Guest Hosts on Theme Departures

Guest hosts include individuals such as winery owners and winemakers, whale experts, photographers, and authorities in marine biology and ornithology. Depending on your theme, there’ll be dedicated presentations by the guest host—or hosts; hands-on learning opportunities; and wine or beer tastings that bring a whole new dimension to your adventure.


Kevin Correll

COLUMBIA & SNAKE RIVERS: Ameritage! Four Rivers of Wine & History; August 6, 2016

Winery owner and winemaker, Kevin Correll’s interest in wine began in 1982 when he was offered a glass of Mouton-Rothschild and he was happily surprised at how incredible wine could taste. He was so inspired, he began to collect wine and make his own small batches from his garage as a hobby. After volunteering during the crush season for several years in a row, he took his passion to the next level by pursuing a certificate in Oenology from UC Davis.

As a one-man operation, Kevin received three years of praise for his “House Bordeaux” that he made in his garage, and shortly after opened Barrage Cellars. In his first year, Kevin made just 125 cases of Cabernet Franc. Today’s production is still quite small—about 3,000 cases using six different varieties of grapes. Making wine in true “Garagiste” fashion, Kevin’s boutique winery focuses on 100% varietals from the finest vineyards and regions of Washington State, combined with the barrels from France and a few from America. Barrage Cellars, located in Woodinville, Washington, has received high marks by critics including the Seattle Wine Awards and The Wine Advocate.


Steve Essig

ALASKA: Exploring Muir's Wilderness; July 3, 2016

Steve Essig has been a professional photographer and cinematographer for over 35 years. An experienced racing sailor and scuba diver, his love of the outdoors began when he climbed his first mountain with his father at age seven. Similarly, he has been passionate about photography since buying his first camera at the age eight. Steve’s quest for adventure and unique images has taken him across the globe including assignments to Tahiti, Alaska, the Sea of Cortés, Cape Horn, and Micronesia.

With over five hundred magazine covers to his credit, Steve has a wealth of photographic experience. In addition the natural world, he’s shot for sports, celebrities, automobiles, and travel, and filmed award- winning documentaries, concerts and commercials. He loves teaching, sharing insights and helping other photographers create stunning images of the world around us in his relaxed, personalized and approachable style.


Jackie Hedgpeth

Marine Biology
ALASKA: Exploring Muir's Wilderness; August 7, 2016
ALASKA: Exploring Muir's Wilderness; August 14, 2016

A “Jane-of-all-trades” and master of many, Jackie is a tenured Biology professor with two masters degrees. She has studied botany, plant physiology, biology, microbiology, environmental studies, genetically engineered food products, and other “-ology” subjects extensively.

Her deep interest in Marine Biology has taken her to Alaska each summer since 1997—Jackie has followed the population dynamics of humpback whales, orcas, sea lions, seals, sea otters, salmon, fish, shellfish, and sea birds. Her passion for studying marine mammals, fishes, invertebrates, and ecosystems of the world’s oceans has expanded into scuba diving and underwater photography adventures. Jackie has also sailed worldwide aboard ships as a guest Marine Biology host and lecturer for almost 20 years.

Taking a strong interest in another arm of natural sciences, Jackie has developed her expertise in wine making from the vineyard in the Umpqua Valley AVA of Roseburg, Oregon that she and her husband, Brent, own and work. In addition to the incredible experience of developing a vineyard, her education in the craft has included “faux science experiments” she and her husband have conducted on the vines and soil, collaborations with other viticulturists and vintners, and extensive research on wineries throughout the world. Jackie works with several viticulture colleges in Oregon and Washington and has presented lectures on the unique Columbia River Basin terroir.

Whether on a Marine Biology cruise or a Wine cruise, Jackie’s knowledge, vibrant presentations, and enthusiasm will greatly enhance your experience.


Christine Havens

COLUMBIA & SNAKE RIVERS: Ameritage! Four Rivers of Wine & History; October 29, 2016

The creative, artistic process must be in Christine Havens’ DNA. A fine artist and sculptor by trade, she spent many years cultivating her winegrowing and winemaking expertise—the ideal background for her full-time work as a wine writer today. Her interest in wine was first sparked when she was invited to attend a lecture by Walla Walla Community College’s Associate Director of Enology and Viticulture. She enrolled in the program and after graduating relocated to picturesque Pullman, Washington where she founded a small winery.

Honing her creative style and skills as a winemaker, Christine experimented with Rhone and Bordeaux varieties and specialized in well-received blends, sourcing fruit from some of the most distinctive AVAs in the state, including Walla Walla Valley, Snipes Mountain and Yakima Valley. Later, she worked in the wine retail world and began writing about wine with a focus on great estate wines of Bordeaux and Old World wines. Christine’s background in winegrowing and winemaking has endowed her with technical knowledge and a deep appreciation for the process, and in 2014 she left her day job to write about wines full time from her home in Portland, Oregon.


Wolfgang Kaehler

COSTA RICA & PANAMÁ: Uncharted Isthmus! Sloths, Monkeys & Mangroves; February 11, 2017

Award-winning Wolfgang Kaehler studied photography and photo engineering in his native Germany for six years. Since 1977, he has photographed around the world on assignment for various magazines, advertising agencies, and travel companies, including four years exploring some of the world's most remote regions on expedition cruises.

