Sir Ranulph Fiennes
Sir Ranulph Fiennes is described by the Guinness Book of Records as ‘the world’s greatest living explorer’, and he has broken many records and led expeditions to the world’s remotest regions. Amongst his many achievements, he was the first to reach both Poles, the first to cross the Antarctic and Arctic Ocean, he led the team that discovered the lost city of Ubar on the Yemeni border, and he is the oldest Briton (at the time) to summit Everest.
Talks: Sir Ranulph Fiennes will be joining for part of the - (3 days only) Colours and Castles of the Rhine cruise (August 20, 2019 departure). He will give two talks on his expeditions and his personal motivation.
Terry Waite CBE, an official of the Church of England, made three trips to Lebanon in an effort to free western hostages, but on his third attempt in 1987 he was taken hostage himself and held captive for five years. Before his release in November 1991, he was frequently blindfolded, beaten and subject to mock executions. Since his release he has become a bestselling author and has devoted his time to humanitarian activities founding Hostage UK in 2004.
Talks: Terry will be joining the end of Historic Cities of Europe (July 13, 2019 departure) and the beginning of the Prague and the Danube cruise (July 13, 2019 departure). He will give three talks on his experiences as a negotiator and hostage, as well as his perspective on world affairs.
Ann Widdecombe is a former politician who was a Privy Councillor and the Conservative Party Member of Parliament for Maidstone from 1987-1997. Since her retirement she has made numerous television and radio appearances, is a popular novelist and writes a weekly column for the Daily Express.
Talks: Ann will be joining the end of the Prague and the Danube cruise (October 23, 2019 departure) and the beginning of Historic Cities of Europe (October 23, 2019 departure). She will be giving three talks on her time in politics, as well as her experience on Strictly Come Dancing and her primetime television shows.
Martin Bell OBE is one of the best-known and most highly regarded names in British television journalism. As a BBC reporter he has covered foreign assignments in more than 90 countries and 11 wars. He is a British UNICEF Ambassador, was a Member of Parliament for Tatton from 1997 to 2001 and is sometimes known as ‘the man in the white suit’.
Talks: Martin will be joining the end of the Historic Cities of Europe cruise (August 20, 2019 departure) and the beginning of Prague and the Danube (August 23 departure). He will give three talks on his experiences in reporting from around the world.
Ian Skelly is a national broadcaster, an internationally published author, a filmmaker and concert presenter. He has long been a familiar voice on BBC Radio 3. He is the host of the station's biggest show, Essential Classics, which plays the best in popular classical music and features celebrity guests.
Talks: Ian will be joining the Vienna and the Blue Danube cruise with a classical music theme (October 4, 2019 departure). He will be giving three talks about famous composers such as Richard Strauss, Mozart and Bruckner.
Martin Hughes Games
Martin is one of the UK’s most popular and respected naturalists and zoologists and best known as one of the presenters of the BBC’s highly successful live shows Springwatch, Autumnwatch and Winterwatch.
Martin trained as a zoologist and gained a BSc in Zoology before joining the BBC Natural History Unit in 1978. He moved to BBC Science and Features in 1979 and returned to the Natural History Unit in 1988 as a series producer and Head of Development until 2007. Here he produced long and short films and documentary series.
Talks: Martin will be joining Douro Discovery (April 23, 2020). With dramatic video footage, stunning photos and compelling stories, Martin will give three talks on his experiences of being a naturalist and zoologist.
Dr Mark Baldwin
After Dr Mark Baldwin graduated from Cambridge, her worked on a variety of engineering projects, before lecturing in the Civil Engineering Department at Imperial College, London. He moved to Shropshire to grow a book-selling and publishing business, when a chance encounter with a book about the Enigma machine piqued his interest and grew over the next 20 years to him becoming one of the world’s foremost experts in the history, human story and workings of the machine.
Talks: Mark will be joining the first seven nights of Romance of the Rhine and Main (April 30, 2020) and the first seven nights of Across Europe (April 30, 2020) and will give three talks about the Allied Codebreakers.
Oz Clarke is one of the word’s leading wine experts, whose formidable reputation is based on his extensive wine knowledge. His passion for the subject dates from his student days at Oxford University, where he won tasting competitions at a precariously early age. Since then his tasting skills have won him an international reputation and he is acknowledged as having one of the finest palates of anyone writing about wine today.
Talks: Oz will be joining Majesty of the Middle Rhine (departing August 15, 2020) and will give three talks on wine.
John Suchet presents the flagship morning programme on Classic FM. Before joining Classic FM, John was best known as one of the country’s most popular television newscasters and reporters, and as an ITN reporter he covered major world events, including the Iran revolution. Since leaving the world of television news, John now devotes his time to his lifelong hobby, classical music, and in particular to the life and work of Beethoven. He has published six books on the great composer.
Talks: John will join our Beethoven Cruise (departing October 19, 2020) and will give three talks on Beethoven, Mozart and Strauss.