|Tony Van Maanenberg
|South East Asia & Oceania Destinations
|Historian Navy-Military-Maritime-Australia-New Zealand-Asia
||Scarness, Qld Australia
|Extraordinary Lives & Famous People
|History - Maritime
|History - Military
|History - Naval
|Travel & Destinations
|PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE WITH:
Tony is a Royal Australian Navy Vietnam veteran, achieved the rank of Petty Officer and served for 9 years (1966-1975) as an Engine Room Artificer and is now settled in beautiful Hervey Bay, Queensland, Australia, self proclaimed whale watching capital of the world. In 1975 he commenced work with the Victorian State government for 13 years before moving into a consulting role in Risk Management. Tony then established his own Training and Workplace Safety consultancy business which he ran for 12 years. He again returned to the corporate world in various management positions before retiring in 2010.
So much for retirement. In March 2022 Tony studied for and received his Queensland Real Estate Licence. Currently he is also studying to achieve Life Coach Certification with Mary Morrissey's Brave Thinking Institute. To date he has received provisional certification in their highly regarded Dreambuilding Program.
He has formal qualifications from Ballarat University in Occupational Hazard Management and was a sessional lecturer on Safety Law and workplace safety at his alma mater. Tony has also conducted extensive Occupational Health and Safety training in Ballarat and Victoria Universities, TAFE colleges and private industry. He has also presented formal papers at National and International OHS conferences.
Tony’s other interests included amateur theatre, housesitting and working as a volunteer with an Australian coast watch organisation. He built his own motor home and travelled around Australia in 1981.
He is an avid traveller and walked the Camino from St Jean Pied de Port (France) to Santiago De Compostela in Spain in 2015. He has travelled extensively throughout Australasia and the Netherlands and is passionate about cruising.
Tony’s fervour for research as an historian has led him into Naval, Maritime and Military history which has now extended to Extraordinary Lives and Famous People.
Tony has some experience as a SCUBA diver which led him to explore and research the marine world more closely. This is reflected in his presentations about The Great Barrier Reef, Cetaceans and Ocean Biodiversity.
He has an inquiring mind and when he visits countries, he is keen to find out more about their history, culture and way of life.
With his trade background, formal qualifications, broad work and leisure experience he has well developed personal and interactive skills which makes his presentations informative, interesting and entertaining.
In 2017 Tony boarded his first Cruise Ship as an Enrichment and Destination Speaker. Since then he has researched and prepared more than 20 Enrichment and Destination topics and conducted more than 50 speaking sessions on three different cruise lines.
ENRICHMENT SPEAKER - GENERAL TOPIC RELEVANT TO ITINERARY
1. AUSTRALIAN MARITIME TRAGEDIES
Nearly every country in the world has experienced seafaring tragedies and Australia is no different. Join Tony as he outlines some of Australia’s early Maritime History and then examines various incidents that occurred along the Eastern seaboard of Australia’s rugged and treacherous coastline.
2. SHIPPING TRAGEDIES IN NEW ZEALAND
Nearly every country in the world has experienced seafaring tragedies and New Zealand is no different. Tony highlights various shipping tragedies and occurrences that have happened along this beautiful country’s rugged coastline. There’s also an unusual and entertaining twist at the end of this presentation.
1. SYDNEY UNDER ATTACK.
As we approach Sydney Tony takes us back to World War 11 when the threat of enemy attack was real. He will enlighten us about the Japanese attack on shipping in Sydney Harbour by three midget submarines. What happened, what was the aftermath and what became of the third midget submarine. Come and join Tony as he reminds us of past events.
2. BATTLE OF THE CORAL SEA 4-8 May 1942.
Join Tony as he shares the fascinating story of the first major naval encounter in the Pacific Theatre of World War II. This engagement was the first in which aircraft carriers were involved. Find out why this was such a unique event. (1st sea day)
3. BATTLE OF MIDWAY 4-7 June 1942.
Join us as Tony shares details of the Battle of Midway. Discover how it was a decisive naval battle in the Pacific one month after the encounter of naval carrier forces in the Coral Sea.
1. BATTLE OF GUADALCANAL AND SAVO ISLAND 7-08-1942 to 9-02-1943.
Tony explains how this crucial battle unfolded in and around the island of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands that involved US ground troops, airforce, and navy and the role of the Royal Australian Navy in this epic engagement.
