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11996
United States/England

Best of London Theatre on Queen Mary 2

On this theater-themed voyage, enjoy lectures, performances, history and the unique insight of producer/director Giles Ramsay as you sail the Atlantic and see four plays in London.
Rating (5)
Program No. 11996RJ
Length
13 days
Starts at
5,699
United States/England

Best of London Theatre on Queen Mary 2

On this theater-themed voyage, enjoy lectures, performances, history and the unique insight of producer/director Giles Ramsay as you sail the Atlantic and see four plays in London.
Length
13 days
Starts at
5,699
Program No. 11996 RJ
climate
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At a Glance

Theater and the performing arts take center stage on this enriching voyage from New York City to London aboard the magnificent Queen Mary 2. Immerse yourself in the history and practice of theater with onboard theater expert Giles Ramsay, who explores the development of drama from Greek tragedy to the modern musical. In London, experience the arts first-hand as you enjoy theater productions ranging from the classic to the cutting edge and gain insight from leading theater professionals.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Enjoy engaging theater lectures led by producer and director Giles Ramsay, who provides expert insight into the historic roots of theater and its contemporary practice.
  • Experience British theater firsthand by attending four plays in London’s West End.
  • Exchange opinions on culture, politics and the arts with top national journalists, arts professionals and a leading London theater critic.

General Notes

Details of selected performances are sent four weeks prior to departure date.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
A Traveller's History of London
by Richard Tames
The story of London, from the Romans to Tony Blair, tailored to the traveler.
Mapping Shakespeare's World
by Peter Whitfield
Countering the notion that the location of a Shakespearean play is irrelevant, Whitfield argues that each play’s setting is deliberate and full of meaning that original Elizabethan-era audiences would have understood.
A History of the Theater
by Glynne Wickham
A comprehensive, chronological tour of 3,000 years of dramatic history (including opera and ballet). With color photos throughout.
The Story of England
by Christopher Hibbert
Beautifully illustrated with color pictures, chronological charts, royal genealogies and maps, this popular history of English politics, economics and culture from the Neolithic Age to the 1990s is an excellent travel companion.
London Map
by Berndtson & Berndtson
A colorful and detailed laminated city map with a variety of useful inset maps.
The Gothic Enterprise, A Guide to Understanding the Medieval Cathedral
by Robert A. Scott
An enthusiast, Scott delves into the history, design, architecture and wonder of Europe's medieval cathedrals and great Abbey churches.
London, A Literary Anthology
by British Library
Ranging from the 15th century to the present day, the British Library’s generous selection of poems and novel excerpts evokes the spirit of London through the ages. Full-color works of art from the library's collection are interspersed throughout.
Transatlantic
by Colum McCann
Colum McCann (Let the Great Wold Spin) traces the derring-do of early aviation and the arc of the lives of two British airmen and four generations of remarkable women in Ireland and America in this stunning novel. The fictional tale is based on real people and events, with sections on the British aviators Alcock and Brown and their 1919 flight from Newfoundland to Ireland, Frederick Douglass's emotional Irish journey in 1845 and Senator George Mitchell's efforts on behalf of the 1998 Belfast Agreement. The extended sequence aboard the WW1-era biplane Vickers Vimy through the weather and perils and cold is nothing short of breathtaking. You can see the plane at the London Science Museum.
The Age of Shakespeare
by Frank Kermode
A remarkably concise, elegant overview of the world of Shakespeare in the Modern Library Chronicles series by the eminent British critic and scholar.
A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare, 1599
by James S. Shapiro
A dramatic tale of a pivotal year in English history, the life of the bard and the Globe Theater, resulting in Henry V, Julius Caesar, As You Like It and, most likely, Hamlet.
London, A History
by A.N. Wilson
A brief, evocative meditation on the rich and varied history of England's capital city by the prolific British writer, critic and historian. Wilson examines London through several lenses, using humor and insight to discuss art, architecture, politics and culture.
Full Steam Ahead, A Golden Age of Cruises
by Boris Danzer-kantof
With photographs, archival reprints and firsthand accounts, this coffee table history of cruising focuses on the freedom and romance of cruise vessels in their golden age.
Three Men in a Boat and Three Men on the Bummel
by Jerome Jerome, Jeremy Lewis (Introduction)
Written in 1889, "Three Men in a Boat" (to say nothing of the dog!) is a laugh-out-loud account of a man-powered voyage along the River Thames, full of detail on life and lore. A Longitude favorite.
A Journey Through Tudor England
by Suzannah Lipscomb
Through visits to Tudor England’s historic palaces, castles, theaters and abbeys, Suzannah Lipscomb brings to life the rich history of the Tudors.
Atlantic
by Simon Winchester
The subtitle tells it all -- Winchester squeezes "Great Sea Battles, Heroic Discoveries, Titanic Storms, and a Vast Ocean of a Million Stories" into the covers of this latest entertaining and digressive tale.
Gothic: Architecture, Sculpture, Painting
by Rolf Toman
A marvelously illustrated, oversized survey of Gothic architecture, cathedrals and castles across Europe.
Eyewitness Guide London
by Eyewitness Guides
This superb guide to London features color photography, dozens of excellent neighborhood maps and a district-by-district synopsis of the city's attractions. Handsome, convenient and up-to-date, this is the guide to carry.
The Theatre, A Concise History
by Phyllis Hartnoll, Enoch Brater (Contributor)
A fully illustrated survey of the theater from the days of the ancient Greeks to today, part of the "World of Art" series.
Londoners
by Craig Taylor
Drawing on the unforgettable stories of nearly 100 Londoners, Taylor provides a rich and vivid kaleidoscopic view of modern-day London through the diverse voices of those who, regardless of whether they love or hate it, capture the heart and soul of one of the world's greatest cities.
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13 days
12 nights
31 meals
12 B 8 L 11 D
DAY
1
Arrive NY, Check-in, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
New York, New York
Millennium Hilton New York Downtown

