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Regent Voyager Dubai to Singapore

November 16, 2019 @ 8:00 am - December 6, 2019 @ 5:00 pm

Join Andy for a cruise on Regent Voyager from Dubai to Singapore November -December 2019.  Andy will be giving these presentations.

 Skimming the History of the East Indies Companies

Rivals for nearly two centuries, the English and Dutch East India Companies were the first modern, near-global conglomerates; pioneering, fabulously successful joint stock companies that together dominated trade, industry, agriculture, and politics across half the globe.  For many decades the companies exercised sovereign rights over vast colonial possessions (deploying powerful armies and navies to enforce their writ), leaving fingerprints visible even beyond the era of decolonization in the 20th century.

Embassy to the Eastern Courts

President Andrew Jackson sent the U.S. Navy’s new squadron around the world via Cape Horn and the Cape of Good Hope, carrying diplomats on a years’ long, 40,000 mile mission to the courts of Southeast Asia and Arabia.  Their purpose was to negotiate agreements to open exotic markets to New England’s manufacturers and merchants.   Contemporary documents reveal colorful details of these first contacts between Eastern potentates and Yankee traders.

The Indian Ocean Cruises of Admiral Zheng He

Zheng He’s astonishing seven cruises between 1405 and 1433 through the Western Pacific and across the Indian Ocean marked the surprise beginning and sudden end of Ming China’s status as a great naval power.  Carrying treasure and returning with tribute for the emperor, the admiral’s huge fleets were not rivaled either in ship numbers, size, or crew strength until the modern era.

Disease and History

Until the age of modern medicine, lethal epidemics and fatal disease shaped human history as much—arguably more—than did the acts of great men (and women), and the events of politics and wars.  Learn how plague, influenza, yellow fever, and small pox (as well as the “great pox,” syphilis), and especially cholera, powerfully changed the direction of the march of time.

Rudyard Kipling, the Bard of Empire and Nobel Laureate

Now remembered chiefly as the author behind Hollywood’s “Kim” and of several beloved “Jungle Book” animations, between 1886 and his death in 1936 Bombay-born Kipling was the author of dozens of popular poems, short stories, and books, many of which glorified the British Empire and its long-suffering soldiers deployed to the colonies to bear “the White Man’s burden.”  His work (for which he received the Nobel Prize for literature in 1907) provides a picturesque insight into the British Empire at its vigorous peak.

European Exploration and Mapping Southeast Asia

With traditional overland routes between Asia and European commanded by the Ottoman Turks, the appetite for trade, wealth, and power drove Spaniards and Portuguese, and later Britons and the Dutch, over water toward the fabulous markets and precious goods of the Orient.  Europeans’ progress was paced by and reflected in their development of maps and charts, some of great beauty, during the Age of Exploration that illustrated growing knowledge of how to sail there and back home.

French Indochina and the Battle of Dien Bien Phu

France emerged from defeat and occupation in World War II determined to reestablish not only its central role in Europe, but also its empire in Africa and Southeast Asia.  In Indochina that ambition foundered and failed at Dien Bien Phu, a small, remote valley near the border between Laos and Vietnam.  The desperate battle between Ho Chi Minh’s troops and French regulars, foreign legionaries, and native levees was one of history’s most decisive military engagements, triggering the beginning of the end of an era of colonization.

Singapore in Peace and War

The stunning failure of the defenses of “Fortress Singapore” during the first months of World War II in the Pacific signaled the collapse of the allied position in Indochina and the Malay Peninsula.  It also seemingly locked into place Tokyo’s “Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere,” a resource-rich empire spanning East Asia and the vast spaces of the Western Pacific that seemingly resembled an eastern, maritime counterpart to Berlin’s ambitions in Europe.  The mid-20thcentury history of Singapore’s, fall, occupation, and relief is a fascinating part of the story behind this city-state’s remarkable role in Asia today.


November 16, 2019 @ 8:00 am
December 6, 2019 @ 5:00 pm