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.
Captain James Griffiths
Captain Griffiths joined Windstar Cruises in 2014 as Captain of Wind Spirit in Tahiti and then as Captain of Star Legend, joining during her inaugural season. At the age of 25 he was promoted to Chief Officer of Queen Mary 2, at that time the largest cruise ship in the world. Captain Griffiths worked with Lindblad Expeditions on board the National Geographic Explorer for her maiden Antarctic season as an Ice Officer and eventually serving as Captain of the National Geographic Explorer and as the Captain of the National Geographic Orion for her maiden Antarctic season. He has been using this extensive Expedition experience to develop Windstar itineraries and programs in Alaska and he is looking forward to scaling the Windstar Signature Expeditions program worldwide.
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.
With a lifelong passion for the ocean, Justin has spent his career observing and documenting wildlife both above and below the water. As a university student, Justin first honed this focus by obtaining a marine biology degree, and continued with post-graduate scientific illustration study. Justin has traveled extensively aboard expedition ships as a naturalist, photographer, and dive master utilizing his extensive knowledge of ecology, conservation and animal behaviors to enhance others’ travel experiences, and to create his own unique illustrations and photography and he has worked with some of the most preeminent wildlife photographers. Justin has traveled to every continent in search of wildlife and has extensive experience in the Polar Regions.
Ian has been working on expedition vessels since graduating from college, and uses his knowledge of the natural world to enrich the experience of those on board. Raised in the far northeast coast of Australia, his interests and specialties are diverse, from alpine forests to coral reefs, and serve him well. His main passions include photography and animal behavior, and whether it’s on land, by Zodiac, or underwater, Ian is eager to share the wonders that await discovery in the wild and wonderful world. When he’s not zooming around in inflatable boats, Ian will be out on deck or on the Bridge searching for wildlife or taking photos. He has experience travelling worldwide including Southeast Alaska and the Pacific Northwest.
Alberto has been in love with nature since he was a young child in Mexico. His father taught him to understand, love and respect nature and as a result Alberto studied biology and began a career as a naturalist. Alberto's passion has taken him from Antarctica to the high Arctic. Teaching photography, working as a naturalist, expedition leader, or underwater videographer, Alberto has guided tours in Alaska, Arctic Norway, Greenland, the Amazon, Galápagos, Baja California and the Caribbean. Alberto has lived for extended periods in the Caribbean’s Yucatan Peninsula, the cloudforest of Veracruz, and the temperate rainforest of Haines, Alaska. One of Alberto’s core ambitions is to preserve the pre-Columbian agro-ecosystem known as Milpa.
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.
Sarah Betcher is a passionate naturalist, guide, and a Greenpeace award-winning ethnographic documentary filmmaker. Since 2005, she has spent extensive time in some of the most remote land and water locations in Alaska. The knowledge she shares mostly comes from first-hand experiences guiding with other expert naturalists on ships, and living in remote villages learning from Alaska Native elders in the coastal arctic tundra and the islands of southeast Alaska. Sarah spends a lot of time kayaking and she has developed expert knowledge on how to safely navigate kayakers through large icebergs near active tidewater glaciers and landscapes traversed by few or none.
Scott grew up in southeastern Pennsylvania exploring the Pine Barrens of southern Jersey at his parent's summer camp. It was his early childhood that began a lifelong love of nature and exploration that continues to this day. He spent 10 years working in varying wild, outdoor settings as a wilderness ranger and trail crew for the US Forest Service in the winter and guiding whitewater rafting trips in the summer. Then he discovered a life at sea when he began working onboard expedition cruise vessels, including the legendary Lindblad Explorer. He has worked in just about every geographical area imaginable as a Zodiac driver, kayak master, and expedition leader. He is also an accomplished diver, he has served as a Dive Master leading dive excursions throughout the tropics and Pacific.