2. KOKODA TRACK CAMPAIGN July - Nov 1942.
The Legend of the Kokoda Track unfolds as Tony shares the enigmatic campaign across the Owen Stanley ranges where Australian Militia Units were initially forced back almost to Port Moresby before being reinforced by the AIF. What happened that turned the tide against the Japanese forcing them back to Buna and Gona before they were finally defeated.
3. THE BOMBING OF DARWIN IN 1942.
Join Tony as he shares details of this audacious attack by the Japanese on the Port of Darwin. What was the outcome of this devastating event on our home soil that shocked Australians and threatened the strategic importance of our Northern Borders?
ENRICHMENT SPEAKER - LOCAL HISTORY RELEVANT TO ITINERARY
1. THE VICTORIAN GOLD RUSH – HARBINGER OF AUSTRALIAN DEMOCRACY?
Was the Victorian Gold Rush of 1850 the initiator of the birth of democracy for Australia? What led to the gold rush and what impact did it have on the colony of Victoria at the time. Was it, in fact, a rebellion, that some historians claim, led to Australian democracy. Tony details the events at that time and reveals some of the amazing discoveries found then and more recently.
2. PORT ARTHUR CONVICT SETTLEMENT – AUSTRALIA’S CRUEL PAST
Some 100 kilometres southeast of Hobart is the UNESCO-listed heritage site of the former Port Arthur Convict Settlement. This former penal settlement has a harsh, tragic, and violent history and was built to reform the most hardened criminals. The area includes a coal mine, a boy’s prison, and a haunted island where criminals were buried when they died. What horrific event in that place brought about significant legislative change to Australian gun laws.
3. CHRISTMAS EVE, DARWIN 1974 – CYCLONE TRACEY.
Experience Darwin as we look back to Christmas Eve 1974 when Cyclone Tracey devastated this city. Graphic images were taken on Christmas Day (and after) reveal that Darwin looked like a war zone after this cataclysmic event. Who were the heroes, and how did people survive. See the transformation of this rural retreat to the buzzing modern city you see today.
4. WHAT MAKES NEW ZEALANDERS (KIWIS) SO UNIQUE.
New Zealanders (Kiwis) have special qualities about them. Find out what sets Kiwis apart from many other people. Tony will give some unique examples of their culture and ways of life.
5. LOCAL HISTORY OF THE NEW ZEALAND (MÂORI) WARS.
Colonisation comes at a price and New Zealand’s experience is no different. The intertribal conflict was the precursor to disputes that began between settlers and the Mâori people. Today Tony presents a historical overview of the conflict that lasted for nearly 30 years between the Mâori and the Pâkehâ.
6. AUSSIES & KIWIS – WHAT TIES THEM TOGETHER
As we sail back to Australia Tony takes us on the journey of the ANZACS. What is it that has tied New Zealand and Australia in a unique bond that few other countries experience?
7. BLACKBIRDING – AUSTRALIA’S SLAVE TRADE? (AUSTRALIAN HISTORY) OPTIONAL
Starting from the 1860s, tens of thousands of Pacific Islanders were taken to Australia to work on plantations in Queensland. Today we explore this controversial topic not intending to judge but to explore the facts as we know them.
EXTRAORDINARY LIVES & FAMOUS PEOPLE
1. WHO KNOWS THESE PRE-EMINENT AUSTRALIAN AND NEW ZEALAND FIGURES
We all like to boast about our heroes, icons, and legends that we hold dear or would like to relate to. Some that are well known and others not so. Come and listen as he refreshes your memory and maybe surprises you with some of what he has to reveal.
2. ANDREW BARTON "BANJO" PATERSON, CBE, BUSH POET, JOURNALIST, AND AUTHOR (EXTRAORDINARY LIVES)
An accomplished poet, solicitor, journalist, war correspondent, and soldier, he was uniquely instrumental in bringing the Australian Bushman to international popularity. Today we explore the extraordinary talent of “the Banjo”.
3 SIR ERNEST ‘WEARY’ DUNLOP. (EXTRAORDINARY LIVES)
International sportsman, pharmacist, and surgeon. Weary served in the military and was captured by the Japanese in Java, he was a prisoner of war on the Burma Death Railway. Come and listen to why Australians regard this man with awe.
