Category: Special Guest

Outlander author to escort Avalon Waterways European river cruise

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It’s bound to be the most memorable trip of 2020 (or a lifetime): author of the No. 1 New York Times-bestselling OUTLANDER series Diana Gabaldon is exclusively hosting a NEW Author Cruise on the Rhine River, giving fans the chance to get insider OUTLANDER insight with their favourite author for a week in June of 2020.

“Diana Gabaldon has added to the storytelling tapestry of our lives while also inspiring travel with her literature,” said Pam Hoffee, managing director of Avalon Waterways. “In her OUTLANDER series of novels and novellas – now an award-winning series on W Network – she has brought to life the backdrops of Scotland, North America, France, Germany as well as dozens of destinations across the globe. On the June 9, 2020 departure of Avalon’s Romantic Rhine Author Cruise with Diana Gabaldon from Basel to Amsterdam, this inspiring storyteller will share an inspired cruise – and daily excursions – with an intimate group of her fans.”

A MAGICAL JOURNEY: From the German Black Forest of fairy tales to the historic canals of Amsterdam, Avalon Waterways and Diana Gabaldon invite travellers to savour the magic of the Rhine River. This week-long vacation on board the Avalon Expression (with a capacity of just 166 passengers) delivers cruisers to the heart of Europe to explore towns and cities along the Rhine River while they enjoy panoramic views and spectacular, castle-lined backdrops day and night.

Also NEW for 2020 is themed cruise Reflections on the Seine for Photography Enthusiasts hosted by Brenda Tharp, photography veteran and co-author of EXTRAORDINARY EVERYDAY PHOTOGRAPHY.
Avalon Waterways invites photography enthusiasts and aspiring shutterbugs on this picture-perfect itinerary along the Seine River to learn from a seasoned photographer, cruise through postcard-perfect backdrops and enjoy the beauty and scenes of France, from Paris, the “City of Light,” to Le Havre, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Stops in between include the WWII Landing Beaches in Normandy, Monet’s Giverny, Rouen’s astronomical clock, Van Gogh’s Auvers-sur-Oise and Napoléon’s Chateau de Malmaison.

“Avalon’s Special Interest itineraries complement stories with stout, history with harmony and impressions with impressionism,” said Hoffee. “In addition to announcing new author and photography cruises in 2020, we are also unveiling new culinary-themed vacations and favourites featuring wine, beer, history, heritage and of course, Christmas markets. Regardless of the theme, our passion-filled vacations have the great distinction of uniting our guests with their pastimes and other like-minded travellers.”

Other 2020 Special Interest cruises include:

Palate-Pleasing Adventures: NEW Culinary Cruises.
Enter a food-lover’s paradise in the land of haute cuisine – France! These river cruises invite travellers to enjoy delectable flavours, decadent aromas and delightful textures sure to send taste buds into overdrive.
NEW A Culinary Experience in Burgundy & Provence (March 31 departure)
NEW A Culinary Experience on Rhine & Rhone Revealed (March 24 departure)

The World in Red & White: Wine Cruises.
Whether travellers are weekend-sippers or wannabe sommeliers, it’s time to take a cruise where the river and Rieslings flow. On these 2020 wine cruises, vino lovers of the world will unite with some of the world’s most renowned winemakers and wine masters on the rolling vineyards of Europe.
NEW Danube Dreams for Wine Lovers (April 30 and October 29 departures)
Burgundy & Provence for Wine Lovers (October 6, October 20 and October 25 departure)
Grand France for Wine Lovers (October 6 and October 20 departures)
Rhine & Rhône Revealed for Wine Lovers (October 6 and October 20 departures)

Adventure is Brewing: Beer Cruises.
Pairing fascinating history with a beverage that goes just as far back in time, an Avalon Beer Cruise promises incredible scenery and visits to the greatest beer scenes in Europe.
Tulip Time Cruise for Beer Enthusiasts (April 4 departure)
Enchanted Europe for Beer Enthusiasts (July 16 departure)
Magnificent Europe for Beer Enthusiasts (October 27 departure)

Holiday Joy and Jolly Abound on Festive Time Cruises.
Experience the holiday season the European way! Travellers will enjoy the jolly atmosphere on their festively decorated Suite Ship as they delight in the sights, smells, tastes and local traditions of Europe’s Christmas markets. In 2020, Avalon Waterways is offering 16 Christmas Market Cruises throughout Europe.

Wonder in Bloom: Garden & Nature Cruises.
Spring in Holland and Belgium is no time to tiptoe through the tulips. It’s time to sail and stroll through their glorious splendour.
Tulip Time Cruise for Garden & Nature Lovers (April 11 and 18 departures)

Remembrance on the River: World War I and II Cruises.
All river cruises venture back in time. These World War I and II-themed history cruises make a special trip to honour and commemorate the significant sites of the fearless and fallen who fought for freedom.
Tulip Time in Holland & Belgium WW1 Remembrance & History Cruise (April 19 departure)
Paris to Normandy WWII Remembrance & History Cruise (June 2 departure)

Once Upon a Castle: Habsburg Cruises.
In fairytale settings of Germany, Austria and Hungary, Avalon Waterways is rolling out the red carpet for travellers sailing along the Danube. From the palaces of Budapest and Vienna to the castles and estates of the surrounding countryside, it’s time to sip Champagne in the same reception rooms and walk the same art-filled corridors of Europe’s royal past.
Danube Dreams with Habsburg & Royalty (July 11 departure)
From the Danube Delta to Prague with Habsburg & Royalty (July 2 departure)

Under the Star: Jewish Heritage Cruises.
History’s most moving chapters come to life sailing down the Danube, Rhine and Rhône Rivers on an Avalon Jewish Heritage cruise. Deep in the Jewish quarters of Europe’s most historic cities, explore museums and monuments, cemeteries and synagogues and learn the touching stories behind them all.
Romantic Rhine with Jewish Heritage (July 21 departure)
Rhine & Rhône Revealed with Jewish Heritage (July 14 departure)
The Legendary Danube with Jewish Heritage (August 13 departure)

Passion for the Passion Play.
Finally, for travellers who have been waiting years (and years) to experience Oberammergau’s Passion Play – a theatrical tradition that has taken place every 10 years since 1634 – Avalon Waterways is delivering an unforgettable cruise experience and preferred seating at the Passion Play.
Danube Dreams with Oberammergau 2020 (multiple departures throughout 2020)


Wine Voyages

2019 Wine Voyages with Paul Gauguin Cruises

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Often when you think if taking a wine themed cruise you imagine sailing around the Mediterranean sipping wines from Italy or Spain. Maybe you can picture yourself on a river cruise meandering into the famous Bordeaux region, sipping a sweet crisp Riesling along the Rhine, or along to Douro to savour the Port it is famous for?

