Seabourn Ventures Team
Meet The Members Of Your Alaska Expedition Team
JUAN CARLOS RESTREPO
Juan was born in Manizales, a beautiful city in the coffee growing region of Colombia. Surrounded by the majestic mountains and volcanoes of the Andes Mountains, Juan had a deep fascination to what surrounded him. He took that curiosity to university and completed his undergraduate degree and then obtained his graduate degree in Geology from Caldas University. Despite his deep love for the mountains, Juan quickly took to the sea the moment he began his thesis project; coastal geomorphology and digital mapping of the Caribbean coast of Colombia.
A passion for the great outdoors and adventure, Juan has explored all the continents and oceans of the world. He left his homeland in 2002 and traveled non-stop round the world. His adventure took five years, of which the last year was spent riding a motorcycle across 2 continents, Australia and South America.
During his time abroad, Juan began his career in the expedition industry as a Dive Master onboard luxury mega yachts in the Caribbean, Mediterranean and Indian Ocean - from Mexico to Thailand. He then took his love for expedition to the Polar Regions. As a lecturer and as an Expedition leader, Juan spends three months of the year in the Arctic and three months in Antarctica and the rest of the year in many places in-between. His expedition experience includes the Americas, Africa, Asia, Europe and Australia, sailing throughout the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans
When not on expedition ships, Juan can be found flying high at international paragliding competitions, taking motorbike treks across the Andes Mountains or exploring new areas throughout the world.
Over the past nine years, Chris Srigley has spent as many as nine months of each year on expedition ships – always spending the full seasons in the Antarctic and Arctic. Serving as Assistant Expedition Leader, General Naturalist and Zodiac Driver, his extensive experience covers some of the most remote areas of the world, with emphasis in some of the more extreme environments.
In the Arctic region, in addition to his regular duties on the Expedition Team, Chris serves as a Polar Bear Guard, spending much of his time advancing landing parties and then keeping a watchful eye while guests experience the wonders of such places like Svalbard, Greenland and Canada.
While traveling between the Polar Regions, Chris can be found on expedition cruises in Central America, Latin America and Northern Europe.
Chris’s interest in natural history was cultivated through spending time both on his family farm and in their remote cabin on the Eastern shores of Georgian Bay in Ontario, Canada. Sometimes, he would vanish for days, even weeks at a time, exploring the wilds around him.
Considering himself a "generalist", Chris has become well versed in all aspects of the regions in which he travels. He has accumulated many intriguing stories and stunning photos along the way. His photos have also been displayed in galleries and donated for auctions.
Once you have traveled with Chris, you will realize that his only hope is to transfer his passion and knowledge to you as we travel through stunning places and experience incredible adventures.
Nicki D’Souza grew up in the beautiful region of Bavaria in Germany. After obtaining a university degree in languages as translator and interpreter, Nicki started travelling extensively throughout the world.
She started her career at sea in 1997 as Assistant Expedition Leader on the M/V World Discoverer, an expedition ship, and quickly fell in love with the sea.
She transitioned naturally to luxury cruising, where she put her years of experience and passion for travel to good use assisting guests with Shore Excursions and quickly was named Shore Excursion Manager, organizing and supervising Shore Excursions all over the world with many maiden calls to her name.
Since 2008 she has been working for both - expedition as well as classic cruise ships and has made her way up to Expedition Leader, leading voyages along the West Coast of Africa, South America, Europe and Asia.
Nicki now makes her home both in Germany and India, and takes little time to rest during her holidays - she can be found exploring Asia, trekking and horseback riding.
A Johannesburg native, Greg was raised on a farm in South Africa, where he developed an entrepreneurial spirit that had him raising tropical fish, crafting skateboards and a variety of other business ventures while still in school. Following his schooling and military service, he fuelled his dual interests in business and adventure by starting a SCUBA diving centre at the Heads in Knysna on South Africa’s Garden Route and later running a dive resort in Mozambique. He also acquired Commercial 150 Ton Skippers & Yacht Master’s certifications along the way.
After eight years as a SCUBA diving guide and Instructor, he left the sea-coast behind and moved to a mountain town called Dullstroom, high in the Mpumalanga Province of South Africa where, along with running a tour business, he has organized civic adventure events including mountain bike races and fly-fishing tournaments that have successfully attracted adventure and outdoor lovers to the area. Greg has explored almost every corner of Southern Africa and several of the Indian Ocean islands. He has over 5000 dives in the Indian Ocean and Red Sea; hiked most of South Africa’s trails; travelled over 14,000km by off-road motorbike through Southern Africa and has kayaked many of the country’s rivers. He has viewed much of the country from the air as a paraglider, the highlight of which was sharing a thermal one day with a pair of majestic black eagles.
Greg has worked for Seabourn since November 2014 in the Antarctic, Patagonia, Brazil / Amazon and in the Arctic region.
