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Our Adventure BIOs

The best in the industry—our captains, chefs, guides, hotel and deck staff are individually selected not only for their outstanding knowledge, customer service, and safety skills, but also for their genuinely welcoming and enthusiastic personalities. Our expedition and heritage teams are experienced guides with advanced training in natural and/or cultural history. Our customer service staff is made up of energetic men and women who are as excited about where you’re going as you are. Our captains and engineers have the certifications and skills to provide you with a safe and confident cruise experience.

CAPTAINS


Captain Danny BlanchardDanny Blanchard

Captain
Wilderness Discoverer


Life is anything but ordinary—Danny spent 11 years living on a 40’ sailboat with his sister and parents; sailed to Australia; and was homeschooled until 8th grade. Once in school, he became junior class president; student of the year; and an accomplished cross-country and hurtling champion. His first car was ’69 Chevy El Camino that he rebuilt with his dad and his first gun was Daisy BB rifle, which his Grandma tasked him with shooting starlings in her yard because she said they ran out the Red Breasted robins (my how times have changed).

Danny has spent a lot of time in the southern latitudes… Kiribati; Palmyra Atoll, Cook Islands, Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, Solomon Islands, New Caledonia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Mexico, and South Korea. He’s an experienced boat builder, whose projects have taught him many a lesson; and his future plans include flight school, so the sky’s the limit for him. He also holds a slew of licenses and certifications: 200/500 Ton Near Coastal Master License; Basic Safety; Advanced Fire Fighting; Radar Observer (unlimited) endorsement; First Aid/CPR; and EPA certified in HVAC.

 

Granted, he works hard with an excellent cast of characters, but he plays hard too—skiing, mountain bikes, unicycling, slackline, juggling, flying kites, photography, watching 2nd-run movies, freediving and scuba diving, and soaking up the sun. And to fuel all this action, his favorites are sushi, Thai, BBQ, Italian, American, Chinese, Mexican, Ethiopian, and handmade corndogs.



Captain Dano QuinnDano Quinn
Captain
S.S. Legacy


Sea shanties and all, Cap’n Dano has lived the nautical life practically since birth—one way or another. Seattle is home today, but alongside eight siblings, he grew up on the Connecticut coast near the historic seaport of Mystic, and finding his way on to the water came naturally.

With rendezvous’ covering the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, Caribbean, and even the St. Lawrence Seaway, it’s meeting interesting people, good shipmates, and hearing “This is the most incredible trip I’ve ever taken” that keep his sails unfurled. As a young mate, Captain Dano worked aboard a schooner that sailed from Panama through the Pacific Islands. He went on to captain a cargo vessel in the Marshall Islands and later a health services vessel delivering medical supplies to remote atolls. His certifications include a US Coast Guard Masters License, 1600 Gross Tons, All Oceans, with Sail Endorsement and Wilderness First Responder.

One of his favorite stories is of transporting a traditional sailing canoe to Rarotonga where it was to be featured in the Festival of Pacific Arts. Another is attending the opening of the Kava Club in Nukualofa, Tonga and meeting the Prince of the Kingdom of Tonga, but sailors beware… Dano once won the NW Folklife Liar’s Contest. He’s also an award winning writer and has won the annual Seattle “Stories of the Sea” contest four times. No, really.



Jenna StevensJenna Stevens

Captain
Safari Endeavour


Seattle is Jenna’s home today, but early on, growing up with her family and spending a lot of time on the water as a kid, it was New England and the state of Massachusetts. In fact Jenna spent so much time on the water that she completely blames her career path on her dad.

Jenna graduated from the University of Massachusetts with a business degree, but the lure of the water held fast and kept tugging. So much so she spent seven years aboard luxury yachts exploring the Atlantic, Caribbean, and Mediterranean and now holds a 500 Ton Ocean Master and 1600 Ton Inland Mate License. In her eyes, with the unending shortage of things to do and the great opportunities for travel, her “day at the office” is about as good as it gets.

Once on a holiday in Vieques, Puerto Rico Jenna dove into the bioluminescent bay where everything sparkled and glowed with bioluminescence—from her hair to the water dripping off her fingers to nearby fish. Jenna still has a glow about her, but chances are it’s the effect of another of her favorite things, like kiteboarding, hiking, backpacking, biking, or simply settling in with a good book.



Kevin MartinKevin Martin

Relief Captain
S.S. Legacy & Safari Explorer


Summers in Southeast Alaska—yes, Kevin enjoys each one more and more. And he’s quite at home navigating the waters flowing between the thousands of rainforest-cloaked islands in Southeast Alaska.

With more than six years experience as an Expedition Leader, Kevin played a crucial role in the development of the Active Adventure itineraries. As a naturalist, he’s explored the wilderness of Alaska, Mexico, Pacific Northwest, Florida, and Peruvian Amazon. The titles of photographer, care-giver for the elderly, banjo player, corner store meat cutter, and part-time pipe organ tuner can all be pegged on him too!

Kevin’s talents run deep—Certified Interpretive Guide, business degree from Graceland University, and passions for composing music, picking a tune, and cooking delicious meals. And while he’s never competed in a professional sport or won accolades for his penmanship, he has adequately cooked seven-minute brownies in just over six minutes and is very excited to take you on a journey through the Tongass National Forest that you won’t soon forget.



Michael BennettMichael Bennett

Captain
Safari Explorer


Growing up in gorgeous, Grants Pass, Oregon, Michael cut his teeth on the wild waters of the Rogue River learning to operate a boat well before he was old enough to drive a car. Spending much of his impressionable youth happily exploring the world by boat, it’s no surprise he gravitated toward a water-centric career and hobbies.

Before earning his US Coast Guard 500 Ton License, All Oceans, Michael navigated waterways via smaller boats. As a river-rafting guide, he discovered the great joy that comes from providing guests incredible experiences beyond their expectations. On larger vessels for the past 20 years, he has captained ships for exploration, photo, and film expeditions to Patagonia, Panama, Brazil, Sri Lanka, Canada, Costa Rica and Hawaii. A passionate advocate for whales, he was the president of Whale Watch Operators Association and helped develop current guidelines for responsible whale watching.

Michael is a skilled diver and has explored the magical underwater world in many of the places where he has traveled. Most at home cruising the waters of exotic locales, he is proud to have been one of the captains who drove Springer, an orphaned Orca, from Washington State back to her home in Canada. He is also deservedly proud of authoring a book, Devil Dolphin’s of Silver Lagoon, chronicling his adventures including wrestling with pink dolphins in the Amazon River. Whether through written stories or in person aboard his ship, you’ll find Michael’s unbounded enthusiasm and respect for the wonderful places and experiences on our planet infectious..



Captain Rod Van EmelenRod Van Emelen 

Captain
Wilderness Adventurer


Captain Rod was born in Ballard, Washington, but memories of a time when boaters tied up to mooring buoys in the San Juan Islands and sleeping dogs in the streets are why he eventually found his way to Alaska.

A sailor at heart, Rod commercially fished salmon in the waters of Puget Sound and halibut and sablefish in deep water canyons off Washington’s coast before discovering small-ship cruising in the mid-90s, where he rose through the ranks from deckhand to captain. Rod later sailed unlimited class tankers delivering cargo throughout the Northern Hemisphere, crossing all degrees of longitude; small boom and tackle freighters delivering everything from corn flakes to pick-up trucks to the Aleutian Islands; and he traversed the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska during all seasons. Captain Rod has also transited both the Panama and Suez canals, sailed as far north as Thule, Greenland, and dipped below the equator a number of times, watching Blue-footed boobies catch flying fish on the wing. He’s lost and gained many-a-puzzling-days crossing the International Dateline.

