Meet our team of on board expedition experts who sail with the cruise the entire time as part of our Signature Expeditions program. They'll provide more insight, understanding, and commentary to show you an Alaska you've never seen before. Consisting of naturalists, glaciologists, historians and more, this team of experts will also lead a variety of guided tours, so they’ll bring everything you’ve learned on the ship to life and keep an eye out for all the things on your must-see list.
Simon Hook grew up near the ocean and its wildlife in northern California. His love nature led him to Alaska, specifically Sitka, over 10 years ago. He began working as a deckhand on passenger vessels and eventually worked his way up to expedition leader. Along the way Simon gained vast knowledge of the natural world and wildlife of Alaska. He also picked up a camera and has won several awards for photos of Alaska’s wildlife and landscapes. Simon enjoys hiking and backcountry skiing and just plain being outside and enjoys sharing his love of nature with others.
Brock Munson is originally from Southern California, but in 2003 he turned hobby into career when he left the corporate world to pursue a life of guiding in the great outdoors and teaching about its endless wonders. The change ultimately led to unforgettable experiences in breathtaking destinations. His resume includes titles such as boat captain, expedition leader, naturalist, whitewater raft guide and outdoor science instructor. He has even peppered creativity into his life through photography, videography, creative writing and graphic design.
Raised on the Big Island of Hawaii, Jill Quaintance, grew up off-the-grid, on solar power and water catchment. She learned how to shear sheep, pick and process coffee and truly appreciate a hot shower. Jill has a Masters Degree in The Palaeoecology of Coral Reefs from The University of Queensland, Australia. After spending 10 winters observing humpback whale behavior in Hawaii she also observed them in Alaska. Jill has spent four summers as an Expedition Leader through the Inside Passage. She also works as a SCUBA Instructor on the Big Island, and an avid free diver with a personal record of 105 feet.
Amy was raised in coastal Marion, Massachusetts near Cape Cod where she spent most summers exploring the intertidal areas of Buzzards Bay. A certified NAUI Divemaster she has spent many years exploring the underwater and some of her favorite places to dive are in cold water because of the rich underwater environment. Whether leading hikes through bear country in Alaska or the Arctic, running kayaking operations in remote places, giving lectures on marine animals or working as a naturalist and diver her passion for nature and enthusiasm to share amazing places with others is evident.
Since he was 13 years old Paul has been guiding both land and sea expeditions. He has traveled to 6 continents and nearly 50 countries, guiding in many of them. His passion for adventure has led him on amazing journeys; a 1,864-mile bicycle ride across Southeast Asia, a 60-day rafting trip through the Grand Canyon and following the epic Chilkoot Trail and Yukon River in Alaska and the Yukon retracing the epic 1898 Klondike Gold Rush by foot and kayak. Paul calls Skagway, Alaska home, and has been a kayak/hiking/historic guide in Alaska for the past 15 years. He turned his love for videography and photography into a business, and founded his company, Murray AdVentures Inc. Paul plays tennis, and still enjoys a good rally session and is also an avid bridge and chess player.
Jared hails from the lake country of Bristol Bay, in Western Alaska. Raised in the shadows of the Chigmit Mountains in Lake Clark National Park, he was influenced greatly by the exposure to places seldom traveled. He began working for an air taxi outfitter at 14 and then worked as a white water and kayak guide throughout college. After a brief career as an EMT he realized he missed working in the outdoors. He along with his partner and their little Alaskan now roam North America in a 16-foot travel trailer and have been returning to Alaska in the summers for the last 9 years to share their love of the wilderness and sea with others.
For the last decade, Hannah has guided along the Pacific Coast and beyond, from the Sea of Cortez and Hawaii to Yosemite, Olympic, and Wrangell St. Elias National Parks. She has led ice climbing and pack rafting trips, taught marine science aboard historic tall ships, guided teen backpacking adventures in the Sierras and the Olympics, and trekked across the mountains of Mexico, Nepal, and New Zealand. When she’s not out on the water, you can find her scouting for edible plants, overturning rocks in search of squishy things, or befriending local dogs.
Scott was born and raised in southeastern Pennsylvania. It was his early childhood that began a lifelong love of nature and exploration that continues to this day. He received a degree in Outdoor Recreation Management and a minor in Forestry from the University of Idaho and spent 10 years working for the US Forest Service. Scott then began working onboard expedition cruise vessels. He has served as a Dive Master leading Dive Excursions throughout the tropics and Pacific. Most recently Scott worked in Southeast Alaska aboard the Star Legend for Windstar Cruise Lines as a naturalist Zodiac driver.
Kendra Wilson was born and raised in Colorado, becoming aware of the fascinating outdoor world at a young age. Her youth was spent camping, boating, skiing and hiking; she held fast to that lifestyle as she grew up. She moved to Hawaii where she spent the next 12 years solidifying a passion for ocean and island life. Kendra obtained her 100-ton captains license, which allowed for a career alongside the beautiful coastline, corals, fishes, and marine mammals. Alaska has now captured her heart and she is eager to share her experiences and knowledge with others.
Lauren is an adventure enthusiast who has been guiding in the outdoors for the past 10 years. From the tops of volcanoes and glaciers to below the ocean’s surface, she attributes her enthusiasm for the outdoors to her childhood on the central coast of California. Lauren graduated from the University of Hawaii with degrees in Economics and Anthropology. After graduating Lauren started her career as a boat captain in Hawaii.
