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Guest speakers

Our celebrated speakers have been carefully selected for their knowledge of the art, history, archaeology, architecture, wine and cuisine of the areas we visit. Their informative and enlightening talks will entertain you and bring to life the history of the remarkable civilisations and cultures of the Mediterranean and the Far East.

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    • Alan O'Cain

      Artist, Poet and freelance Lecturer

      Cruises:

      Passage to Ancient Egypt & India - 2018-12-05 Grand Empires & Ancient Civilizations - 2018-12-05 The Grand Odyssey - 2018-12-05 The Grand Odyssey Reunion Cruise - 2018-12-05
      Alan studied History at Lancaster University specialising in the development of Western Science, Art and Philosophy and has an MA in Education. He now works as a professional artist and poet and delivers much loved public talks and performances. He has twice been a visiting fellow and artist-and-poet-in-residence at Durham University (2012-13 and 2015-16) and has given lectures in many prestigious venues and on cruise ships travelling the globe.

      Alan studied History at Lancaster University specialising in the development of Western Science, Art and Philosophy and has an MA in Education. He now works as a professional artist and poet and delivers much loved public talks and performances. He has twice been a visiting fellow and artist-and-poet-in-residence at Durham University (2012-13 and 2015-16) and has given lectures in many prestigious venues and on cruise ships travelling the globe.

      Alan has been involved in creative collaborations with Glyndebourne Opera and the Royal Shakespeare Company and produced art and poetry in-residence in a number of historical and international venues, including the preserved studio of Norwegian artist Edvard Munch (painter of “The Scream”) and the former prison cell of Austrian artist Egon Schiele. He has held solo exhibitions at the Hay Festival and at several diverse locations in the UK and abroad. In 2016-2017 he showed works in Manchester Cathedral from an on-going sixteen-year project based on letter exchanges with a prisoner in a US jail and created three sound/art/horticulture installations in the city of Durham in collaboration with students, composers, musicians and staff from Durham Botanic Garden. During our cruise from Athens to Mumbai Alan will be delivering entertaining talks exploring themes from Art History, Philosophy and the History of Science and running exciting art and poetry-writing workshops during days at sea.

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    • Angus Graham-Campbell

      Eton College

      Cruises:

      Classical Italy & the Adriatic - 2018-05-17 Grand Voyage to Italy, the Adriatic & Spain - 2018-05-17 CRUISE ONLY Offer: Venice to Rome - 2018-05-18
      Angus Graham-Campbell was educated at Eton and Trinity College Cambridge where he read English, and he is a teacher, academic, lecturer, playwright and theatre director. He has taught English and Drama at Sevenoaks, Repton, St Paul's School, NH in the USA and at the Shore School in Sydney.

      Angus Graham-Campbell was educated at Eton and Trinity College Cambridge where he read English, and he is a teacher, academic, lecturer, playwright and theatre director. He has taught English and Drama at Sevenoaks, Repton, St Paul's School, NH in the USA and at the Shore School in Sydney. For over 40 years he taught at Eton College, where he was Head of English, a Housemaster and a Teacher of Creative Writing, and where he directed over 60 plays, working with scores of gifted actors, including Damian Lewis, Eddie Redmayne, Dominic West, Tom Hiddleston, Will Keen and Nyasha Hatendi among many others - including Boris Johnson, who he cast as Sir Politic-Would Be in Jonson's 'Volpone'! He specialises in the Romantic Poets and he has written and directed site specific plays about Shelley and Keats that have been performed in Rome, Hampstead and most recently in the Old Operating Theatre at St Thomas's Hospital in London. Many of Angus's plays have been heard on BBC radio or seen at the Edinburgh Festival. For ten years he edited the literary journal 'The Keats-Shelley Review', and he is a Trustee of the Keats House in Rome, in which the poet tragically died in 1821 aged 25.  Angus is also a keen follower of sport, especially cricket and football, being a lifetime supporter of St Johnstone and Fulham. As a historian of the game he has contributed extensively to books on football. His presence on the cruise is indicative of two of his greatest loves: travel - and reading!

       Angus Graham-Campbell's exciting new site-specific play 'Rebel Angel' about poet John Keats is due to open in London in the unusual and atmospheric Old Operating Theatre, at St Thomas's Hospital. It previews from 19 September with a gala opening night on 22nd September. The play runs to 7th October and there is talk of a transfer to Rome in 2018.

      The play deals with the characters and events surrounding Keats' decision to abandon medicine and devote his life to the pursuit of poetry.

      For further details and to book tickets go to www.rebelangel.eventbrite.co.uk or to find out about the special gala evening go to www.rebelangelgala.eventbrite.co.uk

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    • Bob Porter

      Brandenburg Choral Festival of London

      Cruises:

      Grand Aegean Experience, Dalmatia & Venice - 2018-04-27 Ancient Greece & Dalmatian Coast - 2018-05-05 CRUISE ONLY Offer: Athens to Venice - 2018-05-08
      Come & sing at sea with Bob Porter!

      Bob Porter’s experience as a choir master, conductor and artistic director is back by popular demand. The voyage will include daily singing workshops and a final performance at the end of the voyage, arranged by Bob Porter and the Brandenburg Choral Festival of London.

      Come & sing at sea with Bob Porter!

      Bob Porter’s experience as a choir master, conductor and artistic director is back by popular demand. The voyage will include daily singing workshops and a final performance at the end of the voyage, arranged by Bob Porter and the Brandenburg Choral Festival of London.

      After studying at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Bob worked as a musician and teacher, returning to Guildhall to teach and becoming Head of Wind and Percussion in 1985 - a position he still holds today. In the early 1980s, Bob founded the Brandenburg Sinfonia, the first of a group of orchestras under his artistic direction and later in 2010, the Brandenburg Choral Festival of London.

      Starting with six concerts at St Martins-in-the-Fields, it has now grown to around 120 events annually making it the largest and most significant Choral Festival in the country.

      This year the Festival boasted more than 70 choirs in 67 concerts, covering the standard masterpieces of the choral repertoire along with jazz, barbershop and gospel, also making it one of the most varied and inclusive Choral Festivals!

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    • Christopher Walton

      Author and Journalist

      Cruises:

      Mediterranean Odyssey - 2018-08-29 Grand Voyage to Spain, the Rivieras & Adriatic - 2018-08-29 Reunion Cruise - Mediterranean Odyssey - 2018-08-29 Reunion Cruise - Grand Voyage to Spain, the Rivieras & Adriatic - 2018-08-29 Islands of the Indian Ocean & South Africa - 2019-02-10 Grand Asia, Indian Ocean & South Africa - 2019-01-22 Grand Asia & Southern Africa - 2019-01-22 Grand Indian Ocean & Southern Africa - 2019-02-10 The Grand Odyssey - 2018-12-05 Islands of the Indian Ocean & South Africa - Reunion Cruise - 2019-02-10 The Grand Odyssey Reunion Cruise - 2018-12-05 Grand Asia, Indian Ocean & South Africa - Reunion Cruise - 2019-01-22
      Chris has lived and worked in Cape Town and London, with stints in New York, Hong Kong, Europe and Australia. He worked as a journalist in Cape Town during the apartheid era before a moving to one of the world’s largest publishing companies in 1981, becoming South African Editor-in-Chief three years later. In 1997 he transferred with the company to London as International Editor General Books, responsible for editorial content worldwide.

      Chris has lived and worked in Cape Town and London, with stints in New York, Hong Kong, Europe and Australia. He worked as a journalist in Cape Town during the apartheid era before a moving to one of the world’s largest publishing companies in 1981, becoming South African Editor-in-Chief three years later. In 1997 he transferred with the company to London as International Editor General Books, responsible for editorial content worldwide.

      He has travelled to more than 140 countries, edited and published books on subjects as diverse as travel, law, medicine, history and cookery. He helped open new markets for books in Eastern Europe, and spearheaded the drive into teaching English as a foreign language.

      Since his retirement, he has been a lecturer on board cruise ships, specialising in Italian and South African history, food and culture. To date he has given over 160 lectures on 80 different subjects and destinations - from South America and the Caribbean to the Mediterranean, Middle and Far East.

      Chris’s very close knowledge of the Mediterranean area stems from his marriage in 1986 to his Italian-born wife, Daniela, and is fluent in Italian. He spends part of every year in Italy.

      When not working, Chris is passionate about photography and music - and collects hand-made acoustic guitars. 

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    • Clare Coventry

      Craft Tutor

      Cruises:

      Passage to Ancient Egypt & India - 2018-12-05 The Golden Triangle to the Strait of Malacca - 2019-01-01 South Africa, Namibia & the Skeleton Coast - 2019-03-12 Grand Empires & Ancient Civilizations - 2018-12-05 Grand Asia & Southern Africa - 2019-01-22 Grand Indian Ocean & Southern Africa - 2019-02-10 The Grand Odyssey - 2018-12-05 Islands of the Indian Ocean & South Africa - Reunion Cruise - 2019-02-10 The Grand Odyssey Reunion Cruise - 2018-12-05 Grand Asia, Indian Ocean & South Africa - Reunion Cruise - 2019-01-22 Grand Indian Ocean & Southern Africa Reunion Cruise - 2019-02-10
      Clare was born and brought up in the small and historic town of Youghal, in Co. Cork, in Southern Ireland. She was educated at the Presentation of the Sacred Heart Convent, in Youghal. a traditional Catholic school for young ladies. Whilst receiving the full curriculum of subjects, including Gaelic, Clare’s heartfelt interests lay in other directions.

      Clare was born and brought up in the small and historic town of Youghal, in Co. Cork, in Southern Ireland. She was educated at the Presentation of the Sacred Heart Convent, in Youghal. a traditional Catholic school for young ladies. Whilst receiving the full curriculum of subjects, including Gaelic, Clare’s heartfelt interests lay in other directions.

      Her mother was a classically-trained pianist, and her father a fine tenor. Clare and her siblings were all musically inclined from a young age, and Clare formed herself and her three younger siblings (two sisters and a brother) into a harmony ensemble, with their ages ranging from sixteen to just eleven.

      In 1967, they won a grand concours held in Cork City Opera House, and were brought over to the UK on a tour, from which they never returned to Ireland.

      They settled in the United Kingdom, married and had families. Clare and her sisters resurrected their musical career in the 1980’s, culminating in national TV appearances and selection for the Golden Rose of Montreux international awards festival, in Switzerland.

      Clare went on to become a very successful BBC radio presenter, working for BBC Radio Lancashire, and BBC Radio Merseyside, two of Britain’s largest local radio networks. She had her own magazine-type show, interviewing right across the board, from authors to explorers, and from politicians to pop stars.

      As well as musical ability, Clare also inherited from her mother a lifelong love of crafting.

      “With six children to look after, my mother saw it as a necessity rather than a hobby,” reflects Clare. “I’ve just taken what I learnt and absorbed from her, and turned it to another use...teaching”.</p>

      Clare has spent a lifetime singing and crafting. In 2008, she gained her ‘Fascinator of Excellence’ qualification, and since then has appeared on ‘Crafty Beggars’, a TV show sponsored by Hobbycraft.’

      Clare has been singing and teaching her crafts aboard cruise ships for the past seventeen years. Her craft workshops are informative, effective, and great fun.With a unique blend of skill, patience, and humour, she brings to life the adage, “People learn best when they’re enjoying themselves”.

      Please note Clare will not be lecturing.

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    • Dr Campbell Price

      Curator of Egypt and Sudan at The Manchester Museum

      Cruises:

      Passage to Ancient Egypt & India - 2018-12-05 Grand Empires & Ancient Civilizations - 2018-12-05 The Grand Odyssey - 2018-12-05
      Campbell Price is Curator of Egypt and Sudan at The Manchester Museum, one of the UK’s largest Egyptology collections. He first became interested in ancient Egypt when he visited Kelvingrove Museum in his native Glasgow as a child.

      Campbell Price is Curator of Egypt and Sudan at The Manchester Museum, one of the UK’s largest Egyptology collections. He first became interested in ancient Egypt when he visited Kelvingrove Museum in his native Glasgow as a child.

      He completed a BA, MA, and PhD in Egyptology at the University of Liverpool, where he is now an Honorary Research Fellow. Campbell has undertaken fieldwork in Egypt at the sites of Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham, Saqqara, and the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. He has published on ancient Egyptian material culture, most recently a co-edited volume Mummies, Magic and Medicine in Ancient Egypt (Manchester University Press, 2016) and Pocket Museum: Ancient Egypt (Thames and Hudson, 2018). Campbell has lectured widely throughout the UK, and internationally.

