Cunard Line Partners with The Royal Astronomical Society

    'Star Studies' and 'Star Parties' Bring the Universe and New Adventures to
    the High Seas

    SOUTHAMPTON, England, June 26 /CNW/ -- Cunard Line is proud to announce a
new partnership with The Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) onboard its trio of
famed luxury ocean liners, Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and QE2. Poised to
become a highlight of Cunard Insights, the Line's award-winning enrichment
programme, the RAS partnership begins this summer with RAS Fellows joining 15
voyages on such popular itineraries as Queen Mary 2's Transatlantic Crossings
and Caribbean voyages and Queen Victoria's Mediterranean sailings. RAS will
offer custom night sky displays of constellations and star navigation
instruction, and highlight astronomical points of interest using the SkyScan
software in the only planetarium at sea onboard Queen Mary 2.  Nighttime "Star
Parties" on deck, informal discussion groups and formal lectures with leading
astronomers, will also be distinguishing features of this first-at-sea
    "At Cunard, we are committed to offering our guests a dynamic and diverse
range of enrichment opportunities," said Carol Marlow, president of Cunard
Line.  "Our new partnership with The Royal Astronomical Society brings another
new and innovative learning experience to our guests, allowing unprecedented
access to one of the U.K.'s most renowned and historic scientific
    RAS Fellows scheduled to sail in upcoming months include:
    Alan Fitzsimmons -- Professor of Astronomy at Queen's University Belfast.
Fitzsimmons is an expert on the solar system with a particular interest in
killer asteroids.  On board, Fitzsimmons' lecture topics will include "The
Path of the Dinosaurs" and "The Life of Stars."  He will sail on QE2's July 20
Mediterranean Mosaic voyage.
    Paul Murdin -- Fellow, Institute of Astronomy and member of Wolfson
College, University of Cambridge and Visiting Professor, John Moores
University, Liverpool.  Murdin has worked in five countries studying exploding
stars and black holes.  His topics include a discussion of the cosmic history
of water, climate change and the universe's composition.  He sails on QE2's
August 27 Mediterranean Sojourn voyage.
    Dr. Alastair Gunn -- Professional Astrophysicist, musician and author.
Gunn's professional research relates to the extended atmospheres of highly
active binary stars.  He will sail on Queen Mary 2's November 15 westbound
Transatlantic Crossing.
    Dr. Roberto Trotta -- Lecturer at Imperial College, London, and former
Lockyer Fellow of the RAS at the Astrophysics Dept. of Oxford University and
Fellow of St. Anne's College, Oxford.  Trotta will tackle topics ranging from
the "observable universe" highlighting the history of discoveries in the past
five centuries, to the "invisible universe" and "implausible universe."  He
sails on Queen Mary 2's November 21 Caribbean Adventure voyage.
    Ian Ritpath -- Astronomer, author and former Council member of the RAS.
Ritpath is the editor of the Oxford Dictionary of Astronomy and author of The
Monthly Star Guide and Star Tales, in which he explores his particular
interest in Greek myths of the constellations, the subject of one of his
onboard discussions.  He will sail on Queen Mary 2's November 29 Southern
Caribbean Calypso voyage.
    Dr. Simon Mitton -- Astrophysicist, Fellow of St. Edmund's College at the
University of Cambridge and member of the Department for the History and
Philosophy of Science, and Jacqueline Mitton, Astronomer, author and media
spokesperson for RAS.  Simon Mitton will share his 35 years of experience
researching the origin and evolution of the universe, black holes and the
highest energy objects in the universe.  He also authored a biography of
British astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle.  His wife is an award-winning author of
children's books on astronomy and a frequent lecturer.  The Mittons will sail
on Queen Mary 2's December 9 Southern Caribbean Calypso voyage.
    Cunard Insights/RAS programmes in conjunction with the Royal Astronomical
Society are featured on the following voyages:

    Queen Mary 2:    Eastbound Transatlantic Crossing to Germany (July 22)
                     Westbound Transatlantic Crossing from Germany (July 30)
                     Westbound Transatlantic Crossing (Aug. 13)
                     Westbound Transatlantic Crossing (Nov. 15)
                     Caribbean Adventure (Nov. 21)
                     Southern Caribbean Calypso (Nov. 29)
                     Southern Caribbean Calypso (Dec. 9)
                     Caribbean Celebration (Dec. 19)

    Queen Victoria:  Legends of the Mediterranean (Aug. 25)
                     Connoisseur's Mediterranean (Nov. 29)

    QE2:             Land of the Midnight Sun (June 2)
                     Mediterranean Mosaic (July 20)
                     Taste of Mediterranean (Aug 12)
                     Mediterranean Sojourn (Aug. 27)
    Cunard has long been synonymous with providing engaging onboard
enrichment programmes.  Delving deeply into a variety of compelling and
relevant topics, Cunard Insights introduces guests to stimulating experts and
accomplished visionaries who reflect the line's heritage of adventure and
prestige. Through a series of lectures, Q&A's, debates, social gatherings, and
workshops, guests connect with personalities who have achieved notable
distinction in areas including history, world affairs, science, politics, arts
and literature.  The Insights programmes underscore Cunard's longstanding view
that onboard entertainment should afford guests a provocative and rewarding
cerebral experience.
    For information about a Cunard voyage and to make reservations contact
your travel professional, call 1-800-7-CUNARD or browse
    About Cunard Line
    Cunard Line, operator of the luxury ocean liners Queen Mary 2, QE2 and
Queen Victoria has long been synonymous with the quest for new discoveries and
the epitome of British refinement since the company's first paddle-wheeled
steamer, Britannia, crossed the Atlantic in 1840.  Cunard voyages bring
together like-minded travelers who relish the Cunard hallmarks of impeccable
White Star Service(TM), fine dining, sophisticated adventure, the legacy of
historic voyages and transatlantic travel.
    Cunard Line is a proud member of World's Leading Cruise Lines.  The
exclusive alliance also includes Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line,
Princess Cruises, Costa Cruises and The Yachts of Seabourn.  Sharing a passion
to please each guest, and a commitment to quality and value, member lines
appeal to a wide range of lifestyles and budgets.  Together they offer
exciting and enriching cruise vacations to the world's most desirable

For further information:

For further information: Brian O'Connor, +1-661-753-1060,, or Jackie Chase, +1-661-753-1035,, 
both of Cunard Line; or Maria Andriano,, or Cindy 
Adams,, both of Redpoint Marketing PR, +1-212-229-0119, 
for Cunard Line

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