By Mike Coleman
Cruise lines are renowned for providing over-the-top amenities for their guests, but now – believe it or not – one company will give you the stars and heavens above. Cunard’s Queen Mary 2, in partnership with the Hayden Planetarium, has introduced two new space shows in its very own, 150-seat planetarium – the only one of its kind at sea.
Combining science and cutting-edge technology, Queen Mary 2 will present a total of four space shows per day in the Illuminations theater, including Hayden’s ground-breaking new productions, Cosmic Collisions and Passport to the Universe. “Our theater was specifically designed to feature dynamic multi-media programs of the unparalleled caliber produced by the American Museum of Natural History,” said Carol Marlow, president of Cunard Line.
“These shows are an ideal complement to the range of educational opportunities within our onboard guest enrichment programs as they are both educational and entertaining.”
Narrated by Robert Redford, Cosmic Collisions launches guests on a spine-tingling trip through space and time to explore the cosmic collisions and hypersonic impacts that drive the continuing evolution of the universe. Passport to the Universe, narrated by Tom Hanks, reveals the wonders of the universe in a way never before seen as guests take a flight though the universe and into the Orion Nebula, deep into intergalactic space. The Search for Life: Are We Alone?, narrated by Harrison Ford, is a space show developed in collaboration with NASA which delves into the role of water as one of the necessities of life.
Cunard will even tap the sense of wonderment before guests set foot in the theater. Just outside the entrance to Illuminations, look for newly-installed plasma television screens to showcase the latest developments in the ever-changing field of astrophysics. The high-resolution, large-screen presentations feature the latest images from NASA satellites and other observatories. Look also for breaking news and in-depth feature stories about space weather, the possibility of life on Mars and the cosmic microwave background.
The partnership with the Hayden Planetarium is just one of many onboard entertainment and enrichment programs offered by Cunard. Other programs introduce guests to stimulating experts and accomplished visionaries who reflect the line’s heritage of adventure and prestige.Â
Through a series of lectures, Q & A, debates, social gatherings and workshops, guests will connect with personalities who have achieved distinction in the areas of history, world affairs, science, politics, arts and literature. Cunard also has a partnership with London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art aboard Queen Mary 2.