Fans of the hit television series Downton Abbey will be pleased to know that British royalty expert Alastair Bruce of Crionaich, OBE, historical advisor to the program (which airs on ITV in the UK and PBS in the US), will be returning to Silversea this year.

A descendant of Robert the Bruce, Alastair Bruce is the author of numerous books on British royalty and a commentator for Britain's Sky News and the BBC. He is also a documentary filmmaker and was historical advisor to recent award-winning films such as The Young Victoria and The King's Speech.

Mr Bruce will guest lecture aboard Silver Spirit's Voyage 5335, sailing November 9th, 2013, Barcelona to Fort Lauderdale, offering his fellow guests a unique behind-the-scenes view of British royal life.

Silversea knows how very important mind-enriching experiences are for our guests, so they've signed up a fascinating array of renowned authors, historians, diplomats, political analysts and other cultural experts to share their views and thought-provoking outlooks. In addition to Mr Bruce, dozens of prominent guest lecturers are slated to participate, here's a small sampling:

Silver Spirit – 29 April – Voyage 5311 (Monte Carlo to Venice)

WENDY LEIGH: The New York Times bestselling British author of Prince Charming: The J.F.K. Jr. StoryThe Secret Letters of Marilyn Monroe and Jacqueline Kennedy – also a play, which premiered in the US – and True Grace: The Life and Times of an American Princess. She is also co-author of Life with My Sister Madonna.

Silver Shadow – 11 July – Voyage 3320 (Vancouver to Vancouver) 

WILLIAM GURSTELLE: Named to Wired magazine's Smart List, Gurstelle is a bestselling author, engineer, and professional speaker. The author of Backyard BallisticsAbsinthe and Flamethrowers, and seven other books, he is recognised for his particular talent for making science and technology accessible, intriguing, and – most of all – fun to all readers and audiences.

Silver Spirit – 26 July – Voyage 5322 (Venice to Athens) 

LEEZA GIBBONS: She is currently co-host of America Now, the nightly syndicated TV news magazine, and the TV show My Generation (on PBS stations). Gibbons also served as executive producer of her talk show, Leeza, which debuted on NBC in 1994 and continued nationally through 2000. She garnered 27 Daytime Emmy nominations, including both Outstanding Talk Show and Outstanding Talk Show Host, and won three.

Silver Cloud – 14 August – Voyage 1323 (Southampton to Monte Carlo) 

BRIAN HOEY: This author and broadcaster has written 26 books about the British royal family, including the official biography of Princess Anne and the official history of the royal yacht Britannia. He also wrote the first guide to Buckingham Palace when it opened to the public in 1993. He was the first host of the BBC Wales TV news programme Wales Today in 1962 and he was also a television commentator at the investiture of Prince Charles as Prince of Wales in 1969.

Silver Whisper – 26 August – Voyage 4322 (Copenhagen to Stockholm) 

TIM HUGHES, PhD: Hughes has been a consultant to the BBC since 1994, working as an advisor on national elections, Zimbabwe and Nelson Mandela in particular. A member of the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) since 1989, he has written a book on South Africa's foreign policy in the post-apartheid period, and is the editor of some 22 publications on Africa.

Silver Spirit – 19 September – Voyage 5329 (Athens to Istanbul) 

PATRICIA SCHULTZ: She is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller 1,000 Places to See Before You Die. A veteran travel journalist with 25 years of experience, Schultz has written for guides such as Frommer's and Berlitz and periodicals including The Wall Street Journal andEvery Day with Rachael Ray.

Silver Cloud – 26 November – Voy. 1332 (Barbados to Rio de Janeiro) 

RICK SENAT: A 40-year film industry veteran, Senat was a London-based senior business affairs executive for Warner Brothers for 25 years. He has worked with many prominent filmmakers and is associated with several important movie projects including Harry Potter,GreystokeBatman and Superman films.

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