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 3:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration: After you have your room assignment, meet your Road Scholar Group Leader in the lobby to register and get your welcome packet containing your up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, other important information, and to learn where the Welcome Reception will take place at 5:00 p.m. If your arrival is delayed, please ask for your packet when you check in. After some time to relax and unpack, we’ll gather in the hotel for our Welcome Reception, which will be followed by an Orientation session. Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. This program is staffed with both a Group Leader, who will accompany us throughout the program and deal primarily with logistics, and a Study Leader who will lecture, conduct field trips, and serve as an information resource on program-related topics. Dining aboard the Queen Mary 2, breakfast and lunch are in the venue of your choosing. Traditional afternoon tea is served each day in the Queens Room. Road Scholars are invited to have dinner together in the Britannia Restaurant. Snacks along with juice, tea, coffee, water are available 24 hours a day at the buffet restaurants, and there is 24-hour room service. Periods in the schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
2
Free Time, Embark The Queen Mary 2
Queen Mary II
B,L,D
Cunard’s Queen Mary 2

Activity note: Extent of walking and other activities during free time according to personal choice.

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room, the breakfast buffet offers a variety of hot and cold items such as eggs, bacon, sausages, potatoes, tomatoes, mushrooms, cereals, toast, pastries, fruit, cold cuts, cheeses, yoghurts, juices, tea, coffee, water.

Morning: Free time. This block of time has been set aside for your personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. We will depart for the pier early afternoon, complete embarkation procedures, and board the Queen Mary 2.

Lunch: Aboard the Queen Mary 2, we’ll have a late lunch and choose from a menu with multiple options for appetizers and soups, salad and sandwiches, main courses, and desserts. Coffee, tea, water included with all meals on board; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: We’ll take some time to settle in and begin to familiarize ourselves with the ship. There will also be a mandatory safety drill this afternoon, so please listen out for the captain’s announcements once on board.

Dinner: In the Britannia Restaurant on board, we’ll choose from the extensive menu offering multiple options for appetizers and soups, salads, entrées, and dessert as well as tea, coffee and water; other beverages available for purchase. It’s impossible not to feel special making a dramatic entrance down the grand staircase.

Evening: At leisure. The Queen Mary 2 is a floating city. The options for activities and entertainment are many and varied. You might like to see a show in the ballroom, go dancing, listen to music, watch a movie in the theatre, have a beverage and a chat with new Road Scholar friends in one of the bars, or wander through the library — one of the best shipboard libraries anywhere — to find a book and curl up in that perfect reading chair.

