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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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    • Dr Sarah Baccianti

      Dr Sarah Baccianti

      Queen’s University Belfast

      Cruises:

      Iceland, Faroes & Shetlands - 2019-07-27 Grand Norway & Baltic Capitals - 2019-06-15 Grand Iceland & Western France - 2019-07-27
      Dr. Sarah Baccianti graduated with a master in English Philology, English and American Literature, and Sociology of Communication and Mass Media, from the Université de Fribourg in Switzerland. In 2010, she completed her PhD in Old English and Old Norse literature at the University of Oxford.

      Dr. Sarah Baccianti graduated with a master in English Philology, English and American Literature, and Sociology of Communication and Mass Media, from the Université de Fribourg in Switzerland. In 2010, she completed her PhD in Old English and Old Norse literature at the University of Oxford.

      Dr Baccianti’s doctoral research focused on the narrative structure of  historical writings in Old English, Old Norse and Anglo-Latin. She was a visiting researcher at the University of  California, Los Angeles, and taught Old English, Middle English and Old Norse at the universities of Oxford, Lausanne and Cork, before recently being awarded the prestigious Royal Society Newton International Fellowship at Queen’s University Belfast. Sarah’s current research, "Scientific Knowledge in Medieval Scandinavia"  is a study of  the transmission and reception of scientific and medical knowledge in the medieval North, from the 12th to the 14th-centuries, with a particular focus given on texts produced in Iceland and Norway.

      In addition to her primary research, Sarah has started a community-engagement project in Cork, which aims to communicate to students and teachers in County Cork (while extending communication to the general public, media and heritage professionals) a greater knowledge of Viking Age culture in Ireland and more specifically Cork.

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    • Dr Tom Birkett

      Dr Tom Birkett

      University College Cork

      Cruises:

      Baltic Capitals & St Petersburg - 2019-07-02 Grand Norway & Baltic Capitals - 2019-06-15 Grand Baltic, St Petersburg & Norwegian Fjords - 2019-07-02
      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 gained his PhD at 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 gained his PhD at 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 has contributed features on the Vikings and Anglo-Saxons in the national press, including for the Irish Times and the TLS. His latest book is a retelling of the Norse Myths and the Viking voyages to the east for Quercus.

      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, 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 for free distribution, 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 to sail in the Baltic.

      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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    • Prof David Braund

      Prof David Braund

      University of Exeter

      Cruises:

      The Black Sea & Greek Islands - 2019-05-01 Grand Black Sea & Southern Italy - 2019-05-01
      Since 1996 David has been Professor of Black Sea and Mediterranean History at the University of Exeter. His main area of research is the relationship between the classical cultures of the Mediterranean and the north, across Europe and Asia. He has travelled and lectured extensively all around the Black Sea coastlands. He now researches mostly in Athens and St. Petersburg. In addition to the classical languages, he is fluent in Modern Greek, Russian and Georgian.

      Since 1996 David has been Professor of Black Sea and Mediterranean History at the University of Exeter. His main area of research is the relationship between the classical cultures of the Mediterranean and the north, across Europe and Asia. He has travelled and lectured extensively all around the Black Sea coastlands. He now researches mostly in Athens and St. Petersburg. In addition to the classical languages, he is fluent in Modern Greek, Russian and Georgian.

      David has taught at various universities over the years, including Cambridge and Leicester. He also held a research fellowship at Oxford, where he researched in Georgian for three years. Formerly a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, he has had a range of honorary attachments (in Belfast, Bristol, London (SOAS), and Tbilisi etc.). In 2000 he was made Honorary Member of the Russian Classical Association in Moscow, and in 2010 received an honorary doctorate from the University of Batumi in Georgia.

      David takes a very broad view of his subject, combining traditional classical studies with archaeology, anthropology and reflections on current events. His publications include many books (published in London, Oxford, and Tbilisi etc.), most recently Greek Religion and Cults in the Black Sea Region: Goddesses in the Bosporan Kingdom (Cambridge UP, 2018). Among imminent books is Ancient Greek Theatre in the Black Sea, which he has co-written and co-edited for Cambridge.

       

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    • Professor Stefan Buczacki

      Professor Stefan Buczacki

      Biologist and biographer

      Cruises:

      Dalmatia & Ancient Greece - 2019-09-18 Grand Italy, Dalmatia & Greece - 2019-09-04 Grand Adriatic & Aegean Experience - 2019-09-18
      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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    • Andy Bunten BSc, MSc, DIC

      Andy Bunten BSc, MSc, DIC

      Ecologist

      Cruises:

      The Norwegian Fjords - 2019-07-15 Iceland, Faroes & Shetlands - 2019-07-27 Grand Baltic, St Petersburg & Norwegian Fjords - 2019-07-02 Grand Iceland & Western France - 2019-07-27
      Andy has been an obsessive enthusiast about wildlife ever since he can remember. Educated at Cambridge, Newcastle and Imperial College, he then embarked on a career in nature conservation.  He has worked for local government, wildlife trusts, and, for 26 years, the RSPB. 

      Andy has been an obsessive enthusiast about wildlife ever since he can remember. Educated at Cambridge, Newcastle and Imperial College, he then embarked on a career in nature conservation.  He has worked for local government, wildlife trusts, and, for 26 years, the RSPB.

