Cunard unveils guest speakers for Australian 2022/23 homeport season

Cosgrove, Bishop, Downer, Fraser, Sutcliffe confirmed for Insights Programme

Cunard has revealed the first tranche of speakers onboard its Australian homeport sailings in 2022/23, as part of its Insights Programme. The contingent includes Sir Peter Cosgrove, Julie Bishop, Alexander Downer, Ken Sutcliffe and numerous other local notorities.

The Insights programme is known for showcasing some of the world’s most notable personalities, including historians, explorers, top diplomats, politicians and scientists, offering guests an unmatched opportunity to learn from and mingle with captivating experts.

Queen in Elizabeth in Sydney

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On a three-day sailing from Sydney to Melbourne (13-15 December), Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth will host Australian film and television producer and director, John Stainton (voyage Q234). This will be Stainton’s first appearance of two in the season, as he joins guests on board Queen Mary 2 on 12 March (voyage M307). Stainton is a highly respected Australian film and television producer and director, responsible for the creation of popular documentary television series, The Crocodile Hunter.

Alexander Downer AC will appear in a number of live sessions during a seven-day Melbourne to Sydney voyage (15-22 December) (voyageQ235), sharing his fascinating story following a long career in politics. Downer led the Liberal Party, served as the Minister for Foreign Affairs and as High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.

Sailing champion, John Longley, will feature on board a special two-week round-trip from Melbourne (Q301), 22 December to 5 January. Longley is a veteran of five Australian campaigns for the America’s Cup, including Australia’s winning campaign in 1983.

From 27 February to 7 March 2023 (Q310), Queen Elizabeth will sail from Melbourne to Fremantle. Tim Flannery, Chief Councillor of the Climate Council and one of Australia’s leading experts on climate change, will join guests onboard this week-long sailing. Flannery was awarded Australian of the Year in 2007 for his work and advocacy on environmental issues.

Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 will be departing Hong Kong for Sydney on 23 February 2023, arriving in Sydney on 12 March (M306), and will host legendary Nine Network sports presenter, Ken Sutcliffe. Sutcliffe will delight guests with anecdotes of his impressive and long-serving 50-year career as one of Australia’s most respected TV personalities.

Between 12 March and 7 April, Queen Mary 2 will complete a round trip between Sydney and Fremantle, with the likes of John Stainton making his second guest appearance of the season on board the first leg of the voyage (M307) and Ian McFadyen joining guests on the second leg of the voyage back to Sydney (M308).McFadyen is best known as the creator and producer of the Australian television series The Comedy Company and will speak of his fascinating career as an acclaimed Australian television writer, actor, director and producer.

Rounding off Cunard’s season, Queen Victoria will sail from Sydney to Hong Kong, 1 to 17 March (V307), with 26th Governor General of Australia, Sir Peter Cosgrove, joining the guest speaker programme.

In popular, already sold-out voyages at the beginning of the season, Julie Bishop, Nova Peris OAM and Dawn Fraser AC MBE will make highly anticipated appearances on sailings between Singapore to Sydney (Q231) and Sydney to Fremantle (Q232).

Katrina McAlpine, Cunard Commercial Director in Australia and New Zealand, says the guest speaker program is a vital aspect of Cunard’s sought-after onboard experience.

“We know our guests are passionate about learning and expanding their views, so in choosing our speakers for this upcoming season, we wanted to ensure that they both inspire and entertain our guests whilst sailing with us,” McAlpine said.

Find out more about the Insights and Enrichment program at

Alexander Downer
Sir Peter Cosgrove
Julie Bishop
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