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.
With a degree in evolutionary biology, Jessica Farrer has worked on commercial fishing vessels in the Bering Sea, counted Steller sea lions in the Aleutian Islands, tagged sea lions in the Galápagos and run a remote field camp in Hawaii working with the critically endangered monk seal. She spent four Austral springs on the sea ice near McMurdo Station Antarctica working on a study of Weddell seals and gained a broad understanding of the Ross Sea ecosystem and the controversies surrounding its status as a protected area. Jessica has contributed video and photographic work to assist projects with in their outreach goals and has worked with the BBC while filming for Frozen Planet in both Antarctica and Alaska.
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.
Lisa LaPointe has a degree in biology, a background in conservation education, and a deep appreciation for the sea. She has worked as a naturalist and guide in the Dominican Republican, swimming with humpback whales, and as a captain and naturalist in Southeast Alaska and southern California, introducing guests to the wildlife of those regions. She is also an accomplished photographer, and leads photography trips worldwide. When not on expedition vessels or traveling, Lisa enjoys kayaking, hiking, and nurturing a newfound love for sailing.
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.
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.
After graduating from Stanford University with a degree in biology and anthropology, Linda Nicklin relocated to Alaska, where she fell in love with the state and has lived in Juneau for 25 years. Linda has served as naturalist guide, expedition leader, and itinerary planner for private yachts and expedition cruise companies worldwide. She teaches at the University of Alaska and operates a business offering workshops for guides, docents, and naturalists. She is co-designer of the Alaska Tour Guide Training curriculum and she is co-author of two nonfiction children’s books published by National Geographic.
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.
Ryan Downs worked as a deckhand on the 1790s reproduction ship, Lady Washington where he met and worked with Native American tribes, and found an affinity for the sea. Over the last 8 years, he has worked in Alaska, Washington, Oregon and California teaching children and adults how to sail, as well as guiding and interpreting Native and settler history of Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. He is restoring his home, a 1940s wooden fishing vessel and can also be found backpacking in the Cascades or the Olympic Mountains.
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.
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 in replica 18th century boats. 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 in Maine, Florida, and The Bahamas. John enjoys woodcarving, hiking, beachcombing, and sharing his enthusiasm for the maritime environment.