      He initially worked in RSPB Scotland then headed south to be the Regional Director for the South East of England for 5 years before, in 1991, moving to the North of England to take up the reins of Director there. A highly experienced lecturer, Andy has cruised extensively completing over 20 trips ranging from Costa Rica to the Philippines and from Argentina to Svalbard

      Now an Environmental Consultant, Andy is an enthusiastic traveller and has led wildlife groups to numerous places around the world including the Seychelles, France, Egypt, Brazil, Costa Rica, Panama, Borneo, Norway and Spitzbergen.
       

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    • Major General Stephen Carr-Smith

      Major General Stephen Carr-Smith

      British Army, Retired

      Cruises:

      Classical Greece & Southern Italy - 2019-05-12 Grand Aegean & Mediterranean - 2019-05-12
      Stephen Carr-Smith was commissioned into the Royal Signals and spent 33 years in the British 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 fall of the Wall, and the demise of the Warsaw Pact and the USSR.

      Stephen Carr-Smith was commissioned into the Royal Signals and spent 33 years in the British 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 fall of the Wall, and the demise of the Warsaw Pact and the USSR. His last appointment was as the Deputy Director General of the NATO Communications and Information Systems Agency in Brussels (NACISA) as a Major General.

      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 for 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. During this time, the voluntary Ombudsman Scheme tripled in size, brought him regular media exposure, and ensured that he received a deal of abuse from all quarters - so he must have been doing something right! From 2006-2010, he was a non-executive director on the Council that runs the National Land and Property Information Service (NLIS).

      Since 2009, he has been the Chairman of Help Moving Office, an internet company run by his second son that also operates in America.

      He has also had a number of other involvements:

      • 1996 to 2006, as the Honorary Colonel of the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (FANY) - an all female, uniformed volunteer body that has supported the British Army for 100 years.  He is currently a Vice President.
      • 1997 to 2003, as a Colonel Commandant of the Royal Signals.
      • 2003-1013, as 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.
      • 2007-2013, as the Chairman of the Winchester Branch of Cancer Research UK.

      Since 2007 he has been a speaker on more than 40 cruises with a number of different cruise lines - and given lectures on more than 60 different historical topics. 

      He has lived in Nether Wallop, Hampshire since 1995.  

       

       

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    • Prof Robin Cormack

      Prof Robin Cormack

      Courtauld Institute of Art, London

      Cruises:

      Classical Greece & Southern Italy - 2019-05-12 Grand Aegean & Mediterranean - 2019-05-12
      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, has given lectures at the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. and at the Universities of California in 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 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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    • John Coventry

      John Coventry

      Travel and Special Interests lecturer

      Cruises:

      European Connoisseur - 2019-06-03 Grand Voyage from Rome to London - 2019-05-22 Grand Voyage from Iberia to the North Cape - 2019-06-03 Grand Voyage from Iberia to the North Cape Reunion Cruise - 2019-06-03 European Connoisseur SailAway - 2019-06-05 European Connoisseur Reunion Cruise - 2019-06-03
      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’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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    • Clare Coventry

      Clare Coventry

      Craft Tutor

      Cruises:

      European Connoisseur - 2019-06-03 Grand Voyage from Rome to London - 2019-05-22 Grand Voyage from Iberia to the North Cape - 2019-06-03 Grand Voyage from Iberia to the North Cape Reunion Cruise - 2019-06-03 European Connoisseur SailAway - 2019-06-05 European Connoisseur Reunion Cruise - 2019-06-03
      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”.

      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 but will be performing songs in the Ambassdor Lounge with her sister Marianne, as “Sister Sister!”

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    • Dr Roderick Dale

      Dr Roderick Dale

      PhD University of Nottingham

      Cruises:

      Land of the Midnight Sun - 2019-06-15 Grand Norway & Baltic Capitals - 2019-06-15 Grand Voyage from Iberia to the North Cape Reunion Cruise - 2019-06-03
      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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    • John Ducker

      John Ducker

      The Wine Education Service

      Cruises:

      European Connoisseur - 2019-06-03 Grand Voyage from Rome to London - 2019-05-22 Grand Voyage from Iberia to the North Cape - 2019-06-03 Grand Voyage from Rome to London Reunion Cruise - 2019-05-22 Grand Voyage from Iberia to the North Cape Reunion Cruise - 2019-06-03 European Connoisseur SailAway - 2019-06-05 European Connoisseur Reunion Cruise - 2019-06-03
      Having been bestowed a number of interesting ‘lives’ which may be revealed as the cruise progresses, John’s principal activity has been as the actor ‘John Leeson’. He has celebrated over half a century’s visibility in theatre, film and television, and latterly as the unseen voice of Doctor Who’s iconic robot dog-companion K9.

      Having been bestowed a number of interesting ‘lives’ which may be revealed as the cruise progresses, John’s principal activity has been as the  actor ‘John Leeson’. He has celebrated over half a century’s visibility in theatre, film and television, and latterly as the unseen voice of Doctor Who’s iconic robot dog-companion K9. Hardly less important has been his professional wine-teaching career, one which has additionally covered many sea and river miles as wine tutor for a number of top smaller-ship cruise lines. As a reputable (and published) family cook his quick-reference guide to food/wine matching, ‘Marriages Made in Heaven’, will be freely available on board.

