Valencia, CA – August 9 – From thought-provoking conversation to the opportunity to sail with like-minded guests, Cunard has long been the preferred line of travelers seeking to broaden their intellectual horizons. Now, with the introduction of Cunard Insights, the line’s newly revisioned enrichment program, guests enjoy an even broader range of meaningful, often rare opportunities to interact with acclaimed experts and prominent luminaries. 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, debates, social gatherings, and workshops, guests connect with personalities who have achieved notable distinction in areas including history, world affairs, science, politics, arts and literature. The new Insights program underscores Cunard’s longstanding view that enrichment at sea should transcend mere entertainment to afford guests a provocative and rewarding cerebral experience.
“For generations, Cunard has set the standard for onboard enrichment. As our guests eagerly anticipate and enjoy this aspect of our voyages, we feel a passionate responsibility to ensure that our programs are the most dynamic in the industry and that the experts and lecturers chosen are accomplished, engaging and approachable,” said Carol Marlow, president of Cunard Line. According to Marlow, offering enrichment onboard ocean liner voyages came about organically. “Traditionally, Cunard has attracted the world’s most well-educated and intrepid passengers. Dating back to the days of the original Queen Mary, several guests, including distinguished notables such as Winston Churchill or Cole Porter, engaged in informal talks to their fellow travelers as a way of entertaining themselves,” said Marlow. “Just as the crew would organize deck games, lessons on etiquette and talent shows, guests enjoyed sharing their knowledge and experiences with one another.”
These informal talks grew in popularity and, today, they comprise an important part of the daytime activity onboard. Since the launch of Queen Mary 2 in January 2004, more than 250,000 guests have attended presentations, interviews and lectures. This experiential offering is so important to Cunard that a dedicated manager has been assigned to oversee the selection of more than 500 Cunard Insights presenters annually. Caroline Mathieson is responsible for identifying and booking compelling and fascinating speakers from around the globe to sail aboard Queen Mary 2. “Cunard Insights is the next-generation enrichment program,” said Mathieson. “Essentially, we’ve taken a great program and expanded the offering, making it broader and brighter. Now, there really is something for everyone.”
Looking for “passion, expertise and personality,” Mathieson seeks to introduce Cunard travelers to numerous Insights speakers on every voyage through stimulating Q&A’s, debates and workshops. Upcoming notable personalities slated to lecture aboard Queen Mary 2 include:
- Victoria Tennant – British actress sailing on the August 9 westbound Transatlantic Crossing.
- David Hempleman-Adams – Polar explorer, mountaineer and author sailing on the August 23 and September 4 Transatlantic Crossings.
- John Cleese – Award-winning British actor/comedian/writer on the September 4 eastbound Transatlantic Crossing.
- Dr. Eric Paul Roorda – Director of the Frank C. Munson Institute of American Maritime Studies at Mystic Seaport, the Museum of America and the Sea, in Mystic, Connecticut; a Professor of History and Political Science at Bellarmine University, where he has taught since 1996. Sailing on the August 31 four-day Getaway voyage from New York to Halifax.
- Jeffrey Hoffman – former NASA astronaut and currently co-director of the Massachusetts Space Grant Consortium at MIT’s Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, sailing on the September 22 westbound Transatlantic Crossing.
- Dr. Jean-Pierre Isbouts – Professor of Culture and Media Studies at Fielding Graduate University, also an award-winning film-maker and the author of numerous publications on the art, architecture and music of the Near East, the Renaissance and the 19th century era. Sailing on the September 22 westbound Transatlantic Crossing.
- Frank DeFord – EmmyÃ‚Â® Award winning sports commentator sailing on the eastbound October 7 Transatlantic Crossing.
- Dr Susan Humphris – Senior Scientist and Chair in the Geology and Geophysics Department at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, she studies the nature and distribution of sea-floor hot springs and has authored or co-authored more than 60 scientific papers. She is also the co-creator of the highly successful Dive and Discover web site that brings oceanographic expeditions in near real-time to students and the general public. Sailing on the October 25 westbound Transatlantic Crossing.
- Dr Bradley James Rowe – Holds a PhD in Applied Eco-Psychology and Integrated Ecology. Jim lectures on a wide variety of subjects ranging from coral reef ecology and SCUBA diving theory to human physiology, the history of Costa Rica, Panama and the Panama Canal, Caribbean Cultural history, Central American history, national psyche of Latin American countries, ocean rescue, river guide training, swift water rescue, wilderness first responder training and other subjects. Sailing on the October 25 westbound Transatlantic Crossing.
- Lynn Truss – Bestselling Author (“Eats, Shoots and Leaves”) sailing on the October 25 westbound Transatlantic Crossing.
- Dr Jerry Labriola – Practiced medicine for 35 years and was an Assistant Professor at the University of Connecticut Medical School. A Yale graduate and former Chief of Staff at a major teaching hospital, he also served as state senator; ran for Lt. Governor and Governor of Connecticut; and for the United States Senate. Dr Labriola is the author of seven mystery novels and co-author with renowned forensic scientist, Dr Henry Lee, of three books: Famous Crimes Revisited, Dr Henry Lee’s Forensic Files, and The Budapest Connection. Sailing on the October 31 Connoisseur’s Caribbean voyage.
- Professor Anthony Grayling – Fellow of the World Economic Forum, a teacher at Birkbeck College, University of London, the author of many books on philosophy and a frequent broadcaster on the BBC. He is also a frequent contributor to the press in the UK, writing a column for the Guardian newspaper and The Times, and appearing often in the review and editorial pages of the Independent, the Observer, the New Statesman, the Financial Times, and the Literary Review. Voyage date to be confirmed.
To learn more about the upcoming schedule of speakers for Cunard Insights, visit www.cunard.com and search for a specific voyage itinerary. For more information and reservations, contact your travel professional, call 1-800-7-CUNARD or go to www.cunard.com.