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Guest Speakers

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

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    • Alan O'Cain

      Artist, Poet and freelance Lecturer

      Cruises:

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

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

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

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    • Andy Bunten BSc, MSc, DIC

      Ecologist

      Cruises:

      Iceland, Faroes & Shetlands - 2019-07-30
      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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    • Angus Graham-Campbell

      Eton College

      Cruises:

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

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

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

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

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

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    • Bob Porter

      Brandenburg Choral Festival of London

      Cruises:

      Ancient Greece & Dalmatian Coast - 2018-05-08 Renaissance Italy & Historic Islands - 2019-05-25
      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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    • Caroline Holmes

      Garden Historian

      Cruises:

      Classical Greece & Islands of the Aegean - 2019-10-07
      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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    • Christopher Walton

      Author and Journalist

      Cruises:

      Mediterranean Odyssey - 2018-09-01
      Chris has lived and worked in Cape Town and London, with stints in New York, Hong Kong, Europe and Australia. He worked as a journalist in Cape Town during the apartheid era before a moving to one of the world’s largest publishing companies in 1981, becoming South African Editor-in-Chief three years later. In 1997 he transferred with the company to London as International Editor General Books, responsible for editorial content worldwide.

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

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

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

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

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

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    • Clare Coventry

      Craft Tutor

      Cruises:

      Passage to Ancient Egypt & India - 2018-12-09 Idyllic Islands of the Indian Ocean - 2019-01-05 South Africa, Namibia & the Skeleton Coast - 2019-03-12
      Clare was born and brought up in the small and historic town of Youghal, in Co. Cork, in Southern Ireland. She was educated at the Presentation of the Sacred Heart Convent, in Youghal. a traditional Catholic school for young ladies. Whilst receiving the full curriculum of subjects, including Gaelic, Clare’s heartfelt interests lay in other directions.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Please note Clare will not be lecturing.

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    • Dr Barry Walsh MB (NUI) FRCPath, MSc (Lond)

      Art and Science Historian

      Cruises:

      European Connoisseur - 2019-06-06
      Barry Walsh was before retirement in 2015 a Consultant in Communicable Disease Control (CCDC) and Director of the South West London Health Protection Team part of Public Health England. He worked for 24 years in public health in London.

      Barry Walsh was before retirement in 2015 a Consultant in Communicable Disease Control (CCDC) and Director of the South West London Health Protection Team part of Public Health England. He worked for 24 years in public health in London.

      Born in Co Mayo he qualified in medicine at the University of Cork Ireland in 1981. After House Officer roles in Cork he moved to England where he started training in pathology.

      He specialised in medical microbiology first at St Mary’s Hospital Paddington and then John Radcliffe Hospital Oxford. Barry got his Membership in medical microbiology (MRC Path) in 1991. He took a Master’s Degree in Public Health in 1994.

      While specialising in medicine in London he managed to get a BA (2.1) in the History of Art at Birkbeck College in 1989. He focused on Italian Renaissance Art, Roman architecture, and Art of the 20th Century. In 1991 he got a Diploma in the History of Medicine at the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries and won the Osler Gold Medal for his lecture on Anatomy and Art in Renaissance Italy.

      Barry qualified as a London Blue Badge Guide in 2000 and now works as a professional tour guide in London specialising in medical and art history tours as well as the Palace of Westminster. He guides at Tate Modern, Tate Britain, National Gallery and Courtauld Institute.

      His broad interests and lectures also encompass Science Industry and Technology (Industrial Revolution), Royal Medicine, Art and Medicine, and The Body in the Car Park (the discovery of King Richard III).

      Bringing his interest in Western Art together with Art of the East he recently gained a Postgraduate Diploma in Asian Art at the School of Oriental and African Art (SOAS) London in 2017. He lectures and guides on Islamic, Chinese, Japanese, Indian art and East meets West in the British Museum and Victoria and Albert Museums.

       

       

       

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    • Dr Campbell Price

      Curator of Egypt and Sudan at The Manchester Museum

      Cruises:

      Passage to Ancient Egypt & India - 2018-12-09
      Campbell Price is Curator of Egypt and Sudan at The Manchester Museum, one of the UK’s largest Egyptology collections. He first became interested in ancient Egypt when he visited Kelvingrove Museum in his native Glasgow as a child.

