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Cunard Launches Trans-Atlantic Space Voyage

Valencia-based luxury cruise liner Cunard Line, a subsidiary of Carnival Corp. & plc based in London, will offer a space-themed transatlantic voyage next year in celebration of International World Space Week, the company announced Oct. 4. “Throughout history, the Cunard brand has been synonymous with exploration and adventure,” Richard Meadows, president of Cunard North America, said in a prepared statement. “We are pleased … to give guests a unique vantage point to discover land, sea and space.” The trip is scheduled aboard Cunard’s flagship cruise liner, the Queen Mary 2, from Oct. 6 to Oct. 13 next year. The ship will depart from New York and will travel to Southampton, England, where travelers can pay around $900 each to continue their Earth-bound space odyssey with a two-day “London Space and Discovery Tour.” Guests can also opt for exclusive tours of the American Natural History Museum’s Hayden Planetarium and the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, both in Manhattan, as part of an all-inclusive, pre-voyage package available for about $800 per passenger. The voyage itself will feature seminars conducted by space exploration experts, including former astronaut Jeffrey Hoffman, NASA historian Ken MacTaggart and Virgin Galactic Commercial Director Stephen Attenborough. Rates for interior cabins begin at around $1,300, based on double occupancy; the line’s ultra-luxurious Queens Grill suites are available for $4,600. The Space Week cruise is one of a number of “special edition” voyages offered by Cunard in recent years. The line’s first-ever fashion-themed crossing, which took place last month, included talks by Fashion Week founder Fern Mallis and designer Dame Zandra Rhodes. Other trips have featured performances by musicians James Taylor and the trio Crosby, Stills and Nash. Total Wine Opens Total Wine & More celebrated the grand opening of its new store at Village at Westfield Topanga on Sept. 29 in Woodland Hills with specials benefitting two local charities and an appearance by a former professional athlete. The family-owned alcohol retailer, which is the largest independent purveyor of fine wine in the United States, donated 10 percent of all wine sales during its opening weekend to arts nonprofit Valley Cultural Center. The company also made a “substantial” donation to Young Warriors, a mentoring program for young boys living in poverty. Young Warriors board member and NFL Hall of Fame running back Eric Dickerson signed autographs at the opening event. “Our partnerships with Valley Cultural Center and Young Warriors are the first of many donations that the Woodland Hills Total Wine & More store will make in the San Fernando Valley and greater Los Angeles,” Edward Cooper, vice president for public affairs and community relations, said in a prepared statement. The new store occupies 25,000 square feet in the upscale outdoor mall. It carries more than 8,000 wines, over a third sourced directly from wineries, in addition to more than 2,500 imported and domestic beers. The store also boasts separate wine and beer bars for taste-testing featured varieties, as well as a temperature-controlled cigar room. “We’re really excited to be able to bring our expansive selection of beer and wine to Woodland Hills,” Regional Vice President Jim Weiland said. “This location has been very underserved in terms of what we offer, so we’re looking forward to being able to fill that gap.” The shop also features a high-tech, wifi-enabled “wine education” room, where the retailer plans to hold classes for the waitstaff of area restaurants as well as the general public. When available, the room can be reserved by local businesses for meetings. Ready to Eat Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop became the latest addition to Caruso Affiliated’s 252 S. Brand with its opening on Oct. 10, joining fellow tenants Mainland Poke, Philz Coffee and Shake Shack in the street-front dining hub in Glendale. The eatery is led by chef and “commander-in-leaf” Jonathan Rollo and offers a selection of salads, sandwiches and entrees made with organic, locally sourced produce. 252 S. Brand’s fifth and final restaurant, Eggslut, is slated to open later this fall. … Village at Westfield Topanga welcomed Sweetfin Poke to its roster of eateries on Oct. 7 in Woodland Hills. The restaurant features an environment-conscious twist on the poke craze with sustainable fish, local produce and sushi-grade rice at the heart of its menu. Staff Reporter Helen Floersh can be reached at (818) 316-3121 or hfloersh@sfvbj.com.

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