Monday, July 12, 2004

PUBLIC TV AT SEA: Radisson Seven Seas Cruises’ one-of-a-kind cruise features popular hosts of public television’s MacNeil / Lehrer NewsHour, Ciao Italia, Great Performances, Antiques Roadshow, Find! and Frontline. The cruise also touts big value: Guests booking the 700-guest Seven Seas Voyager’s nine-night Nov. 12 Athens to Barcelona voyage can choose free economy class air from 86 North American gates, or a free biz class upgrade (when paying economy air add-ons), or a $1,000 per person slice off the cruise fare. That’s on top of mingling with public television personalities in one of Europe’s most picturesque regions. History and travel, art and antiques, literature, music, food and wine, personal finance, politics and current events are explored in keynote talks, panel discussions, tastings and cooking classes. Robert MacNeil and Jim Lehrer reunite, showing how the MacNeil / Lehrer NewsHour became the gold standard of TV news (changing to NewsHour with Jim Lehrer in ‘95 when MacNeil departed). The former co-anchors comment on election results and their latest books. Leigh and Leslie Keno, hosts of Find! and appraisers on Antiques Roadshow lead treasure hunts in key ports, later appraising guest finds. David Fanning, of Frontline, demystifies the making of an investigative documentary. Mary Ann Esposito, star of Ciao Italia, leads local market tours in Sicily and Rome and hosts three onboard cooking classes. Also enriching the shipboard experience: Hands-on Le Cordon Bleu workshops ($395 per person), wine tastings with experts, excursions lead by the TV personalities, a public TV book club hosted by Jim and Kate Lehrer and MacNeil, cocktail parties, and lounge / piano bar events. The Nov.12 nine-night Athens to Barcelona voyage calls at Kusadasi, Rhodes, Naxos (Taormina), Sorrento, Civitavecchia (Rome) and Monte Carlo. Fares start at $4,496.


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