When Rod wasn’t bouncing around on the briny, he was crisscrossing the slopes of the North Cascade Mountains planting trees. Believing there was nothing more sensible to do, Rod can boast to having planted over 100,000 saplings. He’s also a seasoned helmsman of “Texas Chicken” (only Rod can share this one).

MATES


Amy Martin Amy Martin

Chief Mate
Wilderness Adventurer


Amy’s pretty much been traveling since she was born—Hawaii, Midway, Saipan, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Costa Rica, Cocos Island, Peru, Chile, England, Belgium, Germany, Caribbean, and all over the USA. But it was Crestline, California, in the mountains inland of Los Angeles, that her family called home. And now, when she’s not on the boat, her home is in Seattle.

 

She received a Bachelor of Science degree from the California Maritime Academy and her extensive list of certifications/licenses is impressive: MMC Third Office Unlimited Tonnage Upon Oceans; Marine Radar/ARPA; GMDSS Radio Operator; Bridge Resource Management; Crisis Management; Advanced Firefighting; Vessel Security Officer; Fast Rescue Boats… the list goes on, but I think you get the picture—this gal is certified. Over the years, Amy’s been a Mate on several vessels and she works hard honing her skills. Her initial course was marine biology, but it ultimately led to her maritime career.

 

From day one Amy loved the idea of hands-on learning and today, she loves being on the water, traveling, and seeing all the beautiful things that go with that. Some of her favorite memories are a show put on by baby albatrosses learning to fly and the wildlife and pristine beaches in the remote islands of Cocos and Midway. Whale watching never gets old for Amy, but to mix it up she’s snorkeled with Giant Manta rays and also enjoys camping, hiking, rafting, skiing, and nestling with a good book.



Evan MartinEvan Martin

2nd Mate
Wilderness Discoverer


AEvan—known by some as Dr. Awesome—grew up in the clouds, actually, high in the San Bernardino Mountains in the small town of Crestline (elevation of 6,000 feet). But these days, when he’s not on the boat or overseas gallivanting around, he attempts to call Ballard, Washington his home.

 

With a degree in criminal justice from California State University San Bernardino, along with certifications as a dive control specialist and level one ski instructor, Evan’s eye is always on the prize—adventure every day. And whether it’s above the surface or below, Evan likes the wet stuff. Among his numerous endeavors, he was the assistant director of the Snow Valley ski school, has taught skiing in Chile, and worked as a dive instructor in Thailand. The best part of all this is showing off the untamed beauty of Alaska and other exotic places to others.

 

He loves adventure motorcycling, skiing, camping, scuba, and spearfishing. And while favorite memories are always accumulating with Evan’s oh-so-many adventures, he ranks motorcycling and hiking around Chile and Argentina among the top. Even after breaking both femurs in a severe motorcycle accident, believe-it-or-not, he was skiing less than three months later (that’s some serious rehab). Evan is afraid of spiders, but the prankster that he is, likes pulling sharks by the tail. And when it comes to traveling, he doesn’t start trips with a destination so he can experience them as they come.



Gavin RainwaterGavin “Mary Francis Rosemary” Rainwater

2nd Mate
Wilderness Adventurer


Gavin looks flesh-and-bone like the rest of us, but his heart actually pumps rainwater through his veins. Born and raised in Portland, he is an Oregonian to the core and has been a resident of the beautiful Beaver State for nearly three decades. Gavin is devoted to his beloved Pacific Northwest and would be happy to share any or all of the many reasons he believes “northwest is the best.”

The song goes “oh, the sailor’s life is the life for me,” and that sentiment rings true for Gavin. Certified as a 100-ton Master and for Commercial Assistance Towing, Gavin also has Radar Observer (unlimited) endorsement, a nursing degree from Mt. Hood Community College, and a self-appointed “License to Chill.” Driven to create as much fun in life as possible, professionally he’s toured the west coast as a musician and worked on stern-wheelers, jet boats, and dinner boats, and as a deckhand, engineer, and Captain. Why does he love working here? The wildlife, views, amazing people and the great fun, of course!

Continuing a storied tradition and lifestyle of living on the edge, Gavin has travelled the globe with his recent trip to Southeast Asia topping the list of favorites. He highly recommends a swim in warm bioluminescent water under the stars when you have the chance—it feels like flying through the universe! When Gavin isn’t globetrotting, you might find this lover of waterfowl and connoisseur of fine NW ales playing guitar, riding motorcycles, fishing, or hiking.



JD Ross LeahyJD Ross Leahy

Chief Mate
S.S. Legacy


For JD, it’s about spending time outside. He was named after a Washington State dam builder and public power advocate, grew up in the Pacific Northwest, and is the grandson of Alaskan homesteaders and Eastern Washington wheat farmers. Clearly, hard work and the great outdoors are in his core. Wanting to work outside more secured his first gig; he stayed because he loves the water.

 

From his teens into adulthood JD has traveled, and months at a time—Mexico, Spain, Morocco, Guyana, to name just a few. His resume lists helping run the world’s largest repository on endangered languages; digitizing folklorist/archivist Alan Lomax’s personal collection of language tapes; running ferries/tour boats in San Francisco Bay; net fishing in Bristol Bay; and Seattle bike messenger. His numerous certifications include 100 Ton Inland Master’s License and Advanced Marine Firefighting. If JD sounds over-serious giving his safety briefing, don’t be scared, you’re in excellent hands. Offseason, he’s working on a Master’s degree at University of Washington’s School of Marine Affairs.

 

Once in Guyana someone asked JD if it was true that it never got dark in America. He laughingly replied, “No, of course it gets dark there,” but his first night-walk from the village to his hammock proved him wrong. No electricity, no light-pollution, no flashlight and a cloudy sky meant a very, very dark very slow walk home. JD loves skipping stones, biking, coffee shops, boat watching, and sunny days.



Jon ShephardJon "Shep" Shephard

Chief Mate
Safari Endeavour
 

With “water” in his roots, it’s no surprise Shep found his way off the riverside plateau of Watertown, South Dakota, and landed in the meandering waters surrounding Seattle and Southeast Alaska. He loves the natural world, calling the wilds of Alaska his office, and sharing what most captivates him with interested travelers.

Shep attended University of South Dakota and University of Hawaii majoring in Ancient History, Photojournalism, and Marine Science, but after years of travel—Italy, Greece, Central America, Thailand, and 42 of the 50 US states—he decided to seek a career combining his profound love for the sea with his love of travel, and get paid for it. Shep’s certifications include a USCG 100 Ton Master License; PADI MSDT; and First Aid/CPR Instructor/Trainer. He survived Dengue fever in Nicaragua, has captained adventure boats in Alaska and dive boats in Hawaii, owned an underwater video production company, and worked as a photojournalist.

Interested in just about anything, Shep welcomes a good conversation—well, about anything! And the funny thing here, with his wide range of interests and knowledge on so many vast topics, Shep is the only member of his family who doesn’t work in education.



Katie WixomKatie Wixom

Safety Compliance Officer
Relief Mate
Fleetwide
 

Born in Blackfoot, Idaho and raised on a sheep ranch, Katie became a jack-of-all-trades at a young age. Her numerous childhood skills included navigating tractors across hay fields, shearing sheep, and driving teams of horses.

 

While attending the University of Utah, Katie perfected her marksmanship skills as a member of the university’s women’s pistol team. She then relocated to the Pacific Northwest and stumbled into her career as a mariner. Following several years on passenger vessels and ocean going tugs, she recently graduated from Pacific Maritime Institute’s Workboat Mate program as their first female cadet.

 

It should come as no surprise to hear Katie trained for the USA Olympic Team during college (missing by only 3 points), has won a sheep shearing contest, and been seen rappelling Seattle’s downtown high rises with a window squeegee in hand! Southeast Alaska holds a special place in her heart—so get your adventure on as we get underway! For Katie, sharing this amazing place might have you running a bear trail.



