Seabourn Ventures Team
Meet The Members Of Your Australia & South Pacific Expedition Team
JUAN CARLOS RESTREPO
VENTURES TEAM LEADER
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.
LUCIANO "LUQUI" BERNACCHI
Luciano has lived and worked in the beautiful mountains and glaciers of Patagonia for the last 20 years. He has a wealth of experience in adventure travel and eco-tourism; leading, guiding, and lecturing groups. From expeditions across the Patagonian Ice-Field and Ice Walks on the Perito Moreno Glacier to treks in Torres del Paine and Tierra del Fuego, Luciano has been working as a: Mountain Guide, Ski Guide, Tour Leader, Naturalist Guide and Birding Guide, across Argentina and in many other countries throughout the past 20 years.
Birding and glaciers are his two main passions: a keen birder since a very early age, and many years of experience working around, on, under, and close to glaciers.
Luciano is based in Los Glaciers National Park, Patagonia, Argentina and works as Director and board member of Glaciarium/Museo del Hielo Patagonico – the largest and one of the very few Glacier museums in the World.
Luqui as most people call him, has been working in both Polar Regions extensively, sharing his passion for ice, glaciers and wildlife.
Luciano has been certified in a variety of specialties: as Ski Patrol with extensive training in skiing, snow safety, avalanche awareness and first aid; as a Birding Guide by Argentina’s National Ornithological Society, as a Mountain Guide and Climbing Instructor (Rock & Ice) by the Argentina Mountain Guide Association and Buenos Aires Alpine Club respectively; also by Argentina’s Coast Guard to operate sailboats, and small vessels.
Luciano’s diverse jobs and interests have taken him to many destinations and wilderness areas around the World.
Despite originally being born in Sussex, England, Oscar grew up and has worked on the east coast of Australia. He has been passionate about nature since a very young age and often demonstrates a drive to learn everything and anything he can about the natural world and how it works. As such, his career has revolved around the study and protection of wildlife and their habitats. Oscar attended James Cook University in Cairns; a part of the Australian Wet Tropics bioregion.
During his degree he spent all of the time he could spare in the Daintree Rainforest and on the Great Barrier Reef. At university Oscar excelled in his studies of: Physics and Biology, with a focus on Zoology and Ecology, giving him exceptional knowledge of the natural World.
Since his degree at James Cook University, Oscar has gone on to study a variety of native Australian wildlife, including birds, mammals and reptiles. He has gained an in depth knowledge of the Natural World and has given lectures in a diverse range of subjects including bird biodiversity, mammal evolution and abundance, reptile taxonomy, and coral reef ecosystems. He has had experience working as a Ranger with the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service where he gained a large knowledge of Australian National Parks and contributed to the conservation and monitoring of protected Australian natural areas. He has recently been working as a Wildlife Officer with The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection as part of the Wildlife Management Unit. This position has involved the live capture of crocodiles and cassowaries and the monitoring of wild populations of native animals. Oscar is always enthusiastic to learn anything with anyone who shares his passion for the natural World.
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 fueled his dual interests in business and adventure by starting a SCUBA diving center 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.
KARLINA SEE KEE
Growing up on Thursday Island, Torres Strait, Australia, Karlina was born to spend her life on and in the Ocean. After graduating from James Cook University with a Zoology, Marine & Tropical Biology Major, she went on to work on the Great Barrier Reef in the realms of Marine Biologist in the tourism industry, and then further into the marine park management field working for Queensland Parks & Wildlife Service and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. Mixing her love of the marine world, remote areas and environmental education, Karlina worked in predominantly in community engagement, specifically with indigenous communities across Cape York Peninsula and Torres Strait.
Karlina has been privileged to have worked in some of the most amazing places in Australia – Raine Island, Milman Island, Mon Repos (all for sea turtle monitoring), Lizard Island (corals and tropical fish research), Heron Island (seabird research), remote reefs of the Great Barrier Reef (coral reef monitoring), Orpheus Island (sea sponge research), Coral Sea (minke whale monitoring), Ningaloo Reef (whale shark tours), Kimberley region (expedition cruise ship) and Cocos Keeling and Christmas Islands (fauna surveys).
In her spare time, Karlina is an avid traveler and SCUBA diver, currently expanding her exposure to some international “bucket list” destinations including the Blue Hole (Belize), Cenotes (Mexico) and diving with Thresher Sharks (Philippines). When the Seas are too rough for diving, Karlina entertains herself with kiteboarding to make the most of the windy days. This gives her access to the best of both worlds – to be on or in the water, any given day of the year! Wanting to experience the most out of life, Karlina will gladly share her experiences with you and she also looks forward to learning a thing or two from yourself.