Greg has used this passion for adventure and his wealth of outdoor experiences to accumulate tremendous knowledge about the natural world. He has developed a keen eye that benefits his photography. Naturally gregarious and an avowed “people person,” Greg’s respect, admiration and love for the natural world also make him a responsible adventurer.
Kirstie grew up hiking through the wilderness and playing in the rivers of Western Pennsylvania. At the age of 18, she moved to Hawai’i and began a 20+ year career studying or working in natural resource management and wildlife research. While exploring the Hawaiian Islands, she earned a BA in Biology from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. Additionally, during her undergraduate career, Kirstie completed a study abroad in Nepal, studying the impacts of tourism on the environment and Sherpa culture in the Mt. Everest region. She also earned an MS in Ecology from Colorado State University, while developing a noninivasive-sampling method for mountain lions.
Throughout her career, Kirstie has ventured to some of the most beautiful and remote places on the planet further inspiring the passion for her work. She has worked with endangered fish in the upper Colorado River system throughout the southwest; ungulates and mountain lions in Colorado; grizzly bears in Montana; Steller sea lions in Alaska; Hawaiian monk seals in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands; and several Antarctic species at McMurdo and Palmer Stations.
Recently, Kirstie has worked as a US Antarctic Program scientist with two long term projects, a Weddell Seal study in the Ross Sea and a sea bird monitoring project in the Palmer Basin. Both projects are on-going and the sea bird study is also a National Science Foundation (NSF) Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) Project. Many other researchers are part of the LTER, conducting regular fieldwork throughout Antarctica. Kirstie will be assisting the research efforts for some of these LTER researchers while onboard the Seabourn Quest.
Although the animals that she works with are her first love, she also enjoys wandering through foreign lands in search of a quaint street side café that serves a good cup of espresso.
Will has been birding since the age of five. Following graduation (Biology/Geology) he moved to the Isles of Scilly, a small group of islands that lie to the South West of Cornwall in the UK, a world famous birding area.
He has been running his own business leading wildlife walks around these islands since 1985. During the off-season he leads wildlife holidays to other parts of the world and has worked on Expedition Cruise ships in both the Arctic and Antarctica. Apart from the islands where he lives his favourite place is the Falkland Islands that he first visited over twenty years ago. This resulted in him writing the Bradt Guide to the Falkland Islands. He has also led trips to various parts of Africa, Asia, South America (including the Galapagos Islands) and Europe. He first went to Antarctica in 2002 and has returned many times over the years.
He has appeared regularly on TV and radio in the UK and has written various articles about the wildlife of the Isles of Scilly and Antarctica.
Although birds are his major passion he is interested in everything that flies, walks, crawls and grows as well as the geology and history of the areas he is visiting. He enjoys talking about whatever is in front of him and sharing his knowledge with anyone in earshot!
Brent has been involved with wildlife research and polar expedition travel for over 30 years having now been on over 450 expeditions visiting 100 countries. His ship-based expertise ranges from seabirds and penguins to polar bears, and whales. He is a contributing editor and photographer for seabird and marine mammal field guides as well as many polar books including “The Encyclopedia of Antarctica and the Southern Oceans.” Brent has co-authored scientific papers ranging from mountain lions to Adélie penguins, and recently wrote an article on South Georgia for National Geographic Travelers’ issue “The 50 Places of a Lifetime.” When on land Brent works with WWF and Defenders of Wildlife protecting and restoring prairie wildlife and habitat, particularly focusing on the endangered black-footed ferret.
Brent received his B.S. from the University of Illinois in Ecology and Evolution, continuing research at Colorado State and Idaho State Universities for his M.S. in Wildlife Ecology. His long-term mountain lion study which began in 1984 is still an ongoing Earthwatch Project.
In 1988 Brent spent one season in the Ross Sea at McMurdo Station and later began studying seabirds along the Antarctic Peninsula focusing on decreasing sea ice and how it affects Adélie and other penguins. In 1993 he was appointed Station Science Leader at Palmer Station, and has been awarded two U.S. Navy Antarctic Polar medals. Other highlights include field work at the U.S. Field Hut Copacabana; leading the original research for the Oceanites Antarctic Site Inventory, and writing the first Antarctic Visitor’s Site Guidelines. In 1995 Brent sailed with the British Royal Navy on Endurance using Lynx helicopters to photograph and document every known penguin colony along the Antarctic Peninsula, discovering two colonies and several tourist landing sites. Most recently Brent has been to Emperor penguin colonies by helicopter, and took the band Metallica to Antarctica for the first rock concert performed on the continent.