Lyman LouisLyman Louis 

Mate
S.S. Legacy


Lyman was born at Fort Lawton, known to most Seattle folks as Discovery Park and one of the city’s largest parks. Growing up in Washington State, he remains a lifelong Pacific Northwest resident and splits time between his two homes; one he shares with his beloved wife near Portland, Oregon and the other on the water, wherever his small ship takes him. Being close to saltwater for most of his life may have a thing or two to do with open water feeling like a “home.”

With a degree in Political Science from Reed College and a 100 gross-ton Master certification, Lyman is a master of many skills–piano tuner, performing songwriter, guitar instructor, yacht delivery captain, transit bus driver, and salvage master—how’s that for variety? He’s not bashful about sharing his love for his job, particularly the opportunity to teach guests Columbia and Snake River history.

Lyman is also not bashful about showing his softer side. On a memorable trip to Phillip Island, Australia with his wife, his favorite memory was watching the joyful song-and-dance greetings the penguins made to their babies and mates after returning from the sea and seeing them for the first time. When not traveling to the other side of the earth, Lyman and his wife tour by RV. Along their adventures he often has the chance to entertain fellow RV’ers with his singing and songwriting.



Micheal KellickMichael Kellick 

Chief Mate
Wilderness Discoverer


Fact or fiction, as Michael tells it, he’s the son of a Mississippi riverboat card shark and a Catholic priest. He claims to have picked up the habit of smoking cigars from his mother, but his five year affair with tobacco ended following a mysterious fire in the romper room of a paddle wheeler. From an early age, he was living by his wits alone, always ahead of Johnny Law.

Michael learned to shave by watching Masaai warriors sharpen their spear tips and later perfected the art of flensing mollusks using only dental floss. Years afterwards, he availed himself (along with his trusted bonobo, Maubry) to the monks of Himalayan Tibet, following their success in leading the Battle of the Great Basmati Penguins. Back in the US, Michael graduated with honors in the PhD doctoral program at the Arkansas Traffic School of Absurdity. Other accolades include The Sacred Order of the Patchouli Feather for valor during the Surprise Pillow Fight of 2009.

Hobbies include sneaking thru bookstores affixing “Autographed by the Author” decals on medieval tomes, bibles, and rare classic literature and writing “this is a stick up” on bank deposit slips before secretly slipping them back into the pile. Michael eagerly awaits the legions of guests arriving on board and has restocked his disguise kit in case the penguins still hold a grudge. But if the truth be told, you’ll have to be the one to get it out of him.



Micheal MorrisseyMichael Morrissey 

Chief Mate
Wilderness Explorer


Michael hasn't always lived in San Diego, though he grew up there and has called the beautiful, vibrant Spanish-colonial city home for at least 16 years. We’ve decided it’s his sunny disposition and his years of living in Southern California that conditioned Michael to nearly always wear sunglasses, no matter if it’s rain or shine.

Perhaps it was growing up so close to the ocean that influenced his pursuit of a career on the water (or perhaps it was because he couldn’t imagine working behind a desk). Whichever the reason—and lucky for us—after securing his marine transportation degree from the California Maritime Academy; earning certifications as an unlimited tonnage Third Mate, 100 gross-ton Master, and Mate of Towing; and working on tug boats and container ships, Michael found his way to us. Part of his academy training included a trip to Saipan where he had the chance to swim in to naturally formed cave grottos! These days, he writes home about adventures that include spotting wolves, otter, bear, and other wildlife from the ship’s bridge.

Describing himself as a know-it-all and cat-person, Michael is inspired by his hero, Carl Sagan to explore the wide world around him. While he doesn't know how to cartwheel, Michael will wow you with his guitar-playing skills or knowledge of 1960s electrical guitars and the craft of cinematography.



Robb BuccigrossiRobb Buccigrossi

Second Mate / Relief Chief Mate
S.S. Legacy


Robb, a lucky southpaw (aka, lefthander) by birth, grew up just outside of Akron, Ohio and has lived within the city limits (which city limits?) for the past 18 years. While the Midwest is home, some of his favorite adventures have included hiking Mt. Baker, one of Washington State’s iconic volcanoes and sailing among the peaks of Alaska. He’s a happy Midwest boy with a heart for the Pacific Northwest!

One summer break while attending the University of Akron where he was studying Business Development and Entrepreneurship, Robb made the fateful decision to work on a boat in SE Alaska to help pay for school. He immediately fell in love. On his return to school, all he could think about during lectures was Alaska. Leaving college, he opted instead to earn his 100 Ton Master certification and has been on a “permanent working holiday” as he likes to call it, splitting his time between SE Alaska and the Columbia and Snake Rivers ever since.

This soft-spoken Pisces is no wallflower. Prone to spontaneously breaking into dance and with a knack for Frisbee, hiking, basketball, and Ping-Pong, Robb is most certainly a people person. One of his biggest motivations is sharing his knowledge and passion for his ship. He encourages his guests to pepper him with questions to better get to know their home-away-from-home on the open water.

GUIDES


Alexandria MooreAlexandria “Alex” Moore

Expedition Guide
Wilderness Adventurer


Currently in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, by way of Pensacola, Florida, Alex started life in one paradise and found herself in another. Florida instilled a love of the ocean and all living creatures within it. Idaho has broadened her love of the outdoors to include tall pines, mountains and rushing rivers. Beyond the great outdoors, Alex has a talent for the field and was named to the Gulf South Conference All- Decade softball team during her college softball career!

The skills and work ethics Alex learned from years on the softball field taught her incredible determination, which she throws at all her goals. Among many other accomplishments, she earned a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology from the University of Florida and holds certifications as a Wilderness First Responder and in First Aid/CPR. Alex also happens to be highly motivated by fun and adventure especially when it includes the water and remote locations.

Still involved with softball, Alex coaches high school girls in Pensacola during the off-season and loves to watch her team reach their goals. She is also passionate about diving and has explored incredible locations. Among the highlights: scuba diving with manta rays, sea turtles and among coral reefs in Belize, Honduras, and the Cayman Islands. During your sail with Alex, be sure to ask her about participating in shark dives and her new favorite activity, aerial yoga!



Alison AshtonAlison Ashton

Expedition Guide
Wilderness Discoverer


She may have been born in Seattle and raised in Olympia, Washington, but for Alison, there’s been no shortage of globe-trotting. She’s lived abroad for over eight years—Central America, Mexico, Southeast Asia (including Borneo, Malaysia, Indonesia), New Zealand, Australia, Pacific Islands, Europe, the Caribbean, and South America—and has the stories to tell about it.

The ever-so-studious Alison received a BA in Cultural Anthropology, Latin American Studies, and Natural Sciences from Evergreen State College in Washington; she participated in a study abroad program at the Universidad de Chile in Santiago, and has earned a Master of Science in International Business, Management, and Development from Oxford Brookes University in England. Chock-full of knowledge, she has utilized those skills in travel and a variety of other fields working as an expedition guide, program administrator, marketing manager, special events manager, and director of business development to name a few.

Alison enjoys backpacking (evidenced by a yearlong backpacking adventure crossing the Americas from South to North), rock climbing, fishing, and printmaking. And, she’s an advanced PADI Scuba Diver. While many have crossed her path, her encounters with Amazonian insects, Bolivian pink dolphins, Peruvian condors, Panamanian sea turtles, Honduran tarantulas, and Mexican barracuda made for indelible adventures.



Connor AdamsConnor Adams

Expedition Guide
Safari Endeavour


Head over heels. Struck. Yep. Or more to the point, his love for the world around him, and fun. Bellingham, Washington has been Connor’s on-and-off home for the past several years, but he grew up on Whidbey Island, overlooking Saratoga Passage, in the tiny town of Langley, Washington—home to a 1930s movie theater, a grocery store of the same era, and several restaurants.