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    • Hugh Ellwood

      Hugh Ellwood

      Architect and Artist, Accredited Lecturer of The Art Society

      Cruises:

      Classical Greece & Islands of the Aegean - 2019-10-02
      Hugh Ellwood was educated in the classics and went to university in Rome to study philosophy. It was here that art and history became a reality and after four years he returned to Manchester to study architecture. After graduation, he became a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects. He pursued a career as an architect with Building Design Partnership, the largest multi-discipline design organisation in the UK. For 21 years he was a partner in the practice, working on housing, school and hospital projects such as the Queens Medical Centre in Nottingham and the New General Infirmary at Leeds.

      Hugh Ellwood was educated in the classics and went to university in Rome to study philosophy. It was here that art and history became a reality and after four years he returned to Manchester to study architecture. After graduation, he became a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects. He pursued a career as an architect with Building Design Partnership, the largest multi-discipline design organisation in the UK. For 21 years he was a partner in the practice, working on housing, school and hospital projects such as the Queens Medical Centre in Nottingham and the New General Infirmary at Leeds.

      For some years Hugh was an external examiner in Architecture at the University of Manchester as well as a visiting lecturer in the history of art and architecture at the University of Central Lancashire. He has also lectured extensively to various societies and organisations on art and architecture and is a Accredited Lecturer of The Art Society.

      During the 1980s he began to sketch with watercolour as a complement to the pursuit of architecture. He prefers to work in watercolour, ink, pencil and pastel. His subjects are mainly buildings, the landscape and the relationship between the two. He prefers to work outdoors, rather than in the studio.

      During the year he spends at least three months with his wife in Switzerland and Italy as well as visiting other places of interest abroad to study, photograph and sketch. The areas of the Italian lakes, Rome and Venice are particular favourites.

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    • Sir Ranulph Fiennes

      Sir Ranulph Fiennes

      Explorer

      Cruises:

      The Norwegian Fjords - 2019-07-15
      Sir Ranulph Fiennes is the only man alive ever to have travelled around the Earth’s circumpolar surface and his record-breaking expeditions include travel by riverboat, hovercraft, manhaul sledge, Skidoo, Land Rover and ski.

      We are delighted that Sir Ranulph will be joining us aboard Aegean Odyssey during The Norwegian Fjords cruise for an exclusive evening talk and Q&A, followed the next day by a screening of a film documenting his three-year circumpolar expedition along with a book signing. 

      Please note: Sir Ranulph will be boarding the ship in Alesund on the 25 July and disembarking on the 26 July in Ulvik.  

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    • Dr. Irene Garcia Losquino

      Dr. Irene Garcia Losquino

      University of Alicante

      Cruises:

      The Norwegian Fjords - 2019-07-15
      Irene Garcia Losquino lectures at the University of Alicante. She received her PhD in Scandinavian Studies in 2013 from the University of Aberdeen, where she also lectured for many years. It was during her time in Scotland that Irene became interested in Celtic, Germanic and Viking cultures. She published the book The Early Runic Inscriptions: Their Western Features with the publisher Peter Lang (New York) in 2015, and, since 2014, has been working on her current research project: Vikings in Spain – Resistance, Settlement and Cross-Cultural Exchange. This project has allowed Irene to return to her home country to do research on Vikings: something she would have never dreamt about before!

      Irene Garcia Losquino lectures at the University of Alicante. She received her PhD in Scandinavian Studies in 2013 from the University of Aberdeen, where she also lectured for many years. It was during her time in Scotland that Irene became interested in Celtic, Germanic and Viking cultures. She published the book The Early Runic Inscriptions: Their Western Features with the publisher Peter Lang (New York) in 2015, and, since 2014, has been working on her current research project: Vikings in Spain – Resistance, Settlement and Cross-Cultural Exchange. This project has allowed Irene to return to her home country to do research on Vikings: something she would have never dreamt about before!

      Irene has been lucky to be an invited researcher at the Universities of Tübingen, Stockholm and Notre Dame (EEUU), as well as a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Uppsala, and even luckier to receive two awards for her research from the Royal Gustavus Adoplphus Academy of Sweden. While she doesn't enjoy the cold winters, her many northern travels have allowed Irene to develop insights on different approaches to Viking Studies.

      Apart from her interdisciplinary academic work on different aspects of the Viking Age, Irene has broad experience in the engagement of the general public with research. Irene has presented documentaries about the Vikings, and has spoken about her research at many conferences and invited papers, as well as at a large number of public events, museums and private guided tours to Viking sites.

      On her (very spare) spare time, Irene enjoys snorkelling, martial arts and cooking.

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    • Angus Graham-Campbell

      Angus Graham-Campbell

      Eton College

      Cruises:

      Mediterranean Odyssey - 2019-08-23 Grand Rivers, Rivieras & Renaissance - 2019-08-11 Grand Mediterranean - 2019-08-23 Mediterranean Odyssey SailAway - 2019-08-25
      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, whom he cast as Sir Politic-Would Be in Jonson's 'Volpone'!

      Angus specialises in the Romantic Poets and has written and directed site specific plays about Shelley and Keats that have been performed in Rome, Hampstead and 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 most recent site-specific play 'Rebel Angel' was about poet John Keats and opened in London in the unusual and atmospheric Old Operating Theatre, at St Thomas's Hospital, in September and October of 2017. The play deals with the characters and events surrounding Keats' decision to abandon medicine and devote his life to the pursuit of poetry.

