Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Fred Olsen - Road Show Cruise

By guest blogger Steve Newman

The Danish-born historian, lecturer and broadcaster, Lars Tharp – who is also one of the longest running experts on the BBC’s ‘Antiques Roadshow’ – will be one of the special guest speakers aboard Fred Olsen’s 23-night Black Watch cruise to the Eastern Mediterranean in May 2011.

A regular with Fred Olsen, Lars speaks on antiques-collecting, as part of the cruise line’s onboard programme of special interests, The ArtsClub. Originally trained as an archaeologist, Lars was a Director of Sotheby’s, where he specialised in European ceramics and oriental works of art. In 2008, he was appointed the Director of the Foundling Museum in London, and Visiting Professor at De Montfort University, Leicester. On this cruise, Lars will give some highly entertaining and informative talks, and will also offer to value small items brought on board by guests, in true ‘Antiques Roadshow’ style.

Lars will be on board as far as Istanbul, where he will disembark, and the ship will be joined by his ‘Antiques Roadshow’ colleague Will Farmer. Will specialises in 20th Century decorative arts, covering ceramics, glass and furniture. He studied at the Birmingham School of Jewellery, undertaking a combined BA Hons in Silversmithing and Fine Art History. Will has featured as an expert on the BBC’s ‘20th Century Roadshow’, and is now in his fourth season as an expert with the Roadshow.

This cruise also offers a wealth of opportunities to explore the Ancient World, as it visits some of the great classical cities of Greece, Turkey and Tunisia. Black Watch departs from Dover on May 18 and ports of call include Cagliari in Sicily, Kalamata (anchor port) and Piraeus (the port for Athens) in Greece, Canakkale in Turkey, with tours to the fabled city of Troy, as well as Istanbul, Valletta – capital of Malta – and La Goulette for Tunisia’s capital, Tunis.

Highlights of this cruise include the chance to explore the remains of ancient Troy, a full day to take in the sights of historic Athens, and another day in Tunis, where French colonial architecture sits cheek-by-jowl with ancient Moorish buildings.

This classical cruise is a history-lover’s dream, and the additional ArtsClub ‘Antiques’ theme, hosted by Tharp and Farmer, is especially well-suited to this itinerary.

Prices start from £2,279 per person, based on two adults sharing an inside twin cabin. The price includes all meals and entertainment on board, and port taxes.

If you would like to join Tharp, Farmer and other history-lovers on this cruise, find out more by visiting or call specialist cruise agents The Cruise Line Ltd on 0800 008 6677.