Connor secured his associates degree from Whatcom Community College, and ready to expand his horizons, was on his way. Growing up in the northwest meant a lot of time outside, so working as a player and sporting director for a semi-pro soccer club was a cinch. He co-founded a skimboard company (like surfboards without fins), and worked as a ski technician, cook, and server. A sense of being in the right place doing the right thing guides him, but bottom-line, Connor loves people, sharing knowledge, and enabling life-changing natural experiences for others.

This Finnish Prince (like 200th in line for the throne if they had a monarchy) has adventured in Europe, Canada, Mexico, and US. His favorite tales include a two-week island-to-island kayaking trip in Maine and waking to blue sky; and a grueling hike on Kauai’s photogenic Kalalau trail, sheer cliffs, waterfalls, fruit-filled jungles, and crashing waves lolling you to sleep. Connor loves camping, hiking, backcountry snowboarding, soccer, gardening, and cooking; can recite the alphabet backwards while juggling; and having been struck by lightning, has an electric personality. Could you hope for more?



Dan LishnerDan Lishner

Heritage Guide
S.S. Legacy


Born a Seattleite and still, happily a Seattleite, Dan knows the Pacific Northwest like the back of his hand. Though the Emerald City has remained his permanent home, he has taken plenty of time to explore the world extensively for nearly 30 years. Stops along his many journeys have included Berlin, Zurich, Iceland, Greenland, Liverpool, and even tiny, beautiful Tofino on the coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia to name just a few.

If you take one pinch of song, one pinch of dance, and a scoop of comedy then mix it all together, you’ll have made one happy Dan. A natural entertainer, he finds the greatest satisfaction in providing his guests the trip of a lifetime. Picking up a well-earned Bachelors Degree from New York University, his performing roots also include cabaret, stand-up comedy, providing music on cruise ships as DJ, and singing aboard the exotic Orient Express. These days, Dan is happy to find himself sharing his incredible talents with the enthusiastic guests.

Throughout his many travels near and far, Dan has found creative inspiration in the many places he’s visited and people he’s met along the way. When the trip allows, Dan takes his dog along with him as his sidekick to adventure. Fun side note about Dan, he was once served homemade cookies by none other than Mrs. June Cleaver of the Leave It To Beaver TV show (played by Barbara Billingsly)!



Ellie BryantEllie Bryant

Expedition Guide
Wilderness Explorer


Poetry in motion comes to mind when we look at ways of describing Ellie. And having spent 22 of her formative years in Statesboro, Georgia, she’s managed to stretch her boundaries in some pretty faraway places. Guiding. Learning. Sporting. Exploring.

A graduate of Sweet Briar College—located in the foothills of Virginia’s Appalachian Mountains—Ellie earned her degree in English and poetry. She’s literate in both German and Spanish; and word has it, Ellie’s even been published. She’s a certified Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician and past jobs include working as a guide for Alaska Mountain Guides and a Division 3 lacrosse recruiter. The outdoors and the many ways in which it heals people led Ellie along her chosen career path, but it’s talking to people and seeing their faces light up when she shows them new and cool things that she loves the most.

Ellie’s uncle taught her to carry opossums when she was five; she’s been a competitive horseback rider since she was six (ranked number one nationally in her age division); played defense on her college lacrosse team; and lifted weights competitively. Ellie’s a twin, her favorite food is blackberries, and she loves to travel. On a recent journey to Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand, because of her pale skin women would want her to hold their babies and bless them—one woman left her baby in Ellie’s arms for thirty minutes and took off! You’ll be in good hands too.



Hannah HindleyHannah Hindley

Lead Expedition Guide
Wilderness Discoverer


Living life on the outside—that’s Hannah. In fact, her masterful impression of a drop of water might be a result. Seriously. Hannah grew up in California’s Sonoma Valley, in tiny Glen Ellen (former home of Jack London and Hunter S. Thompson). Hannah lives for salt air in her face, a big sky over her head, and proximity to the comings/goings of wild living things.

A Harvard University graduate, she majored in English and American literature and language, and minored in organismic and evolutionary biology. A deep love of the earth has guided her career choices: field science educator (Olympic and Yosemite National Parks); deckhand/educator on a historic schooner; naturalist intern (Point Reyes National Seashore); research assistant (2008 Hrdy Fellow in Conservation Biology); Sea Stories editorial intern (Blue Ocean Institute’s online journal); and established an environmental education campus (Prince William Forest Park, Northern Virginia). Hannah’s certifications include Wilderness First Responder; CPR; First Aid; and… certified stilt walker.

Hannah’s favorite “to do’s” include new surprises every day; wandering in mountains; tidepooling; being in and on the water; and new to the list, birding. Swimming with sea turtles (Yucatan Peninsula); exploring petroglyph sites (Baja Peninsula); following fresh cougar tracks in the snow (Olympic Peninsula); and aqua ballet with Galapagos sea lions make up her list of favorite travel memories. Other Hannah insights—she makes extravagant salads; is fond of writing and dancing; and if there’s cookie dough to be had, she’ll eat it!



Jeremy SaenzJeremy Saenz

Lead Expedition Guide
Relief Expedition Leader
Wilderness Explorer 

A Seattleite nowadays, Jeremy grew up in Jackson Hole, Wyoming; Ogden, Utah; and Nevada City, California. He also likes to travel and does—whenever he can. He studied Spanish in Mexico and Central America and it was here that he learned about and how to live in a different culture. The food, the people, the history of the area, and time on the sunny beaches won his heart.

Being outdoors in wild places and teaching are big motivators for Jeremy. So when he goes to work, not only does he get to play outside, but he gets to share his passion. Jeremy has a wealth of experience as a guide and naturalist in Southeast Alaska and Glacier Bay National Park; and has also worked as an ESL teacher; a job coach for developmentally disabled; and a cook. Jeremy holds a USCG 100 Ton License; attended Weber State University and University of Utah; and has degrees in History and Spanish, as well as, Linguistics and ESL.

Jeremy is passionate about the role wild places play in our connection to the planet and has a favorite memory of waking up for the sunrise on top of the Temple IV at Tikal ruins in Guatemala while Howler monkeys and toucans noisily played in the jungle canopy. He’s also a fan of reading, camping, basketball, photography, cooking, and once a year, he watches the Lord of the Rings Trilogy from beginning to end. Now that’s commitment.



Jill QuaintanceJill Quaintance

Expedition Leader
Safari Explorer


Color her world—home for Jill is the rainbow state of Hawaii. And when Jill’s not living on board, you’ll likely find her with her toes in the sand or playing in the surf off the coast of Maui. She grew up in a super remote part of Hawai’i, the Big Island. No internet. No TV. Completely off the power grid with only solar electricity and water catchment.

Jill graduated from the University of Queensland in Australia with degrees in tropical marine biology and zoology. And not willing to slowing down, she earned certifications for SCUBA instruction; 100 TON Captain with sailing endorsement; CPR; and First Aid instructor. Her past experience as a dive instructor and guide on the island of Lani’i add to her growing list of credentials. Jill’s passion for nature is hard to hide and easily shared—especially when meeting people from all walks of life with a mutual common awe of incredible and beautiful places.

It seems Jill has always been an achiever… one of her favorite travel tales (Namotu Island, Fiji) is of dropping in on the largest wave of her life, along with some crazy schools of blue tang swimming right underneath her; and when she was born, she weighed in at 10 pounds 5 ounces and broke the hospital weight record for a newborn. A few of her favorite things include surfing, underwater photography, hydroponic gardening, and yes, rainbows.



JP WickhamJP Wickham

Lead Expedition Guide
Wilderness Discoverer


The sound of an Irish fiddle echoing through the woods in Glendalough, Ireland sparks a fond memory for JP. As do travels through France, Norway, the United Kingdom, and Mexico. But he grew up in Bedford, New Hampshire and Athens, Georgia which was A-Okay, and today, life in Seattle isn’t too bad either. A refusal to settle for an ordinary life has been his motivation.

