Cunard Line Limited

Cunard Line Limited

December 08, 2009 06:04 ET

Tutu Too to Queen Mary 2

Award-winning 'Insights' Programme hits new high with Archbishop Desmond Tutu

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Dec. 8, 2009) - Cunard, already noted for the quality of the lecturers on board its ships, looks set to excel its own high standards in 2010 – 170 years after the departure of its first ship.

So far, lecturers booked for Queen Mary 2's 'Insights' programme include Archbishop Desmond Tutu; internationally renowned author and broadcaster Bill Bryson; anchorman of BBC Radio 4's 'Today' programme, John Humphreys; comedy script writers Dick Clement and Ian le Frenais; psychosexual therapist Dr Ruth; and motor racing broadcaster Murray Walker.

Queen Victoria, meanwhile, boasts former independent MP Martin Bell and former ITN Royal Correspondent Nicholas Owen.

Commenting on Archbishop Tutu's forthcoming voyage from Port Louis to Cape Town as part of Queen Mary 2's World cruise next March, Cunard's President and Managing Director, Peter Shanks, said:

"It is a great honour for Cunard to be able to welcome on board an internationally respected figure of such eminence, and we are confident our passengers will be transfixed by what he has to say".

The former Archbishop of Cape Town, now Archbishop Emeritus, was a recipient in 1984 of the Nobel Peace Prize for his role as a unifying leader figure in the campaign to resolve the problem of apartheid in South Africa. Since then he has fearlessly continued to speak out on human rights, equality and social justice and remains hugely influential throughout the world.

Meanwhile, Bill Bryson, best-selling author of such books as 'A Short History of Nearly Everything' and 'Notes from a Small Island', will be on board Queen Mary 2 for a transatlantic crossing from Southampton to New York departing 1 October 2010. Although American, Bill Bryson is an honorary OBE, a noted anglophile who is President of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, Chancellor of Durham University and a former commissioner of English Heritage. His books have sold over 10 million copies worldwide.

A lecturer on another transatlantic crossing – this time departing New York on 4 January 2010 bound for Southampton – will be one of Britain's best-known and controversial broadcasters, John Humphreys. His terrier-like questioning has made him a hate-figure for both main political parties, but he is widely admired for relentlessly seeking out the truth.

Another major broadcasting personality turned politician, Martin Bell, will be lecturing on board Queen Victoria between Cape Town and Rio de Janeiro in March. Bell achieved fame as a BBC News Correspondent from 1962 to 1997, reporting from 100 countries and 18 war zones. He was the Independent MP for Tatton from 1997 to 2001, and is currently a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.

Comedy scriptwriters Dick Clement and Ian le Frenais, authors of such iconic television series as 'The Likely Lads', 'Porridge' and 'Auf Weidersehen Pet' star in their own lecture slots on board Queen Mary 2's World Cruise between Sydney and Cape Town from 7 to 25 March 2010.

Other lecturers so far announced include Nicholas Owen, former ITN Royal Correspondent (Queen Victoria, 1 – 15 August 2010); psychosexual therapist, Dr Ruth (Queen Mary 2, 15 April 2010); broadcaster Murray Walker (Queen Victoria, 15 June – 1 July 2010); Joanne Harris, author of the book 'Chocolat' which became an internationally-acclaimed film (Queen Mary 2 transatlantic crossing from Southampton 1 October, and from New York 13 October); astronaut Russell Schweickhart who will be on Queen Victoria during her World Cruise; and for the aficionados of sixties pop classics, the composer of such hits as 'Congratulations' and 'Puppet on a String', Bill Martin (Queen Mary 2 World Cruise sector, Rio de Janeiro – New York, 3 – 15 April 2010).

Notes to Editors

Prices for Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria World Cruise in 2010 start at £10,499 and £11,499 respectively. Shorter sectors are available from £7,139.

Six- and seven-night transatlantic crossings between Southampton and New York begin at £899, including a flight in the opposite direction.

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