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

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

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

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    • Dr Carrie Gibson

      PhD from University of Cambridge

      Cruises:

      South Africa, Namibia & the Skeleton Coast - 2019-03-12 Cathedrals & Vineyards SailAway - 2018-06-10 Harbours & Gardens SailAway - 2018-06-17
      Carrie Gibson received her PhD from Cambridge in 2011, and has spent much of the past decade researching the workings of the Spanish empire, clocking up countless hours in the imperial archives in Seville (her favourite place to research!), and travelling extensively through Spain and Portugal to trace this part of the Iberian past. Although her first book, Empire’s Crossroads: A History of the Caribbean from Columbus to the Present Day (2014),concerns connections across the Atlantic, she remains drawn to the roots of the Spanish empire, returning time and again to Spain.

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

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

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

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

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    • Dr Christopher Whitton

      Emmanuel College, Cambridge

      Cruises:

      Ancient Greece & Dalmatian Coast - 2018-05-08 Classic Civilisations of the Southern Mediterranean - 2019-04-13
      Christopher Whitton is a Senior Lecturer in Classics at the University of Cambridge. He was educated in his home town of Lancaster, as a scholar at Eton College, and as an undergraduate and graduate student at St John’s College, Cambridge.

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

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

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

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    • Dr David Crilly

      Theatre Director, Conductor & Composer

      Cruises:

      Passage to Ancient Egypt & India - 2018-12-09
      Dr David Crilly graduated from the Universities of Southampton and London, first in Music and then with a Masters in Drama and Theatre Studies before completing his doctorate in the philosophy of art at Magdalen College, Oxford.

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

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

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

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

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    • Dr David Price-Williams

      University of London

      Cruises:

      Aegean Experience & Alexandria - 2018-10-22
      David Price-Williams has a first degree from the University of Wales in Ancient Near Eastern languages (Aramaic, Hebrew, Arabic etc.), with a subsidiary in Attic and Koine Greek. His post-graduate work and his doctorate, from the University of London, is in Near Eastern archaeology. His first overseas archaeological field work in the eastern Mediterranean was in 1969 as a field surveyor at the classical site of Knidos in Turkey. He then worked for the Smithsonian Institution as an archaeological field surveyor on excavations in the Near East before directing his own field research in the same area through the early 1970’s.

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

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

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

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

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    • Dr Gillian Shepherd

      La Trobe University, Victoria, Australia

      Cruises:

      Mediterranean Odyssey - 2018-09-01

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

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

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    • Dr John Hughes

      Judge for the Royal horticultural Society

      Cruises:

      Cathedrals & Vineyards SailAway - 2018-06-10 Harbours & Gardens SailAway - 2018-06-17
      From his earliest days John Hughes has always grown plants with his main passion being cacti and other succulent plants. Unable to do Botany at ‘A’ level, as only Zoology was offered, he went on to study Industrial Chemistry at University and stay on for his PhD.

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

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

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    • Dr Mark Spencer

      Forensic Botanist

      Cruises:

      Classic Civilisations of the Southern Mediterranean - 2019-04-13

      Dr Mark Spencer has always been fascinated by plants, the first plant he grew was a hyacinth when he was 4 years old. Originally a horticulturist, Mark trained at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew where he was particularly interested in tropical ferns and alpine plants. He later studied botany at university and did a PhD in the evolution of aquatic fungi. After university, he worked as a field botanist for a regional conservation organisation, followed by 12 years as a senior botany curator at the Natural History Museum, London. Mark now is a consultant forensic botanist, public speaker and occasional radio and TV presenter. He has also recently joined the Arts Society as an accredited lecturer.

      Mark also has an interest in the history of botany, particularly 17th and 18th century herbariums. He has studied the herbarium of Sir Hans Sloane for over a decade and is the honorary curator of Carl Linnaeus’s herbarium at the Linnean Society of London. Currently he is working on projects on the herbarium of Rev. Adam Buddle a late 17th century English botanist who corresponded with Sloane and the introduction of novel garden plants to London during the 17th and early 18th centuries.

      He is also interested in the impacts of non-native invasive species and is an advisor on several regional and national programmes dealing with their management. He is also committed to engaging with and educating the wider public about the value and interest of Britain’s flora. Mark’s botanical interests are wide-ranging but are particularly focused on the historic and non-native floras of London and the Isles of Scilly. Mark is the Botanical Society of the British Isles vice-county recorder for Middlesex and the Vascular Plant Recorder for the London Natural History Society.