JP’s worked as a sailing instructor, lifeguard, tall-ship boatswain, marine science lab assistant, and a bartender at one time or another throughout his career. And as a graduate of the University of Georgia with degrees in international relations and natural resource recreation and tourism, he jumps at any chance to facilitate adventurous, educative, and unforgettable experiences in the outdoors. And his certification as a Wilderness First Responder will have you in good hands when you’re in the woods (literally). While onboard, get him to share some of his stories about his time on tall ships—it’s always a good ice-breaker.

Other facets of JP that keep life interesting are his soft spots for cycling, sailing, canoeing, and martial arts. When he opts to hone his mental muscle, he’s into reading, writing, philosophy, history, languages, and survival. To shake things up even more though, JP enjoys film and makes an excellent beef Stroganov. But his most ambitious effort these days… he’s trying to build a replica of the motorcycle from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.



Julie KehrJulie Kehr

Heritage Guide
S.S. Legacy


Honduras, Switzerland, the S.S. Legacy, and wherever her wanderlust soul carries her…. Julie has lived in (or on) a number of interesting and beautiful places, including her growing-up years in her hometown of Grandville, Michigan. Though she’s quite humble about her experiences, we know Julie is a bright-eyed adventure seeker who combines fluent Spanish with a big spirit of exploration.

Julie holds degrees in Spanish, English, and theater from Grand Valley State University; certifications in CPR/AED/first aid; and once worked as a nanny. She’s even traveled all the way to Antigua to see the incredible, legendary night and day festivities of Holy Week that include intricate images “painted” on cobbled streets with colored-sawdust and a procession of wooden floats carried on the shoulders of 20+ people set to the tune of marching bands. Along with Shakespearean acting and stage managing experience, Julie’s Spanish skills also came in handy while teaching English and Drama in Honduras. No stranger to adventure, building community, and taking on good challenges, Julie feels right at home on board.

A sponge for creativity and learning, Julie is an avid reader, crochets as often as she can put hooks to yarn, and is adding to her language skills by learning French. And just to keep things interesting, she showers regularly and is also certified to scuba dive in open water.




Kenne WilliamsKenne Williams

Heritage Guide
S.S. Legacy


Over three decades ago while some of us were listening to Wham! and Tina Turner cassette tapes in our Pontiac Trans Ams, Kenne was in the early years of his acting career. Growing up in Kansas City, Kansas, he followed the footsteps of Kansan legends like Charlie Parker and Buster Keaton. These days, he calls the more tropical and ocean-oriented town of Lana’i City, Hawaii his home.

With his BFA in acting and directing from Emporia State University, working on the S.S. Legacy combines two of Kenne’s favorite things—performance and travel—making him the self-proclaimed “luckiest guy in the world.” His greatest joy is to make guests smile, so prepare to workout your face-muscles if you are cruising with him. Kenne is no stranger to travel himself, and the Philippines holds a special place in his heart. Home to many close friends, on one trip he took to visit them, they took him to remote villages where most locals had never seen a white man; an amazing experience that left an incredible impression.

After meeting him, you might be surprised to learn Kenne once held the title of “The God of Hair,” so dubbed for the thick, curly mane he sported back in those early days of acting. These days, when not entertaining our guests to the point of perma-grin, Kenne can be found playing golf, tennis, or feeling the rush of wind through his hair….er…against his head while racing cars.



Kenneth O’BrienKenneth O’Brien

Expedition Guide
Relief Expedition Leader 
Safari Endeavor


Born in Colorado, a state known for its adventure seekers, it’s no surprise that Kenneth has experienced incredible adventure himself. Breaking free of that land-locked state, he found himself near (or on) the ocean or other large bodies of water for many years—crab fishing in Icy Strait, Alaska, working at Olympic National Park, and on Pete Seeger’s Hudson River sloop, The Clearwater. These past few winters, he’s happily made his home on the island of Maui.

Kenneth has a wealth of knowledge to match his many experiences, with three degrees to prove it—MS in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources from University of Wisconsin, MA in Tibetan Buddhist Studies from Maitripa College, and a BA in Distributed Studies – Human Ecology from University of Colorado. Needless to say, his passions are to teach, learn, and help others see the immense gifts of the natural world. He also holds certifications as a Wilderness First Responder and in First Aid/CPR.

If given an opportunity to sit around a nighttime campfire to “talk story” with Kenneth, you wont be disappointed. He has many amazing stories! There was the time he traveled to Svalbard to see ice bears and beluga and swim in the Arctic Circle on the summer solstice. Or perhaps he’d tell how he learned to kayak at the age of 5 from his grandfather. Or maybe he’d share tips on brewing mead and beer at home, a favorite hobby. Whichever story he shares, you will find yourself entertained!



Kent RedellKent Redell

Expedition Guide
Wilderness Adventurer


A Southern California “city-boy” by birth, Kent grew up hiking the Sierra Nevada and, over the years, has become more comfortable in places far from city lights and deep in the mountains. Growing up on the trails along ridges and mountains trained him to keep on walking, both with his feet and his soul. A lover of adventure, Kent has happily been living out of his bags as a constant traveler for the last few years.

To pinpoint on a map where Kent has traveled is challenging. On the list of places few have visited—Rapa Nui, or Easter Island. As part of an archeological research and cultural rehabilitation project, he worked with the last descendent of the Long Ear Tribe, who originally lived on the island. Kent carried his passion for the natural world into his work and holds a degree in Geographic Information Systems from California State University – Santa Barbara. Along his path, he’s also spent time on the Juneau Icefield and as a Marine Science Instructor on Catalina Island.

Lest you think he only has eyes for maps and geography, Kent has a few other tricks and interests up his sleeve. During the off season, he can be found fishing by rod and reel or pole spear (yep, we said pole spear), catching waves while bodysurfing, or growing delectable treats in the garden to cook up later. When you come across Kent on your voyage, don't forget your many questions! He loves to share his knowledge of and enthusiasm for the outdoors.



Kristin RothKristin Roth

Expedition Operations Manager

You’ve heard the old saying, “wherever I lay my hat...” well, “wherever her jeep takes her”—that’s where Kristin calls home. She grew up in New Jersey, has lived in Chile, and let us stress, loves to travel. Globetrotting for both work and play, Kristin has combed the planet exploring faraway places from North, Central and South America to Western Europe.

She is a graduate of Villanova University with degrees in sociology and elementary education. Among her many accomplishments, Kristen holds a 100 Ton Near Coastal Master license, and certifications for Able Seaman, Wilderness First Responder, CPR, and K-8 teaching. Previous jobs she’s held range from naturalist guide to chief mate and outdoor education program coordinator to cook. Lucky for us our chefs are so awesome… she claims that’s why she joined our team!

Kristin is also passionate about hiking, kayaking, biking, sailing, exploring (pretty much anything outside), good coffee and wine, and she has a fondness for dark chocolate. Rumor also has it that she has eleven toes (we think not), but perhaps that’s how she’s come so far. If you can go toe to toe with her, maybe you’ll learn her secret.



Kristina BlandKristina Bland

Expedition Guide
Wilderness Adventurer


Whoever says you need four walls and a roof to call it a home hasn't met Kristina. She’s taken up semi-permanent residence on four continents and calls the cozy comforts of her car, currently parked in San Francisco, home. She may have grown up in more customary ways in Sebastopol, California but it sounds to us like she’s embraced the “tiny living” movement! The flexibility to come and go as she pleases gives her the chance to jump on opportunities that come her way perfectly suiting her adventurous spirit.