4. THE MOUNTAIN CONQUEROR (under development)
Who is Sir Edmund Percival Hillary? This man was not only the first person to conquer Mt Everest but he also made other notable achievements. What is the enigmatic background to this quiet unassuming New Zealander? Join Tony as he reveals more interesting and maybe some surprising aspects about this humble man.
5. THE WORLD'S FASTEST INDIAN (Under development)
This fascinating tale starts on the South Island of New Zealand where this humble, quietly spoken unknown motorcycle mechanic put the world on notice when he blazed the Utah Salt Flats. Find out more about Percy Munro and how he overcame the odds and set a world speed land record on his homemade modified Indian Motorcycle.
6. LORD OF THE CINEMA (under development)
Academy, Golden Globe, and many other awards testify to the ability of this Film Director / Producer and screenwriter. Sir Peter Jackson has won worldwide acclaim for his unique talents in bringing the world of J R Tolkien to the big screen. His other films have also been acclaimed. Join Tony as he outlines the rise of this talented Kiwi and the impact he has had in New Zealand.
7. SIR STAMFORD RAFFLES – THE LION OF SINGAPORE
From a lowly clerk in London for the British East India Company to author, geographer, and Lieutenant Governor of The British East Indies. What else did this man achieve in Southeast Asia? Was his vision for Singapore a foolish dream?
1. THE NEW ZEALAND EXPERIENCE & WELLINGTON.
New Zealanders (Kiwis) have special qualities about them. Find out what sets Kiwis apart from many other people. Tony will give some unique examples about their history, culture, and way of life before letting you know about Wellington (the most Southern Capital in the world). He will also outline a tragedy that still sits very closely with Wellingtonians. Tony has also provided details about opportunities to explore Dunedin, Akaroa, Picton, and Tauranga as he's had personal experience visiting these delightful ports.
2. MARVELLOUS MELBOURNE.
The world’s most liveable city – seven years running. What makes this city so great? Tony provides an insight into this beautiful capital of the State of Victoria. There’s something for everyone here and one day in port will never be enough.
3. WOLLONGONG – NEWCASTLE – SYDNEY
Sydney is a popular destination for International travelers but not so Wollongong (Port Kembla) and Newcastle. Cruise Ships are expanding their ports and this cruise creates a rare opportunity to explore these former industrial cities and their magnificent surrounds which are transforming into tourism hotspots.
4. SENSATIONAL SYDNEY – The World’s Most Scenic Harbour City
Today’s insight into Sydney reveals that there’s something for everyone here and one day in port will never be enough. Today’s presentation boasts at least 21 different attractions that many Sydneysiders haven’t yet experienced.
5. AIRLIE BEACH – Home to the Pristine Whitsunday Islands
Airlie Beach is the gateway to the Whitsunday Islands, powder smooth beaches, rainforests, and walking trails that reveal breathtaking views. It offers a knockout punch for thrill seekers or those just wanting a lazy day in the sun.
6. CAIRNS – Where the Rainforest Meets the Reef
This city lies between two icons, the Great Barrier reef, and the Daintree Rainforest. An extraordinary day awaits those who venture into this tropical paradise or you can simply enjoy the markets, waterfront pools, cafés, and bars.
7. BRISBANE – Lifestyle Capital of Queensland
Your Brisbane discovery choices abound; explore the Brisbane River, investigate museums, let go of the shopaholic, climb a mountain, unearth the cultural heart that is Southbank, there are so many options you’ll need to come back.
8. HOBART - Icon of Southern Tasmania.
Hobart has a unique and progressive past and present, ranging from its convict history to its unique and modern art museum. Explore Australia’s southernmost capital city and its surrounds and experience what it has to offer, where to go, what to see and where to have the best fish and chips.
ENRICHMENT SPEAKER - TOPICS RELEVANT TO ITINERARY
1 THE INTRIGUE OF INDONESIA.
What constantly threatens this multiple island nation that has a turbulent history and rich culture. From Komodo dragons, magnificent archaeological ruins, and volcanoes to blissful Bali, Tony will provide a historical glimpse into their past and present. Oh yes, there are pirates too.
2. THE SPICE ISLANDS – MOLUCCAS (Indonesia).
Why did the Molucca's become the hottest property in the world during the 15th and 16th centuries? Produce from these islands captivated our taste buds and transformed European culinary cuisine adding unique flavours and seasonings never experienced before. Who vied for ownership and control of this specialist trade between rival European countries. Who were the real winners during this time?