      He is a regular contributor to Egyptological documentaries on TV and radio

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    • Dr Carrie Gibson

      PhD from University of Cambridge

      Cruises:

      European Connoisseur - 2018-06-08 Grand Rome, Iberia & Western Europe - 2018-05-27 Grand Voyage to Iberia, France, England & Norway - 2018-06-08 South Africa, Namibia & the Skeleton Coast - 2019-03-12 Grand Asia & Southern Africa - 2019-01-22 Grand Indian Ocean & Southern Africa - 2019-02-10 The Grand Odyssey - 2018-12-05 The Grand Odyssey Reunion Cruise - 2018-12-05 Grand Indian Ocean & Southern Africa Reunion Cruise - 2019-02-10 CRUISE ONLY Offer: Seville to London - 2018-06-11
      Carrie Gibson received her PhD from Cambridge in 2011, and has spent much of the past decade researching the workings of the Spanish empire, clocking up countless hours in the imperial archives in Seville (her favourite place to research!), and travelling extensively through Spain and Portugal to trace this part of the Iberian past. Although her first book, Empire’s Crossroads: A History of the Caribbean from Columbus to the Present Day (2014),concerns connections across the Atlantic, she remains drawn to the roots of the Spanish empire, returning time and again to Spain.

      Carrie Gibson received her PhD from Cambridge in 2011, and has spent much of the past decade researching the workings of the Spanish empire, clocking up countless hours in the imperial archives in Seville (her favourite place to research!), and travelling extensively through Spain and Portugal to trace this part of the Iberian past. Although her first book, Empire’s Crossroads: A History of the Caribbean from Columbus to the Present Day (2014),concerns connections across the Atlantic, she remains drawn to the roots of the Spanish empire, returning time and again to Spain.

      Before embarking on a career as a historian, Carrie was a journalist for the Guardian and Observer. She continues to contribute to media outlets, and has most recently worked with BBC Radio 4 and Vox media in the US. Her next book, El Norte: The Forgotten Hispanic Past of the United States is due out in 2018, and continues her work on Spain’s global links, this time examining the relationship between Spain and North America, starting in the fifteenth century, and running up to today.

      In winter 2018/19, she will be lecturing on trade and slavery along the West Coast of Africa, especially in Angola, and she also will be discussing the importance of the Cape Verde Islands to the Portuguese empire and the Canaries to Spain during the era of European imperial expansion.

      For more on her work, see carriegibson.co.uk

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    • Dr Christopher Whitton

      Emmanuel College, Cambridge

      Cruises:

      Grand Aegean Experience, Dalmatia & Venice - 2018-04-27 The Aegean Experience I - 2018-04-25 Ancient Greece & Dalmatian Coast - 2018-05-05 CRUISE ONLY Offer: Athens to Venice - 2018-05-08
      Christopher Whitton is a Senior Lecturer in Classics at the University of Cambridge. He was educated in his home town of Lancaster, as a scholar at Eton College, and as an undergraduate and graduate student at St John’s College, Cambridge.

      Christopher Whitton is a Senior Lecturer in Classics at the University of Cambridge. He was educated in his home town of Lancaster, as a scholar at Eton College, and as an undergraduate and graduate student at St John’s College, Cambridge. On receiving his doctorate in 2007 he was appointed to a tenured Faculty position at Cambridge, where he teaches Greek and Latin language and literature; he is also Fellow and Director of Studies in Classics at Emmanuel College. Away from Cambridge, he has been affiliated with Harvard University as a John F. Kennedy Memorial Fellow, with Basel University as a guest lecturer, and with the Free University Berlin and Rostock University as an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow. He has published books with Cambridge and Oxford University Presses and writes regularly for the Times Literary Supplement.

      Christopher’s research focuses on the literature, history and culture of the Roman Empire, but his interests and expertise extend across the ancient Mediterranean world. A regular visitor to both Greece and the Italian peninsula, he began lecturing on cruises in 2014 and has accompanied groups around the Aegean, the classical sites of Turkey, and the Black Sea.

      Outside his work (and pleasure) in Classics, Christopher is a professional church musician. As an undergraduate he was Organ Student of St John’s College, Cambridge, where he played for the  prize-winning Naxos recordings of works by Finzi, Leighton, Stanford and Walton. Having held positions at Winchester College, Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, the Church of the Advent in Boston and St Bartholomew the Great in London, he now serves as Director of Music at Emmanuel College, Cambridge.

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    • Dr David Crilly

      Theatre Director, Conductor & Composer

      Cruises:

      Passage to Ancient Egypt & India - 2018-12-05 Grand Empires & Ancient Civilizations - 2018-12-05 The Grand Odyssey - 2018-12-05 The Grand Odyssey Reunion Cruise - 2018-12-05
      Dr David Crilly graduated from the Universities of Southampton and London, first in Music and then with a Masters in Drama and Theatre Studies before completing his doctorate in the philosophy of art at Magdalen College, Oxford.

      Dr David Crilly graduated from the Universities of Southampton and London, first in Music and then with a Masters in Drama and Theatre Studies before completing his doctorate in the philosophy of art at Magdalen College, Oxford.

      For the past thirty years he has been Artistic Director of the Cambridge Shakespeare Festival - an open-air festival presented annually in the gardens of the Cambridge University colleges. He is a conductor, composer and author and has given lectures all over the world, including universities as far flung as Buenos Aires, Tokyo, Montego Bay, Vienna, Chicago and Oxford.

      He recently retired from academia having lectured in Cambridge for twenty years before taking on the role of Director of Creative and Performing Arts in Liverpool. He is also an arts practitioner and for eighteen years was Director-in-Residence for Anglia Opera, conducting and producing such classics as La bohème, Carmen, Peter Grimes, La Traviata and The Turn of the Screw.

      For Voyages to Antiquity he has given talks on the music and cultures of India, Oman, Jordan, South Africa and Namibia – and this time will use his knowledge of Shakespeare's play as the basis of an exploration of the real Antony and Cleopatra. The talks will be supported by numerous recorded/video examples (and the occasional live demonstration), and Dr Crilly will place the music and characters within a cultural, political and historical framework in order to reveal how the region’s character is reflected in its art.

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    • Dr David Price-Williams

      University of London

      Cruises:

      Renaissance Italy & Historic Islands - 2018-05-27 The Aegean Experience & Cairo - 2018-10-17 Grand Voyage to Italy, the Adriatic & Spain - 2018-05-17 Grand Rome, Iberia & Western Europe - 2018-05-27 Grand Aegean & Egyptian Experience - 2018-10-09 Grand Voyage through the Aegean & Middle Sea - 2018-10-17 Passage to Ancient Egypt & India - 2018-12-05 Grand Empires & Ancient Civilizations - 2018-12-05 The Grand Odyssey - 2018-12-05 The Grand Odyssey Reunion Cruise - 2018-12-05 CRUISE ONLY Offer: Rome to Seville - 2018-05-30
      David Price-Williams has a first degree from the University of Wales in Ancient Near Eastern languages (Aramaic, Hebrew, Arabic etc.), with a subsidiary in Attic and Koine Greek. His post-graduate work and his doctorate, from the University of London, is in Near Eastern archaeology. His first overseas archaeological field work in the eastern Mediterranean was in 1969 as a field surveyor at the classical site of Knidos in Turkey. He then worked for the Smithsonian Institution as an archaeological field surveyor on excavations in the Near East before directing his own field research in the same area through the early 1970’s.

      David Price-Williams has a first degree from the University of Wales in Ancient Near Eastern languages (Aramaic, Hebrew, Arabic etc.), with a subsidiary in Attic and Koine Greek. His post-graduate work and his doctorate, from the University of London, is in Near Eastern archaeology. His first overseas archaeological field work in the eastern Mediterranean was in 1969 as a field surveyor at the classical site of Knidos in Turkey. He then worked for the Smithsonian Institution as an archaeological field surveyor on excavations in the Near East before directing his own field research in the same area through the early 1970’s.

      David has spent many years working in the countries of Africa south of the Zambesi. From 1976 to 1989 he was the director of a multi-disciplinary team of up to twenty scientists from several universities researching the effects of climatic change on human evolution in Africa. He was based in Swaziland, during which time he also oversaw the building of the Swaziland National Museum and where he eventually became Director of Antiquities. 

      David has been associated with the eastern Mediterranean – Greece, Turkey, Jordan and the Near East for more than 40 years. He is deeply involved with all aspects of Near Eastern culture, history and archaeology. 

      David has just retired after thirty seven years lecturing on the Archaeology of Western Asia (Eastern Mediterranean) at the Institute of Archaeology for the University of London Extra Mural Department. He is the author and co-author of numerous academic papers on the area. David has designed and lectured on many tours to Greece, Turkey and the Near East and is very familiar with the archaeological sites in the area. David is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, an elected member of the Royal Society for Asian Affairs, and a life member of the Southern African Quaternary Research Association. He speaks Turkish and reads Classical Greek

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    • Dr Gillian Shepherd

      La Trobe University, Victoria, Australia

      Cruises:

      Mediterranean Odyssey - 2018-08-29 Grand Voyage to Spain, the Rivieras & Adriatic - 2018-08-29 Reunion Cruise - Mediterranean Odyssey - 2018-08-29 Reunion Cruise - Grand Voyage to Spain, the Rivieras & Adriatic - 2018-08-29

      Gillian studied Classics and Fine Arts at the University of Melbourne before going on to complete a PhD in Classical Archaeology at Trinity College, Cambridge, followed by a research fellowship at St Hugh's College, Oxford. Until her recent return to Australia to take up her position at La Trobe University, Gillian was Lecturer in Classical Archaeology at the University of Birmingham.

      Gillian is currently Director of The Trendall Research Centre for Ancient Mediterranean Studies at La Trobe, and her research interests are the ancient Greek colonisation of Sicily and Italy, archaeology and art of Greece and Magna Graecia and burial customs, the subject of a book she's currently completing. She is also series editor of the IAA Interdisciplinary Series and co-edited its first volume on children in the past, Children, Childhood and Society. Gillian is also Curator of the IAA Museum, a Research Associate of the Beazley Archive, University of Oxford, and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries.

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    • Dr John Hughes

      Judge for the Royal horticultural Society

      Cruises:

      European Connoisseur - 2018-06-08 The British Isles - 2018-07-19 Grand Rome, Iberia & Western Europe - 2018-05-27 Grand Voyage to Iberia, France, England & Norway - 2018-06-08 Grand Circumnavigation of Britain and Iceland - 2018-07-04 Grand Britain, Iceland & Northern Waters - 2018-07-19 CRUISE ONLY Offer: Seville to London - 2018-06-11
      From his earliest days John Hughes has always grown plants with his main passion being cacti and other succulent plants. Unable to do Botany at ‘A’ level, as only Zoology was offered, he went on to study Industrial Chemistry at University and stay on for his PhD.

      From his earliest days John Hughes has always grown plants with his main passion being cacti and other succulent plants. Unable to do Botany at ‘A’ level, as only Zoology was offered, he went on to study Industrial Chemistry at University and stay on for his PhD. He then embarked on a career as a Forensic Scientist which included a secondment to work in Peru where he fell in love with all things Latin and with South America in particular. He has spent over three years of his life there, often back-packing and looking to learn about all manner of plants from alpines to tropical plants. He has also been a long term member of a field club where members study the British flora and fauna in the countryside.

      Having looked after his parents garden from his early teens, the products of his labour led him to become an active amateur showman and later Horticultural judge. He loves to share his passion for plants and has been a frequent speaker to Horticultural Societies, Cactus Societies and Alpine Garden Society Groups and is Chairman of the London Group of the Alpine Garden Society.  He has been a member of the Royal Horticultural Societies’ Tender Ornamental Plant Committee for over ten years and a judge at all the major RHS shows such as Chelsea and Hampton Court for much of this time. In his talks he hopes to introduce you some of the beautiful plants that we are going to see and talk about his experiences as a judge for the Royal horticultural Society.

