In 1999, the United Nations declared October 4-10 to be World Space Week. Since then, the annual event has grown to host more than 1,800 events in 73 countries celebrating the wonders of space exploration. Good to know, but what does this have to do with cruising? you might ask. It’s actually an interesting starting point for looking deep into unique features and thoughtful events happening certain cruise lines and specific ships. Offered by one particular line and no other these solid differentiating factors might be good reason to consider one line over another. We begin with unique Queen Mary 2 features that are taking center stage on an interesting 2017 voyage.
To begin, let’s go into outer space, a place not normally associated with cruise lines. Next year about this time, Cunard Line will offer an extraordinary Transatlantic Crossing on flagship Queen Mary 2, set to coincide with International World Space Week. To celebrate the international event, Queen Mary 2 will take guests on an exceptional journey across the Atlantic, featuring a range of space themed experiences. It’s a natural fit for the only cruise ship that has a planetarium but thoughtful additions during International Space Week put this at sea event over the top.
“We are pleased to offer guests the opportunity to understand, explore and delight in the universe as Queen Mary 2 sails across the Atlantic, giving guests a unique vantage point to discover land, sea and space.” -Richard Meadows, President, Cunard North America
First up, a spotlight on the fact that the Cunard brand has been synonymous with exploration and adventure for decades. Adding depth to the experience, Queen Mary 2’s guests can opt in for a VIP pre-voyage tour of New York City’s Hayden Planetarium and the Rose Center for Space at the American Museum of Natural History as well as a VIP tour of the Intrepid Museum of Air, Sea and Space on one end of the sailing.On the other side of the Atlantic, those Cunard guests can enjoy a post cruise package that includes a two-night stay and a tour of the Royal Observatory in Greenwich.
Also included, talks from renowned space exploration experts including:
- Dr Jeffrey Hoffman, NASA Astronaut, Scientist and former Shuttle Pilot
- Charles Barclay from the Royal Astronomical Society
- Stephen Attenborough, Commercial Director of Virgin Galactic
- Ken MacTaggart, NASA Historian
Not to be forgotten: the sheer size and expanse of Queen Mary 2’s outside deck space also affords guests the opportunity to take a look for themselves and star gaze from the unique vantage point of the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. It’s a very positive benefit of not having top deck attractions to take up space and block a marvelous view of the stars.
Cunard’s Space Week Cruise happens October 6-13 2017 on a 7 night Eastbound Transatlantic Crossing from New York to Southampton. For more information about Queen Mary 2, or to book a voyage, contact your Travel Agent, call Cunard Line toll-free at 1-800-728-6273, or visit www.cunard.com.
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Notes to editors:
On board speakers
Dr. Jeffrey Hoffman, Astronaut, Scientist and former Shuttle Pilot
As a NASA astronaut, Dr. Hoffman made five space flights, becoming the first astronaut to log 1,000 hours of flight time aboard the Space Shuttle. He is now Professor of Aerospace Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Hoffman was Payload Commander of STS-46, the first flight of the US-Italian Tethered Satellite System. He has performed four spacewalks, including the first unplanned, contingency spacewalk in NASA’s history (STS 51D; April, 1985) and the initial repair/rescue mission for the Hubble Space Telescope (STS 61; December, 1993). He is director of the Massachusetts Space Grant Alliance, responsible for statewide space-related educational activities to increase public understanding of space and attract students into aerospace careers. NASA recently selected Dr. Hoffman as the Deputy Principal Investigator for the first experiment that will produce oxygen directly out of the atmosphere of Mars. In 2007, Dr. Hoffman was elected to the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame.
Charles Barclay, Royal Astronomical Society
Currently Director of the Blackett Observatory at Marlborough College in the UK, Charles Barclay is at the forefront of astronomy education in UK schools. He is Chair of Examiners for the Astronomy GCSE qualification and a Principal Moderator for the Extended Project post-16 initiative. He runs outreach programmes for school pupils, teachers and members of the public, accessing large telescopes in Marlborough and Oxford. He is an Associate Fellow of Green Templeton College, Oxford, and is involved in raising awareness of the historical importance of the Radcliffe Observatory there. He is a Council member of the Royal Astronomical Society and chair of their Education and Outreach Committee, a fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, manufacturers and commerce and is a member of the International Astronomical Union, Commission 46. Lecturing on diverse topics ranging across the whole remit of Astrophysics and Astronomy, he writes for popular astronomy magazines and regularly contributes to local BBC radio broadcasts.
Stephen Attenborough – Commercial Director, Virgin Galactic
Providing a fascinating insight into commercial space flight. Stephen Attenborough is at the forefront of space tourism. He is the Commercial Director for Virgin Galactic, a company wholly owned by Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group which is on track to become the world’s first passenger carrying commercial spaceline. Stephen joined Virgin Galactic as the company’s first full time employee in 2004 he now leads a team in London that covers sales, marketing, customer care, PR and communications for the space tourism business which has attracted over 380 future astronauts and more than $50m in deposits.
Ken MacTaggart, NASA Historian
Dr Ken MacTaggart is a technology consultant in astronautics, the space sector and the history of space exploration. He has worked for 20 years with NASA’s History Office to help preserve the record of the Moon missions in the 1960s and 1970s. He is co-editor of NASA’s Apollo 11 Flight Journal, and has worked with many American astronauts and Russian cosmonauts. Ken has written for magazines, books, TV and films on spaceflight. He was technical adviser to “Moonshot”, the drama about the first moon landing which appeared on ITV, Discovery Channel and other US and European TV channels to mark the 40th anniversary of the moon landing. Ken is a Fellow of the British Interplanetary Society.