Well wine lovers rejoice! You can indulge your love of wine while cruising in paradise.  Wine experts will be aboard special 2019 sailings with Paul Gauguin Cruises as part of their all-inclusive value in luxury cruising.

Robin and Danuta Pfeiffer are the owners and winemakers of Pfeiffer Winery and Vineyards, an ultra-premium, sustainable, 70-acre vineyard with an international reputation for producing world-class Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. Enjoy a wine lecture and a tasting of Pfeiffer Winery wines when Robin and Danuta join The Gauguin’s April 13, 2019, Marquesas, Tuamotus & Society Islands voyage.


As the sixth generation of “America’s oldest winemaking family,” Steven Kent Mirassou began his wine career at age 13 on the bottling lines, forklifts, and warehouses of the family’s historic winery. At the ripe age of 32, he opened the Steven Kent Winery with one mission in mind: to make Cabernet in the Livermore Valley that rivals in quality the greatest red wines around the world. Steven shares his expertise during a lecture and tasting of his wines during the April 27, 2019, Tahiti & the Society Islands voyage aboard The Gauguin.


Nestled in the famous Napa Valley, the Salvestrin Winery has been growing wine grapes since 1932. It was originally planted in 1860 by Dr. George Crane, and three generations of the Salvestrin family have meticulously and sustainably farmed this historic St. Helena vineyard for 80 years. Sensitive to both the environment and the surrounding community, the family follows organic guidelines as they consistently create handcrafted wines that are fruit forward, elegant, balanced, and memorably world class. Learn more about these exceptional wines as the family shares their story during a lecture and wine tasting during the July 10, 2019, Society Islands & Tuamotus voyage.


Katie Leonardini and her family have owned Whitehall Lane for more than 25 years. In its short history, Whitehall Lane has developed into a world-class winery. The efforts of the Leonardini family are evident in the recent run of accolades from wine publications—but are even more apparent in the beautifully made, elegant wines they continue to make. Enjoy Katie’s presentation and tasting of Whitehall Lane wines aboard the July 10, 2019, Society Islands & Tuamotus voyage.


The Pejus’ Rutherford vineyard has been home to Lisa Peju since she was six years old. It was then that she moved with her parents from Southern California to wine country to begin a life devoted to growing grapes, producing high-quality wines, and finding new and innovative ways to market the family brand. Learn more about Peju Winery—and taste its delicious wines—as Lisa shares her expertise during a presentation on board The Gauguin during the July 27, 2019, Society Islands & Tahiti Iti voyage.

Dedication Of Nieuw Statendam Features Godmother Oprah Winfrey

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Thousands of fans worldwide joined in to watch the ceremony online live from Fort Lauderdale

SEATTLE, Feb. 4, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — In an event rich with inspiration and tradition, Holland America Line held a dedication ceremony for Nieuw Statendam Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019, at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Oprah Winfrey — philanthropist, film star, TV icon, founder and editorial director of O, The Oprah Magazine — officially named the ship in a ceremony on board in the ship’s World Stage.

During the daytime celebration, Winfrey was joined by Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line; Stein Kruse, Holland America Group and Carnival UK chief executive officer; and Arnold Donald, president and CEO of Carnival Corporation.

“We are deeply honored to have Oprah Winfrey serve as the godmother of our newest ship in a celebration of our shared belief that travel has the power to open minds, build connections and inspire shared humanity across cultures and people,” said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line’s president. “Oprah’s magnetic energy and astounding ability to inspire others is admired around the world, and today was the perfect culmination of a memorable few days together on Nieuw Statendam and our ongoing partnership with O, The Oprah Magazine.”

Nieuw Statendam’s dedication ceremony followed the three-day Girls’ Getaway cruise to the Caribbean that celebrated the power of female relationships. Gayle King, editor-at-large of O, The Oprah Magazine and Winfrey’s best friend, joined her on the cruise, along with several other senior editors from the magazine.

During the ceremony, Ashford highlighted the connection between Nieuw Statendam, the legacy of the ship’s name and the stories of life-changing travel experiences for the officers and crew, travel professionals and guests, saying: “Nieuw Statendam represents our highest aspirations for connection and understanding in our world. She is a vessel for exploration and adventure across countries, languages, cultures and peoples, and — we hope — a source of joy for our guests for many years to come.”

Winfrey reflected on the Girls’ Getaway cruise that had just concluded, saying “It’s been an incredible experience to see people from across the world come together with one mind and celebrate themselves, honor themselves and honor each other. Everybody gathered, made friends and connected to people they didn’t know because they felt like they had met themselves on some level. I have never seen anything like it.” She then officially dedicated the ship as its godmother with the traditional statement, “I name this ship Nieuw Statendam. May God bless her and all who sail on her.” The ceremony concluded when Winfrey triggered the release of the traditional bottle of Champagne that broke against the ship’s bow.

Following the ceremony, a Gala Dinner was held on board. During the evening celebration, guests were invited to participate in a maritime tradition of pouring Champagne over the ship’s bell as a blessing. This ceremony was a recreation of the bell ceremony on Holland America Line’ss.s. Statendam IV on January 23, 1957, when a then-18-year-old Dutch Crown Princess Beatrix poured Champagne over the bell to officially dedicate that new ship as it sailed in the North Sea. Nieuw Statendam is the sixth ship in the company’s history to bear the name.