Not one to shy away from a new experience, she couldn't resist the chance to live abroad during school and study Spanish in Peru for a semester. While there, she helped rebuild houses in a village destroyed by an earthquake and connected closely with the locals, their incredibly positive attitudes left an impression likely to never fade. In addition to her Linguistics and Environmental Studies Degree from University of California, Kristina is a certified Wilderness First Responder, EMT, and is trained in CPR.

For Kristina, “adventure” isn’t necessarily always defined as hard charging, adrenaline-fueled fun. She balances out canyoneering, biking, and rock climbing outings with yoga, knitting, and cooking. A perfect example of that balance includes a trip she took to hike the arduous Camino de Santiago, a pilgrimage from France to Galicia, Spain that offers plenty of time for introspection while moving at a pace to truly absorb the surroundings.



Laura ColganLaura Colgan

Expedition Guide
Safari Endeavor


If you asked what she preferred, Laura may have a tough time deciding which she likes better: feeling her two feet firmly below her on solid ground or propelling her around underwater. Growing up in Redmond, Washington and now living in Portland, Oregon, being near the water has always been key. She was even born in Scotland, a beautiful country fully surrounded by salty water teeming with life.

Whether on land or in water, Laura is passionate about exploring and learning how the Earth works; a passion she loves to share with others. Always on the hunt to discover new things about how the planet’s ecosystems interact, she spent a year in Aqaba, Jordan diving in the Red Sea, interacting herself with families of squid and swimming alongside of whale sharks. She also holds degrees in Environmental Science and Environmental Education from Western Washington University and Portland State University, as well as certifications as a Wilderness First Responder and in CPR.

In her downtime, Laura explores her surroundings by canoe and relaxes by playing a few tunes on the guitar. But if you sail aboard her ship, be prepared to laugh and learn all along the way, buoyed by her bubbling personality. You will likely find yourself falling in love with the ecosystems that delight Laura so much too as she shares many fascinating details and stories with you.



Laurie CooperLaurie Cooper

Expedition Guide
Safari Endeavour


The best advice Laurie ever received, “live where you recreate.” She grew up in Columbia, Maryland, but following that advice brought her to where she now calls home—Southeast Alaska, specifically Douglas Island (across Gastineau channel from Juneau).

Being able to share and explore the wonder of Southeast Alaska is her motivation and it never gets old. Laurie graduated from the University of Maryland – College Park with a degree in government and political science and is a certified Wilderness First Responder, CPR/AED. She spent 11 years working in nonprofit conservation focused on protecting wild places in the Tongass National Forest and prior to joining us, served as rainforest program director of the Alaska Wilderness League.

A cake lover, biting into a slice of chocolate goodness can rank right up there with watching humpback whales breach for Laurie. But she does love the outdoors… trail running, snowboarding, kayaking, camping… anything outdoors. One of the most challenging and exhilarating things she’s ever done was learning to surf in Costa Rica. We’ll bet she has some bodacious stand-up paddle board moves to show you!



Lia StamatiouLia Stamatiou

Expedition Leader
Safari Quest


Lia was born, raised, and is still growing up in Seattle. She’s traveled around mainland USA, Mexico, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Greece, Spain, Ireland, Puerto Rico, and Hawaii, but appreciates returning to the beauty of the Pacific Northwest and understands its natural qualities at a microscopic level.

A graduate of University of Washington—degrees in aquatic and fishery sciences and conservation biology—Lia also holds USCG 100 ton Master/200 ton Mate Inland licenses and is a certified Wilderness First Responder. Her jobs have encompassed studying salmonid ecology, habitat function, and monitoring PNW estuary conditions; naturalist in Southeast Alaska and British Columbia; crew aboard a yacht built in 1930 for John Barrymore; and relief crew on various research/work boats. Motivated by a lifelong fascination with the intricacies of the natural world, Lia loves the dynamic lifestyles, people, and remote places she gets to experience. Don’t be surprised if you find her on her hands and knees or pulling out a microscope to share something seemingly small and common—chances are you’ll discover some charismatic flora and fauna.

Unusually talented, Lia can rip phonebooks in half (yes, smack down the middle), and enjoys beekeeping, gardening, hiking, kayaking, sailing, and gathering food in the wild, especially shellfish and squid. Busily restoring a recently purchased 1948 classic wooden tugboat—hoping to cruise the inside passage in a few years—she discovered it’s the imperfections, distress marks, and patina that make the boat so beautiful.



Marika PowersMarika Powers

Lead Expedition Guide
Wilderness Discoverer


Having professional photographers as parents, Marika grew up exposed to natural beautiful places. Her youth was spent in Northern California and paddling around Hawaii. And unlike most teenagers, on her 18th birthday, she turned down a car in favor of a kayak. Marika’s been paddling ever since. Today, she calls both Northern California and Alaska home, but the Aloha spirit still calls her back to Hawaii.

Marika received a science degree at University of Hawaii and one in parks and recreation management from Northern Arizona University. She is certified in First Aid/CPR, as a Wilderness First Responder, Hawaii Eco Tour Operator, and Leave No Trace Trainer. Her lifelong deep love of the outdoors shaped her career path and sharing the great outdoors with others is what Marika likes best about it. She’s had heaps of opportunity leading people on meaningful and exciting experiences—throughout Alaska as a hiking, kayaking, or camping guide; lei greeter in Maui; and in Patagonia, developing a multi-sport expedition itinerary and helping out with the documentary “Crossing Patagonia.”

Traveling, backpacking, kayaking, biking, and surfing top Marika’s favorite-things-to-do list and her adventures generally pack an extra punch. She once spent over 70 nights in a tent in the Alaska wilderness and another time, awoke one night during a wild storm to find a river forming around her tent and her riverbank encampment washing away. This gal knows adventure and is super excited about sharing the wonders of the wilderness with you..



Mark CassioMark Cassio

Expedition Leader
Wilderness Adventurer


Mark loved growing up in Massachusetts, and he equally loved the change of scenery in a new home—Maine, New Hampshire, Arizona, California, Alaska, and Washington. And he’s a modern-day explorer primed for adventure (even when it includes a bear and a raft)—Costa Rica, Hawaii, Mexico’s Baja California, and the Canadian Rockies near Banff National Park.

A certified Wilderness First Responder and graduate of Fitchburg State College with a BA in journalism, Mark’s journey has been one of knowledge. He was an interpretive guide in Alaska’s Brooks Range Mountains based 60 miles north of the Arctic Circle; an outdoor science teacher leading 10-12 year olds on interpretive hikes in California’s San Bernardino Mountains; rode a Harley to school each day as a Montessori teacher of 3-6 and 10-13 year olds in Phoenix; and was a news and sports reporter for New Hampshire daily paper. His breadth of experience easily translates to others and given the chance to interact and educate, inform and entertain about new and unique places… then Mark’s your man.

He’s also a lucky guy, particularly lucky to be a food seller in the ball park grandstands the year the Arizona Diamondbacks won the World Series. Mark got to attend all four games played in Phoenix, including the championship-clinching Game 7 victory. A fan of stick and ball sports, Mark also enjoys playing cards, watching movies, snorkeling, hiking, backpacking, camping, and a good ‘ol city walk.



Mark HopkinsMark Hopkins

Expedition Leader
Safari Endeavour


Oregon is home now, but after growing up in New England, tramping through Vermont’s Green Mountains, and sailing among the islands of Maine, it was fated that Mark would not be settling for an office job. And being the entrepreneurial sort, at 19, an experience building a newfangled device called a snowboard led him to drop out of college and move to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where he taught and raced as a sponsored snowboard team rider.

