Travel Billions of Light-Years Away Aboard Queen Mary 2, With New Planetarium

    In the Only Planetarium at Sea, Two New Shows and New Plasma-Screen
    AstroBulletins Engage, Educate and Entertain

    VALENCIA, Calif., March 7 /CNW/ -- Guests accustomed to extraordinary
voyages aboard the world's most famous ocean liner won't believe where their
next adventure will take them.  Cunard's Queen Mary 2, in partnership with the
American Museum of Natural History's Hayden Planetarium, introduces two
breathtaking new space shows in the 150-seat "Illuminations," the only
planetarium at sea.  Using real science and cutting edge technology, these
virtual tours of space are widely considered the most immersive experiences
anywhere.  "Illuminations" presents a total of four space shows per day,
including the Hayden Planetarium's ground-breaking new productions, "Cosmic
Collisions" and "Passport to the Universe."
    "Queen Mary 2's 'Illuminations' theatre was specifically designed to
feature dynamic multi-media programmes like the unparalleled caliber produced
by the American Museum of Natural History," said Carol Marlow, president of
Cunard Line.  "These shows are an ideal complement to the range of educational
opportunities within our onboard guest enrichment programmes as they are both
educational and entertaining."
    "We are delighted to be a part of Cunard's enrichment mission," said Ray
Salva, Assistant Director, Traveling Exhibitions and Planetarium Shows for the
American Museum of Natural History.  "AMNH's planetarium productions are very
unique.  Created in conjunction with NASA, each show highlights our dedication
to presenting real science in our space shows.  Our scientists and visualizers
use only the most current scientific data, astrophysical simulations,
state-of-the-art computer models, and vast supercomputing capacity to bring
the wonders of modern astronomy to the public.  Presentation of this content
on the QM2 extends the mission of our museum, bringing the cutting-edge work
being done at AMNH to new audiences in a venue like no other."

    Shows playing on Queen Mary 2 include:
    COSMIC COLLISIONS -- Narrated by Robert Redford, it launches passengers
on a spine-tingling trip through space and time to explore the cosmic
collisions and hypersonic impacts that drive the dynamic and continuing
evolution of the universe.
    PASSPORT TO THE UNIVERSE -- Narrated by Tom Hanks, this awe-inspiring
show reveals the wonders of the universe in a way never seen before.  This
Hayden Planetarium show takes passengers on an exhilarating flight though the
universe and into the Orion Nebula, deep into intergalactic space.
    THE SEARCH FOR LIFE: ARE WE ALONE? -- Narrated by Harrison Ford, this
space show, developed by the AMNH in collaboration with NASA, delves into the
role of water as one of the necessities for life as we know it.

    New AstroBulletins Broadcast Breaking News
    Outside of the entrance to "Illuminations," newly installed plasma
screens present the American Museum of Natural History's pioneering
AstroBulletins. Showcasing the latest developments in the ever-changing field
of astrophysics, these high-resolution large-screen presentations tap the
latest images from NASA satellites and other observatories.  AstroBulletin
presentations, ranging from breaking news and date visualizations to in-depth
feature stories, explore a wide range of topics, including space weather, the
possibility of life on Mars and the cosmic microwave background.
    The Hayden Planetarium shows are just one example of Cunard's wide range
of ground-breaking onboard entertainment and enrichment programmes.  Cunard
also has a unique partnership with London's Royal Academy of the Dramatic Art
aboard Queen Mary 2, and the company's onboard enrichment programmes introduce
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 will connect with
personalities who have achieved notable distinction in areas including
history, world affairs, science, politics, arts and literature.
    The grandest ocean liner ever built, Queen Mary 2 brings together
like-minded travelers who relish the Cunard hallmarks of impeccable White Star
Service(SM), fine dining, sophisticated adventure and legacy of historic
voyages and transatlantic travel.  There are a wide variety of suites and
staterooms available in degrees of style and comfort ranging from pampered
elegance to almost unimaginable luxury in the ship's famed Grill-level
    For more information about Queen Mary 2 or Cunard, call 1-800-7-CUNARD or
go to

    About Cunard Line
    Cunard Line, operator of the luxury ocean liners Queen Mary 2 and QE2,
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(SM), fine dining, sophisticated adventure, the legacy of historic
voyages and transatlantic travel.  Queen Victoria joins the fleet in December
    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

    About The American Museum of Natural History
    The American Museum of Natural History is one of the world's preeminent
scientific, educational, and cultural institutions.  Since its founding in
1869, the Museum has advanced its global mission to explore and interpret
human cultures and the natural world through a wide-reaching program of
scientific research, education, and exhibitions.  The Museum accomplishes this
ambitious goal through its extensive facilities and resources.  The
institution houses 45 permanent exhibition halls, state-of-the-art research
laboratories, one of the largest natural history libraries in the Western
Hemisphere, and a permanent collection of more than 30 million specimens and
cultural artifacts.  With a scientific staff of more than 200, the Museum
supports research divisions in Anthropology, Paleontology, Invertebrate and
Vertebrate Zoology, and the Physical Sciences.  The Museum shares its
treasures and discoveries with approximately four million on-site visitors
from around the world each year.  AMNH-produced exhibitions and Space Shows
can currently be seen in venues on five continents reaching an audience of
millions.  In addition, the Museum's Web site, extends its
collections, exhibitions, and educational programs to millions more beyond the
Museum's walls.

For further information:

For further information: Jackie Matthews, +1-661-753-1035,, or Brian O'Connor, +1-661-753-1060,, 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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