10/04/2015 - 14:15

Cruising tales put Frame in picture with liners

10/04/2015 - 14:15

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Is it a hobby, a passion or a side business? A Perth-based world expert on cruising says he’s happy to keep his specialty for the weekends.

Cruising tales put Frame in picture with liners
BOOKED OUT: Author Chris Frame surrounded by the extensive collection in the QM2 library. Photo: Attila Csaszar

Is it a hobby, a passion or a side business? A Perth-based world expert on cruising says he’s happy to keep his specialty for the weekends.

Chris Frame has just spent a few days crossing the Southern Ocean on the world’s biggest ocean liner, Queen Mary 2.

See inside Queen Mary 2 here:

Regarded as an expert in the field by QM2 owner Cunard Line, Mr Frame had taken time out of his day job at the not-for-profit aged care and retirement village provider Bethanie where he is general manager, marketing and brand, to join the ship as it cruised to Perth, providing daily lectures about the vessel and the cruise industry.

Taking Business News on an informative tour of the impressive vessel after it berthed at Fremantle before Easter, Mr Frame roamed the ship with liberty, clearly familiar with the officers, crew and even some of the more rusted-on passengers.

His expertise and access are the result of a passion for cruise ships he’s had since before his teenage years, and the string of books he has co-authored with his wife, Rachelle Cross, on the subject of some of the world’s greatest ocean liners and the broader cruising industry.

It’s a job that has taken him around the world on some of the most luxurious liners, past and present, but he admits that, like many weekend warriors, the income earned just helps defray the cost of pursuing an otherwise expensive pastime.

“If you are going into it just to make money it will be stressful,” Mr Frame said about his specialist publishing enterprise, which has spawned 10 books on maritime history.

Starting in 2007 with their first book, a photographic work on the Queen Elizabeth 2, the couple has also published books on the original Queen Elizabeth and the Queen Victoria, as well as on 175 Years of Cunard, A Photographic History of P&O Cruises and The Evolution of the Transatlantic Liner.

“You don’t live for your book royalties unless you write Harry Potter or something,” Mr Frame said.

“This is our passion.

“It doesn’t feel like it is a big time burden.”

Mr Frame said the books had sparked the lecturing opportunities and added an additional dimension to the business that was little more than a way to take a vacation in style.

“That is just a holiday fund, really.”

Nevertheless, the advantages of modern technology and communication, even in a seemingly dated industry such as book publishing, show that inspiration can be fruitful no matter where in the world you are based.

There’s also more than a small share of serendipitous timing behind Mr Frame’s success.

Few would have guessed that his growing love for ocean liners, which started when he was aged 11, would coincide with a worldwide revival for cruising, notably in Australia where its popularity has grown significantly in recent years.
Mr Frame said P&O, for instance, had increased the number of ships coming to Australia each season from one to five since 2008.

With the increase in numbers has come a rising skew to luxury, with Cunard’s QM2, launched in 2003 but replicating a much more decadent era, being at the top end of that premium offering.

“People want better quality,” he said.

“No-one wanted that 25 years ago.”

 

Click here to see the photo gallery: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.826037310779465.1073741975.134841666565703&type=3&uploaded=30

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