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    • Dr Lara Hogg

      University of Sheffield

      Cruises:

      Iceland, Faroes & Shetlands - 2018-07-04 Grand Circumnavigation of Britain and Iceland - 2018-07-04
      Lara is a Teaching Associate at the University of Sheffield and an Honorary Research Associate at Cardiff University. She is an expert in the Early Medieval (Viking Age) Archaeology of the North Atlantic, with a special focus on domestic animals. Prior to completing her AHRC funded PhD at Cardiff University, she studied Medieval Archaeology at the University of Nottingham.

      Lara is a Teaching Associate at the University of Sheffield and an Honorary Research Associate at Cardiff University. She is an expert in the Early Medieval (Viking Age) Archaeology of the North Atlantic, with a special focus on domestic animals. Prior to completing her AHRC funded PhD at Cardiff University, she studied Medieval Archaeology at the University of Nottingham. After a brief fling with archaeology in warmer climes (and finding a scorpion in her trench!), she decided to focus on excavations in northern Europe where overfriendly dogs are the major hazard. She has lectured and taught archaeology at the universities of Sheffield, Cardiff, Nottingham and Iceland. She has also been a Visiting Scholar at the University of Iceland and the National Museum of the Faroe Islands.

      Heritage, museums and public engagement are other areas of interest for Lara. In 2017 an exhibition based on her PhD research opened at the Reykjavik City Museum. She has co-produced a travelling exhibition on the Vikings in Orkney, and enjoys guiding groups around museums in Iceland. In the name engagement and research she has even found herself falling down a mountain whilst chasing a sheep during the réttir (the annual Icelandic sheep round-up). Bumps and bruises aside, she enjoys encouraging others to engage with her research on animals in the Viking Age through public talks.

      Lara’s interest in the Early Medieval North Atlantic started when, as an undergraduate student, she accidentally found herself excavating a Viking Age farm site in Iceland in the shadow of the most active volcano in Iceland, Hekla. After a summer spent knee-deep in mud, feasting on Icelandic specialities, especially skyr and kleinur, and hoping to witness her first ever volcanic eruption she was hooked. Lara kept returning and in autumn 2012 I moved to Iceland to continue her PhD research. Having successfully avoided sheep’s head and rotten shark, she has yet to find a reason to leave and continues to split her time between Iceland and the UK.

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    • Dr Michael Squire

      King’s College London

      Cruises:

      Grand Aegean Experience, Dalmatia & Venice - 2018-04-27 The Aegean Experience I - 2018-04-25 Ancient Greece & Dalmatian Coast - 2018-05-05 CRUISE ONLY Offer: Athens to Venice - 2018-05-08
      Michael Squire is Reader in Classical Art and Archaeology at King’s College London. After receiving a starred first in Classics and a Master’s degree in Classical Archaeology (both at Trinity College, Cambridge), he received his PhD in 2007, with the Hellenic Society prize for best dissertation. Michael has held research fellowships and visiting professorships at Cambridge, Cologne, Munich and Stanford; he also held a Frank Knox Memorial Fellowship at Harvard University, and has worked at several Berlin institutes – including the Humboldt University, the Wissenschaftskolleg and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science.

      Michael Squire is Reader in Classical Art and Archaeology at King’s College London. After receiving a starred first in Classics and a Master’s degree in Classical Archaeology (both at Trinity College, Cambridge), he received his PhD in 2007, with the Hellenic Society prize for best dissertation. Michael has held research fellowships and visiting professorships at Cambridge, Cologne, Munich and Stanford; he also held a Frank Knox Memorial Fellowship at Harvard University, and has worked at several Berlin institutes – including the Humboldt University, the Wissenschaftskolleg and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science.

      Michael’s publications straddle the fields of Classics, archaeology, art history and aesthetics. His first book, Panorama of the Classical World (2004, with Nigel Spivey), has been translated into six languages, and as a doctoral student he co-wrote a guidebook to Rome. Since then he has written around a hundred articles and three further books (including The Art of the Body: Antiquity and its Legacy, 2011); he has also edited eight volumes, on topics including ancient ideas of ‘art’, picture-poetry, Greek and Roman picture-frames, the German Enlightenment and Hegelian philosophy. His work was recognised in 2012 with the award of a prestigious Philip Leverhulme Prize.

      Michael has always combined his research with an active programme of cultural engagement and education. He is an accredited NADFAS lecturer and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy; he has also featured on programmes for BBC Radio 4, BBC television, the BBC World Service and ABC in Australia. Over the last ten years, he has regularly accompanied tours around Italy, the Baltic, Greece, Turkey and the Black Sea, and in spring 2018 he will be curating a London exhibition on Modern Classicisms: Contemporary and Classical Art in Dialogue

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    • Dr Paul Roberts

      Keeper of Antiquities at Ashmolean Museum,
      Accredited Lecturer of The Art Societ

      Cruises:

      Classical Italy & the Adriatic - 2018-05-17 Grand Voyage to Italy, the Adriatic & Spain - 2018-05-17 CRUISE ONLY Offer: Venice to Rome - 2018-05-18
      Dr Paul Roberts a Accredited Lecturer of The Art Society, is the newly appointed Sackler Keeper of Antiquities at the Ashmolean Museum. He was previously Senior Roman Curator in the Department of Greece and Rome at the British Museum.

      Dr Paul Roberts a Accredited Lecturer of The Art Society, is the newly appointed Sackler Keeper of Antiquities at the Ashmolean Museum. He was previously Senior Roman Curator in the Department of Greece and Rome at the British Museum. He studied at the Universities of Cambridge, Sheffield and Oxford and lived in Italy for several years. He has excavated in Britain, Greece, Libya, Turkey and in particular Italy. His research focuses on the day-to-day lives of ordinary people in the Greek and Roman worlds.

      He was the driving force behind the major exhibition "Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum", with its unparalleled glimpse into daily life in the Roman Empire. In June 2016, Dr Roberts worked on an exhibition, Storms, War and Shipwrecks: Sicily and the Sea -the history of Sicily through shipwreck finds at the Ashmolean.

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    • Dr Peter Cattermole

      Planetary Geologist/Volcanologist

      Cruises:

      The Golden Triangle to the Strait of Malacca - 2019-01-01 Grand Empires & Ancient Civilizations - 2018-12-05 The Grand Odyssey - 2018-12-05
      Peter was born in Sussex, and by seven was showing a keen interest in climbing rocks and playing the piano. The former led eventually to his becoming a geologist, the latter left him with a lifelong interest in music.

      Peter was born in Sussex, and by seven was showing a keen interest in climbing rocks and playing the piano. The former led eventually to his becoming a geologist, the latter left him with a lifelong interest in music. While in his teens he was fortunate to meet Sir Patrick Moore, the eccentric TV astronomer, with whom he shared a close friendship until Patrick’s death in 2012. His enthusiasm led to Peter developing a keen interest in observational astronomy, particularly of the Moon and Planets. A certain ineptness at maths prevented pursuit of an astronomy career, so Patrick encouraged him to study and apply for a degree course in geology which he duly did, graduating from the University of Wales, gaining a higher degree and becoming a lecturer in both the Universities of Wales and Sheffield. He specialised in planetary geology, remote sensing and hard rock petrology.

      Prior to entering academia, he had been a draftsman, a forester, a rock climbing instructor and museum curator. In between university appointments has also spent a short period teaching at Gordonstoun School – an odd but interesting experience! For several years he was a Principal Investigator with NASA’s Planetary Geology and Geophysics Program, specialising in the study of the volcanoes of Mars and Venus. During this period he was based at Arizona State University. He also appeared regularly on BBC TV’s regular astronomy programme “Sky at Night”. In 1995 he delivered the 87th Kelvin Lecture to the Royal Society of Electrical Engineers.

      Peter has written more than 20 books, several in collaboration with Patrick Moore, as well as a plethora of academic papers. Taking early retirement in the late 1990s during a period of university “rationalisation”, he struck out on his own, leading specialist trips around the world, predominantly to volcanic areas, but also to view total solar eclipses. This took him to India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Africa, the USA, Mexico, Southeast Asia, as well as Australia, Siberia and Europe. In the late 1980s he began lecturing on cruise ships, and has since enjoyed working for several different lines on many different oceans, endeavouring to enthuse people about the workings of the wonderful planet on which we live.

      He has continued to play the piano, enjoy cooking and walking in the hills. Until recently he and his wife owned a rustic finca on the island of La Gomera, where they enjoyed good food, cheap wine, fantastic walking and views of the heavens almost unsurpassed. Their latest property acquisition is in rural Andalucia. He is hoping that Aegean Odyssey’s journey to India and Southeast Asia, is as wonderful as his previous trips.

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    • Dr Pieter Van Der Merwe MBE

      General Editor at the National Maritime Museum

      Cruises:

      Renaissance Italy & Historic Islands - 2018-05-27 Grand Voyage to Italy, the Adriatic & Spain - 2018-05-17 Grand Rome, Iberia & Western Europe - 2018-05-27 CRUISE ONLY Offer: Rome to Seville - 2018-05-30
      Dr Pieter Van Der Merwe was on the full-time staff of the National Maritime Museum, Royal Museums Greenwich, from 1974 to 2015 and is still its  General Editor (part-time) and one of its Curators Emeritus.

      Dr Pieter Van Der Merwe was on the full-time staff of the National Maritime Museum, Royal Museums Greenwich, from 1974 to 2015 and is still its  General Editor (part-time) and one of its Curators Emeritus.

      He has overseen the Museum’s printed output for over twenty years, edited and contributed to many of its publications during that period, and written and lectured on various aspects of maritime history, mainly from 1500 to 1914, including medieval shipbuilding, marine painting, naval subjects, the history of exploration and that of Greenwich itself. Though originally a theatre specialist, with a continuing interest in the history of stage scene-painting, his other experience includes work as a sailing instructor, archaeological diver and tour guide, mainly in the Mediterranean.

      He is a Vice-President of the Society for Nautical Research and on the editorial board of its journal The Mariner’s Mirror, Vice-Chairman of the Turner Society and a committee member and former Chairman of the Society for Theatre Research. He was appointed MBE in 2012 for services to heritage and the community in Greenwich, and  Representative Deputy Lieutenant for Royal Greenwich in 2013.

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    • Dr Roderick Dale

      PhD University of Nottingham

      Cruises:

      The Norwegian Fjords - 2018-06-20 Grand Voyage to Iberia, France, England & Norway - 2018-06-08 Grand Voyage to Norway, Iceland & Atlantic Islands - 2018-06-20
      Roderick Dale is Cultural Engagement Fellow with the Centre for the Study of the Viking Age at the University of Nottingham. He is curating the exhibition Danelaw Saga: Bringing Vikings back to the East Midlands and managing the Centre’s public engagement programme. Prior to this, he worked at University College Cork on The World-Tree Project, a community collection initiative that produced a digital multimedia archive of resources for the teaching and study of the Vikings.

      Roderick Dale is Cultural Engagement Fellow with the Centre for the Study of the Viking Age at the University of Nottingham. He is curating the exhibition Danelaw Saga: Bringing Vikings back to the East Midlands and managing the Centre’s public engagement programme. Prior to this, he worked at University College Cork on The World-Tree Project, a community collection initiative that produced a digital multimedia archive of resources for the teaching and study of the Vikings. Roderick earned his PhD on Viking berserks at the University of Nottingham, where he also taught Old English and Old Norse. Before returning to the academy, Roderick worked as an archaeologist throughout Britain. He has appeared on television in Time Team and Ancient Black Ops: Berserkers and has given many radio interviews about the Vikings. He is the author, with Dr Marjolein Stern, of Vikings: Raids. Culture. Legacy.

      Roderick is an expert in Viking-Age warfare, Old Norse language, literature and culture, and reception studies. His primary areas of research are Old Norse literature, medieval and Viking Age Nordic culture, and popular culture depictions of Vikings. He is heavily engaged in communicating academic research about the Vikings to the public, both through public lectures, and by advising authors about Vikings for their books, most recently the English language translation of Makoto Yukimura’s Vinland Saga manga.

      Roderick’s interest in the Viking Age stems from an early age when his grandmother told him stories about the Vikings, and was cemented by his time living and studying in Norway. This enthusiasm remains unabated, and he will happily talk Vikings with anyone willing to listen.

