Literature Festival at Sea 2022.

In partnership with Cheltenham Literature Festival, The Times and The Sunday Times.

December 3–10, 2022, Queen Mary 2.

This extraordinary Transatlantic Crossing, curated by the programming team of The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival, will offer book lovers an incredible opportunity to join some of the best-loved authors, historians, poets, and critics, as well as journalists from The Times and The Sunday Times, bringing the spirit of the Festival to your voyage.

A line-up of literary greats.

The seven-day program of literary events celebrates the written word in all its variety with workshops, discussions and Q&As taking in literature, art, film, history, and politics, all underpinned by the quality of delivery that is Cheltenham’s hallmark. Hear literary greats in conversation and meet your favorite authors at intimate book signings.

There will be bookish delights around every corner, so join us for what promises to be an incredible journey.

Special guests on board.

Ian Rankin.

Ian Rankin is the worldwide bestselling author of over thirty novels and the creator of John Rebus. His books have been translated into thirty-six languages and have been adapted for radio, stage and screen.

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Charles Cumming.

Charles Cumming’s experiences working for the UK’s Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) led to a successful writing career. His novels have been translated into thirteen languages and won him the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger.

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Mary Beard.

Dame Mary Beard is one of Britain’s best-known Classicists. Her written work includes the Wolfson Prize-winning Pompeii: The Life of a Roman Town, and she has also worked in television, presenting several TV series such as Meet the Romans.

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Matt Chorley.

Matt Chorley is a Times columnist and editor of the award-winning Red Box political newsletter and podcast, in which he tries to make sense of what is happening in politics. He joined The Times in 2016.

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Simon Winchester.

Simon Winchester is the bestselling author of The Man Who Loved China, A Crack in the Edge of the World, Krakatoa, The Map That Changed the World, and The Surgeon of Crowthorne (The Professor and the Madman). He was awarded an OBE in 2006.

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Maggie O’Farrell.

Maggie O’Farrell is the award-winning author of the Sunday Times no. 1 bestselling memoir I Am, I Am, I Am, and eight novels. Her works have won the Costa Novel Award (2010) and a Somerset Maugham Award.

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Sathnam Sanghera.

Sathnam Sanghera’s accolades include the PEN Ackerley Prize, Young Journalist of the Year (2002), and Media Commentator of the Year (2015). His third book, Empireland: How Imperialism Has Shaped Modern Britain, became an instant Sunday Times bestseller on release in 2021.

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Mick Herron.

Mick Herron’s seven Slough House novels have been shortlisted for eight CWA Daggers, winning twice, and shortlisted for the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year four times.

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Rachel Johnson.

Rachel Johnson has worked for national newspapers since the age of 23 and has written four novels. Rachel is a co-presenter on Sky News’ The Pledge topical debate show and makes frequent appearances on Question Time, Any Questions, Newsnight, Marr and other programs.

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Damian Barr.

Damian Barr is an award-winning writer, journalist and host of his own infamous Literary Salon. Maggie & Me, published by Bloomsbury, was BBC Radio 4’s Book of the Week, and the Sunday Times named it their Memoir of the Year.

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Highlights of the 2019 Literature Festival at Sea.

Cheltenham Literature Festival.

The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival is the world’s oldest Literature Festival and continues to lead the way in celebrating the written and spoken word.

The Festival presents the best new voices in fiction and poetry alongside literary greats and high-profile speakers, while inspiring over 9,000 school children with a love of books through their year-round education and talent development programs.

Discover our unique event voyages.