       

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    • Caroline Holmes

      Caroline Holmes

      Garden Historian

      Cruises:

      Classical Greece & Islands of the Aegean - 2019-10-02
      Caroline Holmes is a Garden Historian of places, people and plants who sifts humour from humus worldwide as a lecturer, broadcaster and an author of 11 books.

      Caroline Holmes is a Garden Historian of places, people and plants who sifts humour from humus worldwide as a lecturer, broadcaster and an author of 11 books. A consultant designer specialising in evoking historical, artistic and symbolic references ranging from the gardens surrounding Notre Dame-de-Calais to devising the planting for The Alnwick Garden’s Poison Garden, Caroline lectures for The Art Society in both the UK and overseas; the RHS, Road Scholar, Martin Randall Travel, and the Plant School.  

      She is Course Director for University of Cambridge’s ICE International Summer Programmes. Her latest television appearance was on TeleFrance 1 on the Field of the Cloth of Gold (2017). She was the presenter of Telling the Stories of England (2016) and has appeared on many BBC Gardening programmes, co-presenting Glorious Gardens, a design and history series in 2004. Caroline has also toured Australia and presented A Sunparched Country for BBC Radio Four in 2008.

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    • Karin Jans

      Karin Jans

      Travel Professional

      Cruises:

      Land of the Midnight Sun - 2019-06-15 The Norwegian Fjords - 2019-07-15 Grand Voyage from Iberia to the North Cape - 2019-06-03 Grand Norway & Baltic Capitals - 2019-06-15 Grand Baltic, St Petersburg & Norwegian Fjords - 2019-07-02
      Karin Jans is a true Scandinavian – she was born and raised in Sweden but now lives in Copenhagen, Denmark and works most of the time along the coast of Norway! She started as a teacher, but the world of travelling and tourism was more tempting. 30 years with Scandinavian Airlines gave the opportunity to see, experience and enjoy the people, culture and history in many different parts of the world from small towns in remote areas of northern Norway and Sweden to large, crowded cities of the Far East.

      Karin Jans is a true Scandinavian – she was born and raised in Sweden but now lives in Copenhagen, Denmark and works most of the time along the coast of Norway! She started as a teacher, but the world of travelling and tourism was more tempting. 30 years with Scandinavian Airlines gave the opportunity to see, experience and enjoy the people, culture and history in many different parts of the world from small towns in remote areas of northern Norway and Sweden to large, crowded cities of the Far East.

      After studies at Roskilde University Centre outside of Copenhagen, she was ready for a new career as a licensed guide in Denmark. Today she enjoys local guiding in the Copenhagen area as well as being a tour leader on longer tours in the Scandinavian countries, especially in Norway.

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    • Sue King M Phil History of Art, BA Hons Phil/Pol, PGCE, MITG

      Sue King M Phil History of Art, BA Hons Phil/Pol, PGCE, MITG

      Art Historian

      Cruises:

      Iceland, Faroes & Shetlands - 2019-07-27 Grand Iceland & Western France - 2019-07-27
      Born a Londoner (with Scottish and Irish roots), Sue then travelled the world with a military and diplomatic father and husband. A degree in Philosophy and Politics, a Post Graduate teaching qualification and a Master’s in History of Art led to a teaching and lecturing career for students from four-years-old to undergraduates.

      Born a Londoner (with Scottish and Irish roots), Sue then travelled the world with a military and diplomatic father and husband. A degree in Philosophy and Politics, a Post Graduate teaching qualification and a Master’s in History of Art led to a teaching and lecturing career for students from four-years-old to undergraduates.

      Now based in London, and qualified as a Blue Badge Tourist Guide for six areas of Britain from London to the South Coast and North to Yorkshire Sue has a broad knowledge of both art and history.

      She now works as a Tourist Guide, Art History Lecturer and Guide Trainer. She has given a series of Art History lectures for American University students studying in London, and for the London Blue Badge course for which she has been Course Director for five years, as well as guiding groups in London galleries and lecturing to various groups interested in art, architecture and heritage subjects.

      Sue is one of the few official guides for the Lord Mayor’s Mansion House, the Foundling Museum and Middle Temple Hall and as a member of the Guild of Freeman of the City of London, and of the Basketmakers Livery Company she is able to participate in the splendid pageantry of their official events and in their charitable activities. Sue is past Chairman of both the City of London Guide Lecturers Association and the British Guild of Tourist Guides.

      Four years of extensive travel in the United States whilst based in Pennsylvania and Washington DC, and visits to Australian relatives ensure that she can make effective links to our passengers who hail from these countries.

      Sue’s illustrated talks on board will bring to life the fascinating art and culture of Iceland and other countries we visit.

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    • Stella Grace Lyons

      Stella Grace Lyons

      Art Historian

      Cruises:

      Renaissance Italy & Historic Islands - 2019-05-22 The Three Rivers - 2019-08-11 Grand Voyage from Rome to London - 2019-05-22 Grand Rivers, Rivieras & Renaissance - 2019-08-11 Grand Voyage from Rome to London Reunion Cruise - 2019-05-22 Renaissance Italy & Historic Islands SailAway - 2019-05-24 European Connoisseur SailAway - 2019-06-05
      Stella Grace Lyons gained her BA in the History of Art with a 1st class in her dissertation from the University of Bristol, and her MA in History of Art at the University of Warwick. She spent a year studying Renaissance art in Italy at the British Institute of Florence, and three months studying Venetian art in Venice.