About Nieuw Statendam

Nieuw Statendam was delivered from Fincantieri’s Marghera, Italy, shipyard Nov. 30, 2018, and currently is sailing its inaugural season from Ft. Lauderdale to the Caribbean through April 2019. Following a transatlantic crossing, the ship will spend the summer exploring Norway, the Baltic and Iceland on cruises sailing roundtrip from Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Come fall, the ship will make its way to the Mediterranean and offer a series of cruises roundtrip from Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy.

The new 2,666-guest ship has an ambiance that balances fresh, contemporary styling in perfect harmony with the line’s renowned classic elegance. At the helm of the design and interiors are internationally acclaimed hospitality designer Adam D. Tihany and Bjørn Storbraaten, one of the world’s leading architects working in the cruise industry.

Nieuw Statendam offers an abundance of unforgettable dining options. Award-winning cuisine is served in the stunning Dining Room; and an array of specialty restaurants feature exclusive experiences such as steak and seafood at Pinnacle Grill, authentic Italian cuisine in Canaletto, the culinary traditions of Southeast Asia at Tamarind and Nami Sushi, and a contemporary twist on French seafood classics in Rudi’s Sel de Mer.

The innovative Music Walk on Nieuw Statendam showcases a variety of live musical experiences and genres unlike any other at sea, including Rolling Stone Rock Room, Lincoln Center Stage, Billboard Onboard and B.B. King’s Blues Club.

Alaska Expeditions with Seabourn

Ventures By Seabourn Offers World-Class Expedition Team in Alaska

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SEATTLE, January 15, 2019 – Seabourn, the world’s finest ultra-luxury cruise line, is ensuring that its 2019 season in Alaska & British Columbia unfolds as an immersive experience and stands out with an impressive offering of optional Ventures by Seabourn guided kayak, Zodiac, catamaran and hiking tours led by a highly accomplished, skilled, and knowledgeable Seabourn expedition team.

The already-assembled expedition team includes experienced wilderness experts, scientists, historians and Zodiac operators. Ventures by Seabourn excursions are available for-charge, in select destinations, and can be booked in advance by guests. In addition, the expedition team will couple with several local tour operators to enhance hiking excursions, bringing additional wealth of local expertise and information on the region to guests.

“As every year, we are excited to share our experienced and qualified expedition team for the upcoming 2019 season in Alaska & British Columbia. The strength of the group lies in the combination of academic passion, old-school experience, and local knowledge that they bring to the cruise schedule,” said Robin West, vice president of Expedition Operations for Seabourn. “This season’s expedition team will not only join the guests on Ventures outings, but will add to the onboard experience of Seabourn Sojourn with complimentary lectures on their fields of expertise including marine biology, geology, ornithology and history. They’ll further be available at every turn to point out wildlife, join guests for dinner, and answer questions around the ship about the wild and pristine wonders that draw them – and our guests – back year after year.”

Also part of the Seabourn Conversations program, the expedition team members regularly interact with guests throughout each sailing, sharing keen insight and in-depth knowledge about the history, ecology and culture of the region. Their valuable insights are offered both in complimentary formal presentations on a variety of topics and in more casual conversations over meals or at leisure. In addition, the team chronicles their adventures with stories and photos via Seabourn’s Ventures Tracker.

Travelers considering a trip to Alaska & British Columbia in 2019 have extra incentive to book now with Seabourn offering a complementary “Veranda for Ocean-View” upgrade on all sailings to the destination. The offer, which is valid through February 13, 2019 as part of the Signature Savings Event, provides the value of a guaranteed veranda suite for the price of an ocean-view.

Guests can look forward to participating in up-close explorations of the majestic beauty and fascinating history and culture of America’s Last Frontier. Ventures by Seabourn will be a highlight of an exciting schedule of 11-, 12- and 14-day ultimate Alaska itineraries onboard Seabourn Sojourn scheduled from June to October 2019.


Members of the handpicked expedition team for Seabourn’s 2019 season in Alaska & British Columbia include:

· Juan Carlos Restrepo, Expedition Leader – With a passion for the great outdoors and adventure, Juan has explored all the continents and oceans of the world. He began his career in the expedition industry as a Dive Master on luxury yachts and then took his love for expedition to the Polar Regions.

· Chris Srigley, Expedition Leader – Chris spends up to nine months a year on expedition ships, including full seasons in Antarctica and the Arctic. Beyond his duties on the expedition team, Chris serves as a Polar Bear Guard, advancing landing parties and keeping a watchful eye while guests experience the natural wonders around them.

· Nicki D’Souza, Assistant Expedition Leader – Nicki puts her years of experience and passion for travel to good use assisting guests with shore excursions all over the world. As an expedition leader with many maiden calls behind her, she has led voyages along the West Coast of Africa, South America, Europe and Asia.

· Natasha Hanson, Assistant Expedition Leader / Lecturer – An avid outdoorswoman Natasha has guided kayaking and hiking excursions in remote areas of the world. As a general naturalist with over a decade of experience in the Polar Regions, she has shared her knowledge with guests of various expedition ships.

· Adam Jenkins, Assistant Expedition Leader / Lecturer – Adam has engaged in myriad adventures at sea, including single-handedly sailing a 27-foot sloop down the Pacific Coast and back up the East Coast to Nova Scotia. He long ago found his calling leading expeditions and working with adventure travelers and scientists.

· Lisa Baldwin, Lecturer – Enthralled by the ocean, Lisa is a competitive ocean swimmer, free diver, naturalist, and traveler who enjoys educating others about the natural environment. Her extensive work as a field biologist and passion for health research gives her a unique ability to be open, friendly and relate to guests on all levels.

· Nicki Bunting, Kayak Guide – Nicki credits her Olympian grandmother and competitive sailor father for her adventurous spirit and love of the ocean. An historian, photographer, naturalist, and thrice Tour Guide of the Year in Skagway, Alaska, she has lectured extensively on local and state history.

· Ross Ellingwood, Lecturer – Ross’s love of adventure took hold in college and hasn’t loosened its grip. In 2016, he spent six months building a wooden rowing boat in his garage, and then took it on a three-month, 1,100-mile exploration of the Inside Passage. His career has seen him guiding sea-kayaking trips and ice climbing in Alaska.

