(5:45 p.m. GMT) -- Princess Cruises has released its 2018 lineup of onboard speakers, which includes actors, musicians, athletes and even Princess Diana's former butler.
Following rave reviews during its first season in 2016, Princess' Encounters With Discovery speaker series -- one facet of the line's partnership with Discovery Communications -- is back and currently features 11 individuals, who will appear on select Sapphire Princess sailings next year. Each speaker will give a free 45-minute talk, followed by a question-and-answer session. Passengers will also have opportunities to attend complimentary meet-and-greets, as well as book signings.
"Our UK speaker programme was very well-received by guests last year so we're pleased to announce its return," said Tony Roberts, Princess' UK and Europe vice president, in a statement. "We'll be welcoming back favourites from last time ... as well as introducing some popular new faces."
Those on the 2018 programme lineup are:
- Linda Gray (actress, Sue Ellen in Dallas and Mrs Robinson in The Graduate theatre production in the West End), on both the 14-night Mediterranean Adventurer cruise departing July 28 and a 7-night Norwegian Fjords cruise, departs August 11
- Pete Best (former Beatles drummer), on a 14-night Land of the Midnight Sun cruise, departs August 18
- Eddie 'The Eagle Edwards (former British Olympic skier, portrayed in biographical film 'Eddie The Eagle' last year), on a 7-night Scandinavia cruise, departs September 1
- John Virgo (snooker commentator and former player), on a 14-night Baltic Heritage cruise, departs September 8
- Harry Redknapp (former football manager and footballer), on a 14-night Mediterranean Adventurer cruise, departs May 12
- Beverley Callard (actress, Liz McDonald in Coronation Street), on a 7-night Scandinavia cruise, departs May 26
- James Cosmo (actor, films include Braveheart and Trainspotting, TV includes Game of Thrones), on a 7-night Norwegian Fjords and Summer Solstice cruise, departs June 16
- Jimmy McKenna (actor, A Touch of Frost and Hollyoaks), on a 14-night Land of the Midnight Sun cruise, departs June 23
- Paul Burrell RVM (butler to Diana, Princess of Wales), on a 7-night Norwegian Fjords cruise, departs July 21
- Nick Pickard (actor, Hollyoaks), on a 14-night Mediterranean Adventurer cruise, departs July 28
- Ashley Taylor (actor and singer, Hollyoaks, Strictly Come Dancing), on a 7-night Spain & France cruise, departs May 5
Other speakers will be added and announced at a later time.
--By Ashley Kosciolek, Editor