      Stella Grace Lyons gained her BA in the History of Art with a 1st class in her dissertation from the University of Bristol, and her MA in History of Art at the University of Warwick. She spent a year studying Renaissance art in Italy at the British Institute of Florence, and three months studying Venetian art in Venice. In addition, she attended drawing classes at the prestigious Charles H. Cecil Studios in Florence, a private atelier that follows a curriculum based on the leading ateliers of nineteenth century Paris.

      In 2017, Stella was selected by the Arts Society to lecture at the launch of 'Drawing Room Discussions' in association with ROSL ARTS, hosted by Guardian arts correspondent Maev Kennedy. Stella lectures regularly throughout the UK, Europe and for cruise ships. Her particular interests include 19th Century British art, the Italian and Northern Renaissance, American figurative artists from the 20th century and the representation of the nude in art. 

      Stella grew up in a family who all work in the arts; her mother is a choreographer, her father runs an animation company, her brother is an illustrator and her grandmother was an antiques dealer. As a child she was taken to galleries and historical houses throughout the UK and Europe and this is when her interest in Art History began. In addition to art, Stella enjoys travelling, good food, theatre, classical music and discovering new Scottish whiskies. You can read more about Stella on her website: www.stellagracelyons.com
       

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    • Dr Thomas Mannack

      Dr Thomas Mannack

      The Classical Art Research Centre, University of Oxford

      Cruises:

      The Three Rivers - 2019-08-11 Grand Iceland & Western France - 2019-07-27 Grand Rivers, Rivieras & Renaissance - 2019-08-11
      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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    • Peter Medhurst

      Peter Medhurst

      Pianist and lecturer-recitalist, Accredited Lecturer of The Art Society

      Cruises:

      Mediterranean Odyssey - 2019-08-23 Grand Rivers, Rivieras & Renaissance - 2019-08-11 Grand Mediterranean - 2019-08-23
      Peter Medhurst’s work as singer, pianist and lecturer-recitalist has taken him all over the world, and in the last few years he has toured New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and made frequent tours in Europe, giving performances in Berlin, Hamburg, Vienna, Salzburg, Brussels, Antwerp, Amsterdam, Paris and Spain.

      Peter Medhurst’s work as singer, pianist and lecturer-recitalist has taken him all over the world, and in the last few years he has toured New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and made frequent tours in Europe, giving performances in Berlin, Hamburg, Vienna, Salzburg, Brussels, Antwerp, Amsterdam, Paris and Spain.

      Closer to home, he has presented events at the Barbican, St John’s Smith Square, and the Royal Festival Hall on Beethoven String Quartets, Mozart Operas, Vermeer’s Music Lesson, The Twelve Days of Christmas, The Golden Age of Vienna, and 18th Century Venetian Art and Music.

      He has also directed presentations at the Wallace Collection, the National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery and the V&A, linking the visual arts with the world of 17th & 18th century music making.

      He is a familiar face to audiences of music societies, regional theatres and British festivals as well as to those of arts based organisations such as The Art Fund, The National Trust. He is also a Accredited Lecturer of The Art Society.

      Over the years Peter Medhurst has lectured for the universities of Kent and Surrey, directed a wide range of choirs, vocal ensembles and instrumental groups, and adjudicated and given masterclasses for the British Federation of Music Festivals.

      Peter is director of The Classical Music Company, and part of the triumvirate – with television director David Coleman and television producer Sheridan Dudley – that has formed Blue Thread Medhurst Productions. The organisation promotes special musical events, creates films about the arts, produces recordings and organises specialist music tours to unusual locations both at home and abroad.

      Read more on http://petermedhurst.com ›

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    • Nick Morrison

      Nick Morrison

      Musician and Conductor

      Cruises:

      Baltic Capitals & St Petersburg - 2019-07-02 Grand Norway & Baltic Capitals - 2019-06-15 Grand Baltic, St Petersburg & Norwegian Fjords - 2019-07-02
      Music graduate and London Blue Badge Guide, Nick Morrison, enjoyed a successful career in Classical Music management before becoming a professional London tourist guide and a trainer of tourist guides.

      Music graduate and London Blue Badge Guide, Nick Morrison, enjoyed a successful career in Classical Music management before becoming a professional London tourist guide and a trainer of tourist guides. He has lectured on music and architecture and specialises in tours with a musical theme.

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    • Prof Alexander J. Motyl

      Prof Alexander J. Motyl

      Rutgers University, Newark

      Cruises:

      The Black Sea & Greek Islands - 2019-05-01 Grand Black Sea & Southern Italy - 2019-05-01
      Alexander J. Motyl (Ph.D., Columbia University, 1984) is professor of political science at Rutgers University, Newark, as well as a writer and a painter. A specialist on Ukraine, Russia, and the USSR, and on nationalism, revolutions, empires, and theory, he is the author of 10 books of nonfiction.