Mark eventually returned to college and graduated with a degree in philosophy and religious studies—which concluded with a journey tracing the route that Padmasambava used to bring Buddhism from India to Tibet. Uncertain what to do next, he moved to Alaska and spent five years (although tempted to make it a lifetime) working as a commercial fisherman chasing salmon, halibut, herring, and king crab from the Bering Sea to Alaska’s SE Panhandle. Mark’s Alaska adventure ended with a calling from the Caribbean’s warmer waters and he returned to guiding, outdoor sports instruction, and sharing his love of the outdoors with others.

He’s lived a peripatetic life as guide and naturalist with stops in the US Virgin Islands, San Juan Islands, Montana, New Mexico, New York City, Belize, Alaska, and Baja. When he’s not working, Mark pursues what he calls “the Perfect Trifecta of Carving Sports: Surfing, Snowboarding and Kitesurfing”… climbing the Cascade volcanoes and snowboarding or seeking out hidden surf spots on the Oregon coast.



Megan MoranMegan Moran

Expedition Guide
Safari Endeavor


Originally from Detroit, Michigan, Megan has lived in some special places far from her hometown, including Egypt and South Africa. Having seen incredible changes within herself in many ways over the years, Megan is motivated to help others find that amazing inner transformation that happens when people connect to a new experience.

It all started for Megan one fateful summer when she began guiding. That summer, the outdoor and adventure bug bit her hard! Fast-forward to current times and Megan is now a well seasoned outdoor guide, adventure seeker, and creator of happiness. Not long ago, she worked with Operation Smile Egypt, an NGO that provides free cleft lip and cleft palate surgeries to children in over 50 countries. She also led over 30 trips for 13-year-old kids (talk about patience!) throughout the Americas and Australia. And don't forget the Art Degree from University of Wisconsin, a Masters in Education from Sierra Nevada College, and her Wilderness First Responder certification.

When not focused on helping other people experience new, happy adventures, Megan can be found creating her own. Hiking, biking, snowboarding or reading, whichever the chosen activity, if it provides an adventure, she’s in! Some of her favorite activities have included swimming with whale sharks in Mozambique and sampling the culinary delights of new countries, namely the street food variety.



Ryan DownsRyan Downs

Heritage Leader
S.S. Legacy


Most folks say Ryan was born in the wrong century—and to see him in action, you might agree—but this lad grew up in sunny San Jose, California. Today, he hails from Seattle or the occasional boat (like caretaking a $2 million yacht in the Virgin Islands). Such is the life of Riley, er Ryan.

A graduate from Humboldt University with a degree in history, Ryan’s had some interesting jobs and never been known to shy away from a solid day’s work—steam locomotive fireman; underground cabaret bartender; interpretive/living history instructor (U.S. Civil War, California Gold Rush, 1906 San Francisco earthquake/fire, WWI/WWII); History Channel costume advisor and extra; over nine years at sea as sailing instructor, deckhand, bosun, mate, and captain—working on tugs, yachts, and schooners (one built in 1871); and now, working in the past. Ryan also holds a USCG 100 Ton Masters License and certifications in First Aid/CPR, and is a Certified Interpretive Guide through the National Association of Interpretation.

Ryan has a love affair with the West Coast and being on the water and sharing his many passions is mighty fine. He once took a friend exploring at the ruins of an 1802 fortress and while explaining its history, people started asking questions thinking he was a tour guide—his friend had a good laugh. Ryan loves teaching, reading, writing short stories, trivia, and his 45-foot traditional wooden sailing ship (awaiting relocation from Maine to Seattle), but actually being in the water... flat-out terrifies him!



Sarah LaneSarah Lane

Expedition Leader
Wilderness Explorer


This modern-day explorer may have her nomadic ways, but Sarah’s odyssey began at a young age, with annual excursions (led by her parents) to uncover new places. Sarah grew up in tiny Townsend, Massachusetts, and most recently, has lived in North Carolina, Washington State, St. Croix USVI, California, New Hampshire, and on a historic schooner.

A graduate of Colgate University with a degree in environmental geography, Sarah also holds certifications for Wilderness First Responder, First Aid, CPR/AED, and PADI open water. The best thing about her work is sharing fun and exciting adventures, and based on past jobs, that’s evident; environmental educator on North Carolina’s Outer Banks and the Olympic National Park; aquarium educator; leading dive programs and animal feeds; live “Creature Feature” programs with sea turtles, alligators, snakes, and birds; ski instructor for 4-6 year olds; tall ship crew; snorkel guide; and winery harvest intern. Exploring. Learning. Connecting. And lots of it.

Exploits that top Sarah’s “best of” list include paddling a dugout canoe down an Amazon tributary; watching meteor showers from a remote northern Maine waterway; biking around an erupting volcano and pushing a car up the side of another volcano in Ecuador; sleeping in an old prison camp and waking up with wallabies in Tasmania. An open book, she enjoys cooking (eating), hiking, skiing, nerding out, and being in, under, on, or near the water. Wanna know more, Sarah has a homing beacon—her laugh—follow it and you’ll find her.



Teresa WhippleTeresa Whipple

Expedition Guide
Safari Endeavor


A Tennessean by birth, these days, Teresa calls Storage Locker #32 home. Through her travels and work, which are most often one and the same, Teresa has found she has no use for certain modern conveniences… like cell phones. None of the places she goes seem to get signals! Sounds like a lot of peace and quiet to us.

With her passion for all things wild, it seemed to Teresa that the world of guiding chose her to take it on as her vocation. She has guided at all ends of the earth including Tide Rip Grizzly Tours on Vancouver Island, British Columbia and Estancia Rincon Chico in Patagonia, Argentina. In addition to her in-the-field experience, Teresa received formal education at University of Memphis earning a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Linguistics and has certifications in Wilderness First Responder, Small Vessel Operator Proficiency, and American Canoe Association, Kayak Level 2.

With her not-so-secret love of language, it’s no surprise that Teresa spent time in the Shetland Islands of Scotland learning to properly intonate Gaelic words. What may come as a slight surprise, though, is her amazing aptitude for speaking whale. Yes, we did actually mean “whale.” Ask her demonstrate when you see her aboard your ship!



Tess MorgridgeTess Morgridge

Expedition Guide
Safari Endeavor


Currently following a nomadic way of life, Tess originally began her journey growing up in New York. While she may have grown up and out of her home state, she never grew out of her childhood love for animals and the “ewwy and gooey” things in life.

Her resume is a testament to her fascination with the natural world! On that list of “ewwy and gooey”-focused jobs are Micronesia Conservation Fellow at The Nature Conservancy, Plant-Animal Interactions Researcher at Stanford University, Science Instructor at Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, and Zoo Keeper at Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo. Not at all ironically, her degree from Stanford University is in Ecology and Evolution. Tess also has a Wilderness First Responder Certification.

As you may have guessed by locations where she has worked, Tess also loves to travel. She is passionate about sharing all she has learned with others and enjoys watching their eyes light up when discovering something new and beautiful about our world. When not focused on the wilderness around her, Tess has a habit of tapping into her artistic side including aerial fabrics and poetry (she’s even published!).

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Bethany BoulgerBethany Boulger

Wellness Instructor
Safari Endeavor


Hailing from the town of Bennington, Vermont, Bethany found her calling very early on in life. The first person in her town to become a massage therapist, Bethany quickly found herself on a life-altering path she never would’ve expected. Not currently bolted down to any one spot in particular, she has found “home” for the season on the water with us and “family” among the crew and passengers who come aboard.

Knowing how massage therapy and yoga so perfectly complement one another, Bethany is motivated to be a conduit through which people can feel more alive and she strives to help others tap into the magic within themselves and all around. Simply being around her helps us feel relaxed and centered! Receiving her training for massage therapy at Florida College of Natural Health and yoga training at the Mandali School of Yoga, Bethany owned Green Mountain Oasis Day Spa and Karma Cat Yoga Studio in her hometown and even led a yoga retreat to Bali.

