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Regent Explorer Capetown to Capetown

December 22, 2018 @ 8:00 am - January 6, 2019 @ 5:00 pm

Andy will be talking on Regent Seven Seas Explorer as she sails from Capetown to Capetown on a “South Africa Cheer” cruise.

Join Andy’s illustrated lectures over the holiday season.

Maritime Choke Points.  Beginning with the Age of Sail, the geography of the oceans, as well as their winds and currents, channels and canals became important to governments and their merchant fleets and navies.  Even now, 150 years after the Suez Canal, the Cape of Good Hope (once “the Cape of Storms”), connecting the Atlantic and Indian Oceans  is among the  most strategically and economically  important of the restricted waters of the World Ocean.

Disease and History.  Until the age of modern medicine, lethal epidemics and fatal disease shaped human history as much—arguably more—than did the acts of great men (and women), and the events of politics and wars.  Learn how plague, influenza, yellow fever, and small pox (as well as the “great pox,” syphilis), and especially cholera, powerfully changed the direction of the march of time.

Embassy to the Eastern Courts, American Trade Diplomacy in the Age of Jackson.  President Andrew Jackson sent the U.S. Navy’s new squadron around the world carrying diplomats on a years’ long, 98,000 mile mission across the Atlantic, around Africa, and through the Indian Ocean to the royal courts of Southeast Asia and Arabia.  Their purpose was to negotiate agreements to open exotic markets to New England’s manufacturers and merchants.   Contemporary documents reveal colorful details of these first contacts between Eastern potentates and Yankee traders.

The Ocean Cruises of Admiral Zheng He and China’s Navy Today.  Zheng He’s astonishing seven cruises between 1405 and 1433 through the Western Pacific and across the Indian Ocean to Africa marked the surprise beginning and sudden end of Ming China’s status as a great naval power.  Carrying treasure and returning with tribute for the emperor, the admiral’s huge fleets were not rivaled either in ship numbers, size, or crew strength until the modern era.

Themes in History.  A brief introduction to history’s drivers, an illustrated inventory of some factors that have broadly shaped the story of humankind for the past several millennia, and one answer to the question, “what’s a knowledge of history good for in the digital age?”


December 22, 2018 @ 8:00 am
January 6 @ 5:00 pm