      These include Pidsumky imperii (2009); Puti imperii (2004); Imperial Ends: The Decay, Collapse, and Revival of Empires (2001); Revolutions, Nations, Empires: Conceptual Limits and Theoretical Possibilities (1999); Dilemmas of Independence: Ukraine after Totalitarianism (1993); and The Turn to the Right: The Ideological Origins and Development of Ukrainian Nationalism, 1919–1929 (1980). He is also the editor of 15 volumes, including The Encyclopedia of Nationalism (2000) and The Holodomor Reader (2012); and a contributor of dozens of articles to academic and policy journals, newspaper op-ed pages, and magazines; and has a weekly blog called, “Ukraine’s Orange Blues.”

      By night Motyl is a novelist, poet, and painter. His novels include The Taste of Snow (Cervená Barva Press, 2013); My Orchidia (BrickHouse Books, 2012); The Jew Who Was Ukrainian (Cervená Barva, 2011); Who Killed Andrei Warhol (Seven Locks Press, 2007); Flippancy (Cantara Books, 2007); and Whiskey Priest (iUniverse, 2005).

      His poems have appeared in Counterexample Poetics, Istanbul Literary Review and New York Quarterly, and he has performed his fiction at the Cornelia Street Café, the Bowery Poetry Club, and the Ukrainian Museum in New York. Shown in solo and group shows in New York, Philadelphia, and Toronto, Motyl’s artwork is represented by the Internet gallery, www.artsicle.com

      A native New Yorker, Motyl received his doctoral degree in political science, master of philosophy in political science, and master of international affairs from Columbia University. He earned his bachelor of arts in history from Columbia College

      His website is www.alexmotyl.com

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    • Dr Natalia Murray

      Dr Natalia Murray

      Courtauld Institute of Art

      Cruises:

      Baltic Capitals & St Petersburg - 2019-07-02 Grand Baltic, St Petersburg & Norwegian Fjords - 2019-07-02 Grand Voyage from Iberia to the North Cape Reunion Cruise - 2019-06-03
      Natalia Murray was born in St Petersburg where she gained a BA and MA in Art History at the Academy of Fine Arts, before taking her PhD at the Hermitage Museum. In 2015 she was awarded a PhD by the Courtauld Institute of Art.

      Natalia Murray was born in St Petersburg where she gained a BA and MA in Art History at the Academy of Fine Arts, before taking her PhD at the Hermitage Museum. In 2015 she was awarded a PhD by the Courtauld Institute of Art.

      Her most recent book, “Art for the Workers: Proletarian Art and Festive Decorations of Petrograd, 1917-1920”, was published by ‘Brill’ in May 2018.

      In Autumn 2018 the Russian translation of her 2012 book, “The Unsung Hero of the Russian Avant-Garde: The Life and Times of Nikolay Punin”, was published by ‘Slovo’ in Moscow.

      At present she is a visiting lecturer at the Courtauld Institute of Art and a senior curator. In 2017 she curated a major exhibition, “Revolution: Russian Art, 1917-1932”, at the Royal Academy of Arts in London and recently worked on an exhibition of Malevich and Kandinsky in Paris.

      Her books and articles extend across the field of 19th to 20th century Russian art and she has featured in films dedicated to the Hermitage museum and the Russian revolution, as well as in programmes for BBC Radio 4 and the BBC World Service. 

      Natalia is also trustee of the Russian Avant-Garde Research Project: a UK-based charity which shares one of her aspirations to reduce the number of fakes on the Russian art market.

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    • Prof Jonathan Phillips

      Prof Jonathan Phillips

      Royal Holloway, University of London

      Cruises:

      Mediterranean Odyssey - 2019-08-23 Grand Rivers, Rivieras & Renaissance - 2019-08-11 Grand Mediterranean - 2019-08-23 Mediterranean Odyssey SailAway - 2019-08-25
      Jonathan Phillips is Professor of Crusading History at Royal Holloway, University of London. He is the author of numerous books on the Crusades including Holy Warriors: A Modern History of the Crusades (2009), and (with Martin Hall) Caffaro of Genoa and the Twelfth Century Crusades (2013), as well as The Fourth Crusade and the Sack of Constantinople (2004).

      Jonathan Phillips is Professor of Crusading History at Royal Holloway, University of London.

      He is the author of numerous books on the Crusades including Holy Warriors: A Modern History of the Crusades (2009), and (with Martin Hall) Caffaro of Genoa and the Twelfth Century Crusades (2013), as well as The Fourth Crusade and the Sack of Constantinople (2004).

      He is currently completing a book on the life and legend of the Sultan Saladin, the great hero of Islam (publication, Spring 2019). He is also the editor of the forthcoming Cambridge History of the Crusades.

      Jonathan has appeared on many television and radio programmes on the Crusades including The Cross and the Crescent, and The Crusades: Back from the Dead. He was the writer and presenter of the major 6 part US television series Ancient Roads: From Christ to Constantine, a history of the early centuries of Christianity.