Brent continues to focus on education and tourism, lecturing at schools and on expedition ships, mainly about the Polar Regions. In October and early November of each year, Brent also arranges for small groups to travel to Churchill, Canada to view polar bears up close and personal from huge Tundra Rovers. Brent now lives in the beautiful, small mountain town of Pony, Montana, and is working on a children’s book on penguins. This is his 5th season with Seabourn on Quest, and this season will put him over 120 trips south to “The Ice.”
A Seabourn voyage to Antarctica and South America convinced Meredith that expedition travel is the perfect opportunity for in-depth experiences exploring nature and culture. With a Television Broadcasting degree she spent several years reporting at ABC, but her passion for interaction with people and the environment brought a career change.
Growing up in Miami, FL, Meredith spent her life in, on, and under the ocean. She combined her love of the outdoors with her desire for community service, leading one of the largest adaptive water sports centers in the world. As Water Sports Director, she provided opportunities for thousands of children and adults, with disabilities to sail, kayak, and participate in fitness activities.
As a Certified personal trainer and Yoga Instructor she continues involving the community in beneficial health and wellness. In her free time she loves to swim, cycle and paddle board with her furry pup Yogi.
Meredith is thrilled to share her enthusiasm for travel, nature, and adventure as part of the Expedition Team!
Born and raised in provincial town in Russia, Natasha developed love for outdoors and exploration since early childhood. Yet, for a long time her trips were limited within the borders of former Soviet Union. Pursuing degree in music first and business afterwards, Natasha was hoping to find more venues to follow her dreams of travelling and exploring this world. At last, a chance came, and Natasha found herself on the way to the United States. After spending several years working a number of different jobs, learning new language and new culture, Natasha found what she came for – a way to travel the world through working on ships. She would spend several following years working on small ships in Alaska and Baja California, Mexico. Aside from managing ship’s daily operations, she guided kayaking and hiking excursions. Searching for new challenges, Natasha came across expedition ships and spent last decade working in Antarctica, South America, Greenland, and Svalbard. When not at sea, Natasha lives near Seattle on Whidbey Island where she runs a small stained glass studio.
Originally from Samara, Russia, Natasha’s curiosity and passion to discover and explore the far horizon kept taking her further from home. After her degrees in Music and Business, Natasha’s made her way to the United States and soon found the vehicle to continue her thirst for adventure and learning more about wildlife and nature – the expedition industry.
Being an avid outdoorswomen, she has guided kayaking and hiking excursions in numerous remote areas of the world. As a general naturalist, with over 10 years of experience in the Polar Regions, she has shared her knowledge with guests of various expeditions ships.
While she is not chasing the horizon, she can be found in her art studio near Seattle on a Whidbey Island, enjoying her other passion, stained glass works.
Jennifer was born and raised on the beaches of northwest Florida and spent most of her childhood on a boat participating in water sports and activities. She obtained her Florida Safe Boating course certificate at the age of nine that allowed her to operate a watercraft and has been on the water ever since. Since childhood, Jennifer has had a passion for the natural world, even creating a recycling program for her elementary school as a first grade student. Her younger years were spent camping, canoeing, and riding horses.
Jennifer studied at Florida State University where she received two degrees - Bachelor of Science degree in Geology and a Master of Science in Structural Geology. She also studied at the University of West Florida where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Relations and Marketing. While pursuing her Master degree at Florida State University, she worked as a research assistant to the chairman of the Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science department. She also worked as an assistant on overnight camping trips for undergraduate students. Her geology research has taken her from the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of New Mexico to the ancient terranes of the Appalachian range to the glaciers of Greenland. Her primary research has been in the structural history of the Southern Appalachian Mountains but her passion for the Polar Regions was sparked after completing a research expedition in Greenland. The project in Greenland was a geochemical analysis of the melt water from the ice sheet but the experience of working in an untouched extreme environment was irreplaceable. Separate from her work in Greenland she volunteered as an assistant field guide for overnight camping trips to the Greenland Ice Sheet.
Outside of geology, Jennifer is an avid hiker, mountain biker, Crossfit athlete, and paddleboarder. Jennifer is passionate about continuing to gain knowledge and a greater understanding of how our planet‘s processes and experiencing the natural wonders Earth has to offer.
Assistant Expedition Leader /Lecturer
Adam began sailing as a boy off the beaches of Port Townsend WA. He acquired his Master Mariners license at 18 years old and began working as a yacht captain aboard Puget Sound charter yachts.
