Cruise Control: Francesco Galli Zugaro

Cruise Control: Francesco Galli Zugaro

Cruise Control: Francesco Galli Zugaro

Photo courtesy of the Peak Singapore

Morning is the most magical time of day in a new place, according to Francesco Galli Zugaro, CEO of luxury cruise line AQUA Expeditions—and we couldn’t agree more. The Swiss-born Italian American, who is based in Singapore, reveals this and other AFAR-ish travel habits and indulgences while on the road.

Let’s play spin the globe—name the one place you’ve always wanted to go.
Raja Ampat and Papua New Guinea.

What’s your spirit city? (Where do you want to return to over and over?)
Rome, Italy.

Do you have a travel ritual?
Sunday brunch. I love to walk the streets of a city early on a Sunday when it’s quiet, and I enjoy seeing it wake up slowly.

Do you maintain any routines from home while traveling or does it all go out the window?
More and more, I think many of us like to maintain as much of our routine as possible when we travel. My routine relaxes me. Swimming is key for me as it’s light packing, and if the hotel has an indoor pool, I’m not dependent on the weather for my workout.

Sorry, you only get to eat one regional cuisine for the rest of your life. What is it?
What kind of question is that? Italian, of course.

What one piece of advice would you give to someone traveling abroad for the first time?
Be adventurous and go outside your comfort zone and try different things.

Describe your travel personality in three words.
Funny, active, and genuine.

Rome is Zugaro's spirit city.

Rome is Zugaro’s spirit city.

Are your trips very planned, or very spontaneous?
Both. I try to have a very good mix. Depends on whether I’m traveling with my wife and children or exploring alone.

What’s the one travel souvenir you’d save in a fire?
My photo albums and my external hard disk with family videos.

What book/movie most inspired you to travel?
Investment Biker: Around the World with Jim Rogers.

Who’s your ideal travel partner?
My wife, Birgit.

Which travel experience do you prefer: plugged in or unplugged?

What’s a custom from another culture that you’d love to implement in your life back home?
The lack of constant connectivity.

What’s the first thing you seek out in a new place?
A cool trendy cocktail bar to have a negroni.

What’s the one thing you indulge in on a trip that you don’t at home?
Massages and room service.

What’s your first travel memory?
A safari in South Africa with my family when I was seven years old. It stayed with me, and I’ve gone back nine times for more safaris. I can’t ever get enough of Africa.

A trip to South Africa is Zugaro's earliest travel memory.

A trip to South Africa is Zugaro’s earliest travel memory.

Jennifer Flowers is an award-winning journalist and the senior deputy editor of Afar.
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