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Seabourn Announces Powerhouse Lineup of Speakers for Onboard Enrichment Program

Seabourn Announces Powerhouse Lineup of Speakers for Onboard Enrichment Program

The luxe cruise line will host an Apple co-founder, a royal butler, and the former head of MI5 as part of its Seabourn Conversations program.

Ultra-luxury cruise line Seabourn has announced a stellar lineup of speakers for its summer and fall Seabourn Conversations program.

The comprehensive onboard enrichment program, designed to enlighten, inform, and entertain, allows guests to interact with the best brains in science, history, culture, and dining.

Scheduled speakers include Apple Co-founder Steve Wozniak, Royal Butler Grant Harrold, former head of MI5 Dame Stella Rimington, and Michelin Star Chef Robert Thompson, among others.

The discussions will take place on Seabourn sailings between June and November 2023, and will cover a variety of topics ranging from royalty and wine interests to expedition and culture. Throughout the cruise, each speaker will provide unique insights, expert opinions, and insightful dialogues while presenting lectures, sharing meals, adventuring ashore, and socializing with guests.

Seabourn Venture will host extraordinary explorers and adventurers as part of the brand’s Seabourn Conversations program (image courtesy of Seabourn)

“Seabourn is known to provide extraordinary experiences for extraordinary people. We are proud to offer a phenomenal lineup of accomplished speakers for our Seabourn Conversations program, creating truly enriching ‘Seabourn Moments’ for guests while they experience Seabourn’s uncompromising luxury and intuitive, genuine service,” said Seabourn president Natalya Leahy in a press release.

“Seabourn attracts like-minded, accomplished, and outstanding people. This program lives up to this promise, and we are so delighted to bring onboard these distinguished speakers who are leaders in their respective fields,” Leahy continued.

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Notable speakers and topics for Seabourn Conversations’ Summer/Autumn 2023 season

Upcoming speakers in the Seabourn Conversations program include the following:

Steve Wozniak, Apple Co-founder

When and where: June 11 – 25, 2023, Seabourn Ovation roundtrip from Copenhagen

Steve Wozniak, a Silicon Valley icon, technology entrepreneur, and philanthropist for over 40 years, helped influence the computing industry with his design of Apple’s original line of products, the Apple I and II. He also influenced the popular Macintosh computer. With Wozniak’s Apple I personal computer, Wozniak and Steve Jobs established Apple Computer Inc. in 1976.

Steve Wozniak (image courtesy of Seabourn)

Explorers and adventurers

When and where: July 2 – 16, 2023, Seabourn Venture roundtrip from Reykjavik

Alison Levine, Seabourn Venture‘s godmother, is a world-renowned polar adventurer and mountaineer. She led the first American Women’s Everest Expedition and is one of just 20 people to have climbed the highest peak on each continent as well as skied to both the North and South Poles. When she isn’t pushing herself physically, Levine works on developing people to become effective leaders. She is the author of On the Edge: Leadership Lessons from Mount Everest and Other Extreme Environments.

Related: What Is a Cruise Ship Godmother (or Godfather)?

Alison Levine (image courtesy of Seabourn)

Heidemarie M. Stefanyshyn-Piper is a former astronaut and United States Navy Captain who served in the United States Navy for 30 years. She was selected as an astronaut by NASA and completed two space flights in 2006 and 2008—totaling over 28 days in space—and five spacewalks.

Heidemarie M. Stefanyshyn-Piper (image courtesy of Seabourn)

Dr. Beth Healey has worked in extreme and remote environments including Svalbard, Siberia, Greenland, and the North Pole. Healey overwintered in Antarctica at spaceflight analog Concordia (aka “White Mars”) where she researched the effects of isolation and extreme environment as a research M.D. for the European Space Agency.