After attending the University of Washington and turning 21, Adam embarked on a single-handed voyage down the Pacific Coast aboard Saint Brendan, his 27-foot sloop. On this voyage, he explored the Sea of Cortez, transited the Panama Canal, circumnavigated the Caribbean Sea and explored the eastern seaboard from Florida to Nova Scotia. During this four-year voyage, Adam made a living as a professional sailor, sailing as master aboard various vessels in the Caribbean Sea and lived aboard his boat in Guatemala and Belize for a year. Other Global adventures include traveling the length of Pakistan by train and four-wheel drive truck, trekking in the Hindu Kush, exploring Patagonia and climbing in Torres Del Paine National Park, skippering the expedition yacht MV Peregrine in South East Alaska and the Queen Charlotte Islands BC (Haida Gwaii)
Since 1995, Adam has worked with NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service and the US Antarctic Program as a field biologist, expedition leader and science project manager supporting marine mammal and ecosystem researchers in the Antarctica, and the coastal waters of the Eastern Pacific from Alaska to Cape Horn. Adam holds NOAA Master diver and dive master certifications. When not at sea on a research vessel or expedition cruising, Adam owns a yacht delivery company Yachtlogic and can be found delivering a yacht as a professional sailor, see his web site at Yachtlogic.com
Through these adventures, Adam developed a passion for leading expeditions and working with adventure travelers and scientists. Adam loves to get out in the small boats and get up close to nature. Hobbies include writing for sailing magazines, cooking, playing basketball and sailing with his daughter Sophia aboard their 35-foot sloop based in Guaymas Mexico. Adam’s goal on any expedition is to make sure guests have a true adventure they will never forget.
Lisa is extremely passionate about the ocean and sharing this love with others. Growing up in Southern California and Hawaii made pursuing and sharing that love easy. A competitive ocean swimmer, free diver, naturalist and avid traveler there’s nothing she enjoys more than educating others about the natural environment.
Lisa earned her B.S. in Marine Biology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She’s spent extensive time at sea conducting marine mammal research with NOAA and has worked for Scripps Institute of Oceanography and the U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program. After a 5 year hiatus from the marine field, Lisa left her job in oncology research and closed her homeopathic practice. She put all possessions in storage and began her journey to earn sea time for her captain’s license while diving back into the field she dearly loved and missed. She’s spent the past two years working in Southeast Alaska, New Zealand, and Hawaii as a naturalist, hike/kayak guide and dolphin swim guide.
Lisa’s extensive work as a field biologist combined with a passion for health research and education has given her the unique ability to be open, friendly and relate to guests on all levels. She’s well known for her informative lectures and prides herself in providing guests with memorable field excursions. She is charismatic, easy to talk to, and best known for her high satisfaction rating among guests. As Lisa likes to say, “It’s all about showing others how they can relate to the natural environment.” And in the words of conservationist Baba Dioum, “In the end we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught.”
Joe started birdwatching at the age of 7, and left home to work as a warden on nature reserves as soon as was legally allowable. With a particular interest in seabirds he worked on some of Northern Europe’s most important nesting colonies on remote headlands and islands. Living amongst Puffins, Shearwaters, Terns and the occasional Seal, he protected and researched, and helped visitors to discover and enjoy the coastal environment. In-between seabird seasons he travelled extensively, backpacking amongst the peaks of the Himalayas, through the forests of the Americas and along the island chains of Asia and Oceania in search of the world’s most iconic bird species.
Wishing to combine his love of travel with the study of birds, and the joy of sharing his enthusiasm, a career as a shipboard ornithologist was an obvious progression. He now cruises the world using his knowledge and passion to help others experience and appreciate the incredible variety of species that can be found around the continents.
Throughout his life Peter has pursued many passions; emphasizing the search for knowledge and the joy of sharing information in a Safety, Fun, LearnTM environment. Exploring polar, temperate and tropical regions has yielded close, personal interactions while learning more about the unusual history, intriguing people and cultural /social traditions of each exciting & remote global location.
Peter has written about world explorers, Panama / Suez Canals, Ancient Africa, China, Egypt, Greece & S. Pacific as well as sailing, piracy, navigation, weather & leadership. His 6,250+ page book spans centuries through the Heroic Age of Shackleton, Amundsen, Mawson & Nansen. He has also spoken about Andre, Bering, Bligh, Cook, Darwin, Drake, Barents, Dreyfus, Earhart, Franklin, Harrison, Magellan, Shirase and Zheng He. Peter has sailed and become friends with many children of great, ‘Golden Age’ Explorers, which has further added to his extensive collection of personal stories, thereby providing a unique, individual insight into the human tapestry of history.
Globally Peter has 1.5+ Million Km at sea, 85+ polar and 130+ tropical / temperate expeditions including remote ops at Elephant, Gough, Kvitoya, Novaya Zemlya, Palmerston, Pitcairn & Tristan Islands. He recently transited the Northwest Passage, has multiple circumnavigations and has sailed on Captain Cook’s Endeavour replica.
