In partnership with Cheltenham Literature Festival

Proud partners of the world renowned literary festival, bringing you the written word in all its wonderful variety.

The Times and Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival

6 – 15 October 2023

Cunard has been in partnership with The Times and Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival since 2018, developing the Literature Festival at Sea on board Queen Mary 2’s Transatlantic Crossing.

On land, we are delighted to support a series of special Author events at the world’s oldest literary festival, including Emma Freud Meets... Richard E. Grant, Coco Chanel: The Legend and the Life, and Dancing on Eggshells with John Whaite, alongside the VIP Lounge in partnership with Cunard.

Author events supported by Cunard

Marcus Brigstocke’s I’ve Never Read...

Saturday 7 October

How does it feel to take a leap into the literary unknown? In this annual Festival favourite, Literature Festival at Sea author Marcus Brigstocke takes novelist Nicole Flattery, comedian Josie Long and author and podcaster Musa Okwonga out of their bookish comfort zones as they discuss their own reading preferences and the book they have never read… until now.

Write Second Time?

Sunday 8 October

Reigning champion James Marriott, Katherine Heiny, Andi Osho and Elizabeth Acevedo join Caroline Hutton in this fun and fiery bookish battle as they debate the topic of “if you could rip up the ending of a famous book and start over, which one would you choose?”

Coco Chanel: The Legend and the Life

Wednesday 11 October

Coco Chanel is known as a supreme innovator, vendor of all things elegant and beautiful, and creator of the most successful fashion brand of all time. But what lies beneath is far more complex. Acclaimed biographer Justine Picardie and V&A curator Oriole Cullen shed light on the myths and mysteries that surround this fashion icon.

Dancing on Eggshells with John Whaite

Thursday 12 October

Celebrity chef, Bake Off champion and Strictly star John Whaite has become a household name across the UK. Over afternoon tea, John shares his personal story – a complex narrative of highs and lows, told with tenderness, wit and unflinching honesty – and talks to Uli Lenart about the sometimes-painful pilgrimage we make as we gain wisdom from our experiences.

Jojo Moyes and Mike Gayle

Thursday 12 October

Join Literature Festival at Sea Alumni Jojo Moyes (Me Before You; The Giver of Stars) and future Literature Festival at Sea guest Mike Gayle (The Man I Think I Know; All The Lonely People).

With multi-million sales, acclaimed adaptations and book clubs following their every word, they discuss their writing journeys and new novels.

Emma Freud Meets...Richard E. Grant

Saturday 14 October

Emma Freud chats to Academy Award nominee Richard E Grant about growing up in Swaziland to navigating the highs and lows of Hollywood. He’ll talk about his memoir A Pocketful of Happiness, the majority of which was written in the last year of his wife Joan Washington’s life.

Literature Festival at Sea 2024 - a journey like no other

We are proud to present the Literature Festival at Sea on board Queen Mary 2, setting sail from Southampton to New York on 13 November 2024.

Curated by the programming team of The Times and Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival, guests on board will enjoy a daily dose of news from Times journalists, lose themselves in thought-provoking conversation, meet favourite writers at intimate book signings and discover a line-up that includes acclaimed crime writer Mark Billingham, novelist Chris Brookmyre and his co-writer and wife, Marisa Haetzman, former US ambassador to the UK Matthew Barzun and The Sunday Times journalist Decca Aitkenhead, with more authors to be announced.

Be inspired

The Cunard experience has been enjoyed not just by authors, but Hollywood stars, presidents and royalty for 180 years. Delve into more articles from our archives and discover unique Cunard recipes you can try yourself at home.

Cunard celebrates 180 years

Discover the extraordinary moments that define our past and continue to inspire our future.

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Famous faces on the high seas

Historian Chris Frame offers a behind-the-scenes look at some of Cunard's famous passengers in the first instalment of our two-part series.

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Tea time

Uncover the origins of Afternoon Tea - a celebrated occasion on the Cunard Queens - and learn how to make our delicious Cunard scones.

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