Seabourn Ventures Team


Meet The Members Of Your Amazon Expedition Team


Ignacio Rojas


Ignacio is a biologist graduated at the Biology Institute of the University of São Paulo. He pursued further education at INPA, the Brazilian Institute for Research in the Amazon, located in Manaus, where he assisted on several projects related to the ecology of vertebrates. This experience increased his understanding and awareness of the intricacies of tropical ecology.

In 1990 Ignacio started working with the local tourist industry in the Amazon dividing his time between the Institute and more frequent trips leading tourists to the forest and tributaries near Manaus. Sharing his knowledge and leading interested visitors into the forest, was a very rewarding pursuit, and he became involved with tourism as a full time occupation. Soon after, he was invited to participate on a trip onboard an expedition vessel. It was love at first sight, offering a high potential to expand his horizons. This possibility compelled him to work onboard expedition ships.

Ignacio has worked on expedition vessels since 1992 as naturalist and expedition leader to places like the Amazon, Orinoco River, Guianas, Caribbean, Central America and Antarctica.
Ignacio is also a certified Divemaster, likes everything related to crocodilians and does not miss an opportunity to travel and be outdoors.


Juan Jose Apestegui


Born and raised in a small country town amongst the coffee fields of the Central Valley of Costa Rica, Juan José’s lifelong curiosity about nature led him from a career in the hotel business into becoming a naturalist/guide.

Although his original training was done in the UACA University, in San José, where he acquired a degree in business administration, JJ has also trained extensively in natural history during different coursework seasons in the University of Costa Rica and the National Apprenticeship Institute in San José where he got licensed as a natural history guide. He also maintains a keen interest in cultural and historical characteristics of the places he visits and works in. His primary areas of interest include general rain forest ecology, local natural history, disguise and camouflage in tropical insects, lives of reptiles and amphibians, Seabirds, Bird Migration and coral reef ecosystems.

He has traveled throughout most of the American Continent, and parts of Europe, Africa, the Antarctic, the Arctic and the Indian Ocean; this has helped him to broaden the scope of his subjects of interest into the ecology of temperate and Arctic/Antarctic zones as well as the natural histories present there.

Fluent in English and French, besides his native Spanish (and proficient in Portuguese), JJ is a world-roaming naturalist who has lectured and led groups for the last 28 years. Even though he considers himself a generalist in the broadest sense of the word, he admits to having a 'soft spot' for birds, a consequence, he thinks, of his original natural history training having been in Costa Rica.


Moira Le Patourel


Following the completion of a diploma in Renewable Resources: Fish, Wildlife and Recreation, Moira found her niche as an adventure guide and naturalist on the coast of British Columbia in 2008. Here, her passion for wild things and wild places, combined with a quest for knowledge and a love of sharing it, became a lifestyle. Moira spent seven years guiding in the Great Bear Rainforest, privileged to share her time with the whales, the bears, the wolves and the people that travel the world to see such wonders. Viewing polar bears in Churchill, Manitoba was soon added to her guiding repertoire.

Moira’s annual migrations now take her to see some of the world’s most iconic species, from penguins in the Antarctic to belugas and polar bears in the Canadian Arctic, and back home to the west coast of Canada in search of humpback whales, spirit bears and grizzlies. Moira recognizes that it is a privilege to be able to step foot into some of the world's most fragile ecosystems, and it is one she does not take lightly. Moira enjoys sharing her passion for wildlife, photography, and the great outdoors with her guests, and believes that a trip of a lifetime is made with laughter, new friends and sharing in the joy of discovery.


Kirstie Yaeger


Kirstie grew up hiking through the wilderness and playing in the rivers of Western Pennsylvania. At the age of 18, she moved to Hawaii 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 Hawaii 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 noninvasive-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.


Wolfgang Wenzel


Wolfgang started his career studying biology in Bonn and Oldenburg in northern Germany and worked on his PhD at the Technical University Berlin. He spent another 7 years in Berlin as senior research associate with focus on marine microbiology. After leaving the university Wolfgang worked as a freelancing consultant and trainer for different companies and governmental institutions in Germany.

He discovered his passion for expedition cruising early and went on a first trip as a lecturer in 1997 on a cruise to Canada and the United States. Other trips led him to arctic and Antarctic waters, the mighty Amazon River and the Pacific. Today he spends most of his time as a naturalist on cruise ships, sharing his passion for popular science and travelling with guests of all age, from kids and adolescents to the young-at-heart.


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.