As Expedition Leader & International Team Member Peter has enjoyed the privilege of guiding & working with people from 155+ countries, spanning 7 continents while visiting remote villages, white water rafting, glacier trekking, para sailing, zip lining or operating along active volcanoes. Peter is a licensed Master Captain of more than 190 sail & motor vessels, including 12 years enjoyment as Managing Director, Bluewater Sailing. His work has been seen in multiple media, including NBC’s Today Show, BBC, CBS, Channel 4 UK, Discovery Channel, HBO, MTV, E! Entertainment, Learning Channel, Irish Herald, Santa Monica Observer and Shipmate Magazine. Peter is a former President & CEO of several NASDAQ publically traded corporations as well as a retired U.S.Navy Captain with global responsibilities and six tours of duty as either Commanding Officer or Executive Officer which resulted in being awarded the Legion of Merit on behalf of the President. He was also the world’s first Instructor-Examiner for both the American Sailing Association and International Yacht Training organizations.
Peter holds multiple graduate degrees and is particularly well known across the globe for his many educational, inspirational & humorous presentations on a wide variety of historical, nautical or geological topics. He continues his on-going pursuit into the heart of travel enrichment with his lovely wife, Lesley, whom he met and later married in the Antarctic, resulting in multiple newspaper articles, including two in the “New York Times”.
Raised with a love of travel, Alex spent a year in Paraguay as a high school student, taking time to also visit Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, and Peru. He later completed a solo bicycle trip from El Paso, Texas to Panama City, Panama and across Western Europe and the Balkans. Prior to coming to his present home in Maine, he worked at a wolf sanctuary in New Mexico, handling and caring for wolves as well as leading interpretive tours and educational programs.
Understanding the amazing complexity of the ocean and marine life is Alex’s biggest passion. He has been fortunate to spend time in close contact with whales, seals, and seabirds and looks forward to the exciting ecology of the Antarctic, especially the southern cousins of the humpback and minke whales he spends time with back in the North Atlantic.
Alex works in Maine with Allied Whale at College of the Atlantic, a marine mammal research group. Here he participates in the Marine Mammal Stranding Response program and also works on the North Atlantic Humpback Whale Catalogue, which attempts to track individual whales using identifying marks on their flukes and dorsal fins. During the summer and winter field seasons, he has worked as a station manager at Mount Desert Rock Marine Research Station, an island located 25 miles out at sea, facilitating marine mammal, oceanographic, and seabird research. Alex’s own research focuses on the population dynamics and breeding behaviors of grey seals in the Gulf of Maine, but he participates in humpback and fin whale research as well. While not at the research station, Alex has worked aboard a small research and logistics vessel, driving Zodiacs, assisting in research, and transporting supplies. He joined Seabourn’s inaugural Antarctic season as a Lecturer and Zodiac Driver and will now join us in Alaska.
Corey was born and raised in the high deserts of northern New Mexico. At an early age, she developed a passionate interest in the world's oceans and their abundant marine life. She has been extremely fortunate to spend most of her career working with some of the planet's rarest creatures; from sharks to sea turtles and shore birds to the great whales.
After completing an undergraduate degree in marine biology and zoology, Corey dove headfirst into seasonal research. This career afforded her the amazing opportunity to travel while working as a conservation biologist. Her research utilizes various survey platforms; including small fixed wing airplanes, large and small research vessels, kayaks. 4x4 trucks, ATVs, and on foot; and has led her from balmy tropical waters to the frozen seas of the poles. She can also sometimes be found moonlighting as an accomplished photographer.
Corey strongly believes that the best way to learn is to teach; she looks forward to doing a lot of both with all the wonderful guests on board!
Hailing from land-locked Calgary, Canada, Aaron Saunders took a cruise to Alaska with his family twenty years ago and the sea has been calling him back ever since.
After receiving his degree in film production in 2003, Aaron worked in Vancouver’s film and television industry as an offline editor on several high-profile animated children’s television shows. In 2009, he switched careers entirely and began writing about his love of maritime travel around the world, first for his own website, and then weekly for seven major newspapers in Canada as well as publications in Europe, North America and Australia.
Aaron is the author of three books, including Frommer’s 2017 Easyguide to Cruising (Frommers, 2017) and Giants of the Seas, a look at modern cruise ships (2013, Seaforth). He also researched and authored Stranded (2015, Dundurn), a contemporary look at the October 1918 sinking of the Canadian Pacific steamship Princess Sophia in Alaska’s Lynn Canal that still stands as the worst maritime disaster in both Alaska and British Columbia history.
A veteran of nearly 150 ocean voyages, he has visited every continent and over 75 countries around the world, but his heart remains firmly in Alaska and British Columbia, where he travels extensively researching the natural and maritime history of the region. He looks forward to sharing his passion and expertise for the West Coast with his fellow travellers.
Aidan Klimenko is an accomplished photographer, film maker and traveler, exploring the diverse and many facets of life around the world by means of a camera and lens. After graduating with degrees in both film and photography from Montana State University, Aidan sold the majority of his belongings, moved into an old VW van, and set out for South America in search of adventure and to create a portfolio that would throw him headfirst into the travel and outdoor adventure industries.
