Cunard has announced an exciting new lineup for the Alaskan 2023 Insights Enrichment Program, which will be headlined by renowned outdoor adventurer, Bear Grylls.
Grylls – who has already made headlines for drinking his own urine in his hugely popular survival series – will join Queen Elizabeth’s 2023 maiden voyage to Alaska, round trip from Vancouver on June 8, where he will share his experience as one of the youngest climbers of all time. of Mount Everest, best-selling author, television presenter, and versatile adventurer.
The trip will mark Bear’s first return to Alaska since his momentous visit with then United States President Barack Obama in 2015 – and his first-ever appearance, speaking on a cruise ship.
“I’ve been a Bear Grylls fan since Man against Nature and I’m thrilled that our guests can see it live queen elizabeth next year,” said Matt Gleaves, Cunard’s Vice President of Commercial North America and Australasia.
“Alaska is all about exploration and our team of world-class pioneers will bring the adventure on board; it will be an experience found nowhere else.
The 12-night trip will allow passengers to experience beautiful Glacier Bay National Park, Tracy Arm Fjord, and Hubbard Glacier, with stops in Juneau, Ketchikan, Sitka, and more.
queen elizabeth will make six more trips from Vancouver in June, July and August, while visiting a number of ports, including Skagway, Juneau, Anchorage and Sitka.
Each trip has its own exciting program of Insights adventure and exploration, featuring naturalist Dr. Rachel Cartwright, an Alaska Native Voices cultural heritage guide, plus guest lectures and question-and-answer sessions. an expert in the field of adventure and exploration.
These experts include British mountaineer Kenton Cool – who has summited Everest 15 times, Ann Daniels – one of Britain’s leading polar explorers and the first woman in history to ski to the North and South Poles in an all-female team, and Felicity Aston – Polar scientist turned explorer, author, TV presenter and world record holder for being the first woman to ski across Antarctica alone.
A trip will also feature British maritime archaeologist Mensun Bound, who has led some of the most famous wreck finds, including the discovery of the lost Shackleton Endurance ship earlier this year in Antarctica.
Sture Myrmell, Chairman of Carnival UK, said: “We are delighted to welcome all of our world-class adventurers aboard next year for another fantastic enrichment programme. There’s no better way to experience Alaska – one of the most magnificent places in the world – than aboard the magnificent Queen Elizabeth!”
You can find the full lineup for the Insights Alaska 2023 program below:
BEAR GRYLLS (June 8)
Bear Grylls is probably the most recognizable face of adventure on the planet. The former 21 SAS soldier was one of the youngest Everest climbers, although he broke his back in a free fall accident a few months earlier.
Bear’s TV shows include the legendary Discovery Channel show Man against Nature and the hit show Run wild with Bear Gryllsnow in its seventh season on National Geographic Channel.
His Run wild guests have included President Obama (in Alaska), Roger Federer, Julia Roberts, Prime Minister Modi of India and, most recently, Hollywood stars Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher.
Bear is a family man, a #1 bestselling author who has sold over 20 million books, the Honorary Colonel of Britain’s Royal Marine Commandos and the first-ever chief ambassador for 55 million young Scouts around the world.
KENTON COOL (June 20 and June 30)
Kenton Cool is an English mountaineer and mountain guide. He is one of Britain’s top alpine and high-altitude climbers and has summited Everest fifteen times, including leading the 2008 and 2009 Sir Ranulph Fiennes expeditions and the 2019 Ben Fogle expedition.
He has completed over 20 notable expeditions in the Great Ranges and in 2013 became the first person to climb Nuptse, Everest and Lhotse in a single push without returning to base camp.
He also skied two 8,000m mountains and guided a successful expedition to the summit of K2. He has also led expeditions across Alaska, including North America’s highest peak, Mount McKinley.
PEN HADOW (July 7)
Explorer and adventurer Pen Hadow was catapulted to international fame when he became the first and only person to complete one of the last great polar challenges – solo, without resupply, from Canada to the North Pole.
It took him three attempts over 15 years to achieve this unique “cutting edge” feat.
Pen has a strong connection to Alaska in his adventures, including attempting to sail to the North Pole from Nome, Alaska.
ANN DANIELS (July 17)
Ann Daniels is one of Britain’s leading polar explorers. In 2002, Ann became a world record holder when she reached the North Pole despite incredible arctic conditions and became the first woman in history to ski to the North and South Poles as part of an entirely feminine. This journey was never repeated.
In 2009, Ann participated in the first Catlin Arctic Survey over a 100 day, 1000km ice cap traverse in temperatures as low as minus 50ºC. The survey set out from Alaska, walking, skiing and sometimes swimming stretches of open water to reach the geographic North Pole. Ann is described by the Daily Telegraph as one of Britain’s top 20 female adventurers of all time.
FELICITY ASTON (July 27)
Felicity Aston is a polar scientist turned explorer.
In 2012, she became the first woman to ski alone across Antarctica, a 1,744km/1,084m journey that took her 59 days and put her in the Guinness Book of World Records.
She has also created and led record-breaking ski expeditions to the North and South geographic poles with international teams of pioneering women, skied frozen rivers and lakes in Siberia, traveled 36,000 km to the Cold Pole (the place coldest inhabited on the planet), crossed the United States in an airship and ran the Marathon Des Sables foot race in the Sahara. An award-winning author of three books, professional speaker and occasional TV presenter, Felicity in 2016 retraced the journey of the Klondike Gold Rush in 1898 and spent time mining for gold in Alaska and the Yukon to co -present a series for the BBC.
MENSUN BOUND (August 7)
Known as the Indiana Jones of the Deep, Mensun Bound conducted shipwreck surveys and excavations around the world during a career that spanned 40 years.
During this time he excavated one of the oldest known shipwrecks (600 BC).
In 2019, Bound stunned the world with his discovery of Admiral von Spee’s flagship, Scharnhorst, which had been lost in action during World War I.
That same year, Bound was director of exploration for the first search to find Shackleton’s ship “Endurance”. In 2022 the search resumed and on March 5 the Endurance was found and, as Bound predicted, she was standing, largely intact, proud of the seabed in an excellent state of preservation.