      Photo © Erik van den Boom

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    • Bob Porter

      Bob Porter

      Brandenburg Choral Festival of London

      Cruises:

      The Three Rivers - 2019-08-11 Grand Iceland & Western France - 2019-07-27 Grand Rivers, Rivieras & Renaissance - 2019-08-11
      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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    • Dr David Price-Williams

      Dr David Price-Williams

      University of London

      Cruises:

      The Black Sea & Greek Islands - 2019-05-01 Classical Greece & Islands of the Aegean - 2019-10-02 Grand Black Sea & Southern Italy - 2019-05-01
      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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    • Ernest Rea

      Ernest Rea

      Broadcaster

      Cruises:

      European Connoisseur - 2019-06-03 Dalmatia & Ancient Greece - 2019-09-18 Grand Voyage from Rome to London - 2019-05-22 Grand Voyage from Iberia to the North Cape - 2019-06-03 Grand Italy, Dalmatia & Greece - 2019-09-04 Grand Adriatic & Aegean Experience - 2019-09-18 Grand Voyage from Rome to London Reunion Cruise - 2019-05-22 Grand Voyage from Iberia to the North Cape Reunion Cruise - 2019-06-03 European Connoisseur SailAway - 2019-06-05 European Connoisseur Reunion Cruise - 2019-06-03
      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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    • Trevor Rowley

      Trevor Rowley

      Emeritus Fellow Kellogg College, University of Oxford

      Cruises:

      The Three Rivers - 2019-08-11 Grand Iceland & Western France - 2019-07-27 Grand Rivers, Rivieras & Renaissance - 2019-08-11
      Trevor is a medieval archaeologist and historian who has spent his career in lifelong and continuing education, largely at Oxford University, where he was first Director of Archaeology and later Deputy Director in the Department for Continuing Education. He was a Founder Fellow of Kellogg College and is now Dean of Degrees.

      Trevor is a medieval archaeologist and historian who has spent his career in lifelong and continuing education, largely at Oxford University, where he was first Director of Archaeology and later Deputy Director in the Department for Continuing Education. He was a Founder Fellow of Kellogg College and is now Dean of Degrees. For many years he has directed and taught International University Summer Programmes, both in Britain and the United States. He was the instigator and director of the popular Oxford Experience Summer Programme at Christ Church, Oxford. He was a visiting Professor on Stanford University overseas programme and directed and taught programmes for the American National Trust and the Smithsonian. He is a seasoned traveller in Europe and beyond and was a regular guest lecturer for Swan Hellenic Cruises.

      He was Honorary Secretary of the Council for British Archaeology and President of the Oxford Architectural and Historical Society; he is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries

      His main academic interests are in landscape history, the Normans and the Western Mediterranean in the Middle Ages. He has written extensively and his publications include Landscape Archaeology, with Mick Aston, The High Middle Ages, The Normans, An Archaeological Study of the Bayeux Tapestry and The English Landscape in the Twentieth Century. He is currently writing a book on Landscapes of the Norman Conquest

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    • John Sherlock

      John Sherlock

      Winchester College and Oxford University

      Cruises:

      Classical Greece & Islands of the Aegean - 2019-09-24 Grand Adriatic & Aegean Experience - 2019-09-18
      John Sherlock was educated at Winchester College and Oxford University. He runs a specialist consultancy advising the owners of the UK’s great houses, gardens and landscapes on how to better engage and inspire the visiting public. He has completed projects for the National Trust, The Crown Estate and the Historic Houses Association.

      John Sherlock was educated at Winchester College and Oxford University. He runs a specialist consultancy advising the owners of the UK’s great houses, gardens and landscapes on how to better engage and inspire the visiting public. He has completed projects for the National Trust, The Crown Estate and the Historic Houses Association.

      John has been accredited as a lecturer by the Arts Society (formerly NADFAS) and has lectured on various ships. An audience member said he was "Clear, concise, inspirational and very entertaining". Another commented "The best lectures I have ever attended on a cruise."

      John has the knack of making his talks fun, even though there's a lot of content! When working at Windsor Great Park, he was selected to make a presentation to HM the Queen and HRH the Duke of Edinburgh at Windsor Castle.

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    • Dr. Declan Taggart

      Dr. Declan Taggart

      University College Cork

      Cruises:

      The Norwegian Fjords - 2019-07-15
      Declan Taggart has been interested in Viking history, literature and especially religion since he first discovered the stories of their gods Odin, Freyja and Thor as a child. Now he’s writing about those stories himself and recently published his first book How Thor Lost His Thunder, which challenges its readers to fundamentally re-imagine the deity Thor, even questioning whether Thor was really worshipped as a god of thunder.

      Declan Taggart has been interested in Viking history, literature and especially religion since he first discovered the stories of their gods Odin, Freyja and Thor as a child. Now he’s writing about those stories himself and recently published his first book How Thor Lost His Thunder, which challenges its readers to fundamentally re-imagine the deity Thor, even questioning whether Thor was really worshipped as a god of thunder.

      Declan now works at .University College Cork in Ireland, having been lucky enough to arrive just in time to find Cork’s archaeologists uncovering evidence of the city’s Scandinavian roots. He comes to Cork via studies at the universities of Durham, York and Aberdeen and a lot of research across Scandinavia and Iceland, for which he has won awards and funding from prestigious research bodies like Britain’s Viking Society for Northern Research and Scottish Society for Northern Studies and Sweden’s Royal Gustavus Adolphus Academy.

      Declan has taught History and the English language in Scotland and much farther afield and gives talks across Europe to both academic and non-academic audiences, adults and children, about Viking history and religion. He also loves to write for culture magazines and websites, though often ends up writing about history and the Vikings even then.