3. SENSATIONAL SINGAPORE.
What can you say about Singapore? It is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, enjoys one of the lowest crime rates, and has one of the most stable governments yet its population is minuscule when compared with other countries. What makes this tiny nation so unique. Come and listen as Tony introduces “what makes Singapore tick”.
ENRICHMENT SPEAKER TOPICS - CROSSING THE OCEANS
1. OCEANS – A PRECIOUS NATURAL RESOURCE. PART 1 – OCEAN BIODIVERSITY
Our oceans are crucial to the survival of all species on the planet. Join Tony in this introductory presentation about the origins of water on our planet and the biodiversity that has evolved and that now exists in this underwater expanse.
2. OCEANS – A PRECIOUS NATURAL RESOURCE. Part 2 – OCEAN DEPTHS
What further secrets exist in the depths of the seas that we sail across? Tony brings part 2 of this presentation to life. We descend to the ocean bed as we uncover some remarkable facts about how life is sustained at these extraordinary depths. In addition, other secrets are being discovered as well.
3, NATURAL WONDERS OF THE WORLD – THE CORAL REEFS.
Tony continues our journey into biodiversity and examines beautiful coral reefs, which provide a unique ecosystem. He uses the Great Barrier Reef to provide an insight into this magnificent ecologically sensitive marine sanctuary and what threatens coral reefs worldwide. What can be done to rehabilitate damaged areas and what is the future of these awesome living organisms?
4. THE WORLD OF CETACEANS – GRACEFUL GIANTS & DELIGHTFUL DOLPHINS
As we sail over the ocean surface, occasionally we may be privileged to see whales and dolphins. Today Tony takes a closer look at these amazing animals and examines some unique characteristics of the various species and what sets them apart from other sea life,
5. THE PACIFIC RING OF FIRE
Over the years many countries have been featured regularly in the news due to their active volcanos and devastating lava flows. Today Tony explains what causes these disturbing events. He explores the Pacific Ring of Fire which is a world hot spot. Will we be safe as we continue our sea journey towards these countries and what and where are the danger areas in this region?
6. FRECH POLYNESIA – A MID-OCEAN TREASURE
There are a few milestones when crossing the Pacific, French Polynesia is one of them. And surprisingly many people believe that Tahiti is a nation. It is an island in the Windward group of the Society Islands that make up French Polynesia. Join Tony as he provides details on the history of this beautiful part of the world and outlines past events that brought attention to this region and whet your appetite with some of the stunning locations of this Island Paradise.
7. HAWAII – PARADISE OF THE PACIFIC
Hawaii excites the imagination for people in so many different ways. Having an active volcano, however, shouldn’t be a deterrent to enjoying this beautiful country, after all, Hawaiians have been living here for about 700 or so years. Join Tony as he provides you with details about the history, development and triumphs, and tragedies of this land and what has made it so great.
8. THE ORIGINS OF BUNGY JUMPING AND BEYOND
We examine the origins of “Land Diving” which originated in Vanuatu. New Zealand has embraced this phenomenon and has created a worldwide following we now call Bungy Jumping and its evolution. Come and join Tony as he explains how Land Diving or Vine Jumping evolved and its transition to the more popular Bungy Jumping (and beyond) as we know it.
9. ONE OF THE SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD – THE GREAT BARRIER REEF.
Tony will give us an insight into this magnificent ecologically sensitive marine sanctuary. What has brought about major destruction to much of the reef, what is being done to rehabilitate the damaged areas and what is the future of this awesome living organism?
ENRICHMENT - GENERAL TOPICS
1. THE ORIGINS OF FATHER CHRISTMAS – SANTA CLAUS.
As we enjoy and celebrate Christmas day we examine where did Father Christmas come from and what about the name Santa Clause. Join Tony as he takes us through a bit of history and looks at the various countries that contributed to the modern-day Father Christmas – and how the name Santa Clause came to be.
2. NEW YEARS EVE – Why Do We Celebrate This Universal Event.
Join Tony as he shares how various countries celebrate New Year’s Eve. When did the New Year’s Resolution come about? Why do different countries celebrate New Year’s Eve at different times and where did the song Auld Lan Syne come from. Share this entertaining presentation as we draw closer to a memorable evening on this exciting cruise.