· Jennifer Fought, Lecturer – Certified as a Zodiac operator at nine, Jennifer found her sweet spot in the natural world and spent her youth camping, canoeing and riding horses. With a graduate degree in Structural Geology, she has conducted research from the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of New Mexico to the glaciers of Greenland.

· Eric Holst, Lecturer – Over a decade as a Zodiac driver and bridge officer, Eric worked extensively in Alaska, British Columbia, Mexico and Central America. He is fascinated by geography and earth history, especially where they converge with the study of ancient climates and ecosystems and is most content before the face of a tidewater glacier watching the confluence of time, climate and topography on a barely fathomable scale.

· Greg Horn, Kayak Guide – Following schooling and military service, Horn fueled his interests in business and adventure by starting a SCUBA center along South Africa’s Garden Route and later ran a bush camp and dive resort in Mozambique. He has completed 5,000-plus dives in the Indian Ocean and Red Sea and traveled more than 14,000 km by off-road motorbike through South Africa.

· Aidan Klimenko, Photo / Videographer – An accomplished photographer, filmmaker and traveler, Aldan explores life around the world through his camera and lens. Raised in Ecuador, he traveled South America in search of adventure and imagery to create a portfolio for entrée into the travel and adventure industries.

· Sylvia Stevens, Lecturer – Born in Scotland and relocated to San Diego, Sylvia gave up a successful business career to pursue her love of photography, wildlife and travel. She has worked extensively with injured and endangered animals in various locations, including seabirds, eagles and otters in Alaska, and has three decades of experience as a lecturer and Expedition Leader on ships in the Arctic, Sub-Antarctic and Antarctic.

· Peter Torkelson, Lecturer – A native Alaskan, entrepreneur and avid sailor, in 2010 Peter ditched a thriving business and moved with his family aboard a catamaran to cruise 14,000 ocean miles over six years, surviving two hurricanes en route. These days he explores western Prince William Sound and Southeast Alaska as often as possible, and recently worked on megayacht charters out of Juneau.

· Kirstie Yeager, Lecturer – Kirstie has spent more than two decades studying and working in natural resource management and wildlife research. Her extensive background includes studying grizzly bears in Montana, Steller sea lions in Alaska, and several species at McMurdo and Palmer Stations in Antarctica.

The expedition team will rotate throughout the season, and additional team members will join select sailings periodically.

Seabourn Sojourn’s 2019 season in Alaska & British Columbia provides ultra-luxury comforts together with onboard programming including Seabourn Conversations, a complimentary enrichment lecture and presentation series, and wildlife watching on deck. The unique voyages combine Alaska’s most popular ports with rarely visited hidden gems of the Inside Passage and British Columbia, including destinations such as Alert Bay and Klemtu.


Five New America's Test Kitchen Show in 2019

Holland America Expands America’s Test Kitchen Demonstrations

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Holland America Line Turns Up the Heat with Five New America’s Test Kitchen Cooking Shows for 2019. The demonstrations offer foolproof recipes and expert tips from the popular TV show

SEATTLE, Jan. 14, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — From foodie newbies to seasoned cooks, Holland America Line is encouraging guests to embrace their love of cooking alongside the experts at America’s Test Kitchen with five new shows starting in January 2019. The new 45-minute presentations — covering everything from tacos and takeout to dinner for two and sweet treats — join the 14 current shows and feature a mix of video, instruction and live recipe demonstrations.

All Holland America Line ships (except Maasdam) feature America’s Test Kitchen venues that replicate the set where the prominent “America’s Test Kitchen” television shows are recorded for broadcast on public television stations nationwide. The onboard cooking shows on every cruise are hosted by Holland America Line chefs trained by America’s Test Kitchen culinary experts and, like the TV shows, combine thoroughly tested recipes with practical tips on everything from how to select fresh fruits and vegetables to how to use kitchen knives safely and efficiently.

“Holland America Line guests are knowledge seekers, foodies and learners, and our America’s Test Kitchen shows really resonate with them — which is why they’re wildly popular and draw standing-room-only crowds,” said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line’s president. “We’re excited to expand on the already exceptional menu of shows offered by America’s Test Kitchen to include some fun topics that easily transition to the home kitchen.”

New America’s Test Kitchen shows aboard Holland America Line ships:

  • Sweet and Fruity Desserts: The naturally sweet, tart flavors of apples and raspberries take center stage in two knockout desserts: apple crisp and cheese blintzes with raspberry sauce.
  • Dinner Classics for Two: Learn our secrets for perfect chicken marsala, rice pilaf and warm chocolate fudge cakes to make an elegant meal for two.
  • Mediterranean Medley: This easy weeknight meal is an assortment of dishes from countries along the Mediterranean, including restaurant-style hummus and tender lamb meatballs with couscous and yogurt sauce.
  • Serious Tacos: Elevate your tacos with two new recipes: shredded chicken tacos braised in a deeply flavored sauce of chilies, tomatoes and spices; and easy (and crispy) shrimp tacos.
  • Make Your Own Takeout: Forget about ordering takeout favorites like pad thai and scallion pancakes. Learn how to make your own authentic versions at home with test kitchen tips.

The five new cooking shows join a collection of 14 demonstrations, including Meatless Monday Meals, Everything Salmon, Flavors of the Mediterranean, New Italian Favorites, We Love Chocolate, Getting to Know Chiles, Salad for Dinner, Asian Dumplings, Tapas Party, Steakhouse Dinner, Blue Ribbon Breakfasts, Beyond Pasta, Lunch for a Rainy Day and Southern Snacking.

In addition to the shows, Holland America Line guests have 24-hour access to episodes of “America’s Test Kitchen” and “Cook’s Country” television programs in their staterooms.

