Floating to the top

BEST SPOTS? Istanbul, for the energy of the city where Europe and Asia.
BEST SPOTS? Istanbul, for the energy of the city where Europe and Asia.

As the cruising season kicks off, Travel talks to Ann Sherry, head of Carnival Australia and an articulate advocate of the cruising life.

'Believe it or not, sometimes I get sick of travel and long for my own bed and pillow. However, the joy of travel - particularly opportunities to go cruising - outweighs all, even though I don't get time to do as much cruising as I would like.'

How often do you get away? I do a lot of business travel, including back-to-back conferences in Singapore and Shanghai, recently. For recreation, I try to get away as often as I can but usually they're short breaks, a week's cruise, a weekend here and there and good quality time at our farm doing hard physical work in the open air.

Where was your first trip? I was about 8 and it was a family skiing trip. It was an amazing experience and I've been forever grateful for learning to ski when I was so young.

Why do you travel - business or pleasure? In recent years, it has been mostly business, which goes with being part of a global organisation. At Christmas, there are big plans for a holiday cruise in the Caribbean but I won't be able to resist comparing the product with our market.

What is your favourite destination overseas? There are so many amazing places but the standouts for me are Isle of Pines in the Loyalty Islands, the closest thing to paradise, Istanbul for the energy of the city where Europe and Asia meet and Alaska for its astonishing landscapes.

And here in New Zealand? Queenstown does it for me every time with the beautiful setting of Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables along with the nightlife, food and skiing.

Best trip ever? Milford Sound and a high-country helicopter ride were outstanding, and the Abel Tasman walk was simply breathtaking.

Worst? The worst trips are ones with a terrible service experience. Fortunately, it doesn't happen often but when it does it grates.

Where to next? Around New Zealand on the Queen Mary 2 in March - can't wait.

The Dominion Post