Such diverse personalities as Nelson Mandela, John Cleese, Baz Luhrmann and President Jimmy Carter have been just a few among the many luminaries featured in Question and Answer sessions on board. Captains of Concorde have discussed the marvels of supersonic flight while Captains of Industry have offered tips on how to make your first million.
The first four months in the 40th anniversary year of Cunard’s speaker programme – Cunard Insights - will see a number of leading lights join Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria as the Cunard fleet tours the world: celebrated authors Bill Bryson and Sir Max Hastings, award-winning TV writers Dick Clement and Ian Le Frenais, eminent Professor of Science and Society Lord Winston, broadcaster and Royal commentator Jennie Bond, and Falklands and Counter-Terrorism expert Admiral Lord West.
Bill Bryson: Queen Elizabeth: 18 January – 5 February
New York – Fort Lauderdale – Aruba – Limon (Costa Rica) – Panama Canal – Puntarenas (Costa Rica) – San Francisco
Internationally renowned as a writer and broadcaster, Bill Bryson is the best-selling author of books such as “Notes from a Small Island” and “A Short History of Nearly Everything,” a science volume that won the Descartes prize. His latest work is “One Summer – America 1927.” His books have sold over 10 million copies worldwide.
Although American, Bryson is an honorary OBE and a noted anglophile who is President of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, Chancellor of Durham University and a former commissioner of English Heritage.
Sir Max Hastings: Queen Mary 2: 28 January – 19 February
Cape Town – Durban – Mauritius – Fremantle – Melbourne – Sydney
Sir Max Hastings is an author, journalist and broadcaster whose work has appeared in every British national newspaper. He now writes regularly for the Daily Mail and Financial Times, of which he is a contributing editor, and reviews for the Sunday Times and New York Review of Books.
He has written twenty-two books and his latest, “Catastrophe 1914: Europe Goes to War,” has just been published to wide acclaim. He has received awards both for his books and journalism.
He was editor, then editor-in-chief, of The Daily Telegraph from 1986-1995, and of the Evening Standard 1996-2002.
Lord Robert Winston: Queen Mary 2: 2 – 29 March
Bali – Fremantle – Adelaide - Melbourne – Sydney – Brisbane – Cairns – Kota Kinabalu – Shanghai
Robert Winston first achieved prominence as an expert in human fertility. Now the first Professor of Science and Society at Imperial College London and Emeritus Professor of Fertility Studies there, he runs a research programme with a long-term aim of improving human transplantation. He is also Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University, Chairman of the Royal College of Music and was voted “Peer of the Year” in 2008 by his fellow Parliamentarians for his expertise and work on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill.
Dick Clement and Ian Le Frenais: Queen Mary 2: 10 – 27 January
Southampton – Madeira –Tenerife – Walvis Bay, Namibia – Cape Town
Together, this comedy-writing duo have enjoyed a unique creative partnership spanning more than four decades. From “The Likely Lads” in the 1960’s, to the award-winning follow-up series, “Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads?”, the team went on to create “Porridge,” starring Ronnie Barker. They wrote “The Prisoner of Zenda,” with Peter Sellers playing twin roles and worked extensively on “Never Say Never Again,” with Sean Connery in the role of James Bond. They scored another hit in the eighties with “Auf Wiedersehen, Pet,” and Ian also created the long-running series “Lovejoy,” starring Ian McShane.
In recent few years they have been as busy as ever, including adapting “The Rotters’ Club” and “Archangel,” starring Daniel Craig, for the BBC.
Jennie Bond: Queen Victoria: 12 – 28 January
Fort Lauderdale – Barbados – Fortaleza (Brazil) – Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) – Montevideo (Uruguay) – Buenos Aires (Argentina)
Jennie Bond has been broadcasting about Britain’s Royal Family for 25 years, through some of the most turbulent times the monarchy has known. For 14 years she was the BBC’s Royal Correspondent. She’s also well-known on British television as a presenter of the antiques show “Cash in the Attic” – along with a rich variety of other programmes such as “Rip Off Britain,” “Great British Menu” and numerous game shows. But it was probably her time in “I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here,” when she was buried in a coffin full of rats in the Australian jungle, that made her a household name
Admiral Lord West: Queen Victoria: 28 January – 9 February
Buenos Aires – Puerto Madryn (Argentina)– Cape Horn – Ushuaia (Agentina)– Punta Arenas (Chile) – cruise by Amalia Glacier – cruise by PIO X Glacier – Puerto Montt (Chile) – Valparaiso (Chile)
Admiral The Right Honourable Baron West of Spithead, GCB, DSC, PC, ADC, DUniv, is a former First Sea Lord and Minister for Security and Counter-Terrorism. He spent the majority of his naval career at sea. He took command of the frigate HMS Ardent, taking her south to the Falkland Islands in 1982. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his part in the action and led the Victory Parade through the City of London.
He became First Sea Lord in 2002. He led the Navy during its successful role in the initial invasion of Iraq. He has advised both Conservatives and Labour on defense and foreign policy and joined the government team responsible for national security and counter-terrorism as well as cyber and Olympic security.
He is currently Chancellor of Southampton Solent University, Naval Trustee of the Imperial War Museum plus a number of other appointments