Seabourn announces new expedition team for Antarctica & Patagonia

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Seabourn has announced a new expedition team to lead shore excursions in Antarctica and Patagonia for guests sailing on Seabourn Quest during the 2019-2020 season.

The ship will next set sail on 28 November 2019 on a 21-day itinerary to Antarctica and Patagonia. The new expedition team will accompany travellers on tours of Chilean lakes and volcanoes, fjords and glaciers in Patagonia and six days in Antarctica.

“There is so much waiting to thrill Seabourn guests in Antarctica and Patagonia, and this season’s expedition team will be there with them heightening the excitement of every kayaking paddle stroke, Zodiac ride and shore excursion along the way,” said Robin West, vice president of expedition operations for Seabourn. “As always, our expedition team members will support the onboard experience of Seabourn Quest, ready for edifying, knowledgeable and compelling conversation with guests at many times of day throughout their fascinating journey.”

The expedition team bound for Antarctica is made up of experienced wilderness experts, scientists, historians, Zodiac operators, kayak guides and photographers.

The season’s first journey will also feature Antarctic explorer Colin O’Brady as part of the ship’s complimentary Seabourn Conversations onboard enrichment programme. In December 2018, O’Brady became the first person to cross the landmass of Antarctica solo, unaided by kites or resupplies.

Along with their roles off the ship, expedition team members will be part of the ship’s Seabourn Conversations programme, and will regularly interact with guests throughout each sailing, sharing insight on the history, ecology and culture of the region, both in complimentary formal presentations and more casual conversations on deck, over meals or at leisure. The team will also chronicle their adventures with stories and photos via Seabourn’s Voyage Tracker web-based travel journal.

The expedition team to Antarctica and Patagonia will be equipped with binoculars from Swarovski Optik, as part of Seabourn’s partnership with Swarovski. Premium suite guests will also find a pair of Swarovski binoculars in their suite to use on board during their sailing and Swarovski products are also available for purchase in the shops adjacent to Seabourn Square.

Members of the 18-person expedition team that will be on board each voyage for Seabourn’s 2019-2020 season in Antarctica and Patagonia include expedition leader Ignacio ‘Iggy’ Rojas. Rojas has 20 years of experience in expedition travel, nearly all of it including cruising in Antarctica, including the Peninsula, Ross Sea and sub-Antarctic islands in the South Atlantic, Australia and New Zealand.

Lecturers will include Professor Sean Todd Ph.D., a professor at College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine. Todd has been researching marine mammals for three decades and first visited Antarctica in 2001. He returns to guide and research, including collecting data for the Antarctic Humpback Whale Catalog he manages for a marine research facility. He recently used his experiences to create a video series, Life in the World’s Oceans, co-produced by The Great Courses and Smithsonian Institute.

Another lecturer is Trevor Potts. In the early 1990s, Potts was on a team that re-created Ernest Shackleton’s epic 1916 rescue mission from Elephant Island to South Georgia. In 2001, he joined another team completing Shackleton’s mountain crossing from King Haakon Bay to Stromness. Potts has sailed and kayaked to remote regions, including paddling the Bering Strait and in Arctic Norway and Arctic Canada.

Brent Houston will also sail as a lecturer. Over the past 30 years, Houston’s wildlife research has taken him on more than 450 expeditions visiting 100 countries. His ship-based expertise includes seabirds, penguins, polar bears and whales, and he is a contributing editor and photographer for field guides, as well as for The Encyclopedia of Antarctica and the Southern Oceans. In 1995, he sailed with the British Royal Navy using helicopters to photograph and document every known penguin colony on the Antarctic Peninsula, discovering two. He has traveled to Antarctica more than 120 times.

Meanwhile, photographer and videographer Dr Saskia Coulson is internationally acclaimed for her research and imagery. She uses her diverse experience to explore complex global issues through visual communication and storytelling.

Another lecturer on board is Dr Anton Wolfaardt. Over decades as a conservation scientist, Wolfaardt has focussed on seabirds and island ecosystems, basing himself everywhere from Marion Island in the Southern Indian Ocean to the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic. He has broad interest and experience in the conservation of Antarctic and sub-Antarctic environments.

Also sharing his experience is lecturer Will Wagstaff. A birder since the age of five, Wagstaff has led wildlife walks around the Isles of Scilly southwest of Cornwall, UK, for more than 30 years. During the off-season, he leads wildlife holidays elsewhere and works on expedition vessels in the Arctic and Antarctica. His favourite spot is the Falkland Islands, of which he wrote the Bradt Guide, and he has also led trips to destinations in Africa, Asia, South America and Europe. Deep into geology and history, he is quick to share his knowledge with anyone interested.

Rounding out the team of lecturers is Kara Weller. Raised in the woods in central Alaska, Weller earned a graduate degree in biology and has studied whales in the Bering Sea, eiders on the Arctic coast, river otters in Europe and raptors in her home state. She has been an expedition leader for the past 15 years, guiding to remote locations including more than 180 trips to Antarctica and 100 to the Arctic with six visits to the North Pole along the way.

The expedition team will rotate throughout the season, and additional team members will join select sailings periodically.

In addition to guided shore excursions, Seabourn Quest guests will also be able to book Ventures by Seabourn optional, for-charge kayak excursions scheduled throughout the season. These can be booked in advance of departure.

Image: Seabourn

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Marisa has been writing about transport design and the passenger experience since 2013 and is also a contributor to sister titles Aircraft Interiors International and Business Jet Interiors International. She has travelled the world extensively by car, plane, train and cruise liner.

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