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    • Dr Thomas Mannack

      The Classical Art Research Centre, University of Oxford

      Cruises:

      Dalmatia & Ancient Greece - 2018-09-24 Grand Voyage to Dalmatia & Classical Greece - 2018-09-24
      Dr. Thomas Mannack is Reader in Classical Iconography at the University of Oxford where he teaches Greek and Roman Art and Architecture, and has taught Greek Art at King's College, London. He is an internationally known expert on Greek figure-decorated pottery and studied Classical Archaeology, Ancient History and European Archaeology in Kiel, Heidelberg and Oxford. He gained a first class doctorate at Kiel University. Dr Mannack has published books and papers in English and German on Greek pottery, Greek sculpture, and the reception of ancient art.

      Dr. Thomas Mannack is Reader in Classical Iconography at the University of Oxford where he teaches Greek and Roman Art and Architecture, and has taught Greek Art at King's College, London. He is an internationally known expert on Greek figure-decorated pottery and studied Classical Archaeology, Ancient History and European Archaeology in Kiel, Heidelberg and Oxford. He gained a first class doctorate at Kiel University. Dr Mannack has published books and papers in English and German on Greek pottery, Greek sculpture, and the reception of ancient art.

      He has been invited to present papers by many universities and academies including New York, Berlin, Tours, Brussels, Munich, Copenhagen, Vienna, Basel and Zurich. 

      In his spare time, Dr. Mannack is passionate about flat German tin figures, which his wife Sigrid hates, and on which he has published two scholarly article, just to irk her. His daughters, Lilith and Fidelis, have rejected the refined and beautiful field of Classical Archaeology in favour of “Science”, but are occasionally willing to accompany him on cruises (and paint toy figures better than him).

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    • Dr Tom Birkett

      University College Cork

      Cruises:

      Grand Britain, Iceland & Northern Waters - 2018-07-19 Iceland, Faroes & Shetlands - 2018-08-02
      Dr Tom Birkett is a lecturer in Old English and Old Norse, and an expert on the mythology and literary culture of medieval Scandinavia. He has a PhD from Oxford, where he taught for several years before moving to Ireland and taking up a lectureship at University College Cork.

      Dr Tom Birkett is a lecturer in Old English and Old Norse, and an expert on the mythology and literary culture of medieval Scandinavia. He has a PhD from Oxford, where he taught for several years before moving to Ireland and taking up a lectureship at University College Cork. Tom developed his interest in the Viking Age whilst living and studying in Norway, and spent part of his doctorate researching in Iceland, where he returns at every opportunity. He has published widely on medieval literature and culture, on subjects ranging from the runic tradition in England to Norse mythology and its influence on writers such as J.R.R Tolkien, and he contributes regular features on the Vikings and Anglo-Saxons in the national press, including for the Irish Times and the TLS.

      In addition to his primary research, Tom has also led high-profile community-engagement projects investigating the impact of Norse culture in his local area and internationally, as well as collaborating with poets on the translation of medieval poetry for his latest book, and he is a firm believer in taking the subject outside the University. He has produced a travelling exhibition on the Vikings in Orkney, edited a booklet on the Vikings in Munster published by the University of Nottingham, and spent the last year running a funded project collecting materials from across Europe to create a major new educational resource on the Vikings. He regularly works with local schools, heritage organisations and museums, and he always encourages approaches to the Vikings that engage the public in interpreting the Viking past, even joining the Danish crew of a reconstructed longship for expeditions around Scandinavia.

      Tom started lecturing on cruises in 2014, and has taken groups to Viking sites in Norway, the Scottish Isles and Iceland. 

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    • Dr. Joyce Salisbury

      Professor Emerita of History, University of Wisconsin

      Cruises:

      A Voyage through the Middle Sea - 2018-10-27 Grand Voyage through the Aegean & Middle Sea - 2018-10-17 Grand Middle Sea, Moorish Spain, Morocco & the Canaries - 2018-10-27
      Joyce grew up in Brazil and Mexico, then moved to the States and obtained a PhD in Medieval History from Rutgers University in New Jersey. She was endlessly curious about what shapes people’s actions, and thus focused on the history of religion and aspects of social history, like the history of sexuality.

      Joyce grew up in Brazil and Mexico, then moved to the States and obtained a PhD in Medieval History from Rutgers University in New Jersey. She was endlessly curious about what shapes people’s actions, and thus focused on the history of religion and aspects of social history, like the history of sexuality.

      Joyce was an award-winning teacher at the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay. When she retired, she could indulge her twin passions of writing books and giving lectures all over the world. Joyce is an author of more than ten books, including a best-selling western civilization textbook, "The West in the World", and other non-fiction books on history and religion, including "The Beast Within: Animals in the Middle Ages", "The Blood of Martyrs: Unintended Consequences of Ancient Violence" and the award-winning "Perpetua’s Passion: Death and Memory of a Young Roman Woman". Her latest book, “Rome’s Christian Empress: Galla Placidia Rules at the Twilight of the Empire,” (John Hopkins, 2015) tells the biography of a woman who travelled in Spain, and lost North Africa to the Vandals.

      Joyce has also appeared on Public Television several times, most recently in the series “Ancient Roads from Christ to Constantine” (2015). She is the expert on North Africa and martyrs, based on her research and travels to that continent. She is also a regular on Public Radio, and is currently writing a series of lectures for the “Great Courses,” which will appear in early 2017.

      Even with all this writing, Joyce has had plenty of time to travel, and has circumnavigated the world three times teaching on Semester at Sea’s ship, the MV Explorer. She has also lectured on many commercial cruise ships. She will bring these insights - as well as her personal experiences - to her lectures.

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    • Dr. Richard Beacham

      FRSA, Professor Emeritus, King’s College London

      Cruises:

      Italian & Adriatic Highlights - 2018-09-10 Grand Voyage to Spain, the Rivieras & Adriatic - 2018-08-29
      Richard Beacham was born and raised in Alexandria, Virginia. He attended Yale University, where he majored in History, and was awarded his B.A. He spent his Junior Year abroad at the University of Hamburg, Germany.  After graduating from Yale College, he then studied theatre history, dramatic literature, criticism and dramaturgy  at the Yale School of Drama, where he earned first his Masters and then his Doctorate of Fine Arts. While still a graduate student, he began spending his summers leading student tour groups widely throughout Europe, an activity he continues to pursue.

      Richard Beacham was born and raised in Alexandria, Virginia. He attended Yale University, where he majored in History, and was awarded his B.A. He spent his Junior Year abroad at the University of Hamburg, Germany.  After graduating from Yale College, he then studied theatre history, dramatic literature, criticism and dramaturgy  at the Yale School of Drama, where he earned first his Masters and then his Doctorate of Fine Arts. While still a graduate student, he began spending his summers leading student tour groups widely throughout Europe, an activity he continues to pursue.

      In 1974 he emigrated to the UK, where for several years he worked at an Old Masters’ art gallery in Mayfair.  In 1976 he was recruited to the University of Warwick, where he founded its highly regarded School of Theatre Studies. He remained at Warwick until 2005, when, together with the rest of a large research team he had developed there, he moved as a “Research Professor” to King’s College.  

      He has published over 70 research articles and book chapters, and is the sole author of 6 books, published by Yale, Cambridge, Harvard, and Michigan university presses, and by Routledge, and the Alexander Verlag, Berlin.  He has frequently appeared as a presenter/talking head in TV documentaries, including productions by the BBC, History, and Discovery Channels.  

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    • Ernest Rea

      Broadcaster

      Cruises:

      The Aegean Experience & Cairo - 2018-10-17 A Voyage through the Middle Sea - 2018-10-27 Grand Aegean & Egyptian Experience - 2018-10-09 Grand Voyage through the Aegean & Middle Sea - 2018-10-17 Grand Middle Sea, Moorish Spain, Morocco & the Canaries - 2018-10-27 The Golden Triangle to the Strait of Malacca - 2019-01-01 Grand Empires & Ancient Civilizations - 2018-12-05 The Grand Odyssey - 2018-12-05 The Grand Odyssey Reunion Cruise - 2018-12-05
      Ernie Rea is a celebrated broadcaster who specialises on the history of religions and the way that faith impacts on the contemporary world. His regular radio programme, Beyond Belief, was awarded the prestigious Sony Gold Award for the best Speech Programme on British Radio. He worked for the BBC for 22 years in a variety of production and editorial roles.

      Ernie Rea is a celebrated broadcaster who specialises on the history of religions and the way that faith impacts on the contemporary world. His regular radio programme, Beyond Belief, was awarded the prestigious Sony Gold Award for the best Speech Programme on British Radio. He worked for the BBC for 22 years in a variety of production and editorial roles. From 1989 -2001 he was Head of Religious Broadcasting for the BBC responsible for all their television and radio programmes nationally and locally. During this time, he spent much time in the United States, brokering co-production television deals with leading American broadcasters. He was closely involved in a variety of key national events, including the Funeral Service for Diana, Princess of Wales. He is in wide demand as a speaker at a wide variety of events, including international inter faith conferences, literary festivals, and academic symposia. 

      In 1997 he was personally awarded the Gold Medal of the International Council for Christians and Jews for his contribution to Inter Faith understanding. He has First Class Degrees in Theology and in History and Politics which helped fuel his passion for the study of world religions and the way in which they impact on the ancient and modern worlds. He was one time Visiting Lecturer at the Department of Education at Manchester University.

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    • Gaynor Vaughan-Jones

      Radio & TV Producer

      Cruises:

      The Golden Triangle to the Strait of Malacca - 2019-01-01 Grand Empires & Ancient Civilizations - 2018-12-05 The Grand Odyssey - 2018-12-05 The Grand Odyssey Reunion Cruise - 2018-12-05
      Gaynor is a freelance radio and television producer and consultant and trainer on presentation and the press and broadcast media.

      Gaynor is a freelance radio and television producer and consultant and trainer on presentation and the press and broadcast media.

      She spent 25 years working for the BBC as a Radio 4 presenter and as an award-winning producer of television and radio programmes. She was Head of BBC Radio Wales and was the first Managing Editor of BBC Radio 5, which is a national news and sports channel.

      While at the BBC Gaynor was sent to South Africa post-apartheid to train black presenters for SABC. Nowadays she works as a media consultant with Charities, and spends her spare time sailing the high seas or at home with her husband Ernie and beautiful dog, Bertie.

      Whilst on board Aegean Odyssey, Gaynor will be on board to host a book club for passengers wishing to learn more about the fascinating sites visited.  Please note Gaynor will not be lecturing.

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    • Gillian Hovell

      Archaeologist, Accredited Lecturer of The Art Society

      Cruises:

      The Aegean Experience I - 2018-09-30 Grand Voyage to Dalmatia & Classical Greece - 2018-09-24 Grand Aegean Experience I - 2018-09-30
      After graduating in Latin and Ancient History at Exeter University and a career in BBC Television, Gillian became deeply involved in archaeology. As an author, historian, archaeologist, tour guide and Accredited Lecturer of The  Art Society of considerable experience and astonishing range, the Reithian mantra of ‘educate, inform and entertain’ remains central to her work; she specialises in lively, passionate and engaging history that connects with our lives today, enabling audiences to relate to archaeology and to find depth and colour in our modern lives through the past’s continuing influence on us today. 

      After graduating in Latin and Ancient History at Exeter University and a career in BBC Television, Gillian became deeply involved in archaeology. As an author, historian, archaeologist, tour guide and Accredited Lecturer of The  Art Society of considerable experience and astonishing range, the Reithian mantra of ‘educate, inform and entertain’ remains central to her work; she specialises in lively, passionate and engaging history that connects with our lives today, enabling audiences to relate to archaeology and to find depth and colour in our modern lives through the past’s continuing influence on us today. 

      She has lectured to audiences including the national media, Classical Associations, art galleries, museums and literary festivals and her books include Visiting the Past: finding and understanding Britain’s archaeology and Roman Britain, while Latin All Around Us: Why the Romans still matter today is due out in 2014 (CUP) and she is currently working on her next book on the History of the Mediterranean. She also shares her love of ancient history by teaching Latin and Roman History to adults and by continuing to work with community archaeology projects. She embraces all media for spreading the word about archaeology and was most recently heard on Radio 4. 

      To read more about Gillian's work, visit her blog: www.muddyarchaeologist.co.uk

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    • Group Captain Mike Clegg BA(Hons) RAF (Ret’d)

      RAF Retired and The Art Society Accredited Speaker

      Cruises:

      The Aegean Experience I - 2018-09-30 Grand Voyage to Dalmatia & Classical Greece - 2018-09-24 Grand Aegean Experience I - 2018-09-30
      Group Captain Mike Clegg served for 39 years in the Royal Air Force, firstly as a professional submarine hunter, finally as a political adviser to the Commander Allied Air Forces Southern Europe on contentious issues (of which there were many) concerning Greece and Turkey.

