Chris Frame: Maritime Historian, Author & Lecturer

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by ocean liners. My interest in ocean liners got serious when I read a book about the Titanic as a child. The book was “Exploring the Titanic” by Robert D. Ballard, and it introduced me to a new world. A world where passenger ships were the only way to travel.

It wasn’t just the story of the sinking of the Titanic that caught my attention; the sheer size and scale of the ship was almost unbelievable to me. The deck plans, schematics, layouts and stories of building the Titanic interested me as much as learning about the details of her tragic demise.

My first Cunard experience:

What really set me on my current path was my first trip aboard the QE2. QE2 was a floating museum; a living tribute to the great ocean liners that transformed the way people lived, travelled and communicated. As I walked QE2’s decks and explored the onboard Heritage Trail I became hooked.

During my first cruise on QE2, I knew that I wanted to learn everything there was to know about these great liners. And I wanted to share that knowledge with others. I decided then and there I was going to become a maritime historian and write a book about that great ship.

I realised a childhood ambition in 2008:

As I grew up, my interest expanded to include the earliest steam ships to the newest cruise ship. However, QE2 remained my all-time favourite. I launched the forerunner of this website in 1999 (Chris’ QE2 Page – back when you needed to understand HTML to build a website). This has since morphed into this Cunard history website.

In 2008, after years of thinking about it, Rachelle and I published our first book, ‘QE2: A Photographic Journey’. It was released just in time for QE2’s farewell season, allowing us to travel aboard the ship where I spoke as a guest lecturer.

This was a dream come true. I gave three lectures in the ship’s packed-out Theatre. Best of all, the book sold out and the talks were very well received.

Sharing the ocean liner story:

You may not realise it, but ocean liners changed the way we live. From introducing new technologies, to creating reliable links between nations; from their use in both World Wars to their transition into modern day floating resorts, many things we consider normal today can be traced back to an ocean liner origin.

Since 2008 we’ve published a series of books on a variety of maritime subjects. From the history of Cunard to the evolution of the passenger ship and a number of topics in-between (check out all our books here).

I am a regular speaker aboard cruise ships as well as maritime museums around the world. I’ve also been a keynote speaker at conferences, events and corporate dinners. I enjoy sharing this rich history and I am always touched by how genuinely interested people are to listen to my presentations, and share their own stories.

Some of my career highlights include hosting journalists and media aboard Queen Anne at the Fincantieri shipyard in 2023 and speaking aboard Queen Victoria during the Lusitania 100th Anniversary commemorations.

I also enjoy speaking at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney and Sea City Museum in Southampton as well as the thrill of attracting such big crowds in Illuminations aboard QM2 that my presentations were relocated to the bigger Royal Court Theatre. I was also the youngest ever guest speaker aboard QE2 during its 39 1/2 year career, and the first guest lecturer to speak aboard P&O’s Pacific Eden during her maiden voyage.

Spreading the Ocean Liner story further:

Although I had a fear of public speaking as a child, today I thrive on public speaking both as a guest speaker and in front of the media. I have regularly appeared on television news, documentaries and radio as an subject matter expert for ocean liner history and cruising. You can check out my media profile here.

Learn More:

Whether you want to keep track of the latest Cunard news, or if you’re more interested in cruise industry or historical updates, you can link with me on YouTube or The Big Cruise Podcast.

Rachelle Cross and I have written a range of maritime history books covering the history of Cunard as well as books about the current fleet. We have also written extensively about the history of ocean liners and cruise ships in two unique books: The Evolution of the Passenger Ship and The Evolution of the Transatlantic Liner.

Additionally, we have collaborated with Rob Henderson & Doug Cremer to write about P&O and Orient Line. Our latest releases include 180 Years of CunardA Photographic History of P&O and an updated edition of our QM2 book. We have also worked with The History Press to produce two beautiful colouring in books featuring the ships of Cunard and P&O.

Over the years we’ve made contact with lots of other maritime historians, cruising enthusiasts and travel writers. A long list of excellent recommended websites can be seen by clicking here.

If you have any questions or comments we’d love to hear from you, click here to send us a message.