DAY
3
Giles Ramsay’s Lecture Series
Queen Mary II
B,L,D
Cunard’s Queen Mary 2

Activity note: Extent of walking and other activities during free time according to personal choice.

Breakfast: Aboard the ship in the venue of your choosing.

Morning: Free Time. Take advantage of a variety of enrichment activities. You might attend a presentation by a guest speaker, take a class such as watercolor painting or ballroom dancing, take a dip in one of the swimming pools, or any of the many other options.

Lunch: Aboard the ship in the venue of your choosing.

Afternoon: To prepare us for our theatre experience in London, Study Leader Giles Ramsay will present the first of a series of dynamic and informative lectures. Over the next week, we’ll discuss the origins of theatre, Elizabethan plays and playhouses, and how to direct a play. We’ll also study contemporary British theatre, the life and verse of Shakespeare, and even debate what constitutes theatre in the modern day. Under Giles’s expert stewardship, we’ll be more than prepared by the time we dock in Southampton.

Dinner: Aboard the ship in the Britannia Restaurant.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy a variety of activities on board, from movies to shows or simply enjoying the ambience of the many themed bars.

DAY
4
The Lecture Series Continues
Queen Mary II
B,L,D
Cunard’s Queen Mary 2

Activity note: Extent of walking and other activities during free time according to personal choice.

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: Free Time. Weather permitting, you might like to take a leisurely stroll around the Promenade Deck and take in the fresh sea air.

Lunch: Aboard the ship.

Afternoon: Our Study Leader’s informative and entertaining lecture series continues. After the lecture, we’ll enjoy a welcome cocktail party.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: At leisure. You may choose to enjoy a show in the ship’s theatre, practice your dance steps in the ballroom, or simply return to your stateroom and enjoy one of the movies screened on the ship’s TV.

DAY
5
The Lecture Series Continues
Queen Mary II
B,L,D
Cunard’s Queen Mary 2

Activity note: Extent of walking and other activities during free time according to personal choice.

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: Free Time. Take advantage of the many educational, social and physical activities available, or simply relax in a deck chair with a view of the glistening Atlantic.

Lunch: Aboard the ship.

Afternoon: We’ll settle in with our Study Leader for another illuminating lecture on things theatrical.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: At leisure. You may wish to visit the Queen Mary 2’s beautiful theatre, home to nightly productions from stars of stage and screen alike.

DAY
6
The Lecture Series Continues
Queen Mary II
B,L,D
Cunard’s Queen Mary 2

Activity note: Extent of walking and other activities during free time according to personal choice.

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: Free time. A perfect opportunity to visit the spellbinding planetarium show, polish your bridge skills during a tournament, or perhaps retreat to the spa for a massage.

Lunch: Aboard the ship.

Afternoon: Our Study Leader’s lecture series continues.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: At leisure. The Golden Lion, a traditional English pub aboard the QM2, runs a competitive pub quiz — perfect for showing off your newly gained knowledge.

DAY
7
The Lecture Series Continues
Queen Mary II
B,L,D
Cunard’s Queen Mary 2

Activity note: Extent of walking and other activities during free time according to personal choice.

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: Free time. When not performing in the ship’s theatre, members of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art give you the opportunity to flex your acting muscles at daily workshops.

Lunch: Aboard the ship.

Afternoon: Our Study Leader continues to pull back the curtain on the fascinating world of theatre.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: At leisure. The Queen Mary 2 travels with expert sommeliers, who host nightly wine tasting and appreciation events.

DAY
8
Final On-Board Lecture
Queen Mary II
B,L,D
Cunard’s Queen Mary 2

Activity note: Extent of walking and other activities during free time according to personal choice.

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: Free time. You may wish to explore the history of the Cunard Line at a unique exhibition running through the halls of the ship.

Lunch: Aboard the ship.

Afternoon: Our Study Leader will deliver the final on-board lecture, and prepare us for the sights and sounds of London.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy your last evening onboard and prepare for disembarkation and transfer to London in the morning.

DAY
9
Disembarkation, Transfer to London, Theatre Performance
London
B,L,D
Radisson Edwardian Grafton Hotel

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 85 miles, approximately 3 hours. Walking about 1/2 mile; paved streets. Extent of walking and other activities during free time according to personal choice. Stairs in some historic theatres, no elevators. Transport arrangements for theatre performance vary by venue.

