Whisky Magazine Issue 108
This article is 4 years old and some information provided may be time sensitive. Please check all details of events, tours, opening times and other information before travelling or making arrangements.
Copyright Whisky Magazine © 1999-2016. All rights reserved. To use or reproduce part or all of this article please contact us for details of how you can do so legally.
We report on a voyage to recreate Walker's earliest ventures
September, dockside on the Huangpu River in Shanghai saw the launch of an extraordinary campaign for Johnnie Walker with the first event onboard John Walker & Sons Voyager. This threemasted luxury yacht will, during the next six months, be crossing the Asia Pacific region, docking at nine key ports. At the time of writing, it has already stopped in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and the Philippines, with stops at Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore and India to come.
The voyage is recreating Walker's earliest ventures into the region when its whiskies were carried by clippers to the new markets of the East. “Many people don't realise that the John Walker & Sons business was one of the first modern-day companies to trade internationally,” says James Thompson, chief marketing officer, Diageo Asia Pacific.
“Without the help of technology, the Walkers transformed the industry when they engaged ship captains to act as brand ambassadors and take John Walker & Sons' whisky from their corner store in Scotland to the four corners of the modern world – this took vision, pioneering spirit and a lot of courage.” The yacht features four reception areas, two on deck, and two lounges below. At each of the ports the Walker team will invite individuals whom it regards as the most progressive, influential and scene-setting onboard, to entertain and educate them in the ways of Scotch whisky.
“Our goal is for John Walker & Sons Voyager to be the ultimate luxury experience for premium spirit co...