On select Windstar voyages, satisfy your curiosity and enhance your understanding of the local culture by listening to our onboard lecturers. We’ve curated a group of speakers designed to bring you an insider’s perspective on a multitude of intriguing topics. Listen raptly as your voyage becomes more than just a vacation – and a thought-provoking exploration of enchanting lands.
Born in Costa Rica, one of the greenest countries in the world, it is no surprise that Diego has been a true nature lover all his life. He describes his childhood as surrounded by tropical forest learning about the secrets of ecology. Diego started his education to become a licensed naturalist guide at the age of 18 and began leading expeditions for nature lovers in the national parks and ecosystems of Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama by the time he was 21. This is not an easy task as this región is one of the most biodiverse regions in the world. Diego is also an experienced international tour manager. He has been the naturalist on board different Windstar vessels for several seasons, giving lectures about tropical ecology, the flora and fauna of the region, among other topics. With his deep knowledge Diego will enhance your experience on cruises. Diego is a very friendly, outgoing person and if you see him around the vessel he will be more than happy to share his knowledge and experiences with you and answer any questions you may have.
After participating in a yearlong high school exchange program (AFS) in the U.S., Eddie started his guiding career when tourism in Costa Rica was in its infancy. He led tours throughout the country and through this experience, developed a love for nature in one of the most biologically diverse places on the planet. Eddie completed his business degree and worked for several companies, but conducting tours was always his passion. A certified naturalist guide, Eddie has been working for Windstar Cruises for four years. He gives lectures on Tropical Ecology, Neotropical Fauna and more. He´s had the opportunity to work with Naturalist Jeff Corwin when he comes to Costa Rica as a special guest of the cruise line. When he is not working Eddie enjoys a healthy lifestyle of art, traveling abroad and frequent exercise.
Born in Manila and raised in Northern California, South Africa and Peru, Joe Novitski graduated from Yale before serving as a Navy line officer on the Atlantic, the Caribbean and the Mediterranean. He began a career in journalism with the Associated Press and joined the foreign staff of The New York Times, reporting from South and Central America . He has also published in The Washington Post, the International Herald Tribune and written A Vineyard Year and Wind Star: The Building of a Sailship, among other publications.
Dr. Sherry Hutt
Dr. Sherry Hutt travelled the world for over 25 years, collecting stories of characters throughout history and taking photos of where they lived. While a judge, law professor, and federal prosecutor, she trained archaeologists, law enforcement, and attorneys on heritage protection. Dr. Hutt advised the Bush and Obama White Houses as head of the national repatriation program. Author of books and articles, and founder of a national organization of preservation lawyers, she received the highest honor of the US Department of the Interior. Dr. Hutt also held a post-doctorate fellowship at the Smithsonian Institution
World Religion specialist Ross Arnold, a popular teacher and lecturer in world and comparative religions, has special knowledge of cultural and societal development as it relates to religious beliefs. He holds a Master’s Degree in Divinity from Fullerton Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California and studied Theology at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Arnold currently resides in Ajijic, Mexico where he is Director and Senior Professor of Lakeside Institute of Theology
Dr. Edwin Sobey
Ed Sobey is an explorer, author of 29 books, and former museum director of five different museums. Holding a Ph.D. in oceanography, Ed has sailed around the world and has participated in 24 research expeditions, traveling to more than 80 countries. He has conducted research in Antarctica and has sailed across the Pacific Ocean in a small sailboat. He founded the National Toy Hall of Fame and has had global encounters with whales, sea lions, sharks, and underwater treasure hunters. He also teaches oceanography classes with Semester at Sea.
Dr. William Crowley
Professor Emeritus William Crowley obtained his doctorate from the University of Oregon and spent his academic career at Sonoma State University. He served a year as a Fulbright scholar in Mexico and has taught Spanish in Ecuador, Panama, and Paraguay as well as Mexico. He has conducted research in several Latin American countries, authoring academic articles and book chapters on a number of topics and has travelled widely in Europe. He has pursued wine revolution-related research and chaired the Geography Department at Sonoma State various times for a total of 13 years.
Dr. John Rennie Short
Dr. John Rennie Short received his PhD from the University of Bristol and his MA in geography from the University of Aberdeen. He has received numerous research awards and is the author of 32 books, many invited chapters to edited books, and over 50 papers in scientific and academic journals. Born in Scotland, Dr. Short currently teaches at the University of Maryland where he is a professor of public policy.
Richard Jay Hutto
Richard Jay Hutto, one of the foremost historians of the Gilded Age, compiled and edited Accepted Fables, the autobiography of Jordan Massee, and wrote Entitled: American Women, Titled Husbands, and the Pursuit of Excess as well as Crowning Glory: American Wives of Princes and Dukes, and Their Gilded Cage: The Jekyll Island Club Members. A former attorney, he served as White House Appointments Secretary to the Carter Family and was Chairman of the Georgia Council for the Arts. He recently was also featured on a lengthy national television broadcast by Glenn Beck about the founding of the Federal Reserve Bank.
Dr. Jay Christofferson
Dr. Jay P. Christofferson earned his Bachelor of Science degree in zoology from the University of Utah, and a master’s degree and Ph.D. in zoology from the University of Hawaii. At California State University Stanislaus, he served as the biology department chairman, associate dean of the College of Arts, Letters, and Sciences (ALS), and the interim dean of the College of ALS. He became the dean of the School of Science and Natural Resources at Lake Superior State University until accepting the position of vice president, academic affairs at the California Maritime Academy, until his retirement in 2004.
Dr. Teri Sowell
Dr. Teri Sowell, lecturer and curator, is a dynamic speaker specializing in the art and culture of the Pacific Islands, including the ritual and ceremonial use of objects in Polynesia, both past and present, with a special interest in sculpture, tattoo, and tapa cloth. In addition to research, publishing, and teaching, Dr. Sowell has curated many art exhibitions and lecturing around the world, bringing to life her knowledge and appreciation of Pacific art and culture to a variety of enthusiastic audiences. Shel received her Ph.D. from Indiana University and currently teaches at the University of California, San Diego.
Richard Campbell obtained his M.Ed. (Adult Education) in 2002 and is co-author (with Cheryl Svensson of Los Angeles) of Writing Your Legacy – The Step-by-Step Guide to Crafting Your Life Story, released worldwide in July 2015 by Writer’s Digest Books. As a professional writer who has done freelance work for Canadian newspapers and CBC Radio, Richard has also appeared on several Top 50 CBS affiliate radio stations across the United States. Richard runs his own business, Guided Life Stories near Toronto, Canada.
Bob Varsha is one of the premier television commentators of the automotive world, with a résumé including everything from tractor pulls, to collector car auctions, to the renowned Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans sports car classic. He is perhaps best known for his 25-year tenure covering the Formula One® world championship. He began his long association with Grand Prix racing at ESPN in 1984 while adding a variety of sports including gymnastics, cycling, figure skating, and track and field. In 1999 he began a 17-year stint with the Speedvision /Speed Channel networks, now part of Fox Sports.