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    • Dr Michael Squire

      King’s College London

      Cruises:

      Ancient Greece & Dalmatian Coast - 2018-05-08 Classic Civilisations of the Southern Mediterranean - 2019-04-13
      Michael Squire is Reader in Classical Art and Archaeology at King’s College London. After receiving a starred first in Classics and a Master’s degree in Classical Archaeology (both at Trinity College, Cambridge), he received his PhD in 2007, with the Hellenic Society prize for best dissertation. Michael has held research fellowships and visiting professorships at Cambridge, Cologne, Munich and Stanford; he also held a Frank Knox Memorial Fellowship at Harvard University, and has worked at several Berlin institutes – including the Humboldt University, the Wissenschaftskolleg and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science.

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

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

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

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    • Dr Paul Roberts

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

      Cruises:

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

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

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

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    • Dr Peter Cattermole

      Planetary Geologist/Volcanologist

      Cruises:

      Peter was born in Sussex, and by seven was showing a keen interest in climbing rocks and playing the piano. The former led eventually to his becoming a geologist, the latter left him with a lifelong interest in music.

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

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

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

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

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    • Dr Pieter Van Der Merwe MBE

      General Editor at the National Maritime Museum

      Cruises:

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

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

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

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

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    • Dr. Joyce Salisbury

      Professor Emerita of History, University of Wisconsin

      Cruises:

      A Voyage through the Middle Sea - 2018-10-30
      Joyce grew up in Brazil and Mexico, then moved to the States and obtained a PhD in Medieval History from Rutgers University in New Jersey. She was endlessly curious about what shapes people’s actions, and thus focused on the history of religion and aspects of social history, like the history of sexuality.

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

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

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

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

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    • Ernest Rea

      Broadcaster

      Cruises:

      Aegean Experience & Alexandria - 2018-10-22 Idyllic Islands of the Indian Ocean - 2019-01-05
      Ernie Rea is a celebrated broadcaster who specialises on the history of religions and the way that faith impacts on the contemporary world. His regular radio programme, Beyond Belief, was awarded the prestigious Sony Gold Award for the best Speech Programme on British Radio. He worked for the BBC for 22 years in a variety of production and editorial roles.

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

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

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    • Gaynor Vaughan-Jones

      Radio & TV Producer

      Cruises:

      Idyllic Islands of the Indian Ocean - 2019-01-05
      Gaynor is a freelance radio and television producer and consultant and trainer on presentation and the press and broadcast media.

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

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

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

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

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    • Jane Busby

      Exercise and Dance Instructor

      Cruises:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Website  -  www.janebusbyfitness.co.uk

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

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    • John Coventry

      Travel and Special Interests lecturer

      Cruises:

      Passage to Ancient Egypt & India - 2018-12-09 Idyllic Islands of the Indian Ocean - 2019-01-05 South Africa, Namibia & the Skeleton Coast - 2019-03-12
      John studied Modern Languages at Exeter and Salford Universities, majoring in French, German, and Spanish. A lifelong thirst for travel was partially assuaged by a stint in America, at the University of Texas, in Austin, followed by a year in the pipeline construction industry, working as a translator/interpreter, in Algeria.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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    • John Ducker

      The Wine Education Service

      Cruises:

      European Connoisseur - 2019-06-06
      John wears two professional hats – the first as the actor ‘John Leeson’, now celebrating over 50 years in theatre, film and television notably as the unseen  ‘voice’ of Doctor WHO’s robotic companion K9!

      John wears two professional hats – the first as the actor ‘John Leeson’, now celebrating over 50 years in theatre, film and television notably as the unseen  ‘voice’ of Doctor WHO’s robotic companion K9! His acting career goes hand-in-hand with long-standing membership both of the Association of Wine Educators , the elite Circle of Wine Writers and as a senior team tutor for The Wine Education Service in London. Never turning down the opportunity of sharing his wine knowledge and passion with others, his cruise-lecturing experience has covered many sea and river miles and as a reputable good cook his quick-reference guide to food/wine matching, ‘Marriages Made in Heaven’, will be freely available on board. 

