Cunard Begins Next Chapter of Literature and Liners

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26 February 2010 – Cunard Line announces the return of their popular Literature and Liners series as part of Cunard Insights, the line’s award-winning onboard enrichment programme. Introduced in 2009, Literature and Liners provides guests sailing on select Queen Mary 2 Transatlantic Crossings the opportunity to interact with some of the literary world’s most intriguing figures. Best-selling authors scheduled to sail as part of this year’s programme are Kate Atkinson, John Berendt, Bill Bryson and Joanne Harris. Guests can look forward to engaging Q&A discussions, lectures, book signings and readings with select titles to be featured in the Cunard Book Club.

Kate Atkinson: Novelist Atkinson, known for her award-winning Case Histories and Behind the Scenes at the Museum, is scheduled to sail on the 15 April eastbound Crossing. Atkinson, who was born in York, England, recently released When Will There Be Good News? – a follow-up to the “Jackson Brodie” character from Case Histories.

John Berendt: Berendt is an American-born author known for writing the best-selling non-fiction book, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, which was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize in 1995. Prior to writing the overnight success story, Berendt wrote for Esquire and New York magazines. He is also the author of The City of Falling Angels. Berendt will be sailing on the 7 June eastbound Crossing.

Bill Bryson: Best-selling American author Bryson is scheduled for the 1 October westbound Crossing. He is well known for his humorous books on travel, including A Walk in the Woods and The Lost Continent. Bryson also has penned a number of other bestsellers on the subject, as well as those on the English language and scientific subjects. In addition to being an author, Bryson also spent many years writing for The Times and The Independent while living in England.

Joanne Harris: The British writer is best known for her acclaimed novel, Chocolat, which was made into an Oscar®:-nominated film starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp. She is also the author of The Evil Seed, Sleep, Pale Sister and seven other novels, most recently The Lollipop Shoes and Runemarks. Harris’ other works include Jigs & Reels, a collection of short stories, and two cookbooks with food writer Fran Warde – The French Kitchen and The French Market. Her books are now published in more than 40 countries and have won a number of British and international awards. She will be joining the 1 October westbound Crossing, as well as the 12 October eastbound Crossing.

“As operator of the most famous ocean liners in the world, Cunard is known for bringing distinguished luminaries onboard to provide our guests with unique experiences as they sail our legendary voyages,” said Peter Shanks, president of Cunard Line. “We set the bar high with the caliber of talent we present and are confident that this year’s programme will appeal to our guests’ literary interests and sensibilities.”

In 2010, Cunard offers guests more choices of Transatlantic Crossings between April and November, sailing six- and seven-day voyages between New York and Southampton, as well as new extended seven-, eight- and nine-day Crossings to Cherbourg, France and Hamburg, Germany. Widely considered the definitive ocean travel experience, a Transatlantic Crossing offers guests a myriad of opportunities for intellectual interaction, leisurely pursuits, health and wellness activities, and gourmet dining. Unique Cunard amenities found aboard Queen Mary 2 include the famed Princess and Queens Grill accommodation, the first Canyon Ranch SpaClub at sea and the first Todd English restaurant at sea.

Delving deeply into a variety of compelling and relevant topics, Cunard Insights introduces guests to stimulating experts and accomplished visionaries who reflect the line’s heritage of adventure and prestige. Through a series of lectures, Q&A’s, social gatherings and workshops, guests connect with personalities who have achieved notable distinction in areas including history, world affairs, science, arts and literature. The Insights programme underscores Cunard’s longstanding view that onboard entertainment should afford guests a provocative and rewarding cerebral experience.

For more information and to book a voyage aboard Queen Mary 2, consult your Travel Professional, call toll-free 1-800-7-CUNARD or go to www.cunard.com.