Nicki D’Souza grew up in the beautiful region of Bavaria in Germany. After obtaining an 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.
Internationally acclaimed as a Traditional Master Navigator, Tua Pittman has navigated canoes across the great Oceans of Our Planet from the coastlines of Asia through to the shores of the Americas for more than 30 years, without the use of modern instruments. This Cook Islander also of New Zealand Maori and Tahitian bloodlines uses an ancient navigational system based upon careful observation of Celestial Bodies - Sun, Moon, and Stars- as well as using Ocean swells, flight patterns of birds and other natural markers.
Tua’s efforts to adopt and promote the sailing arts of the Ancients have been recognized throughout the Pacific. In 2008 he was designated a Pwo Navigator on the Island of Satawal in Micronesia and inducted by sacred ritual into this rarefied society of Master Navigators by Grand Elder and Master Navigator Mau Piailug.
In addition to earning prominence among traditional voyaging societies, Tua is known throughout Polynesia, Melanesia and Micronesia for his mentoring of young Islanders in the traditional cultures and languages of their Ancestors. Tua is a respected Chieftain of his Island homeland, a dancer, drummer, athlete and gifted speaker. His topics on board, accompanied by excellent visual materials, include: The Origin and Migration theory of our Pacific People, Ancient Traditional voyaging and Navigation; Traditional voyaging in this modern day, outer deck open air star presentation and identification – navigating Pacific Skies and Pacific Ocean traditions and cultures.
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.
Mark was born in Brisbane, Queensland and plenty of Family camping and fishing holidays while growing up on the shores of Moreton Bay bred a love for the outdoors, nature and adventure travel. This grew into a passion for conservation. After completing a Bachelor of Science degree he moved to Heron Island in the southern Great Barrier Reef for five years to work as a Marine Parks ranger. There he developed a number of base-line monitoring programs around the Reef’s amazing megafauna (humpback whales and manta rays) and spent many years working on marine research programs studying sea turtles, dugong and crocodiles.
He moved to Townsville to work for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority in a number of roles principally in extension and community engagement, then returned to the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service as a Senior Ranger for far North Queensland and now lives in Cairns – the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and Cape York.
Mark has run his own adventure tourism programs at Lady Elliott Island on the Great Barrier Reef and his Manta Ray Research Program, was a cover story in the Australian Geographic Magazine.
He is a Naturalist, Photographer, Traveler and Author and has written two adventure novels set on the Reef, one non-fiction book and a Children’s book, using his experiences as a Traveler and Ranger for inspiration. Among his publications are articles on Krakatoa and Komodo Island and he is looking forward to seeing the changes that have taken place on Komodo Island since his first visit over 35 years ago.
Jarda Versloot-West was born and raised in The Netherlands. At the age of 18, she bid farewell to her native Holland to explore Australia & New Zealand, where she discovered her passion for travel and her love for the Ocean.
With the thirst of travel and adventure that the Dutch are known for, Jarda explored many parts of the world before setting off to South Africa to complete her university degree in International Tourism Management & Consultancy.
She soon found herself focusing on the adventure sector of tourism - both in the administration and operations of the business. After several years in South Africa, Jarda followed her passion for expedition travel to some of the most remote corners of the planet. Over the course of 14 years, she gained much experience in different positions for a variety of expedition companies that covered the Polar Regions incl. more than 40 trips to Antarctica, the South Pacific, Indian Ocean, Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean.
With her wide ranging, global experience as well as the stellar reputation she has earned in the industry, Jarda joined Seabourn on its maiden voyage to Antarctica as Assistant Expedition Leader - a position that harnesses her administration and operation background. She has created industry standards and practices — guidelines that have been developed in some of the most remote and isolated places in the world ranging from the Polar regions and many places in between, covering all 7 continents and more than a 130 countries.
She has recently settled back in the Netherlands where she has taken on the position of Seabourn’s Coordinator of Ventures & Expeditions. She is a keen Photographer and has featured in several magazines. Jarda is a Certified PADI Rescue Diver and a qualified zodiac operator. When not on expeditions, she can be found 4x4'ing in Southern Africa, taking sailing classes in the North Sea, diving in the Tropics and enjoying her time at home in Holland.
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.