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    • Major General Stephen Carr-Smith

      British Army, Retired

      Cruises:

      Idyllic Islands of the Indian Ocean - 2019-01-05
      Stephen Carr-Smith spent 33 years in the Army. During 1962-1982, he served 10 years in Germany at the height of the Cold War. From 1988-1995 he was serving in NATO, most of which was spent helping develop the “New NATO” after the demise of the Warsaw Pact and the USSR.

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

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

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

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

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    • Nancy Gilchrist

      Master of Wine

      Cruises:

      South Africa, Namibia & the Skeleton Coast - 2019-03-12
      Nancy developed an interest in wine at a very early age (11, but don't tell anyone!). Excellent tasting opportunities whilst at Cambridge University fuelled the passion. For several years after graduation however, wine ran in tandem with other careers including a small business in a doubledecker bus (a Bristol Routemaster), and publishing

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

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

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

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    • Pamela Gordon

      Diplomatic Service Families Association

      Cruises:

      Beyond Burma & the Malay Peninsula - 2019-01-25
      Pamela and her husband Robert live in Salisbury (UK) and Narbonne (France). Pamela has been a career diplomat and a professional English language teacher throughout her working life. For the last five years, she has been head of the British Diplomatic Service Families Association, looking after the interests of the 3000+ spouses and dependents of British diplomats at home and abroad.

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

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

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

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    • Peter Hore

      Naval Historian and Author

      Cruises:

      Renaissance Italy & Historic Islands - 2018-05-30
      Peter Hore served worldwide during a full career in the Royal Navy, spent nine years in the film and TV industry, and is now a fulltime writer, editor and journalist. A freelance obituarist at the London Daily Telegraph since 2002, he has written over 1,000 obituaries on the men and women of the Royal Navy and on the Royal Marines including the SBS, the FANY, the French Resistance, yachtsmen, shipping magnates and many others.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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    • Peter Mawby

      Wildlife lecturer, ornithologist and research ecologist

      Cruises:

      South Africa, Namibia & the Skeleton Coast - 2019-03-12
      As an ornithologist and research ecologist Peter has travelled widely and is a regular and highly successful cruise ship lecturer. Peter’s interest in the environment and ornithology in particular was encouraged during his schooldays at Sedbergh. Whilst still at school he was part of one of the first expeditions to visit South-East Iceland to study the breeding distribution of the Great Skua.

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

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

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

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

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    • Prof Chris Stringer

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

      Cruises:

      Moorish Odyssey - 2018-11-10
      Professor Chris Stringer has worked at The Natural History Museum London since 1973, and is now Research Leader in Human Origins and a Fellow of the Royal Society. His early research was on the relationship of Neanderthals and early modern humans in Europe, but through his work on the ‘Recent African Origin’ theory of modern human origins, he now collaborates with archaeologists, dating specialists, and geneticists in attempting to reconstruct the evolution of modern humans globally. He has excavated at sites in Britain and abroad, and he is currently co-directing the Pathways to Ancient Britain project, funded by the Calleva Foundation.

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


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


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

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

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    • Prof Jonathan Phillips

      Royal Holloway, University of London

      Cruises:

      Mediterranean Odyssey - 2019-08-26
      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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    • Prof NANCY WILKIE

      CARLETON COLLEGE, NORTHFIELD

      Cruises:

      Dalmatia & Ancient Greece - 2019-09-19
      Nancy Wilkie, lecturer for Carleton College and the Archaeological Institute of America, is a distinguished archaeologist and professor who has lectured on numerous educational tours and cruises throughout the Mediterranean. Nancy is the William H. Laird Professor of Classics, Anthropology, and the Liberal Arts, and Co-Director of the Archaeology Concentration at Carleton College (Northfield, MN), where she has been on the faculty since 1974. 

      Nancy Wilkie, lecturer for Carleton College and the Archaeological Institute of America, is a distinguished archaeologist and professor who has lectured on numerous educational tours and cruises throughout the Mediterranean. Nancy is the William H. Laird Professor of Classics, Anthropology, and the Liberal Arts, and Co-Director of the Archaeology Concentration at Carleton College (Northfield, MN), where she has been on the faculty since 1974. 