Seabourn Conversations Line-Up

New Line-up Of Speakers for Seabourn Conversations

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Seabourn Announces Upcoming Distinguished Luminaries For Seabourn Conversations Program

SEATTLE, Oct. 15, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Seabourn, the world’s finest ultra-luxury cruise line, is continuing its mission to inspire and inform guests with a new line-up of remarkable speakers for its Seabourn Conversations program during the 2018-2019 cruise season. The popular onboard enrichment program will host distinguished speakers with fascinating stories to share and expertise to enlighten across a wide array of disciplines including space exploration, mountaineering, television production, culinary, history, politics, and the arts.

The impressive line-up of Seabourn Conversationalists includes first-time and returning speakers sure to keep guests engaged and entertained as they explore natural and cultural wonders around the globe, including aboard the line’s newest vessel, Seabourn Ovation, which launched this past May.

“It is always exciting to put together a new roster of engaging personalities to add colorful stories to the experiences our guests have while they travel with us,” said Richard Meadows, president of Seabourn. “Our highly successful Seabourn Conversations series continues to draw prominent personalities who are excited to share their life’s work and experiences from rarely heard but reliably insider perspectives.”


Upcoming select speakers of the 2018-2019 Seabourn Conversations program include:

Richard Stone (Seabourn Ovation, November 14, 2018 voyage) – The Royal Portrait Painter for four decades, Stone has captured most members of the Royal Family on canvas. Starting at 22, he was the youngest Royal portrait artist since 21-year-old Sir Thomas Lawrence in the 1700s. Naturally talented and determined, Stone’s portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery in 1992, is his most famous work. In addition to the Royal Family, he has portrayed many other notable international personalities, including Nelson Mandela, Margaret Thatcher, Luciano Pavarotti, and more.

Bryan Fogel (Seabourn Sojourn, November 19, 2018 voyage) – An Academy-Award winning American film director, producer, author and playwright, Fogel is best known for his 2017 documentary Icarus, which took home the 2018 Oscar for “Best Documentary Feature”.

Captain Scott Kelly (Seabourn Encore, December 3, 2018 voyage) – One of a select group of Americans who have traveled into space, Kelly previously held the record for total days in space by an American astronaut: 520. Like his best-selling memoir, Endurance: My Year in Space and Our Journey to Mars, he has many awe-inspiring stories from space and reflections on leadership, teamwork and testing limits to share.

Dean McFlicker (Seabourn Ovation, December 4, 2018 voyage) – An award-winning producer and director for NBC Entertainment and others, McFlicker will share his experiences creating campaigns for some of the most successful shows on television, including The Voice, This Is Us, Law and Order, America’s Got Talent and more. He has also been a choreographer on Broadway and has worked on countless music videos and international concerts in Hollywood.

Jamie Metzl (Seabourn Ovation, December 22, 2018) – A Senior Fellow of the Atlantic Council, as well as a novelist, blogger and syndicated columnist, Metzl is an expert in Asian affairs and biotechnology policy. Among wide-ranging endeavors, he has served as an election monitor in Afghanistan and the Philippines. His works of fiction include the historical novel, The Depths of the Sea, and the genetics thrillers Genesis Code and Eternal Sonata.

Tim & Nina Zagat (Seabourn Ovation, January 19, 2019 voyage) – The Co-Founders of the Zagat Survey, renowned for collecting and correlating the ratings of restaurants by diners, Tim and Nina are also award-winning entrepreneurs and prominent players on civic, cultural and charitable scenes.

Pamela Chen (Seabourn Ovation, January 19, 2019) – With her Taiwanese roots and love of Asian cooking, Chen takes guests on an inspiring and flavorsome journey into Asian cuisine and culture. She combines her love of cooking, design background and cultural heritage to present a unique, authentic experience and fascinating insights that demystifies the delights of Asian cuisine and eastern culture. Through her talks and demonstrations, she shares fascinating – and often funny – stories from a lifestyle that blends eastern and western culture.

Armando Manni (Seabourn Ovation, February 16, 2019 voyage) – The “M” in K+M Extravirgin Chocolate founded with renowned chef and Seabourn partner Thomas Keller, Manni is a film director, gourmet and entrepreneur with a Golden Globe winning film among his work. In 2001, he founded MANNI Oil, a global brand now synonymous with quality, luxury and taste. He also owns Casa MANNI Roma, designed by Adam D. Tihany, who fashioned the interiors of Seabourn Ovation and Seabourn Encore.

Ben Taggie (Seabourn Ovation, March 2, 2019) – A Professor of History Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts, Taggie’s specialties are Asian, medieval and classical history. Together with his wife Louise, he is founder of MSA Cultural Tours, which conducts educational tours to venues such as Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal. He is also President of the Mediterranean Studies Association devoted to international education and research.

Paul Deegan (Seabourn Sojourn, March 5, 2019 voyage) – Award-winning author and seasoned climber of mountainous regions on five continents, Deegan was co-leader of the first environmental expedition to Mount Everest at age 18. He returned: once to be embroiled in the greatest tragedy in the mountain’s history, and once finishing on top.

Alison Levine (Seabourn Sojourn, December 10, 2019 voyage) – An adventurer, explorer, mountaineer, “beer muse,” filmmaker, storyteller, and bestselling author, Levine has survived sub-zero temperatures, hurricane-force winds, sudden avalanches, and a career on Wall Street, leaving her well suited to draw relevant parallels between mountaineering and business, and to converse about the same.

Steve Wozniak (Seabourn Ovation, December 21, 2019) – Designer of the hardware, circuit board designs and operating system for the Apple I personal computer, Wozniak was awarded the National Medal of Technology by President Ronald Reagan in 1985 and the Hoover Medal in 2014. His autobiography, iWoz: From Computer Geek to Cult Icon, was a New York Times bestseller.


For the full schedule of speakers participating in Seabourn Conversations for 2018 – 2019, visit

Seabourn Conversations

Inspiring Luminaries Announced For Seabourn Conversations

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Inspiring Luminaries Announced For Seabourn Conversations Aboard The Ultra-Luxury Seabourn Sojourn 2018-2019 Extended Explorations Voyages

SEATTLE, July 9, 2018 – Seabourn, the world’s finest ultra-luxury cruise line, is continuing its quest to intrigue and inform guests with a new line-up of distinguished Seabourn Conversations guest speakers and personalities aboard Seabourn Sojourn’s upcoming Extended Explorations voyages beginning in October 2018. The popular onboard enrichment program will host distinguished speakers and personalities from a variety of fields including anthropology, space exploration, culinary, military history, and the arts.