Dr. Beth Healey (image courtesy of Seabourn)

Chef Robert Thompson, youngest chef to receive a Michelin Star

When and where: Aug 1 – 25, 2023, Seabourn Quest London to Québec | June 29 – July 13, 2024, Seabourn Sojourn Lisbon to Dover | Sept. 7 – 21, 2024 Seabourn Sojourn roundtrip from Dover

Chef Robert Thompson was born in Bedfordshire, England, and began cooking at the age of ten. Robert was the youngest chef to earn a Michelin Star (awarded to Winteringham Fields in England) in 2007. Thompson’s work also earned a Michelin Star for The Hambrough on the Isle of Wight. Guests will be able to see a live culinary demonstration, sample Robert’s Guest Chef evening meal in the Colonnade, and book a bespoke tasting menu with premium wines.

Chef Robert Thompson (image courtesy of Seabourn)

Dame Stella Rimington, Former Director General of MI5

When and where: Oct 29 – Nov 5, 2023, Seabourn Ovation from Barcelona to Rome

Dame Stella Rimington is perhaps most known as the inspiration for Dame Judi Dench’s character “M” in the James Bond 007 movies. She was the first woman to be appointed Director General of MI5 in 1992, and the first to be officially named in the Government’s new culture of openness. Rimington retired in April 1996. She is a best-selling thriller author who chaired the Judging Panel for 2012’s Booker Prize for Fiction.

Dame Stella Rimington (image courtesy of Seabourn)

Royal Interest Voyage

When and where: Nov 5-11, 2023, Seabourn Encore from Athens, Greece to Tenedos, Türkiye

Former royal butler Grant Harrold is a leading UK etiquette expert, royal commentator, entertainer, and broadcaster. Harrold also works with and advises Royals and their households across the globe. A popular Seabourn speaker, Grant will talk about his life as the Royal Butler and will host a royal etiquette class.

Grant Harrold (image courtesy of Seabourn)

Brian Aris has been a royal photographer for many years, photographing Princess Margaret’s son David Linley’s wedding, the Queen Mother at Clarence House, Princess Margaret at Kensington Palace, producing official portraits of Queen Elizabeth’s 70th birthday, photographing Kate Middleton, and more. Aris has also photographed celebrities including Sting, Trudy Styler, David Bowie, Liza Minelli, David Beckham, and others.

Brian Aris (image courtesy of Seabourn)

Justin Van Breda, Renowned Interior Designer

When and where: Nov 5-12, 2023, Seabourn Ovation from Rome to Barcelona

Justin Van Breda was born in Cape Town, South Africa, and studied English and Politics at Stellenbosch University before moving to the creative field of design. He attended Design Time School of Interior Design in Cape Town before heading to London. Van Breda began working with Nicky Haslam at NH Design in 1999 and was soon promoted to Creative Director.

He returned to South Africa in late 2001 to curate his first furniture collection, elements from which still form the foundation of his designs. Van Breda coordinates community outreach and workshop initiatives, and has great respect for the artisans and designers he brings together for creative collaborations.

Wine Interest Voyage

This sailing departs from Istanbul and offers special specialty wine and cuisine experiences ashore. World-renowned wine experts will entertain guests onboard with talks, tastings, matching suggestions, and premium ‘wine and dine’ possibilities.

When and where: Nov 12-19, 2023, Seabourn Encore from Istanbul, Türkiye to Athens, Greece

Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen—better known as World WIne Guys—are wine, spirits, cuisine, and travel writers, educators, television presenters, emcees, and hosts, as well as award-winning journalists and best-selling authors. DeSimone and Jenssen are the wine editors at Robb Report, and Jenssen is also Wine Enthusiast‘s official taster for Spanish wines.

World Wine Guys (image courtesy of Seabourn)

Will Lyons, Wine Critic for the Sunday Times, is a journalist, newspaper columnist, award-winning wine writer, and presenter best known for his work in The Wall Street Journal and The Sunday Times. Lyons also serves as Vice President of the Sunday Times Wine Club. He has written a weekly drinks column for over a decade for The Wall Street Journal and now The Sunday Times. Lyons’ witty, intelligent, and down-to-earth writing has earned him recognition from both the Glenfiddich and Roederer wine writing awards.

Will Lyons (image courtesy of Seabourn)

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Who would you most like to sail with as part of the Seabourn Conversations program? Have you listened to any remarkable speakers on a prior Seabourn cruise? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

Carrie Ann Karstunen