With a luxury cruise vacation aboard Cunard Line, not only can guests experience The New Golden Age of Ocean Travel, they may also pique their intellectual curiosity through a variety of special presentations offered by Cunard Insights. The award-winning guest enrichment programme continues in 2011 aboard the youngest fleet at sea, where guests are able to learn more about politics, entertainment, literature, science and history through renowned speakers from these and other world disciplines. Featured Insights speakers range from former vice president and editor-in-chief of Daily Variety Peter Bart, legendary British crime novelists P.D. James and Baroness Ruth Rendell CBE; to The Byrds musician Roger McGuinn and debut novelist Kitty Pilgrim, a former CNN correspondent turned novelist who features Cunard’s Queen Victoria in her debut thriller.
“A highlight of any Cunard voyage is our Insights programme, providing guests with dynamic enrichment opportunities to engage their minds and passions, while enjoying the timeless experience of sailing aboard our liners,” said Peter Shanks, president of Cunard Line. “This year’s speaker line-up certainly will appeal to a broad range of interests, giving guests a chance to update on favourite subjects as well as learn about something new.”
Delving deeply into a variety of compelling and relevant topics, Cunard Insights introduces guests to fascinating experts and accomplished visionaries who reflect the Line’s legacy of adventure and prestige. Intellectually invigorating experiences aboard flagship Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and the Line’s newest ship, Queen Elizabeth, will include the following:
10 May – Peter Bart: As long-time vice president and editor-in-chief of Daily Variety, Bart presided over the editorial content for the Los Angeles and Gotham editions, Weekly Variety and Variety.com. For the last six years he has co-hosted the long-running, weekly AMC television programme, “Shootout.” Bart has also written eight books, most recently Boffo! How I Learned to Love the Blockbuster and Fear the Bomb. Bart is currently sailing a Westbound Transatlantic Crossing aboard Queen Mary 2.
7 October and 10 November – Roger McGuinn: An American singer, songwriter and guitarist, McGuinn is most famous for fronting the popular 1960s band, The Byrds. McGuinn will sail an Eastbound and Westbound Transatlantic Crossing aboard Queen Mary 2.
10 June – Dr. Ruth Westheimer: Best known as “Dr. Ruth,” Westheimer is a psychosexual therapist who pioneered speaking frankly about sexual matters with her radio programme, “Sexually Speaking,” in 1980. She currently serves as the Honorary President of the Council on Sexuality and Aging at the National Sexuality Resource Center. Dr. Ruth will sail the Grand Fjords & Waterfalls voyage on Queen Mary 2.
20 July and 5 September – Bill Miller: Known as “Mr. Ocean Liner,” Miller has written more than 70 books about passenger ships, both past and present. He has prepared the passenger ship database for the Ellis Island Museum and currently serves as curator of 20th Century Maritime History for the South Street Seaport Museum in New York City. Miller will sail an Eastbound and Westbound Transatlantic Crossing aboard Queen Mary 2.
15 August – Dr. Jeffrey Hoffman: As a NASA astronaut, Hoffman made five space flights, becoming the first astronaut to log 1,000 hours of flight time aboard the Space Shuttle. He is now Professor of Aerospace Engineering in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Hoffman will be sailing a Westbound Transatlantic Crossing aboard Queen Mary 2.
5 June – P.D. James: British crime novelist and longtime Cunarder, James is most celebrated for her 14 novels featuring the character “Commander Adam Dalgliesh,” of which 12 have been adapted for British television. James will be sailing the Mediterranean Mosaic voyage aboard Queen Victoria.
21 September – Kitty Pilgrim: As a correspondent for CNN for 24 years, Pilgrim will discuss how the adventures she experienced as a news journalist paved the way to her becoming a fiction writer. Her upcoming debut novel, The Explorer’s Code, will be released on 5 July and includes the protagonists sailing on a Queen Victoria Mediterranean voyage, similar to the ship’s Greek Isles & Ancient Wonders voyage which Pilgrim will sail.
5 September – Baroness Ruth Rendell CBE: Bestselling mystery author, who also writes under the pseudonym Barbara Vine, has penned more than 60 novels and is best known for weaving tales about iconic character, “Chief Inspector Wexford.” She and her friend, fellow novelist P.D. James, have been credited with reshaping the mystery and detective genre of novels. Rendell will sail an Eastbound Transatlantic Crossing on Queen Mary 2.
8 July – Lord Digby Jones: Former Minister of State for U.K. Trade and Investment, Jones currently serves as Chairman of the International Business Advisory Board at HSBC, Chairman of Triumph Motorcycles Limited, and is Corporate Ambassador for Jaguar Cars and J.C. Bamford. Jones will sail on the Mediterranean Gems voyage aboard Queen Victoria.
14 August – Lord Jeffrey Archer: Hailed by Time Magazine as a “master entertainer,” Archer is a former Member of Parliament and best-selling author. He is currently working on a five-part series of novels entitled The Clifton Chronicles. Archer will sail on the St. Petersburg & Baltic Explorer voyage aboard Queen Elizabeth.
20 July – Chase Untermeyer: Untermeyer’s 35-year political career spans all four levels of the U.S. Government. He has served in the Texas House of Representatives as executive assistant to then-Vice President George H.W. Bush, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, senior White House aide, Director of the Voice of America and U.S. ambassador to the State of Qatar. He is currently a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Texas Ethics Commission. Untermeyer will sail on a Westbound Transatlantic Crossing aboard Queen Mary 2 as part of the Special Relationship programme, a dedicated series within Insights that focuses on the close political and cultural ties between the United States and the United Kingdom.
These 2011 Cunard Insights speakers join Cunard’s illustrious legacy of welcoming world-famous guests, experts, presenters and entertainers on board; including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Buzz Aldrin, James Taylor, Jean Chatzky, Tina Brown, Baz Luhrmann, Bill Bryson, Rona Barrett and E.L. Doctorow.