This season’s line-up of Seabourn Conversationalists includes first-time and returning speakers to keep guests entertained and engaged as they explore the South Pacific, Hawaii, Australia and New Zealand aboard Seabourn Sojourn. The Seabourn Conversations enrichment program allows guests to hear about rich life experiences firsthand, through lectures but also as speakers participate in the daily social scene onboard, sharing meals, adventures ashore and casual chats throughout the voyage.

“We are always excited to put together a new line-up of the most interesting personalities to inform and entertain our guests on an array of topics while they travel with us,” said Richard Meadows, president of Seabourn. “The highly successful Seabourn Conversations series continues to introduce noteworthy personalities to share their life’s work and experiences from rarely heard but authoritative perspectives.”


Select speakers of the 2018-2019 Seabourn Conversations program aboard Seabourn Sojourn include:


· Frank Buzzard (October 15, 2018 voyage) – During a distinguished 30-year career with NASA, Buzzard served as Chief Engineer of the Space Shuttle, Chief Engineer of the International Space Station (ISS), and ISS Program Director/Senior System Integration Manager. He is now a part-time professor at the University of Colorado Boulder and runs his own aerospace consulting business.

· Ted Libbey (October 15, 2018 voyage) – One of America’s most highly regarded music critics, Libbey spent 15 years as a commentator on NPR’s “Performance Today.” He was Director of Media Arts at the National Endowment for the Arts, an editor at High Fidelity and Musical America, as well as a music critic for The New York Times.

· Dr. Charles Urbanowitz (October 15, 2018 voyage) – With more than 45 years of research and travel experience in the Pacific, Urbanowitz is a leading expert on the culture and traditions of the region. He was recognized as one of five “master teachers” during his time in the Anthropology Department of California State University, Chico.

· Sam Choy (October 15, 2018 voyage) – Founder of the Sam Choy Keauhou Poke Contest, Chef Choy has been creating cuisine with fresh, local ingredients from the Hawaiian Islands since before “farm-to-table”.He has authored 18 cookbooks, appeared on numerous Food Network shows, and was twice a guest star on the television series Hawai’i Five-0.

· Colonel Gerald McCormack (November 2, 2018 voyage) – Now retired from the Australian Army, McCormack commanded tank troops in South Vietnam and a tank regiment in Australia. A graduate of four military colleges including The Royal Military College and Joint Services Staff College of Australia, he has lectured in history at the Officer Cadet School and at Senior Officer Colleges.

· Hon. Sir Jim McLay KNZM QSO (November 2, 2018 voyage) – A New Zealand lawyer, politician, businessman and diplomat, Sir Jim McLay CNZM QSO was a member of the New Zealand Parliament and a Cabinet Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition. He had a successful business career, including chairmanship of Macquarie New Zealand, and was director of a number of publicly listed companies. For six years, he led New Zealand’s representation at the United Nations in New York, and has performed a number of other diplomatic roles.

· Dr. Richard Turnbull (November 19, 2018 voyage) – A professor in the History of Art Department at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, Turnbull teaches courses on the art and civilization of Oceania and is a lecturer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art offering richly illustrated presentations celebrating the religion, art, architecture and culture of the South Pacific and Australia.

· Philip Martin (November 19, 2018 voyage) – A Professor of Agriculture and Resource Economics at the University of California-Davis, Martin worked on labor and immigration issues under former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and works for United Nations agencies around the world. He also travels widely to remote areas of Africa and Asia with his bird-watching wife Cecily.

· Harvey Broadbent (December 11, 2018 voyage) – A well-known writer, lecturer, broadcaster, and documentary film and TV producer, Broadbent was honored as a Member of the Order of Australia in 2016 for his life’s work in researching and writing history and producing historical documentaries. As a producer at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation for 23 years, he won several awards while specializing in cultural history documentary and special event television.

· Dr. Lawrence Blair (January 6, 2019 voyage) – Dr. Blair is a documentary filmmaker who co-produced the internationally-acclaimed and Emmy Award-winning BBC/PBS television series Ring of Fire, highlighting his many years of exploration of Indonesia. He is also a Visiting Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Southern California.

· Kevin Miller (January 16, 2019 voyage) – Miller is an internationally known traveler, adventurer, speaker, author, and leadership/business consultant whose action- and fun-packed seminars have delighted audiences everywhere. He is president of VisionBound International, Inc., an international consulting company, and is also a senior consultant for FranklinCovey. A retired career regular Army officer, Kevin served as a company commander in the 7th Infantry Division and was involved in Desert Storm.

· Bob Smolik (January 30, 2019 voyage) – Bob Smolik is a veteran diplomat and scholar, and has worked in various U.S. embassies around the world. His expertise as Diplomat in Residence at the University of Michigan is in economics and trade, as well as in U.N. human rights and NATO security issues. As an economic diplomat, he worked to open foreign markets to U.S. trade and investment on a fair and equal basis. He serves as ambassador of American society and culture, helping Washington to understand the political and economic dynamics of other nations.


Extended Explorations offers travelers a variety of ways to uncover new destinations by allowing guests to have an in-depth experience in a specific region or effortlessly move from one region to another. Adding a week, month, or an entire season offers many benefits for guests, including the opportunity for overnight stays in major ports with accommodations on board and ashore.

The longest Extended Explorations voyage spans 128 days, from October 15, 2018 to February 21, 2019, departing from Los Angeles to Cape Town, South Africa. For those who are not able to sail the longer voyages, guests can choose or in some cases combine shorter segments that best fit their schedules and interests.

