November 18, 2010
We Are Cunard
Posted in: Updates
Queen Mary 2 is now enjoying the Caribbean sunshine where she will be until the meeting of the three Queens in New York on 13 January. Meanwhile Queen Victoria is on her last Mediterranean voyage of the season and today Queen Elizabeth is in the fabulous Turkish port of Kusadasi, where many guests go to Ephesus for the day. At the end of this voyage Queen Elizabeth heads across the English Channel for a five day mini voyage, before meeting Queen Victoria on 1 December in Southampton, and yes we’ll make sure we post some pictures of that historic meeting on this Blog.
Before we get to Lisa’s guest Blog from Queen Mary 2, here’s this week in Cunard’s history for 12 to 18 November;
BAs many of you know Lisa Page recently sailed on an Eastbound Transatlantic Crossing on Queen Mary 2 and throughout the crossing she kept our facebook fans up to date with her experiences, and I know many of you enjoyed getting a sense of that journey through her posts. It’s now a pleasure to introduce the next in her series of Guest Blogs from that crossing:
This week Cunard Line was awarded “Best On Board Educational Programme”, by the Porthole Cruise Magazine 2010 Readers’ Choice Awards. Our three Queen’s have a great programme on board called Cunard Insights, which includes Jazz workshops and master-classes from Juilliard, Royal Astronomical Society sessions in the Planetarium on board Queen Mary 2 and RADA workshops. Cunard also offers a series of lectures from prominent luminaries from the world of Politics, the Arts, Entertainment, Literature and History and recently Queen Elizabeth began the new series of Professional Insights which adds an interactive element to the already award winning programme.
During my November Eastbound Transatlantic Crossing on board Queen Mary 2 we had four Cunard Insights sessions with Wildlife Photographer Professor Harvey Mann. Professor Mann is a writer, photographer and broadcaster and has been called ‘The Indiana Jones of Africa’, having led a fascinating life which reads like an adventure story.
He has lived in the most extraordinary regions of the world as a campaigning photojournalist, including Vietnam, Sudan and Rwanda, which was the focus of his Insights sessions. During the crossing Professor Mann spoke passionately about his experiences and the causes he campaigns for.
Harvey lived and worked in the Virunga Mountains of Rwanda for three years with the huge silverback gorillas made famous by the film ‘Gorillas in the Mist’. He lived amongst a group of the endangered species, campaigning for their survival after American Zoologist Dian Fossey was murdered by poachers. Professor Mann showed us many photos of his time in Rwanda, it was truly amazing to see how closely he worked with the gorillas:
I was very surprised to learn how huge these gorillas can get; some weigh as much as 50 stone (700lbs)! Another interesting fact was how genetically similar humans and gorillas are; their DNA is 98% identical to human DNA, which Professor Mann said he found unsurprising after seeing groups of people on the streets of London after last orders!
It was evident when speaking to guests during the crossing that Professor Mann had made quite an impression. Many guests told me about his lectures during the previous North America and Canada Voyage, entitled ‘The Big Cat Diaries’, Harvey provided a fascinating look into the life styles of Lions, Cheetahs and Leopards. As well as working with gorillas and big cats, Harvey is an expert on penguins, polar bears and Chinese pandas. He really has led a most remarkable life, perhaps a modern day Indiana Jones with a hint of Dr Doolittle!
Thank you again Lisa for a great Blog. I always find it fascinating to hear such inspirational lectures on our ships, and here on Queen Elizabeth this week, we are proud to have Gerald Scarfe on board, who many of you will know as the Political Cartoonist for the Times, as well as his work in film and theatre. I’ll be chatting to him over the next few days and will feature him on our Blog from Queen Elizabeth next week.
Well that’s it for today but I’ll be back again soon with the final Blog from Lisa’s recent Queen Mary 2 Transatlantic Crossing as well as other news from around the Cunard Fleet, including Queen Victoria’s preparations for her Dry Dock at the beginning of December. Cheers for now, Alastair