      Group Captain Mike Clegg served for 39 years in the Royal Air Force, firstly as a professional submarine hunter, finally as a political adviser to the Commander Allied Air Forces Southern Europe on contentious issues (of which there were many) concerning Greece and Turkey.

      His interest in archaeology was stimulated by membership of an expedition to survey the Roman harbour of Sabratha in Libya (in the days before Colonel Gaddafi!). Later, while based in Malta, he was able to visit many of the famous archaeological sites in the Mediterranean, helped by the fact that his aircraft - the Shackleton – was none too reliable and various technical malfunctions led to emergency landings the length and breadth of the Med. These enforced stops, as well as scheduled exercises in Greece and Turkey, gave opportunities to visit such fascinating places as Pompeii, the Acropolis of Athens, the Palace of Knossos on Crete, Ephesus in Turkey, and Kourion in Cyprus. These experiences led to an abiding interest in the ancient world.

      Later in his career, based in Naples for the first of two tours as a NATO officer, Mike became a founder member of the International Archaeological Society and was involved in lecturing, leading tours of the major sites of southern Italy and Sicily, and excavating Roman and pre-Roman sites.

      On returning to the UK he undertook a two-year part-time archaeology course at the University of Oxford, which resulted in the award of the University’s Advanced Certificate in British Archaeology. Mike then studied with the Open University and completed several archaeology-based courses before returning to Naples where he continued his degree studies with courses on Renaissance Art (where better to study this subject than Italy?) On completion, Mike was awarded a First Class Honours Degree and a Diploma in Classical Studies.


      While still in the Royal Air Force Mike started to plan and lead ancient history tours for a company run by an ex-army colleague from National Defence College days. Since retiring from the RAF in 1998 he has continued to do this, working freelance for a number of travel companies and adding Greece and Cyprus to his list of destinations. Mike also continued his association with the RAF as an instructor on one of its volunteer squadrons tasked with teaching young cadets to fly, finally retiring in 2014 when all RAF gliders were grounded.

      He has written articles for archaeological and travel magazines as well as publishing a children’s book. He is currently completing a sequel to this and is working on one covering his experiences as a NATO officer in Italy during the Cold War.

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    • Jane Busby

      Exercise and Dance Instructor

      Cruises:

      South Africa, Namibia & the Skeleton Coast - 2019-03-12 Grand Indian Ocean & Southern Africa - 2019-02-10 Grand Indian Ocean & Southern Africa Reunion Cruise - 2019-02-10
      Jane teaches exercise and dance in and around Brighton, specialising in teaching the over 50’s, as well as choreographing fashion shows and flash mobs.

      Jane teaches exercise and dance in and around Brighton, specialising in teaching the over 50’s, as well as choreographing fashion shows and flash mobs.

      Since starting ballet at the age of 3 years, Jane has danced all her life appearing in shows as a child then becoming professional at 16. For 15 years Jane worked in theatres, TV and on cruise ships with famous groups including The Tiller Girls, Black and White Minstrels, The Danny La Rue Show, 2nd Generation and as a Lionel Blair dancer. Jane had a wonderful time appearing in Summer seasons, pantomimes, TV variety shows and travelled abroad including 6 months in Japan, 6 months in Mallorca in the dinner show at the prestigious Sporting Casino, 3 months in Portugal and a month in Malta with the Black and White Minstrels.  

      After several years travelling Jane settled to work in UK appearing in choreographed fashion shows for Selfridges, Barkers, Pronupture and Wrangler tours and with many appearances in the Liverpool Echo, Manchester Evening Post, Leicester Mercury and Brighton Argus fashion shows. Jane has appeared in TV commercials including Woolworths, Dulux, British Airways, Baileys and Great Mills DIY store.

      After marrying photographer, Larry Bray and having 2 girls, Jane turned her attentions to ‘behind the camera’ helping Larry by producing and styling his shoots.

      Over the last few years Jane has produced, styled and choreographed fashion shows and street flash mob events for clients including Marks & Spencer, Brighton City Centre and Jury’s Inn Hotel. In 2012-2014 Jane appeared as a guest fashion presenter on QVC shopping TV channel.

      Jane had the wonderful opportunity of dancing with The Second Generation again for Dame Vera Lynn’s 100 birthday tribute at the Palladium Theatre in March 2017. The wonderful Dougie Squires directed the show and reformed his famous group for ‘one night only’. The show had the honour of the Queen attending the performance.

      Jane’s fitness/dance classes have built up over the last 6 years to near capacity with 9 classes a week. She has thoroughly enjoyed teaching her classes on several cruise ships including the Minerva, Voyager and Saga Pearl 2. Jane is excited to be joining Aegean Odyssey and offering everyone the chance to have fun keeping fit and healthy, moving to popular and catchy music.

      Website  -  www.janebusbyfitness.co.uk

      Facebook  -  http://www.facebook.com/janebusbyfitness

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    • Jessie Lindon

      Craft Tutor

      Cruises:

      Islands of the Indian Ocean & South Africa - 2019-02-10 Grand Asia, Indian Ocean & South Africa - 2019-01-22 Grand Asia & Southern Africa - 2019-01-22 Grand Indian Ocean & Southern Africa - 2019-02-10 Islands of the Indian Ocean & South Africa - Reunion Cruise - 2019-02-10 Grand Asia, Indian Ocean & South Africa - Reunion Cruise - 2019-01-22 Grand Asia & Southern Africa Reunion Cruise - 2019-01-22
      Jessie is a highly experienced Craft Tutor having run creative workshops on board for the past 10 years. She is a qualified teacher, a Member of the Silk Painter’s and Embroiderer’s Guilds and a National Trust tutor and demonstrator, responsible for introducing traditional craft activities to their properties in Warwickshire, Birmingham and surrounding areas.

      Jessie is a highly experienced Craft Tutor having run creative workshops on board for the past 10 years. She is a qualified teacher, a Member of the Silk Painter’s and Embroiderer’s Guilds and a National Trust tutor and demonstrator, responsible for introducing traditional craft activities to their properties in Warwickshire, Birmingham and surrounding areas.

      Home is the small market town of Henley in Arden and she is the Creatives Organiser for their annual Arts4all Festival. When she is not preparing for the next cruise she is a regular theatre goer at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre a few miles away in Stratford upon Avon.

      Her wide crafting knowledge and enthusiasm for what she does takes her to all corners of the world and when in port you will find her scouring the shops and markets in search of new ideas and local materials.

      Jessie brings on board an amazing array of crafting materials which enable passengers to sample a wide range of crafts gaining skills in silk painting, sewing, patchworking, papercrafts, folk art decoration and embroidery to name but a few!

      She particularly loves using traditional techniques in a contemporary way and keeping these crafts fresh and alive with simple effective projects.
      Her relaxed teaching style makes creativity achievable for every ability with many ideas and techniques to experience in a friendly and enjoyable environment.

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    • John Coventry

      Travel and Special Interests lecturer

      Cruises:

      Passage to Ancient Egypt & India - 2018-12-05 The Golden Triangle to the Strait of Malacca - 2019-01-01 South Africa, Namibia & the Skeleton Coast - 2019-03-12 Grand Empires & Ancient Civilizations - 2018-12-05 Grand Asia & Southern Africa - 2019-01-22 Grand Indian Ocean & Southern Africa - 2019-02-10 The Grand Odyssey - 2018-12-05 Islands of the Indian Ocean & South Africa - Reunion Cruise - 2019-02-10 The Grand Odyssey Reunion Cruise - 2018-12-05 Grand Asia, Indian Ocean & South Africa - Reunion Cruise - 2019-01-22 Grand Indian Ocean & Southern Africa Reunion Cruise - 2019-02-10
      John studied Modern Languages at Exeter and Salford Universities, majoring in French, German, and Spanish. A lifelong thirst for travel was partially assuaged by a stint in America, at the University of Texas, in Austin, followed by a year in the pipeline construction industry, working as a translator/interpreter, in Algeria.

      John studied Modern Languages at Exeter and Salford Universities, majoring in French, German, and Spanish. A lifelong thirst for travel was partially assuaged by a stint in America, at the University of Texas, in Austin, followed by a year in the pipeline construction industry, working as a translator/interpreter, in Algeria.

      John then embarked upon a working lifetime spent in some of the strangest corners of the travel industry.

      At a time when the world was just starting to open up to leisure travel, he was in the vanguard of this revolution as a worldwide tour coordinator, accompanying groups of travellers on trips to a variety of exotic destinations and with a variety of diverse purposes.

      From wildlife photo safaris to transatlantic flights aboard Concorde, from the slopes of Macchu Picchu to the outback of Australia, from the gates of Graceland to the Iron Gates of the Danube, John’s life was a kaleidoscope of people, places, and experiences, some exciting, some disquieting, but all memorable.

      Smuggling a body across the Iron Curtain, being caught up in a revolution in South America, pinned down by sniper fire in San Francisco...these were just some of John’s experiences as he plied his trade around the globe. He went on to become general manager of one of the UK’s most prestigious independent tour operators.

      John’s first experience of ocean cruising was in 1982, around the islands of Indonesia. Since that long-ago cruise baptism, he has sailed the seven seas, as cruise manager, charterer, port lecturer, destinations presenter, and special interests speaker.

      A long time Mensa member and four time Brain of Mensa finalist, John&rsquo;s range of knowledge and interests is as intriguing as it is eclectic.

      As a cruise lecturer, John brings to bear all his experience and expertise in a series of scintillating presentations on a- as you might expect - diverse range of fascinating subject matters.

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    • Jonathan Keates

      Author and Chairman of the Venice in Peril Fund

      Cruises:

      Italian & Adriatic Highlights - 2018-09-10 Grand Voyage to Spain, the Rivieras & Adriatic - 2018-08-29
      Jonathan was born in Paris, educated at Bryanston School and Magdalen College, Oxford and taught English at the City of London School for nearly 40 years. During that time, he wrote several acclaimed biographies and travel books as well, as works of fiction, for which he has won many prizes. These include Historic London, Handel: The Man and His Music, Italian Journeys, Venice, The Stranger’s Gallery, Smile Please and Allegro Postillions.

      Jonathan was born in Paris, educated at Bryanston School and Magdalen College, Oxford and taught English at the City of London School for nearly 40 years. During that time, he wrote several acclaimed biographies and travel books as well, as works of fiction, for which he has won many prizes. These include Historic London, Handel: The Man and His Music, Italian Journeys, Venice, The Stranger’s Gallery, Smile Please and Allegro Postillions.

      He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, speaks Italian, French, Spanish, German and Portuguese, and has a passion for Venice, a city he knows intimately. On retirement, he took over the chair and works tirelessly, for The Venice in Peril Fund, which raises funds to restore and conserve works of art and architecture in Venice, and to investigate ways to protect them against future risks. Jonathan will be sharing his knowledge of Italy, and in particular Venice, with Oxford and Cambridge Alumni on board this voyage.

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    • Major General Stephen Carr-Smith

      British Army, Retired

      Cruises:

      The British Isles - 2018-07-19 Grand Circumnavigation of Britain and Iceland - 2018-07-04 Grand Britain, Iceland & Northern Waters - 2018-07-19 The Golden Triangle to the Strait of Malacca - 2019-01-01 Grand Empires & Ancient Civilizations - 2018-12-05 The Grand Odyssey - 2018-12-05 The Grand Odyssey Reunion Cruise - 2018-12-05
      Stephen Carr-Smith spent 33 years in the Army. During 1962-1982, he served 10 years in Germany at the height of the Cold War. From 1988-1995 he was serving in NATO, most of which was spent helping develop the “New NATO” after the demise of the Warsaw Pact and the USSR.

      Stephen Carr-Smith spent 33 years in the Army. During 1962-1982, he served 10 years in Germany at the height of the Cold War. From 1988-1995 he was serving in NATO, most of which was spent helping develop the “New NATO” after the demise of the Warsaw Pact and the USSR.

      His last appointment was as the Deputy Director General of the NATO Communications Agency in Brussels. On leaving the Army in 1995, he worked for a company providing security and mine clearance services in remote and hostile countries; was the Senior Military Advisor to an operational analysis company owned by British Aerospace; and was the Chairman of a company developing opportunities to marry-up Russian technology with western finance and production.