Breakfast: Early aboard the ship.

Morning: We will complete disembarkation procedures and make our way to the motorcoach for our transfer to London. We’ll arrive at the hotel in the early afternoon.

Lunch: At the hotel, we’ll have a 2-course buffet meal with coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: After checking in at the hotel, the rest of the afternoon is free time to relax and explore the local area.

Dinner: At a local restaurant close to the hotel, we’ll have a 3-course plated and served meal with coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: We’ll enjoy a performance in one of London’s renowned theatres. Our program was planned far in advance when details of performances were not available. When confirmed, the information will be posted on the Road Scholar website under this program number and will also be included in preparatory materials sent following enrollment.

DAY
10
State of the Nation, Rehearsal Room, Theatre Performance
London
B,D
Radisson Edwardian Grafton Hotel

Activity note: Walking about 1/2 mile; paved streets. Stairs in some historic theatres, no elevators. Transport arrangements for theatre performance vary by venue.

Breakfast: In the hotel, the breakfast buffet offers choices such as eggs, bacon, sausages, hash browns, mushrooms, tomatoes, baked beans, cereals, pastries, toast, jams and marmalade, juices, milk, tea, coffee, water.

Morning: At the hotel, we’ll enjoy a captivating interactive discussion of current affairs with one of the UK’s leading political journalists. Examining the headlines of the day, this session will put past and present political issues into startling focus.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.

Afternoon: We’ll walk from the hotel to a nearby drama studio to take place in a dramatic improvisation workshop. Two acclaimed West End actors will lead us through the rehearsal process, demonstrating that the rehearsal room is a safe space for exploration and experimentation – it’s often during this exercise that important creative decisions are made, directions that would never have come to life without this ability to try new approaches.

Dinner: At the hotel, we’ll have a 3-course plated and served meal with coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: We will enjoy a performance at one of London’s theatres.

DAY
11
Victoria & Albert Museum, Theatre Performance
London
B,D
Radisson Edwardian Grafton Hotel

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 6 miles, approximately 1 hour. Walking about 1.5 miles, periods of standing; paved streets. Stairs in some historic theatres, no elevators. Transport arrangements for theatre performance vary by venue.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We'll board a motorcoach and ride to the Victoria & Albert Museum. The museum houses the world’s largest collection of decorative arts and design, holding a collection of some 4.5 million objects. After a docent-led overview of the museum’s highlights, we’ll have some time for independent exploration of the impressive theatre and performance galleries, which are dedicated to the performance arts in all guises and display works of art, recordings, costumes and other related ephemera.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Afternoon: We’ll enjoy a matinee performance in one of London’s renowned theatres. Our program was planned far in advance when details of performances were not available. When confirmed, the information will be posted on the Road Scholar website under this program number and will also be included in preparatory materials sent following enrollment.

Dinner: At a restaurant close to the hotel, we’ll have a 3-course plated and served meal with coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
12
Meet A Theatre Critic, Final Performance
London
B,D
Radisson Edwardian Grafton Hotel

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 4 miles, approximately 1 hour. Walking about 1.5 miles, periods of standing; paved streets. Stairs in some historic theatres, no elevators. Transport arrangements for theatre performance vary by venue.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We'll start the morning with some time on our own to relax or explore the local area. In the late morning, we'll board a motorcoach and ride to Trafalgar Square for a self-directed field trip to the National Gallery, one of the most visited art museums in the world and home to over 2,300 paintings.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like near Trafalgar Square.

Afternoon: We’ll return by motorcoach to the hotel, where we’ll be joined by one of London’s leading theatre critics for an in-depth discussion of the shows we have seen.

Dinner: At the hotel, we’ll have a 3-course plated and served meal with coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase. Share favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends.

Evening: We'll enjoy a final performance at one of London’s theatres. Our program was planned far in advance when details of performances were not available. When confirmed, the information will be posted on the Road Scholar website under this program number and will also be included in preparatory materials sent following enrollment.

DAY
13
Program Concludes
London
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out by 11:00 a.m.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet. This concludes our program.

Morning: If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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