Growing up in Ecuador as a child, an instilled sense of cultural and worldly curiosity was inevitable. Now, at 28 years old, Klimenko’s passion for the outdoors, travel and adventure has only continued to grow and inspire a lifestyle of perpetual motion, visual story-telling and exploration.
After four years of traversing the Americas—north, central and south—living in a tent for nine months while documenting the United States’ national parks, fixing broken engines in foreign countries, and learning about the diverse subcultures of Latin America, Klimenko has built an award-winning body of work that can often be found features in Backpacker Magazine, Climbing Magazine, Ski Magazine, and that has led to campaigns shot for Subaru, Adidas, BMW, and LifeStraw.
Nicki, an award-winning guide and shameless expeditionist, credits her grandmother, an ex-Olympian, for her adventurous spirit, and her father, a competitive sailor, for her love of the ocean. Raised in the ‘Live Free or Die’ state of New Hampshire, her first travel experience, a college scholarship to live in Togo, West Africa, shaped the rest of her life. While documenting the threatened olive baboon and African elephant on a solo motorcycle journey across the Savannes, her unwavering passion for conservation, wildlife protection, and exploration of the world less traveled was ignited. Six continents and 50 plus countries later, her adventures/work have included kayaking in Antarctica, diving with whale sharks off the coast of Honduras, a two month recreation of the Powell Geographic Expedition of 1869 down the Green and Colorado Rivers, and a four month bicycle tour throughout SE Asia (where she learned one should never be sized for new clothing after bicycling for thousands of miles in extreme heat).
While Nicki was the lead instructor for the Telluride Adaptive Ski Program in Colorado, a few colleagues who summered in Alaska learned that the only two states she had never been to were Alaska and Oklahoma. They insisted she visit and cross Alaska off her list. Soon thereafter, she led her first week-long sea kayaking expedition in Glacier Bay National Park. On the last day, in the face of formidable winds and large swells, a humpback whale surfaced and swam beside Nicki for the entire last hour of the journey. In that moment, Nicki knew Alaska was home. For the last two decades, Nicki has been a professional historian, photographer, naturalist, and thrice Tour Guide of the Year in Skagway, Alaska. In addition, she has lectured extensively on the history of Skagway, the Inside Passage, the Klondike Gold Rush of 1898, and Alaska. Nicki still hasn’t been to Oklahoma.
CAPTAIN AL BARNARD
Zodiac Operator / Naturalist
Born in Ketchikan, Alaska, Capt. Al has spent a lifetime working and exploring the waters of Puget Sound, of SE Alaska and of the Yukon River in Alaska and the Yukon Territory. For the past 26 years, Capt. Al worked for Holland America Group as the Captain and Manager of the 100 ft, high speed, 140 passenger catamaran, the m/v Yukon Queen II operating out of Dawson City, Yukon Territory, Canada during the summer season and the rest of the year supporting the Alaskan fishing fleet as an electrical and diesel / hydraulics consultant and systems specialist.
Prior to and including many of the years while working on the Yukon Queen II, Capt. Al was also serving as a small boat specialist and instructor as a member of the U. S. Coast Guard and Coast Guard Reserve, retiring as a Lt Commander. During his enlisted service, he served aboard a coastal buoy tender operating out of Seward, Prince Williams Sound and Cook Inlet, Alaska as an Engineman and as a Heavy Weather Search and Rescue Boat Coxswain and instructor. Before entering the Coast Guard, Capt. Al worked as a deckhand and engineer for Foss Launch and Tug, working on the waters of Puget Sound (Washington) and South East Alaska.
As a member of the Sea Scouts, Boy Scouts of America since 1957, Capt. Al is currently volunteering as Commodore of the Western Region 1, comprised of Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Idaho and Western Montana and as the “Skipper” of the Sea Scout Ship Propeller, a 65ft. maritime training vessel for young adults. His wife Jeanne, his 2 daughters and his grandchildren are (or were) active members of the Sea Scouts. It was as a Sea Scout that Capt. Al began his love for the waters of the Northwest.
Exploring, working or playing, Capt. Al is known as a dedicated mariner, eager to pass along to others his knowledge of small boating and his love for the natural wonders and waters of Alaska and the Pacific Northwest.
Zodiac Operator / Naturalist
Bill’s passion of sharing the wonders of the world with others was sparked by a summer job as an Alaska tour guide during college in Washington State, where he earned his degree in Biology and Business. Inspired to discover new places and meet people from all walks of life, Bill spent several years after college backpacking around the world in the winters and working as a guide in Alaska by summer. An avid sailor and scuba diver, wherever he was he found opportunities to get out on - and under - the water.
