Hello everyone. I am Barry Hopkins and I have the honor of being selected to be the Cruise Director aboard Seabourn Odyssey when she debuts next June. At the moment I am working with the entertainment and hotel operations team in Seabourn’s Miami headquarters, but shortly I will be taking off to serve aboard Seabourn Spirit for a stretch, to get re-acquainted with my Seabourn family and friends. Let me tell you a little bit about myself.
As far back as I can remember, I was always interested in the theatre, I joined my local Amateur Dramatic Society at the age of fourteen and left school at sixteen to pursue a career in the theatre. I got my break at the age of eighteen playing the role of “Kipps” in the musical Half A Sixpence. The man who discovered me was Ben Lyon. During Ben’s time as Head Casting Director for 20th Century Fox, he discovered and named Marilyn Monroe, Richard Widmark and Jean Harlow.
Shortly after signing with Ben, I was given my first TV show, Opportunity Knocks (which was the UK’s equivalent to America’s Star Search.) Immediately following my performance, I was offered a recording contract and my first single “LOVE YA, WANT YA, NEED YA” was released in January 1970. At one point, the single was selling 16,000 copies a day and later became Britain’s entry for the San Remo Song Festival in Italy.
In 1974, I took over from Tommy Steele in the hit musical Hans Christian Andersen, which ran for one whole year at the London Palladium. The following year I played the title role in Dick Whittington and performed before Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and twenty-six members of the royal family at The Theatre Royal, Windsor.
After several years on the road touring Concert Halls and Theaters, I decided to pursue a career as a Cruise Director. In November 2004, I was voted the industry’s “Best Cruise Director” by CruiseReport.com (something which I’m most proud of.)
I’m thrilled to be returning to “The Yachts of Seabourn” after an absence of fourteen years and honored to have been chosen to be a part of the launch team for the new Odyssey.