Award-winning photographers will also be on board to offer digital photography coaching, providing helpful tips for guests to capture beautiful images of the Last Frontier. Team members will also host complimentary enrichment lectures on a variety of topics including Whale Identification, Brown and Black Bears, Cetaceans of Alaska, History and Tribal Culture, Forestry Conservation, and Glaciers, giving guests a deeper understanding of the Alaskan environment.
"The Alaska experience becomes more fulfilling in the company of qualified guides and experts who are engaging and excited to animate natural wonders for guests," said Richard Meadows, president of Seabourn. "Our Alaska sailings are truly different, allowing travelers to see the rugged landscape from the comforts of ultra-luxury accommodations, and our expedition team is a key reason why guests will come away with memories to last a lifetime."
In addition, the expedition team will be equipped with high-quality binoculars from Swarovski Optik. Through the line's unique partnership with Swarovski, Seabourn Sojourn's expedition team and bridge staff will utilize high-precision, long-range binoculars to search for wildlife and view the stunning landscapes from on board the ship and ashore.
Heading the 2017 Alaska season is Robin West, director of expedition operations, for Seabourn. A veteran of more than 40 Antarctic voyages to date, West led the expedition team during Seabourn's highly successful first season in Antarctica in 2013. With wide-ranging experience gained along the way, he is now in charge of all aspects of expedition operations for Seabourn.
Members of Seabourn's handpicked expedition team for Alaska this season include:
• Peter Damisch, Historian & Lecturer: Beyond explorations of polar, temperate and tropical regions, Damisch has written about ancient civilizations, sailing, navigation, weather, leadership and world explorers. A former president and CEO of several NASDAQ publically traded corporations as well as a retired U.S. Navy Captain, he is a licensed Master Captain of more than 190 sail and motor vessels.Seabourn Sojourn's season in Alaska launches with the 11-DAY Ultimate Alaskan Sojourn, departing from Vancouver, B.C., on Jun. 1, 2017. For more details, visit Seabourn.com. A dedicated shore excursion call center is available for guests at 1-800-984-3225.
• Greg Horn, Naturalist & Zodiac Driver: Following his schooling and military service, Horn fueled his dual interests in business and adventure by starting a SCUBA diving center along South Africa's famed Garden Route and later running a bush camp and dive resort in Mozambique. A certified diving guide, he has completed over 5,000 dives in the Indian Ocean and Red Sea.
• Paul Lazarski, Kayak Guide & Zodiac Driver: Ever drawn to nature, Lazarski has worked and explored some of the world's most scenic locations, including both Poles. For the past 30 years he has been working as a wilderness and wildlife guide, outdoor educator, historian, naturalist and Wilderness First Aid Instructor.
• Moira Le Patourel, Naturalist & Zodiac Driver: With her diploma in Renewable Resources, Le Patourel has carved out a niche as an adventure guide and naturalist on the coast of British Columbia, including seven years guiding in the Great Bear Rainforest.
• Kate Rannaste, Naturalist & Zodiac Driver: Having spent her youth exploring wilderness and wildlife in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales Australia, Rannaste was bound for the adventure industry. A seasoned explorer of the Polar Regions, she spends most of the year on expedition ships sharing her passion as a general naturalist.
• Juan Carlos Restrepo, Expedition Leader: Hailing from the coffee-growing region of Colombia, Restrepo has a graduate degree in geology and is a certified Dive Master. Spending three months of the year in the Arctic and three months in Antarctica, his various expedition experiences include the Americas, Africa, Asia, Europe and Australia, and sailing throughout the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans.
• Richard Sidey, Photographer, Videographer & Filmmaker: An award-winning environmental filmmaker and international nature photographer, Sidey has spent more than a decade documenting the profound beauty of the world's Polar Regions. His poignant nature documentary, Speechless - The Polar Realm (2015) won multiple awards and was hailed as "a transcendent cinematic experience."
• Chris Srigley, Assistant Expedition Leader: Drawn to extreme weather conditions, Srigley spends up to nine months a year on expedition ships, including full seasons in Antarctica and the Arctic. Along with regular duties on the expedition team, he serves as a Polar Bear Guard advancing landing parties and keeping a watchful eye while guests experience natural wonders around them.
• Rachel Sullivan-Lord, Marine Biologist & Lecturer: An avid scuba diver and sailor, Sullivan-Lord has studied critters both small and large from coral to blue whales. When not working in research labs, she divides time as a whale watch naturalist, whale skeleton articulator and more.
• Dr. Sean Todd, Whale Expert & Lecturer: A marine mammal researcher for nearly 30 years, Todd's areas of focus are human-marine mammal interactions. He has enjoyed a long career as a professional guide and naturalist, and has worked in a variety of polar and sub-polar regions, including 10 seasons in the Antarctic and 10 years in the Canadian sub-Arctic.
• Kirstie Yeager, Researcher & Lecturer: Yeager has spent more than two decades studying and working in natural resource management and wildlife research. Her extensive background includes studying grizzly bears in Montana, Steller sea lions in Alaska, and several species at McMurdo and Palmer Stations in Antarctica.
• Aliscia Young, Photographer & Videographer: An award-winning photographer and videographer, Young is inspired by her love of photographing nature, indigenous communities and ancient traditions. She has worked on expedition vessels from Antarctica to the Arctic, and her photography has been featured in galleries worldwide.
Image Courtesy of Seabourn