by Mark Tre
While Bill Miller goes to lecture on Holland America, a very traditional Cunard lecturer, born, like Miller, in Hoboken, New Jersey, has now been recruited by Princess Cruises.
John Maxtone-Graham, New York-based author of the trilogy "The Only Way to Cross," "Liners to the Sun" and "Crossing and Cruising," as well as co-author of "Queen Mary 2: The Greatest Ocean Liner of Our Time," is the doyen of cruise ship lecturers. Author of several other books, including three Cunard histories, he has made hundreds of Transatlantic crossings, not to mention cruises, and he celebrated his 80th birthday on board RMS Queen Mary 2 in New York on July 30, 2009.
Traditionally, but not exclusively, he has lectured on Cunard ships, spending about half his year at sea, but for 2011, in something new for Princess Cruises, it has engaged him to speak on nine of its sailings, on four different ships, next year.
Between January 26 and March 24 he will join Star Princess for three 14-night cruises between Santiago and Rio de Janeiro and a northbound 15-day positioning voyage from Rio to Fort Lauderdale.
On May 7-22, he will make the 15-night transatlantic crossing in Crown Princess from Fort Lauderdale to Southampton.
And between July 2 and August 25, he will speak aboard Ocean Princess, on three 18-night northern sailings, one round trip from Dover to northern Norway and Russia, a cruise to the Top of the World en route from Dover to New York, and a return Fire and Ice cruise from New York to Dover. Ocean Princess is one of Princess’s boutique ships, whose sisters now work for Azamara and Oceania.
Maxtone-Graham will follow these voyages with an 18-day Atlantic crossing in Ruby Princess from Venice to Fort Lauderdale, on October 19-November 6. With four crossings next summer, Maxtone-Graham will be putting in more Transatlantic time than Bill Miller on his two Rotterdam voyages.
Ashore, Maxtone-Graham lectures at New York’s Metropolitan Museum, the Smithsonian Institution, the National Geographic Society, the Four Arts Society of Palm Beach and at Britain’s National Maritime Museum.
In a few days time, on Friday, December 3, Maxtone-Graham will speak at the Metropolitan Museum on the subject "France’s Last Ocean Liner," to be followed on December 10 by "Norway’s First Caribbean Megaship." This two-part lecture series, entitled "Dames at Sea – from S.S. France to Norway," is in support of his new book "France/Norway" published this year by W W Norton.
For those in Europe who might like to hear him, Maxtone-Graham will be lecturing to the Ocean Liner Society in London on January 4, 2011, in a special presentation on "France/Norway." There are admission fees and details are available from the Metropolitan Museum and the Ocean Liner Society.