      From 1999 to 2006, he was the Ombudsman for Estate Agents, a national appointment dealing with redress and financial compensation for buyers and sellers of residential property throughout the UK. Since 2009, he has been the Chairman of Help Moving Office, an internet company run by his second son that has now expanded into America.

      He has had a number of other involvements, like being an Honorary Colonel of the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (FANY) – an all women, uniformed volunteer body that has supported the British Army for 100 years. From 1997 to 2003, he was a Colonel Commandant of the Royal Signals. From 2003 to 2013, he was the President of the Stragglers of Asia Cricket Club, with its origins in the Punjab in the 1920s – and, accompanied by his wife, he led tours to Sri Lanka in 2004 and to India in 2007.

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    • Nancy Gilchrist

      Master of Wine

      Cruises:

      The Three Rivers (Trois - Rivières de France) - 2018-08-17 Grand France, Iberia & Italy - 2018-08-17 Reunion Cruise - Grand France, Iberia & Italy - 2018-08-17 Islands of the Indian Ocean & South Africa - 2019-02-10 South Africa, Namibia & the Skeleton Coast - 2019-03-12 Grand Asia, Indian Ocean & South Africa - 2019-01-22 Grand Asia & Southern Africa - 2019-01-22 Grand Indian Ocean & Southern Africa - 2019-02-10 The Grand Odyssey - 2018-12-05 Islands of the Indian Ocean & South Africa - Reunion Cruise - 2019-02-10 The Grand Odyssey Reunion Cruise - 2018-12-05 Grand Asia, Indian Ocean & South Africa - Reunion Cruise - 2019-01-22 Grand Asia & Southern Africa Reunion Cruise - 2019-01-22 Grand Indian Ocean & Southern Africa Reunion Cruise - 2019-02-10
      Nancy developed an interest in wine at a very early age (11, but don't tell anyone!). Excellent tasting opportunities whilst at Cambridge University fuelled the passion. For several years after graduation however, wine ran in tandem with other careers including a small business in a doubledecker bus (a Bristol Routemaster), and publishing

      Nancy developed an interest in wine at a very early age (11, but don't tell anyone!). Excellent tasting opportunities whilst at Cambridge University fuelled the passion. For several years after graduation however, wine ran in tandem with other careers including a small business in a doubledecker bus (a Bristol Routemaster), and publishing.

      For over three years 'Home' was Washington DC where she  ran a wine bar close to the White House, later becoming wine columnist for The Boston Globe. On her return to England, she ran Grants of St James's School of Wine before leaving to work as a freelance wine educator and consultant soon passing the notoriously difficult Master of Wine exams in 1995 (there are only 356 in the world at the moment). She  continues to lecture throughout the UK and is a regular wine educator at Leith's School of Food & Wine. Until Christie's sold the South Kensington venue in Spring 2017, Nancy ran Christie's Wine Education courses and in past two years she has become intrigued and involved with both olive oil - becoming UK ambassador for I & P olive oil (Lazio, Italy) - and with chocolate - becoming a member of the Grand Jury for the International Chocolate Awards.

      More information can be found on her website www.mattersoftaste.co.uk

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    • Pamela Gordon

      Diplomatic Service Families Association

      Cruises:

      Beyond Burma & the Malay Peninsula - 2019-01-22 Islands of the Indian Ocean & South Africa - 2019-02-10 Grand Asia, Indian Ocean & South Africa - 2019-01-22 Grand Asia & Southern Africa - 2019-01-22 Grand Indian Ocean & Southern Africa - 2019-02-10 The Grand Odyssey - 2018-12-05 Islands of the Indian Ocean & South Africa - Reunion Cruise - 2019-02-10 The Grand Odyssey Reunion Cruise - 2018-12-05 Grand Asia, Indian Ocean & South Africa - Reunion Cruise - 2019-01-22 Grand Asia & Southern Africa Reunion Cruise - 2019-01-22 Grand Indian Ocean & Southern Africa Reunion Cruise - 2019-02-10
      Pamela and her husband Robert live in Salisbury (UK) and Narbonne (France). Pamela has been a career diplomat and a professional English language teacher throughout her working life. For the last five years, she has been head of the British Diplomatic Service Families Association, looking after the interests of the 3000+ spouses and dependents of British diplomats at home and abroad.

      Pamela and her husband Robert live in Salisbury (UK) and Narbonne (France). Pamela has been a career diplomat and a professional English language teacher throughout her working life. For the last five years, she has been head of the British Diplomatic Service Families Association, looking after the interests of the 3000+ spouses and dependents of British diplomats at home and abroad.

      Earlier in her career, she served in British missions in Havana and Brussels, before accompanying her husband to Chile. During his postings to Warsaw, Paris and Burma, Pamela taught English and invigilated EFL exams. While in Burma, she offered free classes in a Burmese monastery, which were attended by hundreds of eager students of all ages and abilities. It was during her stay in Burma that she developed her interest in Burmese textiles, especially those from the ethnic minorities.

      Rejoining the FCO in 2000, Pamela worked first on Nigeria before moving to Hanoi, where she headed the European Chamber of Commerce. After a posting to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg (2007-2010), she joined the FCO’s South Asia Department, with special responsibility for Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

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    • Peter Hore

      Naval Historian and Author

      Cruises:

      Renaissance Italy & Historic Islands - 2018-05-27 Grand Voyage to Italy, the Adriatic & Spain - 2018-05-17 Grand Rome, Iberia & Western Europe - 2018-05-27
      Peter Hore served worldwide during a full career in the Royal Navy, spent nine years in the film and TV industry, and is now a fulltime writer, editor and journalist. A freelance obituarist at the London Daily Telegraph since 2002, he has written over 1,000 obituaries on the men and women of the Royal Navy and on the Royal Marines including the SBS, the FANY, the French Resistance, yachtsmen, shipping magnates and many others.

      Peter Hore served worldwide during a full career in the Royal Navy, spent nine years in the film and TV industry, and is now a fulltime writer, editor and journalist. A freelance obituarist at the London Daily Telegraph since 2002, he has written over 1,000 obituaries on the men and women of the Royal Navy and on the Royal Marines including the SBS, the FANY, the French Resistance, yachtsmen, shipping magnates and many others.

      Peter is a busy public speaker, and writes reviews and articles for several newspapers and journals including the influential Warships International Fleet Review.

      He also writes about the history of the sailing navy, and his recent books include, the biography of a ship, and Nelson’s Band of Brothers. He is the editor of the annual Trafalgar Chronicle which is the prime source of information and the publication of choice for new research about the Georgian navy - also sometimes known as Nelson's Navy.

      He is an elected fellow of the Royal Historical Society and of the Society for Nautical Research, a chartered member of the Institute of Linguists, and a corresponding member of the Royal Swedish Society for Nautical Sciences.

      Peter has written or edited more than a dozen books on naval history, biography and strategy which can be found on amazon.co.uk at Amazon's Peter Hore page.

      For more information on Peter’s latest book, Lindell’s List, visit www.peterghore.co.uk

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    • Peter Mawby

      Wildlife lecturer, ornithologist and research ecologist

      Cruises:

      Iceland, Faroes & Shetlands - 2018-08-02 South Africa, Namibia & the Skeleton Coast - 2019-03-12 Grand Asia & Southern Africa - 2019-01-22 Grand Indian Ocean & Southern Africa - 2019-02-10 The Grand Odyssey - 2018-12-05 The Grand Odyssey Reunion Cruise - 2018-12-05
      As an ornithologist and research ecologist Peter has travelled widely and is a regular and highly successful cruise ship lecturer. Peter’s interest in the environment and ornithology in particular was encouraged during his schooldays at Sedbergh. Whilst still at school he was part of one of the first expeditions to visit South-East Iceland to study the breeding distribution of the Great Skua.

      As an ornithologist and research ecologist Peter has travelled widely and is a regular and highly successful cruise ship lecturer. Peter’s interest in the environment and ornithology in particular was encouraged during his schooldays at Sedbergh. Whilst still at school he was part of one of the first expeditions to visit South-East Iceland to study the breeding distribution of the Great Skua. Subsequently he was to organise and lead his own expeditions to the Shetland and Faeroe Islands and was awarded a grant whilst an undergraduate at Cambridge University to extend his studies to Arctic Scandinavia. Such was his skill and expertise that he received his licence and has been ringing birds for well over fifty years.

      He went on to teach, working in England (Marlborough, Shrewsbury and St John’s School, Leatherhead) and Scotland at The Edinburgh Academy culminating with his final appointment as Headmaster of Lancaster Royal Grammar School where he spent eighteen very happy and successful years. Peter is currently researching the environmental impact of changing patterns of agriculture of the birds of the Western Dales, working in conjunction with the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, the British Trust for Ornithology and the Environment Agency.

      He is now in great demand to speak to enthusiasts from the RSPB, Scottish Ornithologists Club and regional Wildlife Trusts. In common with many teenagers Peter was faced with choices and although he finally decided to follow a science route into teaching his other love is music and playing the cello. He has pursued this from his schooldays playing now with a number of orchestras in North West England.

      In recent years Peter has enjoyed sharing his enthusiasm and knowledge with passengers on a range of cruises vising places as far flung as Polynesia, the Amazon, Central America, New England, the Atlantic Islands, Iceland, , Greenland, the White Sea, Baltic and Mediterranean, SE Asia East Africa and the Indian Ocean. His talks which include top quality illustration and sound and video clips are both entertaining and informative. When not lecturing Peter welcomes the opportunity to enhance passengers’ experiences of the wildlife around them out on deck, with on-board commentaries and on tour from the ship.

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    • Prof Brian Williams

      University of Aberdeen

      Cruises:

      The Norwegian Fjords - 2018-06-20 Grand Voyage to Norway, Iceland & Atlantic Islands - 2018-06-20
      Brian is the Emeritus Professor of Geology at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland and currently holds adjunct professorial positions in the Universities of Manchester and Bristol in the UK, and Dublin in Ireland. He has also held university teaching positions in The Netherlands, Canada and the USA. He is a Fellow of the Geological Society of London and a Member of the Energy Institute, and has published over 100 papers and several books. He has made TV appearances in the UK, USA and Far East and presented Radio 4 programmes for the BBC.

      Brian is the Emeritus Professor of Geology at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland and currently holds adjunct professorial positions in the Universities of Manchester and Bristol in the UK, and Dublin in Ireland. He has also held university teaching positions in The Netherlands, Canada and the USA. He is a Fellow of the Geological Society of London and a Member of the Energy Institute, and has published over 100 papers and several books. He has made TV appearances in the UK, USA and Far East and presented Radio 4 programmes for the BBC.

      Brian gained his Ph.D. in sedimentary geology from the University of Wales far too many years ago to admit to, and in 2004 was awarded a D.Sc. degree in recognition of his global contribution to sedimentary research. He is a consultant to, and undertakes training courses for, the Oil Industry and several small geological service companies. He has lectured on Voyages to Antiquity cruises since 2011. His studies have taken him to Australia, SE Asia, Middle East, Europe and North America which has given him the opportunity to share his enthusiasm for rocks and earth processes with adult education classes, industry personnel and students alike.

      In addition to being passionate about Geology, Brian is an ardent Rugby enthusiast [he's Welsh of course !!] and a devoted follower of American Jazz.

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    • Prof Chris Stringer

      Paleoanthropologist & Research Leader in Human Origins, Natural History Museum London

      Cruises:

      Iceland, Faroes & Shetlands - 2018-07-04 Moorish Odyssey - 2018-11-09 Grand Circumnavigation of Britain and Iceland - 2018-07-04 Grand Middle Sea, Moorish Spain, Morocco & the Canaries - 2018-10-27 Islands of the Indian Ocean & South Africa - 2019-02-10 Grand Asia, Indian Ocean & South Africa - 2019-01-22 Grand Asia & Southern Africa - 2019-01-22 Grand Indian Ocean & Southern Africa - 2019-02-10 The Grand Odyssey - 2018-12-05 Islands of the Indian Ocean & South Africa - Reunion Cruise - 2019-02-10 The Grand Odyssey Reunion Cruise - 2018-12-05 Grand Asia, Indian Ocean & South Africa - Reunion Cruise - 2019-01-22
      Professor Chris Stringer has worked at The Natural History Museum London since 1973, and is now Research Leader in Human Origins and a Fellow of the Royal Society. His early research was on the relationship of Neanderthals and early modern humans in Europe, but through his work on the ‘Recent African Origin’ theory of modern human origins, he now collaborates with archaeologists, dating specialists, and geneticists in attempting to reconstruct the evolution of modern humans globally. He has excavated at sites in Britain and abroad, and he is currently co-directing the Pathways to Ancient Britain project, funded by the Calleva Foundation.

