Former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard will join Seabourn Conversations for its 2017 guest speaker lineup.

Whether you liked her or not, former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard was a polarising and controversial figure in national politics, not to mention the first woman in history to serve in the prestigious role.

And in a political career spanning 15 years, Ms Gillard will share stories from her political and business life late next year to cruise travellers on Seabourn as part of the line’s guest speaker program – Seabourn Conversations. The former PM and Leader of the Labor Party will board the line’s newest ship Seabourn Encore on 10 November, to begin its second journey from Singapore to Australia for the 2017/18 season.

Ms Gillard will be part of a group of six distinguished names secured to join Seabourn ships around the world in 2017 to conduct Seabourn Conversations presentations to guests. Each will speak about their respective careers, share stories, inform and entertain guests about their varied professions and public lives as part of the popular enrichment program.

Joining Australia’s former PM in the Seabourn Conversations program for 2017, along with which voyage you’ll be able to find them, will be:

  • Sir Tim Rice – Seabourn Encore from Singapore to Bali on 07 January 2017.
Some of the world's most acclaimed theatre musicals came from the creative mind of lyricist Sir Tim Rice.
Some of the world’s most acclaimed theatre musicals came from the creative mind of lyricist Sir Tim Rice.

The maiden voyage of Seabourn Encore will feature a number of firsts for the line, including a presentation from award-winning Broadway composer and lyricist Tim Rice.

The brand new ship will feature ‘An Evening with Tim Rice’ as one of its evening theatre shows, which will star some of the most iconic works from the acclaimed producer, who was a key creative force behind shows such as Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, The Lion King and Joseph and his Amazing Technocolor Dreamcoat.

Rice will also regale guests with stories from his musical collaborations with luminaries such as Andrew Lloyd Webber, Elton John, Benny & Bjorn from ABBA and many others.

  • Chef Darren McGrady – Seabourn Sojourn from Hong Kong to Kobe on 23 April.
Darren McGrady has cooked for royalty, world leaders and celebrities in his celebrated cooking career.
Darren McGrady has cooked for royalty, world leaders and celebrities in his celebrated cooking career.

The lives of the rich and famous celebrities, not to mention global royalty continue to enthrall us, but what about the people behind these identities? Chef Darren McGrady is one of the United Kingdom’s most accomplished chefs, having acted as the personal chef to Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Diana and her sons Prince William and Prince Harry. He has also written a book – ‘Eating Royally’ – about his life at a Palace cook.

Over an extensive career, McGrady has also cooked for five different US Presidents and will be able to share entertaining stories about his professional life and perhaps even some funny stories about the eating habits of some of the world’s most well-known public figures.

  • Frank Murkowski – Seabourn Sojourn from Vancouver to Seward on 01 June.
The former US Senator from Alaska will talk about one of America's great frontiers, popular with cruising.
The former US Senator from Alaska will talk about one of America’s great frontiers, popular with cruising.

It’s no secret Alaska is one of the coolest (pun intended) destinations for the global cruise industry, and hugely popular among Australians as well. So Seabourn will be bringing onboard a long-serving United States Senator and former Governor of the state to speak to travellers.

The Hon. Frank Murkowski is obviously very passionate about Alaska not just as a place to live and work, but for visitors to explore in a safe and sustainable way. The Senator will talk about America’s “Last Frontier”, his own experiences holding public office and stories from the native people of the state.

  • Walter Robinson – Seabourn Odyssey round-trip from Miami on 30 October.
Walter Robinson was part of the reporting team at the Boston Globe which featured in the movie 'Spotlight'.
Walter Robinson was part of the reporting team at the Boston Globe which featured in the movie ‘Spotlight’.

His work was recently popularised as a major Hollywood motion picture, with ‘Spotlight’ winning an Academy Award for Best Picture in 2015. Walter Robinson was part of the team at The Boston Globe which worked to uncover systemic child abuse in the Roman Catholic church in the area. This work also saw him awarded a Pulitzer Prize for journalism in 2003.

Robinson is now coming onboard Seabourn to talk not just about his life at the coal face of breaking hard news stories, but the reaction to his award-winning work and how he viewed the movie about his work.

  • Michael Moss – Seabourn Sojourn from Vancouver to Seward on 21 July.
Pulitzer Prize winning author and investigative reporter Michael Moss has written about the world's obesity epidemic.
Pulitzer Prize winning author and investigative reporter Michael Moss has written about the world’s obesity epidemic.

Another Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist, Michael Moss has written in amazing length and detail about the effect the world’s multi-national fast food dominate popular media and allegedly distort the truth about what goes into their products.

Moss is the author of a #1 New York Times best seller ‘Salt, Sugar, Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us’ and is also working on a new book. He will join a Seabourn voyage to talk about his work writing about these subjects and what he learned in uncovering the tactics used in advertising and the influence these giant corporations used in portraying a different message.

As of January next year, Seabourn will have a fleet of four ships offering luxury cruising all around the world. The line operates a near all-inclusive product, with guests only paying extra for optional shore excursions and spa treatments used – all meals and drinks up to a certain value are included in a guest’s fare.

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