Bill has always felt most at home in the wild grandeur of Alaska – particularly along the coast of its spectacular Inside Passage. Working with Alaska tourism businesses large and small over the years, Bill eventually found himself running a river rafting and adventure travel company based in the picturesque little town of Haines. It was there that he was recruited to become president of an Alaska Native corporation’s tourism subsidiary, helping them to benefit from Alaska’s thriving tourism economy while showcasing and preserving the rich heritage of their Tlingit native culture.
Currently, Bill is the Senior Director of Destination Marketing at Holland America Line, Seabourn’s sister cruise line based in Seattle. In this role Bill is tasked with telling the compelling stories of the many places around the world that Holland America ships visit each year, as well as developing new possibilities for the line. In his free time, you’ll likely find Bill in the San Juan Islands aboard his sailboat with family and friends - or at his serene little cabin in Haines, watching the glaciers, whales, and eagles from the deck.
Zodiac Operator / Naturalist
Born and raised in Seattle, Washington Ross's early years were spent exploring the Cascade Mountains and boating around the Puget Sound waters. Ross received his undergraduate degree in Geology from Oregon State University focusing on volcanology. While studying Ross was a member of the Oregon State Men's Varsity Rowing Team traveling around the country to race.
After graduating his love for adventure took over. He spent the next 4 years living and working in New Zealand, Australia, and Alaska. In 2016 Ross moved back to Washington and spent 6 months building a wooden rowing boat in his garage. He then began a 3 month 1100 mile solo journey exploring the Inside Passage Waters from Seattle, Washington to Ketchikan, Alaska.
Ross's career in the outdoor industry has had him guiding sea kayaking trips in Glacier Bay Alaska, rock climbing in the Grampians National Park of Australia, and ice climbing around Haines, Alaska.
When not working Ross can usually be found hanging off some rocks high up on a cliff, cruising around in his rowing boat, or touring countries by motorcycle.
Zodiac Operator / Naturalist
Growing up near the coast of Maine, Cam has always been fascinated with exploring the marine environment and studying all of the different species of animals and plants that call it home. From a young age, you could usually find him spending most of his time playing in the cold Maine surf or peering into tide pools in the rocky shoreline. His favorite places to visit were Acadia National Park and the New England Aquarium.
Cam graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a bachelors degree in Coastal and Marine Policy, with a minor in Oceanography. While earning his degree, he spent a semester in Turks and Caicos studying Tropical Marine Ecology and the effects of the invasive lion fish on the other species of fish in the Western Atlantic. After college he led nature cruises around the shores of Acadia National Park and whale watching tours from Mt. Desert Island into the Gulf of Maine. For the past 5 years, Cam has been driving small and large boats alike through the waters of Southeast Alaska, British Columbia, the Pacific Northwest, Baja Mexico, Costa Rica and Panama.
Cam is excited to be able to share his enthusiasm for marine life and be able to get up- close and personal with some of these animals and hopefully provide a once in a lifetime experience while exploring all that the ocean has to offer.
Zodiac Operator / Naturalist
With a decade of experience as a Zodiac driver and bridge officer, Eric has worked extensively in Alaska, British Columbia, Mexico, and Central America. He hails from a port town in Minnesota where the boreal forest meets the icy expanse of Lake Superior. A childhood exploring backyard woods, perched on waterfront ruins watching the bustling harbor, and learning the ropes on family camping trips set him on a course which continues today. Eric began working on the water at age 17 and was captain of a 250-passenger excursion vessel by age 23. During those years he embarked on weeks-long canoe voyages in the wilds of the Canadian shield and logged thousands of miles on the back roads of North America, traversing the continent for months at a time. These experiences stoked further desire to roam. Expedition cruising provides a singular opportunity to connect his interests in the water and the world’s wilder places.
Ashore Eric splits his time between family in Minnesota, kindred spirits in Oregon, and traveling abroad. One would be just as likely to find him sea kayaking an Alaskan fjord, scuba diving the Indian Ocean, hiking the Scottish highlands, or tracking down a favorite musical act wherever they might be performing. Eric is fascinated by geography and earth history, especially where those disciplines converge with the study of ancient climates and ecosystems. He could peruse hypothetical maps from the planet’s past for ages. He is perhaps most content at the face of a tidewater glacier, watching the confluence of time, climate, and topography unfold on a grand and barely fathomable scale. Eric reveres “light bulb” moments, when understanding dawns and fuzzy concepts suddenly come into focus. He aims to encourage others to seek out those instances and relishes in sharing them.
Zodiac Operator / Naturalist
Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Jese spent most of his time growing up outdoors. When he was not in school, he enjoyed fishing with his dad, exploring the woods around his neighborhood, sitting at the ocean watching ships, or camping under the stars in his back yard. After graduating from highschool, he spent 5 years in the aviation field, working long hours with little to no time to fulfil his lust for the outdoors. At the age of 24, he made a big career leap and left the aviation industry and tried his luck at the maritime industry.