      Professor Chris Stringer has worked at The Natural History Museum London since 1973, and is now Research Leader in Human Origins and a Fellow of the Royal Society. His early research was on the relationship of Neanderthals and early modern humans in Europe, but through his work on the ‘Recent African Origin’ theory of modern human origins, he now collaborates with archaeologists, dating specialists, and geneticists in attempting to reconstruct the evolution of modern humans globally. He has excavated at sites in Britain and abroad, and he is currently co-directing the Pathways to Ancient Britain project, funded by the Calleva Foundation.


      He has published over 300 scientific papers and his recent books include The Complete World of Human Evolution (2011, with Peter Andrews)The Origin of our Species (UK 2011), published in the USA as Lone Survivors: how we came to be the only Humans on Earth (2012), and Britain: One Million Years of the Human Story (2014, with Rob Dinnis). He regularly lectures to University and public audiences, including cruises and tours for Fred Olsen, Scientific American and National Geographic.


      Chris Stringer is a regular contributor to news items on human evolution for UK TV and Radio channels, national and international newspapers and websites, and he has made many appearances on documentaries for UK and international TV channels.

      Click here to read more about Chris's work at The Natural History Museum >> http://www.nhm.ac.uk/our-science/departments-and-staff/staff-directory/chris-stringer.html

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    • Prof David J Drewry

      Environmental Scientist

      Cruises:

      A Voyage through the Middle Sea - 2018-10-27 Moorish Odyssey - 2018-11-09 Grand Britain, Iceland & Northern Waters - 2018-07-19 Grand Voyage through the Aegean & Middle Sea - 2018-10-17 Grand Middle Sea, Moorish Spain, Morocco & the Canaries - 2018-10-27 Iceland, Faroes & Shetlands - 2018-08-02
      David Drewry is Honorary Fellow at Emmanuel College, Cambridge University where he was previously Director of the Scott Polar Research Institute. David has research interests in environmental science, particularly geology, glaciology and climate change.

      David Drewry is Honorary Fellow at Emmanuel College, Cambridge University where he was previously Director of the Scott Polar Research Institute. David has research interests in environmental science, particularly geology, glaciology and climate change.

      He has published three books and more than 100 research papers (including in Nature and Science). He has led scientific expeditions to the Arctic (including Greenland, Svalbard, Franz Josef Land, Iceland and Nunavut) as well as to Antarctica. He has travelled widely in Southern Africa, South and Southeast Asia as well as South America, and Australasia. He holds a Doctorate in Geophysics from the University of Cambridge and has honorary professorships at London University, Krakow Academy, Poland and Xiamen University, China. Professor Drewry is Vice-President of the European University Association, a Board member of the Natural History Museum in London, and was Vice- Chancellor (President) of Hull University. He was previously Director-General of the British Council, Director of the British Antarctic Survey, Vice-President of the Royal Geographical Society and a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. For five years he served as President of the International Arctic Science Committee to 2002.

      David has been awarded the Patron’s Gold Medal of the Royal Geographical Society, the Prix de la Belgica Gold Medal of the Royal Academy of Belgium, the Polar Medal and the United States Antarctic Service Medal and several honorary degrees from British and overseas universities. He has a mountain and a glacier named after him in Antarctica.

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    • Prof Robin Cormack

      Courtauld Institute of Art, London

      Cruises:

      Classical Italy & the Adriatic - 2018-05-17 The Aegean Experience II - 2018-10-09 Grand Voyage to Italy, the Adriatic & Spain - 2018-05-17 Grand Aegean Experience I - 2018-09-30 Grand Aegean & Egyptian Experience - 2018-10-09 CRUISE ONLY Offer: Venice to Rome - 2018-05-18
      Robin Cormack is an art historian who works on Mediterranean art, particularly from Antiquity and Byzantium, but also from the Renaissance. He teaches in the Classics Faculty, University of Cambridge, and is giving lectures in 2014 in the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. and at the Universities of California at Los Angeles and Santa Barbara.

      Robin Cormack is an art historian who works on Mediterranean art, particularly from Antiquity and Byzantium, but also from the Renaissance. He teaches in the Classics Faculty, University of Cambridge, and is giving lectures in 2014 in the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. and at the Universities of California at Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. Robin has published books on Byzantine Art, and co-curated the recent Royal Academy exhibition, Byzantium 330-1453. 

      He has a special side-interest in British architects who worked in Khartoum and New Delhi, and since he has always made it an aim never to write or lecture about monuments and sites unless he has visited them and studied them at first hand, travel is one of the things he does most often. Fortunately his wife, Professor Mary Beard, agrees with this aim, and travels too (and not just on twitter). So do his children who are both students working in Africa, and who spend time in Cairo and South Sudan. He is currently trying to learn to play the harpsichord, but that does not travel with him.

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    • Prof Sandy Primrose MBE

      Biotechnologist

      Cruises:

      Grand Aegean Experience, Dalmatia & Venice - 2018-04-27 Ancient Greece & Dalmatian Coast - 2018-05-05 The Three Rivers (Trois - Rivières de France) - 2018-08-17 Grand France, Iberia & Italy - 2018-08-17 Reunion Cruise - Grand France, Iberia & Italy - 2018-08-17 Beyond Burma & the Malay Peninsula - 2019-01-22 Islands of the Indian Ocean & South Africa - 2019-02-10 Grand Asia, Indian Ocean & South Africa - 2019-01-22 Grand Asia & Southern Africa - 2019-01-22 Grand Indian Ocean & Southern Africa - 2019-02-10 The Grand Odyssey - 2018-12-05 Islands of the Indian Ocean & South Africa - Reunion Cruise - 2019-02-10 The Grand Odyssey Reunion Cruise - 2018-12-05 Grand Asia & Southern Africa Reunion Cruise - 2019-01-22 CRUISE ONLY Offer: Athens to Venice - 2018-05-08
      Sandy Primrose is a biologist by training and has degrees from the University of Strathclyde and the University of California. After undertaking research in Australia he returned to the UK and took up lecturing positions at the universities of Edinburgh and Warwick.

      Sandy Primrose is a biologist by training and has degrees from the University of Strathclyde and the University of California. After undertaking research in Australia he returned to the UK and took up lecturing positions at the universities of Edinburgh and Warwick.

      In 1981 he made a career change by moving to industry where he held senior management positions, first in a pharmaceutical company and later in diagnostic, food and environmental companies. After 20 years in industry he made another career change and started working as a biotechnology consultant as well as being an adviser to various UK governmental organisations (Health Protection Agency, Food Standards Agency, and Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs). He was awarded an MBE in 2010 for services to the Food Standards Agency.

      Sandy still consults widely as well as being Chairman of a number of small, high technology companies. He has written a number of very popular scientific textbooks but is particularly proud of his recent publication entitled Plants, Poisons and Personalities which is aimed at lay audiences. Sandy’s passion is gardening and the half-acre garden of his house between London and Oxford is filled with unusual trees and shrubs.

      Over the years he has shown many groups round his garden and when he does so he tells them the stories behind the plants that he grows. These stories, and his experiences in industry, form the basis of his entertaining cruise lectures that cover topics in gardening, uses of plants, plant history and plant conservation. 

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    • Professor Duncan Macmillan

      University of Edinburgh

      Cruises:

      Dalmatia & Ancient Greece - 2018-09-24 Grand Voyage to Dalmatia & Classical Greece - 2018-09-24
      Duncan Macmillan is an art historian and art critic. He is Professor Emeritus in the University of Edinburgh where, formerly, he both taught and ran the University's art gallery. He is also Art Critic of The Scotsman. He has written a number of books and a great many exhibition catalogues and and has won several prizes for his writing. His major work, Scottish Art 1460-1990, was, for instance, Scottish Book of the Year in 1991. It is now the standard text on the subject. 

      Duncan Macmillan is an art historian and art critic. He is Professor Emeritus in the University of Edinburgh where, formerly, he both taught and ran the University's art gallery. He is also Art Critic of The Scotsman. He has written a number of books and a great many exhibition catalogues and and has won several prizes for his writing. His major work, Scottish Art 1460-1990, was, for instance, Scottish Book of the Year in 1991. It is now the standard text on the subject. 

      His experience as gallery director and art critic has also meant that alongside his writing and teaching as an art historian, he has had an extensive engagement with contemporary art and with living artists. Elizabeth Blackadder is the subject of one of a number of monographs he has written on contemporary artists. Interviewing the great Surrealist, Joan Miró, was, he feels, one of the most inspiring moments in his career, but he has also worked with and written about many other leading figures of our time in Britain, Europe and America, including the Abstract Expressionists Robert Motherwell and Sam Francis and their great champion, the American critic Clement Greenberg.

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    • Professor Joe Cartwright

      University of Oxford

      Cruises:

      Islands of the Indian Ocean & South Africa - 2019-02-10 South Africa, Namibia & the Skeleton Coast - 2019-03-12 Grand Asia, Indian Ocean & South Africa - 2019-01-22 Grand Asia & Southern Africa - 2019-01-22 Grand Indian Ocean & Southern Africa - 2019-02-10 Islands of the Indian Ocean & South Africa - Reunion Cruise - 2019-02-10 Grand Asia, Indian Ocean & South Africa - Reunion Cruise - 2019-01-22 Grand Asia & Southern Africa Reunion Cruise - 2019-01-22 Grand Indian Ocean & Southern Africa Reunion Cruise - 2019-02-10
      Joe is Professor of Earth Sciences at the University of Oxford and a Senior Research Fellow of St Peter’s College. He graduated in geology from Oxford in the 1980s, and between degrees spent some time exploring for oil in Borneo.

      Joe is Professor of Earth Sciences at the University of Oxford and a Senior Research Fellow of St Peter’s College. He graduated in geology from Oxford in the 1980s, and between degrees spent some time exploring for oil in Borneo. His work as a geologist has taken him to many beautiful and remote places in the western US and in both South Africa and Namibia, where he has explored for both oil and diamonds. Joe was formerly a Research Professor in Geophysics at Cardiff University, where his main role was to build research partnerships with industry and undertake research into how fluids migrate in the shallow part of the Earth’s crust. Previously, he was a senior lecturer at Imperial College London. In his quest for a better understanding of how oil and gas form and accumulate, he has led field campaigns in SE Asia, Southern Africa and North America.

      He has won a number of international awards for his work, has published over 200 papers and has supervised over 70 PhD graduates. Joe’s current research interests encompass the study of the processes leading to the breaking apart of continents to form oceans, focusing on the origins of the Atlantic Ocean. As a proud Welshman, his external interests unsurprisingly centre on choral singing, but he also paints, walks the hills of his homeland and plays village cricket.

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    • Professor Robert H. Taylor

      Author and Editor

      Cruises:

      Beyond Burma & the Malay Peninsula - 2019-01-22 Grand Asia, Indian Ocean & South Africa - 2019-01-22 Grand Asia & Southern Africa - 2019-01-22 The Grand Odyssey - 2018-12-05 The Grand Odyssey Reunion Cruise - 2018-12-05 Grand Asia, Indian Ocean & South Africa - Reunion Cruise - 2019-01-22 Grand Asia & Southern Africa Reunion Cruise - 2019-01-22
      Robert H. Taylor, born and educated in the United States, has taught South East Asian politics at universities in Sydney, Hong Kong, and London. He was Pro-Director of the School of Oriental and African Studies prior to his last fulltime academic post as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buckingham. There he frequently interacted with Margaret Thatcher who held the honorary position as Chancellor.

      Robert H. Taylor, born and educated in the United States, has taught South East Asian politics at universities in Sydney, Hong Kong, and London. He was Pro-Director of the School of Oriental and African Studies prior to his last fulltime academic post as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buckingham. There he frequently interacted with Margaret Thatcher who held the honorary position as Chancellor.

      Professor Taylor is the author and editor of several volumes on South East Asia.He most recent books were The State in Myanmar (2009) and General Ne Win: A Political Biography (2015), both of which have been translated into Burmese. Since leaving academia, he has worked as a lay immigration judge and a consultant to the oil and gas industry in the UK and USA.