Lauren then began guiding in Alaska and completely fell in love with its wild and rugged beauty. Her goal is to excite those around her with the wonders of the environment.
Bob chose adventure for a career when he became a commercial fisherman in Kodiak, Alaska in his 20’s. After fishing for over 30 years he transitioned to being a skiff operator for the Marine Mammal Observer Program. This work took him to the remote waters of Alaska. Currently he has transitioned once again to being an Expedition Staff member throughout Alaska and the Russian Far East. He has also captained a whale and dolphin boat and run a tour boat in Crater Lake NP, Oregon. Bob has a BS degree in Biology and a 100-ton USCG Captains License and is an active birder participating in over 30 Christmas Bird Counts.
Denise Turley grew up in wilderness and rural settings throughout the Northwest US. She was introduced to Southeast Alaska nearly 30 years ago while pursuing her B.S. degree in Zoology. For the first time in her life she felt like she had "come home." An avid birder, Denise has worked as an Avian Biologist ror nearly a decade. She now calls Sitka home where she performs seasonal bird surveys in Tetlin and Arctic National Wildlife Refuges. She and her husband spend their free time exploring remote areas throughout SE Alaska while documenting wildlife and bird activity and capturing images of this spectacular landscape.
John Calogero found fascination with the maritime world as a child on the Outer Banks of North Carolina and in the programs of Jacques Cousteau. After learning to sail on Chesapeake Bay he jumped at the chance to research humpback whales along the coast of Greenland and then, he went to support coral reef research. John started working with Outward Bound 25 years ago instructing sail and oar courses. He has worked charter boat operations in Southeast Alaska and British Columbia. He continues to assist cetacean researchers and for 12 years he has also been instructing wilderness medicine courses and leading maritime educational programs. John enjoys woodcarving, hiking, beachcombing, and sharing his enthusiasm for the maritime environment.
Emily grew up in New Hampshire where the area’s lakes and mountains nurtured her love of the outdoors and the environment. Her Harvard degree is in evolutionary biology and ecology. She has conducted seabird and fisheries research, guide expeditions, and develop educational programs for natural history museums and environmental non-profits. She has been exploring coastal Alaska for the past 6 summers and worked as a sea kayak guide and a deckhand and naturalist on glacier and whale-watching vessels. In the winter, she works as a naturalist and zodiac driver onboard expeditions to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, and the Antarctic Peninsula and teaches marine science to university students aboard sailing ships in New Zealand and the South Pacific islands. Emily looks forward to sharing the rugged and inspiring coastlines with you as an expedition guide.
Brent joins the Windstar expedition team after nearly two decades of exploring wild Alaska as a guide, naturalist, and captain. In recent years, he's also taken those explorations on trips to Antarctica, South Georgia, and the Falkland Islands as well as Iceland, Greenland and Newfoundland. Brent has been the captain of passenger vessels focused on wildlife and glacier tours, and captain of the Kenai Fjords National Park research vessel, Serac. He has a degree in Environmental Education from Prescott College, and traveled throughout the Western US, Mexico, Canada, and Nepal. Brent is extremely passionate about the natural world and loves to share his in-depth knowledge whenever he can. Brent currently calls Seward home but also spends time surfing on the coast of El Salvador and trekking in Patagonia.
Don Kluting is a third generation Sitka, Alaskan, who spent his childhood throughout the wilderness on Baranof Island. Don worked as a deckhand on a commercial fishing boat and attended the historic Sheldon Jackson College for a degree in fisheries management. He joined Sitka Mountain Rescue, an organization where he led and managed the team for more than 20 years working with the Coast Guard in rescuing nearly a 1,000 people in the remote wilderness and waters of SE Alaska. With his passion for landscape, wildlife and aviation photography he created a photography business “sharing images of the wilderness he loves. He and his wife plan to pursue their love of the wilderness through hikes, travel, photography and guiding.
A childhood spent wandering the Rocky Mountains of Colorado ingrained in Sarah a deep love of and appreciation for the natural world. As a teen, she made her intrigue of the sea a reality, and her senior project exploried the realms beneath the waves as she was certified as a naturalist, advanced and rescue scuba diver in the Caribbean. Sarah holds a BA in Latin American Studies from Evergreen State College and a Masters in Environmental Curriculum Design from the University of Washington. She has worked and studied worldwide, including research of green sea turtles in Costa Rica, pre-Columbian cultures of Argentina Patagonia and cetaceans of the North Pacific. Sarah worked for 8 years as a sea kayak guide along the orca highway of the Salish Sea and as a wilderness EMT and expedition guide on small adventure vessels for 6 years. She has guided and created expeditions in Alaska, Costa Rica, Panama, the Inside Passage and the Sea of Cortez. She has also led conservation research programs in the Galapagos, Bahamas and Salish Sea.
Randall brings a sense of adventure and a passion for wild places to every trip he leads. He grew up in Duluth, Minnesota, where he fell in love with wilderness exploring. While earning degrees in marketing and psychology, he used summers for climbing, traveling, and working in the western U.S. He has been a rafting guide and a guide and expedition leader on small adventure cruise ships, teaching natural history and leading hiking, glacier trekking and kayaking excursions. Randall is an avid traveler, photographer and mountaineer, has visited all 50 of the United States and more than 30 countries. He completed two cross-continental road rallies and successfully summited Denali. A skilled Zodiac driver, Randall is also a certified Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician trained in avalanche safety, polar bear protection as well as kayak, swift water & crevasse rescue.