      She is also an Honorary President of the Archaeological Institute of America and on the Managing Committee of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. Nancy began her archaeological career in 1968 when she joined a pioneering program of survey and excavation in the region of the Palace of Nestor at Pylos in Greece. Since then Nancy has worked on archaeological projects in Greece, Egypt, and Nepal, and has authored more than 30 articles and co-edited three books on archaeology.

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    • Prof Robin Cormack

      Courtauld Institute of Art, London

      Cruises:

      Classical Italy & the Adriatic - 2018-05-18 Classical Greece & Southern Italy - 2019-05-15
      Robin Cormack is an art historian who works on Mediterranean art, particularly from Antiquity and Byzantium, but also from the Renaissance. He teaches in the Classics Faculty, University of Cambridge, and is giving lectures in 2014 in the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. and at the Universities of California at Los Angeles and Santa Barbara.

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

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

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    • Prof Sandy Primrose MBE

      Biotechnologist

      Cruises:

      Ancient Greece & Dalmatian Coast - 2018-05-08 Beyond Burma & the Malay Peninsula - 2019-01-25
      Sandy Primrose is a biologist by training and has degrees from the University of Strathclyde and the University of California. After undertaking research in Australia he returned to the UK and took up lecturing positions at the universities of Edinburgh and Warwick.

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

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

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

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

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    • Professor Joe Cartwright

      University of Oxford

      Cruises:

      South Africa, Namibia & the Skeleton Coast - 2019-03-12
      Joe is Professor of Earth Sciences at the University of Oxford and a Senior Research Fellow of St Peter’s College. He graduated in geology from Oxford in the 1980s, and between degrees spent some time exploring for oil in Borneo.

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

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

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    • Professor Robert H. Taylor

      Author and Editor

      Cruises:

      Beyond Burma & the Malay Peninsula - 2019-01-25
      Robert H. Taylor, born and educated in the United States, has taught South East Asian politics at universities in Sydney, Hong Kong, and London. He was Pro-Director of the School of Oriental and African Studies prior to his last fulltime academic post as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buckingham. There he frequently interacted with Margaret Thatcher who held the honorary position as Chancellor.

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

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

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

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    • Professor Thomas G Fraser MBE

      Emeritus Professor, Ulster University

      Cruises:

      Passage to Ancient Egypt & India - 2018-12-09
      Born and raised in Scotland, Professor Fraser gained his MA in Mediaeval and Modern History at the University of Glasgow before moving to the London School of Economics for his doctoral work in International History where his thesis was on the relationship between Germany and Indian revolutionaries during the First World War.

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

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

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

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    • Rev Dr. Judith Brown

      University of Oxford

      Cruises:

      Idyllic Islands of the Indian Ocean - 2019-01-05
      Judith Brown is the recently retired Professor of Commonwealth History at the University of Oxford and an emeritus Professorial Fellow of Balliol College.  The main focus of her academic writing has been modern India, in particular the careers of M.K. Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru.  She has also written on the modern diaspora from South Asia.

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

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

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

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    • Robert A. E. Gordon

      President of the Britain-Burma Society

      Cruises:

      Beyond Burma & the Malay Peninsula - 2019-01-25
      Robert Gordon is a former British diplomat who now divides his time between Salisbury in the United Kingdom and Narbonne in France. Born in Trieste to an Italian mother and British father, Robert spent his early years in Germany, Cyprus and Aden at his father’s military postings. After graduating in Modern Languages from Magdalen College, Oxford University, he joined the British diplomatic service in 1973.

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

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

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

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    • Dr Steve Kershaw

      Classicist

      Cruises:

      Classical Greece & Islands of the Aegean - 2019-04-26
      As a Classics Tutor for Oxford University Department for Continuing Education, Professor of History of Art for the European Studies Program of Rhodes College and The University of the South, and a lecturer for the V&A.

      As a Classics Tutor for Oxford University Department for Continuing Education, Professor of History of Art for the European Studies Program of Rhodes College and The University of the South, and a lecturer for the V&A. Dr. Steve Kershaw has spent much of the last 30 years travelling extensively in the world of the Greeks and Romans both physically and intellectually. He has recently published A Brief Guide to the Greek Myths, A Brief Guide to Classical Civilization, A Brief History of the Roman Empire, and A Brief History of Plato's Atlantis.

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    • Steve Ragnall

      Maritime historian and author

      Cruises:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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