PRESENTATIONS UNDER DEVELOPMENT
1 (Part 1) WIRELESS OPERATORS IN NEW GUINEA & SURROUNDING ISLANDS.
Tony’s topic in this session outlines the crucial role that the wireless operators had to play in World War II in total isolation and secret locations spying on enemy movements. How they provided crucial information that turned the tide of the Japanese onslaught.
1. (Part 2) THE TRAGEDY OF THE AUSTRALIAN HOSPITAL SHIP CENTAUR 14-05-1943.
As we close in on Brisbane Tony explains in detail the loss of the Hospital Ship Centaur as we sail close to her final resting place and find out about heroic acts and self-sacrifice. Why this event was such a barbaric act and how Australians responded.
Other topics that focus on Japan, China, Thailand and Vitenam are in the development phase.
1. QUIET & UNASSUMING CAMBODIA – A RICH HISTORY
This beautiful and peaceful country has experienced a rich cultural history but has also seen horror and turbulence in more recent times. Today we explore what makes this country so unique and why is it becoming an ever-increasing tourist destination for so many people.
2. WHO IS NGUYEN SINH CUNG, ALSO CALLED NGUYEN TAT THANH OR NGUYEN AI QUOC (EXTRAORDINARY LIVES)
Who was Ho Chi Minh and what did he achieve for his country? What do we know about this highly revered elder statesman? Was he a despot or was he a National Hero? You make up your own mind. What led to the bitter conflict that divided this small nation for so many years? Today
we take a deep dive into the life and times of ‘Uncle Ho’.
3. THE VIETNAMESE DYNASTIES – A HISTORY
Vietnam is well known because of the controversial war that raged for many years but little is known of its dynasties and Emperors and cultural evolution. There are many aspects to Vietnam’s historical origins, development, and growth. Today we start with water dragons and finish in rice fields and also gain an appreciation of Vietnam’s beauty like its lovely national symbol the Lotus flower.
4. HONG KONG – FROM REMOTE FISHING VILLAGES TO AN ICON OF CAPITALISM (MODERN HISTORY)
Was Hong Kong a victim of the OPIUM WAR, or did China have a far-reaching vision of learning about Western Culture by allowing a 99-year lease to be signed? Did ceding Hong Kong enable China to learn the ways of Capitalism thereby enabling it to become the powerhouse it is today.
Viking Mars - Confirmed Booking 21st Feb to 7th Mar 2023. Syd - Auckland. Enrichment Speaker
Viking Orion - Confirmed booking from 5th Jan to 19th Jan 2023. Syd - Auckland. Enrichment Speaker
Silver Muse - Confirmed Booking Dec 20th, 2022 to Jan 4th, 2023 Sydney - Auckland. Enrichment Speaker
2022 June 16th -26th. Enrichment speaker on Coral Princess, Brisbane - Brisbane. Maritime History, Famous Australians, Great Barrier Reef.
Confirmed Booking 2020, October/November – back-to-back cruises – Celebrity Solstice, Celebrity Cruise Lines – Destination Speaker (Covid cancellation).
2020, January/ February (14 days) – Viking Sun, Viking Cruise Lines – Maritime, Naval, Military & Local History, Local culture.
2019, February (7 days) – Pacific Princess, Princess Cruise Lines – Enrichment Speaker. Maritime, Naval History & Marine Diversity.
2018/2019, December/ January – Sun Princess, Princess Cruise Lines – Enrichment Speaker. Mixed theme and topics for the region (Vanuatu, Fiji, New Caledonia).
2018, April (17 days) – Ovation of The Seas, Royal Caribbean – Enrichment Speaker. Maritime, Military, Local History & Events, Cultural History Indonesia and Singapore. (Booked but canceled due to illness).
2018, February/March – Sea Princess, Princess Cruise Lines – Enrichment Speaker. Military & Naval History WWII theme.
2018, January (14 days) – Radiance of The Seas, Royal Caribbean – Destination / Enrichment Speaker. Maritime, Military & local History.
2017, November (14 days) – Radiance of The Seas, Royal Caribbean – Enrichment Speaker. Maritime, Military & local History.
See the summary of topics listed to gain further insight.
The following recent Cruise History has been recorded for this candidate.
||World Cruise 2019 - 2020 Sector 9
||Tuesday, January 28, 2020