For the full schedule of speakers participating in Seabourn Conversations, visit

Tale of Tales

Silversea Offers Line-Up of Tale Tellers

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Silversea completes remarkable line-up of 9 Tale Tellers for World Cruise 2019

(Monaco — June 28, 2018) Silversea announces the complete line-up of Tale Tellers for the cruise line’s World Cruise 2019. Nine renowned creatives will each join one segment of the 53-port voyage and will illustrate their experience artistically, forming a unique commemorative anthology – the Tale of Tales – for Silversea guests. They will also host a series of onboard lectures for guests, enriching the cruise experience immensely.

Saroo Brierley, Harold Koda, Jeremiah Tower and Tahir Shah are the latest talents to be announced for the 133-day World Cruise 2019. They will join five previously announced Tale Tellers by boarding Silversea’s Silver Whisper for part of the 31-country voyage, which departs San Francisco on January 6 and concludes in London on May 19, 2019.

Saroo Brierley

A born storyteller with a remarkable tale to tell, Saroo Brierley’s extraordinary childhood experience was released as a Hollywood blockbuster in 2016. Lion, which stars Nicole Kidman and Dev Patel, depicts how Brierley boarded a train in India at the age of five and lost his family for two and a half decades. After being adopted by an Australian couple, Brierley set out to find his birth family in India. The account of his experience was first portrayed as a novel. Subsequently, the film received six Oscar nominations and won various other awards, as well as generating significant media attention. Now a successful author and businessman, Brierley will join the second segment of the World Cruise 2019, taking him from Papeete, Tahiti, to Sydney, Australia.

Harold Koda

Hawaiian-born, multi-award-winning Harold Koda has forged a strong reputation for himself as a leading authority in the world of costume studies. Since graduating from the universities of Hawaii and Harvard, Koda has received Honorary Doctorates from the University of the Arts London and Drexel University. A curator, an author and an academic, Koda is best celebrated as the former Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. He has authored/co-authored 20 books and his talents have been recognised with awards from a number of institutions, including the Council of Fashion Designers of America and the Fashion Group International, among others. Koda will board Silver Whisper for the third segment of the World Cruise 2019 – Sydney to Bali (Benoa).

Jeremiah Tower

A world-renowned chef and restauranteur, American-born Jeremiah Tower gained a truly international education before beginning his career as the Co-Owner and Executive Chef of Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California, in the early 1970s. His restaurant is credited by many as the inspiration for modern California cuisine. In the early 1980s, Tower also opened branches of Stars restaurant in San Francisco, Manila and Singapore, among other locations, as well as the celebrated Peak Café in Hong Kong. The accomplished chef and entrepreneur has also written a number of successful cookbooks. His publication on the history of the American dining revolution, California Dish, was named as one of the ‘ten best culinary memoirs’ of all time. In 2017, a full-length documentary on Tower was released; The Last Magnificent was produced by the late Anthony Bourdain for CNN. Tower will experience the sixth segment of the voyage, taking him between Singapore and Mombasa.

Tahir Shah

Tahir Shah is best known for his unusual and often hazardous expeditions. A British author based in Morocco, he has searched the Upper Amazon for a former head-shrinking tribe; hacked through Peru’s Madre de Dios jungle, hunting for the greatest lost city of the Americas; studied magic with Indian Godmen; combed Ethiopia for the fabled gold mines of King Solomon; and has led expeditions through war-torn Afghanistan, in search of a lost treasure valued at more than $500 billion, among other fascinating quests. Shah has authored over 20 books on travel and exploration, as well as a number of critically acclaimed novels – which have been translated into thirty languages. Shah has also written and presented a number of documentaries, which have aired on National Geographic, the History Channel and Channel 4. Tahir Shah will board Silver Whisper for the final segment of the World Cruise 2019 between Lisbon and London.


Previously announced Tale Tellers for Silversea’s World Cruise 2019 include: Pico Iyer, novelist, travel writer and essayist; Paul Theroux, travel writer, novelist and winner of the James Tait Black Prize for Fiction; Steve McCurry, an iconic voice in contemporary photography; Alain de Botton, philosopher, TED speaker, Co-Founder of the School of Life and member of the Royal Society of Literature; and Sophy Roberts, award-winning writer with specialisms in remote travel, conservation, and cultural preservation.

Ahead of the World Cruise 2019, Silver Whisper will undergo extensive refurbishments in December 2018, meaning guests will enjoy enhanced comfort for the Tale of Tales voyage. Intimate in her proportions, Silver Whisper will foster a convivial atmosphere among guests as she cruises around the world from January 6, 2019.

“We are extremely proud to offer such a rich line-up of creatives for our guests on the World Cruise 2019,” says Barbara Muckermann, Chief Marketing Officer for Silversea Cruises. “We are sure that their stimulating lectures and the Tale of Tales anthology will enrich the experience enormously for our valued guests. We are continuously seeking ways to unlock unique experiences for travellers; our nine Tale Tellers will ensure that the beauty of these unique experiences is best captured.”

In addition to a vast number of bespoke land tours, a selection of exclusive enrichments will embellish the World Cruise 2019, such as a tour of the famous prison that housed Nelson Mandela and a private opening of the spectacular Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, among many others. Guests will also receive a range of destination-related gifts.

Early booking fares for Silversea’s World Cruise 2019 start from €53,000 per guest for the complete voyage. Guests can also book each of the voyage’s nine segments individually; the fare for each segment varies.


Alan Cumming join Cunard Transatlantic Sailing

Iconic Alan Cumming joins Cunard’s Insights program on Transatlantic Crossing

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Queen Mary 2 Welcomes Acclaimed Renaissance Man & Renowned Entertainer Alan Cumming Headlines Cunard’s Insights Program on January 3, 2019 Transatlantic Crossing

VALENCIA, Calif., June 19, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Stage, film and TV superstar Alan Cumming will join Cunard as part of the luxury cruise line’s famed Insights program on the January 3, 2019 Transatlantic Crossing (M902) on flagship ocean liner Queen Mary 2.

While sailing on the seven-night voyage from New York to Southampton, England, Cumming will be offering a Q&A session with guests and hosting a screening of Instinct, his new hit TV series on CBS in which he plays Dr. Dylan Reinhart. Instinct, which premiered in March and was just renewed for a second season, is an American police drama based on James Patterson’s Murder Games.