On the topic of travel, her passion for her work has led her to Thailand to study Thai Massage, on a pilgrimage with her Yoga teacher in India and to Costa Rica where she attended training for life coaching. And that is just her “work-focused” travel! When you meet Bethany, it’s impossible to miss noticing her zest for life and exuberance to get out and explore, whether it’s through learning to play the ukulele or adventuring outdoors.



Bob WardBob Ward

Executive Chef
Wilderness Explorer


Feeling at home in foreign places comes naturally to Bob. He grew up in the Seattle area; has called Cebu, Philippines home for the past couple of years; and an innate sense of adventure has sent him on numerous bouts of exploration in some of our planet’s farthest reaches.

Bob earned his degree in culinary arts from Lake Washington Technical College and is Serve Safe certified. Driven by that ‘work hard play hard’ philosophy, he’s sought out positions of opportunity like working on world-traveling ships to places like Antarctica and the Artic. Bob’s been in the hospitality industry all of his life and working on boats was the answer—keeps him on the go, scenery constantly changes, people are fun, and it’s like a lot of long vacations—one right after the next. Bob takes pride in all aspects of his work and really loves cooking. After many years cooking at sea, he never ever takes it for granted.

His favorite travel experiences—a trip to the beautiful ruins Angkor Wat with his wife and a recent swim with Whale sharks in Cebu (which was actually scary, even though they have no teeth). In his spare time, Bob enjoys scuba diving, snowboarding, hiking, and camping. And while being a chef has presented opportunities to cook and taste all kinds of wonderful food, when it comes to comfort food, nothing beats a grilled cheese sandwich.



Bryan MichelBryan Michel

Wellness Instructor
Safari Endeavor


Bryan was born in an auspicious year under the sign of Virgo and grew up in sunny San Diego, California. Throughout his life, he’s never been one to idly let excitement pass him by. His enthusiasm for exploring helped him find his way from many corners of the world to University Place, Washington, his home for the past five years.

Bryan is a Licensed Massager Practitioner and Certified Yoga Teacher with training through Alexander School of Natural Therapeutics and Seattle Yoga Arts, respectively. Before bringing his peaceful, motivating energy to Un-Cruise Adventures as a Wellness Instructor, he worked with clients as a Yoga Teacher at Source Yoga and Massage Therapist at Proctor Chiropractic, both in Tacoma, WA. Bryan feels incredibly rewarded when helping people take control of their own healing, maintenance and growth; we feel incredibly lucky he’s on board with us.

An intuitive listener, Bryan is passionate about seeing new places and witnessing how people in other parts of the world live life. He has crisscrossed through Europe, Japan, Thailand, India, Morocco, Mexico, Argentina and into all the nooks and crannies of the US and Canada. A big believer in balance, Bryan might spend time in meditation one day and the next, step up the adrenaline by scaling the vertical world as a rock climber. No mater the activity, don't be surprised to find him having fun and goofing around with friends.



Meagan LescherMeagan Lescher

Hotel Manager
Wilderness Explorer


The characteristic of welcoming hospitality is in Meagan’s blood. She was born in the sweet town of Ashland, Oregon, home of the renowned Oregon Shakespeare Festival and host to theatergoers from all across the world. In Ashland, she found plenty of opportunity to meet folks from all walks of life. Now in San Francisco, California, after living for a time in Las Vegas, Nevada, she’s found herself enchanted by bigger international cities as well.

Two of Meagan’s passions—meeting many different people and experiencing exciting places—are perfectly combined through the hospitality industry. No surprise then that she found the joint degree in Psychology and Hotel Management at the Oregon State University and University of Las Vegas suited her interests exactly. She comes aboard with experience that spans dressing up and performing as a tart in the Shakespeare Festival to managing Marriott, Hyatt and Westin, and a wonderful personality that matches of a bit of goofy with get-it-done tenacity.

You may be surprised to learn that Meagan was born deaf and began to hear only after she was six weeks old—a bit hard to believe since she is amazing at listening to and intuiting her guests’ needs. She’s no stranger to being the guest too and recently visited a friend in Dubai, a most interesting and unexpected place! Topping her list of destinations is San Sebastian, Spain where she had many opportunities to sample local culinary delights and fill her days with fun; two of her other favorite things.



Neil KnasiakNeil Knasiak

Hotel Manager
S.S. Legacy


Neil grew up in Morton, Pennsylvania and, while he has lived in other parts of the country, Philadelphia has been his home for the past 20 years. Call Neil a family man and he will beam with pride. Having been married several decades (congrats!), he is also a devoted father of a son and daughter. One of his greatest joys is sharing his love of adventure and travel with his family.

Neil’s sense of adventure surely had a part to play in his going to work for Donald Trump during the ‘90s. We bet he has a few good stories to tell from those days! Since the Trump years, he has worked on other cruise lines as well as at Hilton, Wyndham, and Sheraton Hotels. Neil’s innate curiosity and adventurous spirit guided him through Loyola University of the South where he earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theater. He also holds certifications in ServSafe, CPR and AED, First Aid, and Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping from the US Coast Guard.

While he enjoys kicking back with a good book or playing a round of golf on his home course, Neil also has the travel bug. On the list of favorite trips: Russia, the Mediterranean, and a very special trip he took with his dad and his son throughout Europe. What’s next? You might find Neil on the Colorado River, exploring the Grand Canyon or taking in the lights and sights of Las Vegas!



Nic HellerNic Heller

Wellness Instructor
Wilderness Adventurer


Born in the misty, lush green foothills of the Cascades, Nic migrated a few miles higher into the mountains from his hometown of Issaquah, Washington and settled down at beautiful Snoqualmie Pass. Boasting incredible access to off-the-beaten-path destinations, Nic lives in the ideal spot for a hiker and skier, such as himself.

Fascinated by the body’s largest organ—the skin—Nic earned his Licensed Massage Practitioner certification from Cortiva Institute of Massage. So closely in tune with our philosophy, Nic is driven to help create experiences that people will remember, learn from, and that will change their lives. A bonus for Nic is the privilege he feels to meet so many interesting and amazing people along the way.

Beyond dedication to his work, Nic is a self-proclaimed “food nerd.” A gardener and cook, he loves breakfast and the smells of bacon and coffee best, though contradictorily, he’s not a red-meat eater. Nic also shares a love of travel with our guests and team and spent time living in Costa Rica while studying Environmental Sciences with the University of Washington. When he’s not on board as Wellness Instructor, he’s at home playing fetch or chase with his lab-shepherd mix, Holly.



Niles PeacockNiles Peacock

Hotel Manager
Wilderness Discoverer


Hailing from a family of artists—jazz musician, painter, designer, photographer, actor, singer/songwriter—Niles carved his creative niche by designing and making leather belts. Raised a Seattleite, Niles has lived and traveled all over—and returning to his roots, once again calls Seattle home.

 

Niles holds a degree in fashion design from Parsons School of Design—NYC and certifications for level one Court of Master Sommelier, PADI open water diver, and First Aid/CPR/AED. When only six years old, Niles adopted an orphaned squirrel, and afterwards, this nurturing lad set his sights on a life of creating outstanding experiences. He worked on a community service project in Ecuador raising $20,000 to build an industrial church kitchen to feed the poor. And aside from belt-maker, one of his most exciting job situations was working in Aspen as a whitewater rafting guide by day and bar manager by night. Niles loves traveling and getting to meet, interact, and engage with people.

 

While Niles prefers that situations turn out well, he’s found getting there can get hairy. He’s been pitched head-over-heels by a bull during Spain’s Running of the Bulls (he walked away without injury), and once took a zipline tour through rainforest canopy realizing halfway through that the whole operation was jerry-rigged with failing hardware, duct tape, and old rope. Stimulating, yes, but he’s had his fill of amateur excursions. Hobbies for Niles include hiking, fishing, camping, kayaking, motorcycles, and bike riding.