The stunning backdrop of Tower Bridge against a setting sun was the perfect spot for the John Walker & Sons Voyager, a glamorous 1920s-style sailing yacht and the perfect vessel for re-imagining the epic ocean voyages that took Johnnie Walker from the four corners of Scotland to the four corners of the world. The Luxury Channel was aboard the yacht to soak up the atmosphere, and to try one or two Johnnie Walker Blue Label-infused cocktails. Heaven!
Since setting off in September 2012, the luxury yacht has hosted a series of high-profile events across Asia (sailing the seas via the original spice route) and in Europe. These events were designed to celebrate each port’s story of progress over the last century and recognise a series of Game Changers – influencers, thinkers and celebrities who embody the pioneering spirit and vision of the Walker family – a vision that has led to Johnnie Walker Scotch whisky becoming the number one Scotch whisky in the world (Source: IWSR 2012).
Portofino in Italy was chosen as the first destination on a European tour that saw the John Walker & Sons Voyager host exclusive events at the Cannes Film Festival and Monaco Grand Prix – world stages for luxury brands and events – as well as Athens, Barcelona, Amsterdam, London, Hamburg and Copenhagen. The Voyager docked in Edinburgh in August, returning to the brand home of Scotland, where the John Walker & Sons story began almost two centuries ago.
The reason for the yacht, aside from the romance and luxury of being aboard such a vessel, has historical connotations going back to the 1920s, when Johnnie Walker published Around The World. This was a travel guide about all the markets where Johnnie Walker was sold, drawing on local knowledge to supply useful insider information. It was for this reason that a 1920s style sailing yacht was chosen to create, in many ways, a contemporary version of the Around The World travel guide, celebrating the thinking that to engage with the world means reveling in its variety. Engaging with the world is something that John Walker & Sons have truly embraced, as they now boast key markets in the United States, the Middle East, Brazil, Mexico, China, Thailand, South Africa and Australia. Reflecting the global appetite for the brand, Johnnie Walker is now a 20 million, 9 litre case company, and emerging markets have accounted for 80% of its total net sales growth.
David Gandy, the world’s leading male model and Johnnie Walker Blue Label ambassador, co-hosted the party in London, but he had also been to the launch of the Voyager’s epic European journey in Portofino. Commenting on his appearance on board the John Walker & Sons Voyager, Gandy said: “It’s a privilege to celebrate this great adventure. As the Johnnie Walker Blue Label ambassador, I’m honoured to be part of this creative and innovative campaign and to celebrate the achievements of Game Changers from across the region.” We caught up with Gandy on board the Voyager to talk fashion and philanthropy, and to find out his favourite luxury – read our exclusive interview here.