Secrecy and suspense will be aboard 880-guest ship Boudicca for a 16-night “Poison, Murder & Mystery Cruise,” departing Rosyth (Edinburgh) July 10, 2015. The cruise, presented by Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines links the Duchess of Northumberland’s ‘Poison Gardens’ at Alnwick Castle – which starred as ‘Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry’ in the Harry Potter films – and that of Mr. Fred. Olsen Senior in Guimar, Tenerife.
Fred. Olsen unveiled this participative ‘murder mystery’ cruise at an exclusive VIP launch at The Tower of London, hosted by The Duchess of Northumberland and Fred. Olsen Senior, on July 24, 2014.
Guests will get to take part in this great adventure as it unfolds on board, whilst Boudicca takes a leisurely cruise to Leixoes (for Oporto, Portugal), Funchal (Madeira), Santa Cruz (Tenerife), Las Palmas (Gran Canaria), Lisbon (Portugal) and Newcastle (UK) – famous as the ‘Agatha Christie Route’.
This intriguing ‘Poison, Murder & Mystery Cruise’ is a first for any cruise line, and is the result of a creative collaboration between Mr. Fred. Olsen Senior and Her Grace, the Duchess of Northumberland. Fred. Olsen is delighted that, as well as hosting the largest participative ‘murder mystery’ event ever held on a cruise ship – which will be officially witnessed on board by ‘Guinness World Records’ – the Duchess will be joining the ship for part of the voyage, along with Mr. Fred. Olsen Senior, it is hoped.
“In Fred. Olsen, I was excited to meet someone with a fellow passion for poison plants, and together we have sown a seed that has flourished into this fascinating cruise experience for Fred. Olsen’s guests next year, linking our two unique gardens,” Her Grace, The Duchess of Northumberland, said.
“I wanted to create a ‘theatre of poisons and poisoning’, and working with Fred. has allowed me to bring this desire to life aboard a cruise ship, where guests can sample something new, something different and something very special indeed!”
“It seemed to me the most natural thing to undertake such a cruise, with so few ‘Poison Gardens’ in Europe,” said Fred. Olsen Senior, Chairman of the Fred. Olsen group of companies. “For me, it is very special to be able to link these gardens with a unique cruise itinerary, and we know that many of our guests share an enthusiasm for gardening. We also know, from previous experiences such as our Titanic Centenary cruise in April 2012, that they enjoy dressing up and taking part in murder mystery-themed events.”
Highlights of this cruise include:
– Visit to The Alnwick Garden and Alnwick Castle – the grand and magnificent home of the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland. Here, guests will not only see the Gardens – which have been transformed by Her Grace with an investment of over £40 million – but also visit the only ‘Poison Garden’ in Britain.
– In Tenerife, discover the mythical ‘Pyramids of Guimar’ and their own ‘Poison Garden’.
– Throughout the cruise, the subject of poison and mystery will be everywhere, with plays, talks and special tours – and a murder mystery starting as soon as guests get on board, which will run through to a ‘Grand Finale’ at Alnwick Castle.
– Felix Francis, younger son of thriller-writing legend, Dick Francis, will be penning a short crime story on board as the intrigue around this cruise unravels.
Guest speakers on this cruise include:
– Peter Dean, Her Majesty’s Coroner for Essex and a former Forensic Medical Examiner with the Metropolitan Police, with some fascinating and gruesome insights into his varied and often ‘dark’ career.
– Doctor Dan Jones, eminent poison Historian and Archaeologist, who gives a closer look into Rasputin and the Borgias family’s darkest secrets!
– Doctor Mark Siddall, curator of ‘The Power of Poison’ exhibition at The American Museum of Natural History, will be cooking up all manner of potions and poisons in a hands-on, interactive demonstration.
The Duchess of Northumberland is the visionary behind The Alnwick Garden, the largest visitor attraction in the North East. It is a registered charity, which aims to raise aspirations and run charitable programmes for the education and well-being of the local community. It offers local people access to projects, events, services and opportunities and it aims to promote a healthy, fulfilled quality of life. Alnwick Castle and The Alnwick Garden welcome over 800,000 visitors each year. She has travelled worldwide and around the UK, giving over 400 lectures about The Alnwick Garden and its charitable ethos.
She is particularly interested in natural poisons and aphrodisiacs and has built one of the only ‘Poison Gardens’ in the world, in which every plant is a killer. She had a trilogy of books published called ‘The Poison Diaries’ and recently a ‘Little Book of Poisons, Potions and Aphrodisiacs’ and one of ‘Jams, Jellies and Preserves’, with her own range of marmalades being commercially made from the oldest known recipe in the world. The latest book, ‘The Little Book of Cocktails, Cordials and Elixirs’ – just recently launched – features some of the oldest recipes for cocktails and cordials ever recorded.
The cruise returns to Edinburgh on the morning of July 26, 2015, after two weeks of mystery, poison and murder at sea.
Prices start from $4125 per person, based on two adults sharing a twin-bedded, Inside cabin, and include accommodation, all meals and entertainment, plus port fees. If guests book by August 31 2014, they can take advantage of free door-to-door travel for guests who live within 250 mainland miles of Rosyth or up to $250 per person free onboard spending credit.
For further information on Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, visit the website at www.bortonoverseas.com.
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