Modern-Day Explorers to Follow in Footsteps of History’s Greatest Adventurers Aboard Queen Mary 2 as She Rounds Legendary Cape Horn

Intrepid Record-Setters – Including Astronaut, Mountaineer, Sailor and Scientist – Join Cunard’s Historic 2006 Path of Magellan Voyages

VALENCIA, Calif., July 5 /PRNewswire/ — The first circumnavigation of the globe was led by Ferdinand Magellan, one of the world’s greatest explorers, and provides the inspiration for the route of Queen Mary 2′s 36- and 38-day South America Odysseys in 2006.

Paying tribute to the intrepid adventurers who pioneered this notoriously challenging sea route, Cunard is hosting an illustrious group of “modern day-explorers” on the historic voyage, which can be taken in its entirety, or enjoyed by sailing one or more of six segments.

Now guests can relive the journeys that redefined the globe as they traverse the storied waters that history’s most adventurous explorers traveled in search of new worlds. While sailing around the bottom of the world, they will hear daring tales of adventure recounted by an esteemed group of modern-day explorers — including an astronaut, mountaineer, sailor and scientist — whose character-defining journeys are compelling testament that Magellan’s spirit is alive and well.

As an ocean liner built in grand Cunard tradition, Queen Mary 2 is specifically designed to easily handle the high seas, transporting guests around the Horn in comfort, luxury and sumptuous style.

“Like our lecturers, Cunard guests share a passion for charting new territory,” says Jan Swartz, senior vice president of customer service and sales for Cunard Line. “This lecture series, and the voyages themselves, are truly a reflection of our Cunarders’ quest for legendary travel experiences.”

Tracing the path of Dutch and Portuguese navigators of yesteryear, QM2 makes stops at some of the world’s most fascinating destinations, affording opportunities to walk in the footsteps of centuries-old civilisations. The most memorable part of the journey, however, may well be the modern-day explorers whose lecture programmes will add a new dimension to the voyage. While their experiences are quite diverse, their accomplishments are awe-inspiring and share a common thread: for those who dare, the world offers almost limitless adventure.

Joining Queen Mary 2 on the South America Odysseys are:

John Chatterton — A co-host on the History Channel’s Deep Sea Detectives, Chatterton is an accomplished commercial diver. His passion is researching and diving the historic shipwrecks of the world, including Andrea Doria, HMHS Britannic, RMS Lusitania and Struma. His discovery and subsequent identification of the German submarine U-869 was the subject of several TV documentaries, and a best-selling book.

(Route to Rio sailing — New York to Rio: January 15 – 27)

Sir Chris Bonington — A world-renowned climber and expedition leader, Bonington is the author of 10 books on mountaineering. He led the first ascent of the south face of Annapurna, as well as the first ascent of Mount Everest’s southwest face. He brings personal experience to the voyage, having made the first ascent of the Central Tower of Paine (near Punta Arenas) in 1962.

(Cape Horn & Chilean Fjords sailing — Rio to Valparaiso: January 27 – February 8)

John Hare — Hare is a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society and the Explorers Club. A frequent lecturer, he has made five expeditions to the Mongolian and Chinese Gobi deserts and is founder of the Wild Camel Protection Fund.

(Andes & the Americas sailing — Valparaiso to Los Angeles: February 8 – 22)

David Hempleman-Adams — Considered one of the world’s most eclectic explorers, Hempleman-Adams has climbed the seven highest peaks of the seven continents. He has accomplished numerous “firsts,” including being the first person to reach both North and South Magnetic Poles in one year, the first person to ski solo to the Geomagnetic North Pole, and balloon solo in an open wicker basket across the Atlantic from Canada to the UK.

(Eastbound Andes & the Americas sailing — Los Angeles to Valparaiso: March 8 – 22)

Dr. Kathy Sullivan — An illustrious scientist and explorer of sea and space, Sullivan is a former NASA astronaut and the first American woman to walk in space. She is a veteran of three shuttle missions and 2004 inductee to the Astronaut Hall of Fame. A former Chief Scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Sullivan is now the President and CEO of the Center of Science and Industry in Columbus, OH.

(Cape Horn & the Chilean Fjords sailing — Valparaiso to Rio: March 22 – April 3)

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston — A yachtsman of world-renown, Knox-Johnston has made three voyages to the Arctic and 20 crossings of the Atlantic. He has been the UK’s Yachtsman of the Year twice and was also named International Yachtsman of the Year. He has written 14 books.

(Route to Rio sailing — Rio to New York: April 3 – 15)

Cunard Line’s 2006 Path of Magellan South American Liner Voyages feature two 38-day (36 days if embarking in Ft. Lauderdale) eastbound and westbound “South American Odysseys,” bringing guests around Cape Horn via the Drake Passage, Beagle Channel and the Straits of Magellan, calling on 15 ports in 12 countries in total. The 38-day westbound voyage departs New York on January 15 and the 36-day voyage departs Ft. Lauderdale on January 17. The eastbound journey reverses the journey, beginning in Los Angeles on March 8 and concluding in Ft. Lauderdale on April 13 and in New York on April 15. The voyages are available in six segments from 11 to 14 days in length.

Additionally, renowned balloonist Brian Jones — another modern-day explorer — joins Queen Mary 2′s 11-day Royal Hawaiian Liner cruise, sailing roundtrip from Los Angeles on February 25. Jones is the celebrated British balloonist who landed the Breiting Orbiter 3 in Egypt on March 21, 1999, with Bertrand Piccard, having flown for twenty days to achieve the first non-stop flight around the world by balloon. Brian is currently involved in an interesting new project called Solar Impulse — to fly around the world in a solar powered airplane with no fuel save for the power of the sun.

Fares for the Path of Magellan sailings begin at $2,759 per person, double occupancy.

Queen Mary 2 is the largest (151,400 tons), longest (1,132 feet), tallest (236 feet), widest (135 feet) and most expensive ($800 million) passenger vessel ever built. There are 1,310 suites and cabins available in degrees of style and comfort ranging from pampered elegance to almost unimaginable luxury in the ship’s famed Grill-level accommodations. Queen Mary 2 brings together like-minded travellers who relish the Cunard hallmarks of impeccable White Star Service(TM), fine dining, sophisticated adventure and legacy of historic voyages and transatlantic travel.

For more information about Cunard or Queen Mary 2′s South America itineraries, call 1-800-7-CUNARD or go to www.cunard.com

Cunard Line has operated the most famous ocean liners in the world since 1840. Cunard vessels have a classic British heritage and include the legendary Queen Elizabeth 2 and Queen Mary 2. Queen Victoria joins the fleet in 2007.

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, Windstar 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 destinations.

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