasmania, a threeday extravaganza of cocktail receptions, degustation dinners, and a fascinating masterclass by leading wine expert Tyson Stelzer.
My thanks to Saffire’s general manager Justin King and his team for delivering a memorable luxury experience surrounded by Tasmania’s rare and primordial natural beauty (page 126). How lucky am I?
Andrew Conway | Editor