“Cunard is delighted to welcome the amazingly talented Alan Cumming on Queen Mary 2’s January 3, 2019 Transatlantic Crossing,” said Josh Leibowitz, senior vice president, Cunard North America. “During the voyage, our guests will be able to hear and learn from one of the best in the industry—from his life and career to new ventures in the arts. This will be a Transatlantic highlight not to be missed.”

Cumming has appeared in numerous films and television shows, was nominated for Emmys, SAG Awards and Golden Globes for his work on The Good Wife, and is a long-time renowned stage actor both in New York and London. Most famously he won a Tony award for his role in Cabaret on Broadway and is best-known for his film roles in Emma, GoldenEye, Anniversary Party, and X2. In 2017 he opened his own cabaret club in New York, “Club Cumming,” and currently tours the country performing Legal Immigrant, a show of songs and stories about his life and loves in his adopted homeland.

A dedicated humanitarian and activist, the Scottish-American Cumming devotes much of his energy to promoting LGBTQ and human rights, receiving over forty awards for his humanitarianism and social activism. He received the Great Scot and Icon of Scotland awards and was made an Officer of the British Empire for his contributions to the arts and LGBTQ equality by the Queen.

Cunard’s celebrated Insights program offers fascinating experts from various industries on every voyage, holding lectures and Q&As throughout the trip. In addition to Alan Cumming, Cunard is offering extraordinary special event Crossings throughout the 2018 season including collaborations with, NY Fashion Week, and International Space Week.


Cunard’s Big Balcony Event (available to book through July 31, 2018) makes a Transatlantic Crossing even more irresistible with fares from $999 and up to $1,400 free onboard credit per stateroom and free drinks and free gratuities in the Princess Grill and Queens Grill suites.

Holland America Oprah and Gayle Girl's Weekend Away

Holland America Line offers Girl’s Getaway Cruise with Oprah

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Holland America Line And O, The Oprah Magazine Set Sail On Three-Day Girls’ Getaway Cruise Jan. 30, 2019, With Oprah Winfrey Aboard Nieuw Statendam

Oprah named godmother of new vessel and will officially dedicate the ship in a private ceremony at a later date

Seattle, Wash., June 13, 2018 — Holland America Line and O, The Oprah Magazine announced today a three-day Girls’ Getaway cruise on Holland America Line’s newest ship, Nieuw Statendam, Jan. 30, 2019. Oprah Winfrey will embark on the cruise, joined by O, The Oprah Magazine Editor-at-Large Gayle King and other members of the magazine’s editorial staff, who will host special presentations and events on board the ship, currently under construction at Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard in Italy. Winfrey will serve as godmother of Nieuw Statendam, with an official dedication by Winfrey to take place in a private ceremony at a later date to be announced.

“We are so excited to have Oprah set sail with us again for the Girls’ Getaway cruise in partnership with O, The Oprah Magazine, and we’re deeply honored that Oprah will serve as godmother of Nieuw Statendam,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “The time-honored maritime tradition of choosing a godmother for a new vessel dates back more than 4,000 years and is revered as important in bringing good luck and protection to the ship and all who sail on board, so it’s perfectly fitting that the Girls’ Getaway cruise will take place on Nieuw Statendam. We anticipate the energy and inspirational spirit will be unlike any other cruise experience there is — and life-changing for many.”

The Girls’ Getaway cruise sails roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and spends a day at Half Moon Cay, Holland America Line’s idyllic private island in the Bahamas. The Girls’ Getaway cruise celebrates the power of friendship and will feature exclusive onboard experiences that honor and pay tribute to the special bond between women.

As a highlight, guests will have the opportunity to attend one of three live “Conversations with Oprah.” Additionally, editorial staff from O, The Oprah Magazine will be on board hosting special events, including Editor-in-Chief Lucy Kaylin, Creative Director Adam Glassman, Beauty Director Brian Underwood and Books Editor Leigh Haber.

“The partnership with Holland America Line has been a dream come true,” said Jayne Jamison, senior vice president, publisher and chief revenue officer of O, The Oprah Magazine. “Our teams have worked seamlessly together to create unforgettable moments inspired by content in the magazine for the January 2019 sailing that reflect our core values and goals of helping people expand their horizons and live their best life.”


Activities and Events on the Girls’ Getaway Cruise

A Conversation with Oprah: Winfrey will share highlights of her career, inspirational stories of the amazing women she has met over the years, and the desire for this cruise to be the start of something meaningful for those on board. King will join Winfrey on stage for a candid and entertaining chat that shows the deep bond between these two best friends.

Love That! Style Session with Adam Glassman: Glassman will host a style presentation revealing his tips, tricks and secrets for essential pieces that everyone needs in their wardrobe. Following his talk, Glassman will join guests in the onboard dedicated O Shop to offer shopping advice.

O’s Reading Room with Leigh Haber: Guests will have the opportunity to read the latest onboard book club selection (to be announced) and then join Haber for an intriguing discussion with the author. O’s Reading Room was introduced on Holland America Line ships in 2017, and due to its overwhelming popularity, is now available on all ships in the fleet.

Just Breathe: Led by a guest instructor to be announced, participants set their intentions for the day and are encouraged to become present with themselves and those around them through meditation and movement. On the at-sea day, Just Breathe will be held around the serene Lido Pool area, and the experience moves to the beach during the call at private island Half Moon Cay.

Holland America Line and O, The Oprah Magazine Partnership

Building on the success of the exclusive partnership started in 2017, Holland America Line and O, The Oprah Magazine have extended their agreement through 2019 to unite the soul-stirring power of travel with O’s deep commitment to connection and personal growth. Two remaining Adventure of Your Life Cruises with Holland America Line and O, The Oprah Magazine also will feature members of the magazine’s editorial team, along with special guest speakers: Aug. 11, 2018, on a seven-day Alaska itinerary and Oct. 28, 2018, on a seven-day Caribbean sailing.
On Holland America Line cruises sailing in North America, guests can take part in a variety of engaging activities developed with the magazine’s editors including meditation, exercise, healthy eating and more. O’s Reading Room is available on all cruises worldwide.