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    • Lars Tharp

      Lars Tharp

      Ceramics and Oriental Art Specialist and Broadcaster

      Cruises:

      Italian & Adriatic Highlights - 2019-09-04 Grand Mediterranean - 2019-08-23 Grand Italy, Dalmatia & Greece - 2019-09-04
      Born in 1954 in Copenhagen and educated in England Lars was influenced from an early age by his Danish grandfather - a classical philologist, archaeologist and museum curator. As a freelance broadcaster he worked regularly with the BBC: from 1986 to 2018 a familiar face  as the ceramics expert on the Antiques Roadshow.

      Born in 1954 in Copenhagen and educated in England Lars was influenced from an early age by his Danish grandfather - a classical philologist, archaeologist and museum curator. In the 1970s he read archaeology ('Arch and Anth') at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge University. The Master of his college was the legendary Joseph Needham, genius of the multi-volume History of Chinese Science and Civilization (CUP).  Influenced by Professor Needham Lars worked at Sothebys specialising in Chinese Ceramics under the late Julian Thompson,  becoming director and auctioneer, and representing the company throughout its European offices.  

       As a freelance broadcaster he worked regularly with the BBC: from 1986 to 2018 a familiar face  as the ceramics expert on the Antiques Roadshow, plus dozens of TV and Radio programmes including his own series, Inside Antiques (BBC2), Hidden Treasures (chairman and writer, Radio 4), and on the Art of the Baroque (Radio 2), not to mention the occasional contribution to Woman's Hour  - on Scandinavian knitwear and on Archive on Four with Men in Bow Ties.  In 2011 and 2013 Lars filmed two documentaries on the China Trade shown on the BBC that are still syndicated throughout the world: Treasures of Chinese Porcelain and China in Six Easy Pieces.  He also filmed One Man and his Pug - a journey with William Hogarth and his pet dogs, in the hope of re-discovering the long-missing terracotta model by L-F Roubiliac.

      Before two recent series of Griff Rys Jones's Quizeum he has appeared in several light-hearted programmes including Call My Bluff and was on the victorious team of University Challenge Christmas 2013 (Gonville and Caius Alumni)

      Lars is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and serves on the Court of the Worshipful Company of Weavers, London’s oldest recorded guild dating from 1130.

      Today he lives with his family in Leicestershire from where he runs the Lars Tharp business.

      Bibliography:
      Hogarth’s China (1997); the Little Brown Encyclopaedia of Antiques (with Paul Atterbury); Treasures in your Home (Reader’s Digest, with editor David Battie); and two books for the BBC under the Roadshow banner, one on Fakes, the other on 20th Century Antiques.
       

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    • Prof NANCY WILKIE

      Prof NANCY WILKIE

      Carleton College, Northfield

      Cruises:

      Dalmatia & Ancient Greece - 2019-09-18 Classical Greece & Islands of the Aegean - 2019-09-24 Grand Italy, Dalmatia & Greece - 2019-09-04 Grand Adriatic & Aegean Experience - 2019-09-18
      Nancy Wilkie, lecturer for the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) and Carleton College (Northfield, Minnesota), is a distinguished archaeologist and professor who has lectured to acclaim on numerous educational tours and cruises throughout the Mediterranean. She is William H. Laird Professor of Classics, Anthropology, and the Liberal Arts, Emerita, at Carleton College, where she was co-coordinator of the Archaeology Concentration.

      Nancy Wilkie, lecturer for the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) and Carleton College (Northfield, Minnesota), is a distinguished archaeologist and professor who has lectured to acclaim on numerous educational tours and cruises throughout the Mediterranean. She is William H. Laird Professor of Classics, Anthropology, and the Liberal Arts, Emerita, at Carleton College, where she was co-coordinator of the Archaeology Concentration.

      Nancy has worked on archaeological projects in Greece, Egypt, and Nepal, authored more than 30 articles, and co-edited three books on archaeology. From 1998-2002 she served as President of the AIA, and in 2009-10 she was the AIA’s Charles Eliot Norton lecturer, one of the highest honors that the Institute bestows. In April 2003 the President appointed Nancy to the Cultural Property Advisory Committee of the U.S. State Department, on which she continues to serve. In April 2013 she was elected President of the U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield, an organization dedicated to the protection of cultural property in times of armed conflict.

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    • Christopher Walton

      Christopher Walton

      Author and Journalist

      Cruises:

      Italian & Adriatic Highlights - 2019-09-04 Grand Mediterranean - 2019-08-23 Grand Italy, Dalmatia & Greece - 2019-09-04
      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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    • Dr Christopher Whitton

      Dr Christopher Whitton

      Emmanuel College, Cambridge

      Cruises:

      Grand Mediterranean - 2019-08-23
      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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    • Prof Brian Williams

      Prof Brian Williams

      University of Aberdeen

      Cruises:

      Land of the Midnight Sun - 2019-06-15 Iceland, Faroes & Shetlands - 2019-07-27 Grand Voyage from Iberia to the North Cape - 2019-06-03 Grand Norway & Baltic Capitals - 2019-06-15 Grand Iceland & Western France - 2019-07-27 Grand Voyage from Iberia to the North Cape Reunion Cruise - 2019-06-03
      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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