2011 New Year firsts for Cunard Line: a float in the Rose Parade and their First Female Captain.

2011 New Year firsts for Cunard Line: a float in the Rose Parade and the first Female Captain.  2011 proves to be the year for the the great new Cunard liners: MS QUEEN MARY, MS QUEEN ELIZABETH AND MS QUEEN VICTORIA.

For the first time, Cunard Lines has appointed Captain Inger Klein Olsen as its first female captain in the companies history.

Captain Olsen assumed command of Cunard Line’s Queen Victoria on December 1st. Forty-three-year-old Captain Olsen was raised in the Faroe Islands, which accounts for her maritime abilities, and she joined Cunard in 1997 as First Officer on board Caronia. In 2001 she transferred to the Seabourn fleet, which at that time was part of Cunard.  She sailed on Seabourn Sun and Seabourn Spirit before being promoted to the rank of Staff Captain on Seabourn Pride in 2003.

Another Cunard Line first will be a float in tomorrow’s Rose Parade.  The float will be titled “A Grand Celebration at Sea.” The float will be created by award-winning Fiesta Parade Floats in collaboration with renowned artist and float designer Raul Rodriguez. Cunard’s inaugural Rose Parade Float will illustrate the Cunard fleet of the queen ships — the flagship Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and the new Queen Elizabeth — and depict ballroom dancing, a big band orchestra, champagne toasts and multigenerational families who have sailed aboard the Cunard liners.  Featuring an eloquent fusion of floral and architectural detail, the float will stand 24 feet high, 18 feet wide and 55 feet in length. It will include a big band orchestra and ballroom dancers to bring to life the Cunard’s famed Royal Nights themed balls, along with theatrical smoke rising from Cunard’s signature black and red funnel. Thousands of red black magic roses, purple phalaenopsis orchid sprays, green cymbidium orchids and hypericum, and white Casablanca lilies will border the length of the float, along with more than 45,000 red opium roses that will carpet the steps and floors.

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About Michael L. Grace

MICHAEL L. GRACE is part of the award winning team that created the internationally performed award winning musical SNOOPY, based on PEANUTS by Charles M. Schultz. SNOOPY continues to be one of the most produced shows (amateur & stock) in America/Worldwide and has had long running productions in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and in London's West End. There are over 100 individual productions every year. He has written movies for TV, including the award-winning thriller LADY KILLER, various pilots and developed screenplays for Kevin Costner and John Travolta. Besides co-writing and co-producing SNOOPY, he wrote and produced the one-man play KENNEDY. He produced P.S. YOUR CAT IS DEAD by pulitzer prize winning author James Kirkwood. He wrote the stage thriller FINAL CUT which had productions in the UK, South Africa and Australia. His one-man play, KENNEDY - THE MAN BEHIND THE MYTH, was developed for HBO and has starred Andrew Stevens, Gregory Harrison and Joseph Bottoms. He has recently been involved in European productions with CLT-UFA, Europe's leading commercial television and radio broadcaster. He wrote MOWs THE DOLL COLLECTION, THE BOTTOM LINE and LAST WITNESS for German television. While in college and graduate school he worked as a foreign correspondent for COMBAT, the famous leftwing Paris daily, and as a travel writer. He visited more than 50 countries. He struggled as an actor, then joined the enemy and entered the training program at William Morris. He became a publicist and worked for Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis Presley's manager, at Paramount and MGM. He followed with a brief stint as a story executive, working in the frantic horror genre period of the early 80s and wrote THE UNSEEN. He went onto write for episodic television and develop series pilots. He was a continuing writer on such series such as LOVE BOAT, PAPER DOLLS, and KNOTS LANDING. He developed screenplays for such major award winning directors as Nicolas Meyers, Tony Richardson and J. Lee Thompson. He has written for all the major networks and studios. He has been hired numerous times as a script doctor, doing many uncredited rewrites on TV movies and features. He is currently writing A PERSON OF INTEREST, a thriller novel, and, IT'S THE LOVE BOAT... AND HOW IT CHANGED CRUISING BY SHIP a non-fiction book dealing with how the hit TV series as a major cultural phenomenon and altered the style of cruising by ship. He was raised in Los Angeles. He attended St. Paul's, USC and the Pasadena Playhouse. He received a B.A from San Francisco State University where he majored in theatre arts and minored in creative writing. He is listed as a SFSU leading alumni. He also apprenticed at ACT - The American Conservatory Theatre. For a brief period he had intentions of becoming an Episcopal(Anglican) priest and attended seminary at Kelham Theological College in the UK. When "the calling" wasn't there, he left seminary and did graduate work at the American University of Beirut. He has guest lectured at USC, UC San Diego, McGill, Univ. of London and the Univ. of Texas on the business aspects of making a living and surviving as a writer, focusing on development hell, in the Hollywood entertainment industry. Grace is a lifetime member of the Writers Guild of America, the Dramatist Guild and former regional chairman of the Steamship Historical Society of America. He resides in Palm Springs.

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