Guest Lecturers

Guest Lecturers


Have you ever wanted to learn about rowing across the Atlantic or the inner workings of the Monte Carlo Grand Prix? 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.
Alan French

Alan French has had a prestigious career working with the U.S. Army and the Department of State. His expertise is as an interpreter and analyst of Russia, their language, culture, and history.  His work has included interpreting highly technical briefings for delegations from the former Soviet Union, head of the language faculty at the U.S. Army Russian Institute and most importantly as an interpreter and translation reviewer for the START Treaty negotiations in Geneva in 2010. When not on assignment, Alan gives briefings and lectures on his experiences.

Jul 2 – Scandinavian Tapestry
Jul 13 – Baltic Delights
Aug 7 – Around Iceland
Aug 14 – Lands of the Midnight Sun

Joe Novitski
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.

Jun 16 – Best of Europe’s West Coast
Jun 24 – Gaelic Explorers
Aug 2 and Aug 12 – Baltic Delights
Aug 22 – Scandinavian Tapestry
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


Sep 2 – Gaelic Explorers
Sep 10 – Best of Europe’s West Coast
Ross Arnold
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

Jun 4 – Best of Europe’s West Coast
Jun 12, Jun 20, and Jun 28 – Gaelic Explorers
Jul 6 – Lands of the Midnight Sun
Jul 23 – Baltic Delights
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.

Jul 14 – Around Iceland
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.

June 16 – Cuisines & Cultures of Spain, Portugal and France
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. 

Jul 17 and Jul 24 – Around Iceland
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.

Aug 25 – Gaelic Explorers
Sep 2 – Best of Europe’s West Coast (charter)
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.

Aug 3 and Aug 13 – Tahiti & the Tuamotu Islands
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.

Sep 28 and Oct 8 – Tahiti & the Tuamotu Islands
Richard Campbell
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.

Oct 28 – Ocean Crossing

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