His first job he landed was on an ocean going tug boat sailing through British Columbia and South East Alaska. After spending time at sea, he discovered his passion: sailing. Recently, he spent 7 months at sea on The National Geographic Quest, driving zodiacs around glaciers, onto small shores and exploring anywhere he could. He has gained a tremendous amount of experience in small boat handling, maintenance, problem solving, and thinking outside the box and decided to bring his knowledge to Seabourn to continue building his career and fulfil his love for the outdoors.
Sylvia Stevens was born in Scotland. A Masters graduate in the Arts as well as in Business Management at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, she later moved to San Diego, California where she gave up a successful business career to pursue her love of photography, wildlife and travel.
She has spent extensive time working with injured and endangered animals including seals in Greece, Hawaii and California, seabirds, eagles and otters in Alaska in the aftermath of the Exxon Valdez oil spill as well as penguins in Patagonia. As a naturalist, her main focus and passion is on marine mammals and sea birds. Sylvia Stevens’ travels have taken her from the penguin colonies of Antarctica and South Georgia to the walrus herds of the Arctic and many points in between, including fourteen Northwest Passage and two Northeast Passage transits.
She has worked for 28 years as a Lecturer and Expedition Leader on board ships in the Arctic, Sub-Antarctic and Antarctic and has also lead travel groups throughout Europe, the United States, Canada, including Churchill, and South America including the Galapagos Islands. As a freelance photographer, her images mirror her love of nature and have been featured in many publications, including books, calendars, magazines, travel brochures, aquariums and educational facilities.
Her primary objective is to share her passion for conservation, marine mammals and sea birds and to foster appreciation for our natural world.
Peter is a native Alaskan who answers the ocean's call at every opportunity. An entrepreneur and avid sailor, Peter has owned and sailed vessels throughout Alaska, the Caribbean, Bahamas and U.S. Eastern seaboard.
In 2010, Peter left a thriving business, sold nearly everything and moved his family aboard a sailing catamaran. For six years, the Torkelson's cruised 14,000 ocean miles. Highlights included anchoring next to the Statue of Liberty, surviving two hurricane strikes, diving numerous tropical wrecks and more than a few shark encounters.
In Alaska, Peter explores both western Prince William Sound and Southeast Alaska at every opportunity. In 2017, Peter worked Juneau based megayacht charters and enjoys sharing close wildlife encounters with guests.
Peter has a pre-law B.A. in Criminal Justice. When the world wide web exploded into life, Peter left legal pursuits to build an advertising consultancy specializing in internet application development.
Lisa Torkelson’s many moves as a National Park child, including Grand Canyon and Yosemite, instilled a love for travel, adventures and photography. She moved to Alaska in high school and subsequently earned her BA in Business at Alaska Pacific University. After graduation, she lived for a year in Montpellier, France, as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar attending l’Université Paul-Valéry and speaking to dozens of Rotary Clubs about Alaska and promoting the scholarship. Her US-based work experience is diverse and includes event planning, photography, graphic design, accounting and legislative aide.
She and her husband have raised three daughters, built their own beach cabin, homeschooled their girls to high school and, for 19 years, kept up the nomadic tradition of spending a month or two each winter living, schooling and working ‘somewhere warmer than Alaska’.
In 2010, Lisa embarked on a “one-year” family adventure by driving an RV from Alaska to Florida then moving aboard a 47’ sailing catamaran in Grenada (Caribbean). After sailing north from the Caribbean to Maine in 2011 and back again in 2012, her family turned southward and spent the next three years exploring lesser known islands. One year stretched into three, then five. Living aboard brought daily opportunities to pursue her passion to get face to face the fish, and up close to the coral. Lisa obtained both her Open Water and Advanced Open Water certifications while logging 90+ dives (ask her about her shark encounter!). Exploring islands via shore hikes brought Lisa up close and personal with volcanos, colonial ruins and exotic flowers – a photographer’s heaven.
After six years aboard, and 14,000 sailing miles, it was time to (gradually) move ashore. In a 15,000-mile meandering RV drive north and westward in the spring of 2016 and rounding out the Southwest in 2017, Lisa explored 24 states and Canada with her girls where highlights include New York City, the Badlands, Grand “it’s big!” Canyon, Arches and Canyonlands. The family eventually resettled in Alaska near family so the girls could attend traditional high school and begin college careers. Lisa looks forward to sharing her passion for adventure and exploration while on the Ventures team.
FEATURING BINOCULARS BY SWAROVSKI OPTIK
During your Ventures voyage, expedition team members will be equipped with superior quality binoculars manufactured by Swarovski Optik to enhance your viewing experience on deck and during Ventures by Seabourn excursions. Swarovski Optik binoculars will also be available for sale on board.
*Subject to change without notice.