      In recent years he has been a frequent Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the Yushok Ishak Institute ISEAS in Singapore. Professor Taylor is one of the very few Western social scientists to live in Myanmar, then Burma, in the 1970s and 1980s and has visited the country almost every year since 1975.

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    • Professor Stefan Buczacki

      Biologist and biographer

      Cruises:

      Iceland, Faroes & Shetlands - 2018-07-04 Grand Voyage to Norway, Iceland & Atlantic Islands - 2018-06-20 Grand Circumnavigation of Britain and Iceland - 2018-07-04
      Stefan is currently celebrating thirty years as a cruise ship lecturer to all parts of the world but says that of his many achievements the one of which he is proudest is to have been voted among the one hundred people of Polish descent who have contributed most to the life and culture of Britain -  a list on which he appears, alphabetically, between Bonnie Prince Charlie and King Cnut!

      Stefan is currently celebrating thirty years as a cruise ship lecturer to all parts of the world but says that of his many achievements the one of which he is proudest is to have been voted among the one hundred people of Polish descent who have contributed most to the life and culture of Britain -  a list on which he appears, alphabetically, between Bonnie Prince Charlie and King Cnut!

      Stefan was educated at the Universities of Southampton and Oxford and is a Chartered Biologist and Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology, a Chartered Horticulturist, a founder Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Horticulture, a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London and Associate of the Royal Photographic Society. He holds an honorary chair in Biological Sciences at Liverpool John Moores University, honorary doctorates from the Universities of Southampton and Derby and is an honorary fellow of CABI Biosciences International and of Warwickshire College. He is double past-president of the British Mycological Society and holds the Veitch Memorial Medal in gold of the Royal Horticultural Society, the Benefactors' Medal of the British Mycological Society and the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Garden Media Guild.

      Stefan is probably Britain's most experienced media gardening expert and has published over sixty books on natural history and gardening, many of them standard reference works and most translated into several languages. He is believed to be Britain's second biggest selling gardening author and has also written for most national newspapers and leading magazines. Stefan has used his special expertise in fungi to write the most comprehensive field guide to British fungi ever published. His major natural history book, the encyclopaedic Fauna Britannica described the entire wild animal life of the British Isles and its role in British culture.  HRH The Prince of Wales wrote the Foreword and the book was short listed for British Illustrated Book of the Year.

      Among his numerous broadcasting achievements, Stefan appeared most famously on BBC Radio's 'Gardeners' Question Time' as panellist and chairman for a unique unbroken run of over 600 broadcasts in twelve years, just part of a portfolio of well over 1,000 radio programmes.  For three years he presented 'Classic Gardening Forum' on Classic FM and devised, wrote and presented six series of the hugely successful programme 'The Gardening Quiz' on Radio 4.  He has also appeared on or presented around 1,000 television programmes, many featuring his own garden, on every British terrestrial television channel and has presented several series on satellite stations.  He is Patron or Trustee of numerous gardening and science-related bodies including the North of England Zoological Society, owners of award winning Chester Zoo and also has over thirty years experience as an expert witness in matters of litigation involving plants.

      Stefan has a long-standing interest in modern British political history and is recognised internationally as an authority on Winston Churchill and his social circle. His book 'Churchill and Chartwell' was described by the International Churchill Center in Washington DC as '…a thoroughly indispensable standard work, as important for the library of any serious Churchill student as the memoirs of close associates'.  His latest work, a biography of the Hon Venetia Stanley, confidante of prime minister H H Asquith, has already been hailed as 'a masterpiece'.

      Website:  www.stefanbuczacki.co.uk

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    • Professor Thomas G Fraser MBE

      Emeritus Professor, Ulster University

      Cruises:

      Passage to Ancient Egypt & India - 2018-12-05 Grand Empires & Ancient Civilizations - 2018-12-05 The Grand Odyssey - 2018-12-05 The Grand Odyssey Reunion Cruise - 2018-12-05
      Born and raised in Scotland, Professor Fraser gained his MA in Mediaeval and Modern History at the University of Glasgow before moving to the London School of Economics for his doctoral work in International History where his thesis was on the relationship between Germany and Indian revolutionaries during the First World War.

      Born and raised in Scotland, Professor Fraser gained his MA in Mediaeval and Modern History at the University of Glasgow before moving to the London School of Economics for his doctoral work in International History where his thesis was on the relationship between Germany and Indian revolutionaries during the First World War. In 1969 he joined the New University of Ulster, now Ulster University, becoming in time Head of the School of History, Philosophy and Politics and finally Provost of its Magee campus. His teaching specialised in the modern history of the Middle East and India. He is now Emeritus Professor of History. In 1983-1984 he was Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence at Indiana University at South Bend. He is a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society.

      He is widely published, mostly on the modern history of the Middle East and India, but also on American foreign policy and the Northern Ireland peace process. Amongst his recent books are a fourth edition of The Arab-Israeli Conflict (2015), which has also had Italian and Spanish editions, and an edited collection, The First World War andits Aftermath: The Shaping of the Modern Middle East (2015). He has travelled and lectured widely in the Middle East, India and Sri Lanka, but his academic work has also taken him to the United States, France, Russia, Italy, Germany, Austria, Croatia and South Africa.

      His service as Chairman of the Northern Ireland Museum Council and a Trustee of the National Museums and Galleries of Northern Ireland reinforced an interest in ancient civilisations that he gained as a student on the Scottish Field School of Archaeology when he was an undergraduate.&nbsp; His wife Grace is a former university Research Fellow, specialising in aspects of the Northern Ireland Conflict, while his son Simon teaches Computing at university and his daughter Anna works in California.

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    • Rev Dr. Judith Brown

      University of Oxford

      Cruises:

      The Golden Triangle to the Strait of Malacca - 2019-01-01 Grand Empires & Ancient Civilizations - 2018-12-05 The Grand Odyssey - 2018-12-05 The Grand Odyssey Reunion Cruise - 2018-12-05
      Judith Brown is the recently retired Professor of Commonwealth History at the University of Oxford and an emeritus Professorial Fellow of Balliol College.  The main focus of her academic writing has been modern India, in particular the careers of M.K. Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru.  She has also written on the modern diaspora from South Asia.

      Judith Brown is the recently retired Professor of Commonwealth History at the University of Oxford and an emeritus Professorial Fellow of Balliol College.  The main focus of her academic writing has been modern India, in particular the careers of M.K. Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru.  She has also written on the modern diaspora from South Asia.

      She was born in India and then educated in the UK.  She returned to India to teach in her “gap” before going to Cambridge (Girton college) to read History as an undergraduate, and then to do her doctorate on the early Indian career of Gandhi.  Her teaching career started in her own college where she was a Fellow and Director of Studies in History.  She then moved to Manchester University’s Department of History, and finally in 1990 to Oxford.  As well as teaching and writing, she has travelled widely for research, to give lectures, and to do many of the tasks which accompany senior academic life.  She has been a governor of several UK universities, a Trustee of the Charles Wallace (India) Trust, and was a founder member of the Kluge Scholars’ Council at the Library of Congress.  In the 1990s she travelled regularly to South Africa to teach summer courses on India in the then University of Natal.

      Judith is also an Anglican Priest, and now helps in Balliol Chapel and in the parish church of St. Mary Magdalen, Oxford.  In 2017 she was “lent” to Brasenose College as their interim chaplain.  She was married to her late husband, Peter Diggle for over 30 years.  Their son works in politics in London and their daughter-in-law is a rising young opera star.  Judith’s passion, apart from India, is gardening!

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    • Robert A. E. Gordon

      President of the Britain-Burma Society

      Cruises:

      Beyond Burma & the Malay Peninsula - 2019-01-22 Islands of the Indian Ocean & South Africa - 2019-02-10 Grand Asia, Indian Ocean & South Africa - 2019-01-22 Grand Asia & Southern Africa - 2019-01-22 Grand Indian Ocean & Southern Africa - 2019-02-10 The Grand Odyssey - 2018-12-05 Islands of the Indian Ocean & South Africa - Reunion Cruise - 2019-02-10 The Grand Odyssey Reunion Cruise - 2018-12-05 Grand Asia & Southern Africa Reunion Cruise - 2019-01-22 Grand Indian Ocean & Southern Africa Reunion Cruise - 2019-02-10
      Robert Gordon is a former British diplomat who now divides his time between Salisbury in the United Kingdom and Narbonne in France. Born in Trieste to an Italian mother and British father, Robert spent his early years in Germany, Cyprus and Aden at his father’s military postings. After graduating in Modern Languages from Magdalen College, Oxford University, he joined the British diplomatic service in 1973.

      Robert Gordon is a former British diplomat who now divides his time between Salisbury in the United Kingdom and Narbonne in France.
      Born in Trieste to an Italian mother and British father, Robert spent his early years in Germany, Cyprus and Aden at his father’s military postings. After graduating in Modern Languages from Magdalen College, Oxford University, he joined the British diplomatic service in 1973.

      His early postings included Warsaw, Santiago and Paris. In 1983, he was made an Officer of the British Empire (OBE) for his services during the Falklands War.
      From 1995-1999 he was British Ambassador to Burma (Myanmar), being awarded the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) in 1999. Thereafter he headed the FCO’s South East Asia Department before being sent to Hanoi in 2003 as British Ambassador to Vietnam.

      Since retiring in 2008, he has lectured at France’s elite Ecole Nationale d’Administation and Strasbourg University. In 2011 he became President of the Britain-Burma Society as well as Chairman of Prospect Burma, a charity which gives some 90 scholarships a year to young Burmese to study at universities abroad.
      For the past six years, he has been a regular guest lecturer on international cruises, covering a wide range of cultural, historical, political and military topics. His wife Pam – also a career diplomat - will be accompanying him on this cruise. They have four children, now in their late 20s/early 30s.

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    • Steve Ragnall

      Maritime historian and author

      Cruises:

      Islands of the Indian Ocean & South Africa - 2019-02-10 South Africa, Namibia & the Skeleton Coast - 2019-03-12 Grand Asia, Indian Ocean & South Africa - 2019-01-22 Grand Asia & Southern Africa - 2019-01-22 Grand Indian Ocean & Southern Africa - 2019-02-10 The Grand Odyssey - 2018-12-05 Islands of the Indian Ocean & South Africa - Reunion Cruise - 2019-02-10 The Grand Odyssey Reunion Cruise - 2018-12-05 Grand Asia, Indian Ocean & South Africa - Reunion Cruise - 2019-01-22 Grand Indian Ocean & Southern Africa Reunion Cruise - 2019-02-10
      Steve has first class presentation and outstanding graphics skills coupled with the enthusiasm and ability to entertain and inform.  He has a lifetime’s love of the sea and its history, is RYA Yachtmaster qualified, and has extensive sailing experience, including passages on tall ships, most notably the Bark Endeavour, replica of Captain Cook’s ship. He is proud to be an honorary member of the Merchant Navy Association.

      Steve has first class presentation and outstanding graphics skills coupled with the enthusiasm and ability to entertain and inform.  He has a lifetime’s love of the sea and its history, is RYA Yachtmaster qualified, and has extensive sailing experience, including passages on tall ships, most notably the Bark Endeavour, replica of Captain Cook’s ship. He is proud to be an honorary member of the Merchant Navy Association.

      Steve has lectured around the world and has been in demand as a cruise ship speaker for over 10 years, with a growing portfolio of over 60 talks. He also speaks regularly to U3A, NADFAS, Probus, National Trust Associations and many other organisations.

      He has worked extensively in local and regional radio as musician, writer and presenter.

      A member of the Society for Nautical Research, Navy Records Society and the Captain Cook Society and a regular contributor to its quarterly journal, Steve is continuing research, with members of the society and various museums, into Cook’s world and the characters associated with Britain’s greatest navigator. He has worked in Hawaii on the site of Cook’s 1779 shore base and created models of the site for museum display.

      His recent book “Better Conceiv’d than Describ’d: The Life and Times of Captain James King, Captain Cook’s Friend and Colleague”, is a culmination of that work and has been very well received.

      With a belief that everyone has a story within them, he worked with the BBC on their “Telling Lives” project in 2004/5, introducing short film making skills to the general public. In addition, he has supported his cruise-based colleagues in improving their own graphics presentation skills.

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