Wolfgang's photos appear in some of the world's most prestigious publications--National Geographic, Smithsonian, Audubon, and Travel & Leisure, to name a few. He currently lectures for photography organizations and museums, and also leads photo safaris.


Letters From Home

Musical Entertainment - 40's Nostalgia
COLUMBIA & SNAKE RIVERS: Legacy of Discovery; July 30, 2016

Bombshell singing sensations Letters From Home have been fondly referred to as "America's New Sweethearts." Across the country, audiences of all ages enjoy their beautiful harmonies, brilliantly choreographed tap dancing, side-splitting comedy, and audience interaction.

The group was created by Erinn Diaz, whose father served in the United States Coast Guard and suggested she produce an Andrews Sisters tribute show. Erin thought it would be a fun way to entertain and an opportunity to perform some great music and had no idea at the time that this "little show" would have such a significant impact on her life and on the lives of others. Together with Amanda Newman, Letters from Home tours the country to honor veterans, active military and their families through song.


Stephen Matera

COSTA RICA & PANAMÁ: Uncharted Isthmus! Sloths, Monkeys & Mangroves; December 3, 2016

Combining a passion for all things outdoors with a unique eye, Seattle-based photographer Stephen Matera creates images for some of the world’s leading publishers and outdoor companies.

Stephen has developed and applies his vision as a natural landscape photographer to active outdoor sports and lifestyle images. His clients, which include The New York Times, Microsoft, Time, the Audubon society, and Outside Magazine (to name just a few), rely on his ability to consistently deliver creative, inspirational and authentic images for their advertising and editorial stories.


Wes & Michelle Parker

COLUMBIA & SNAKE RIVERS: Ameritage! Four Rivers of Wine & History; August 13, 2016

Born in Sonoma County, and moving to the Willamette Valley as a youngster, Wes Parker has been around vineyards and winemaking for his entire life. Working with local Willamette wineries early in his career, Wes developed his palate and knowledge of wine. Meeting Michelle, he shared his passion for the craft with her and sparked her own love for wines. Together, this husband-wife team founded Koi Pond Cellars in 2011.

Located in the southwest Washington town of Ridgefield, Koi Pond Cellars and other local vintners benefit from a climate similar to the Willamette Valley. Utilizing regional varietals as well as grapes from around the world, Wes and Michelle craft wines that are refined and complex. Today, this family-run operation—with Wes at the helm as CEO and head wine maker, Michelle as assistant wine maker—is known for its hospitality, delicious award-winning wines—particularly big, bold reds, and building lasting relationships with their clients.


Josephine Powell & Paul Richardson

Musical Entertainment - Smooth Jazz
COLUMBIA & SNAKE RIVERS: Legacy of Discovery; July 23, 2016

Paul Richardson's skills on a keyboard are the envy of many players, especially his skills with his left hand. Throughout his career he has performed with many top pop and jazz artists—Herbie Hancock, The Headhunters, Blood, Sweat and Tears, Stephanie Mills, Najee, Chuck Mangioni, Kal David, Big Jay McNeely, The SOS Band, and Little Milton. He's performed in the Paul Robeson Theater production of “Gods Trombones,” Intiman Theater’s “Black Nativity,” and the Seattle Theater Group’s “Lady Day at Emersons Bar and Grill.” He records and performs with many great Pacific Northwest artists—Michael Powers, Deems Tsutakawa, Korla Wygal, Jim Freeman, Darren Motamedy, and Josephine Howell.

Originally from Chicago, Josephine “Josie” Howell is one of the best female vocalists in the Pacific Northwest and runner-up in the Seattle Stars singing competition. Always exploring new avenues of expression, Josie’s performances reflect the spirituality, love, struggles and victories of one who tells a story of triumph where there was no hope. With vocal talents ranging from jazz to R&B to the best birthday song one can imagine, her voice will transport you into the story of her song.


Nate & Becca Schons

Craft Beer
COASTAL WASHINGTON: Explore! Olympic Wilderness & San Juan Islands; October 8, 2016

Co-owners and brewers of Island Hoppin’ Brewery on Orcas Island in Washington State’s San Juans, Nate and Becca Schons are located right in the middle of the Pacific Northwest’s exciting and innovative craft beer scene. Delving into backyard home brew nearly 15 years ago, they successfully turned their passion into their trade in 2012 when they opened a brewery including a 6-tap tasting room with their brewing partner, Jim Parker.

Fascinated by the art and science of crafting delicious libations, they’re growing their business with steady forward momentum. While their beer is delicious, interesting, and thoughtfully crafted, their passion for the craft of beer is immediately infectious—a likely contributing factor to their tasting room becoming such a magnetic community hub on the island.


Steven & Maryann Sinkler

COLUMBIA & SNAKE RIVERS: Ameritage! Four Rivers of Wine & History; October 22, 2016

After realizing they had more than just a love for wine on a cruise to Napa Valley in 2007, Steven and Maryann Sinkler put the wheels in motion to make their passion more than just a hobby. Seven years later, including a move from Iowa to Cannon Beach, Oregon by way of Georgia, they became the proud owners of The Wine Shack, along with their own wine brand, Puffin Wines. Steven, a Sommelier, writes a wine column for the Cannon Beach Gazette and is a Judging Panel Moderator for the Savor Northwest Wine Awards.

Among medals won for Puffin Wines including a Double Gold medal for Puffin Pinot Gris, Steven and Maryann’s accolades include The Wine Shack being named the “best wine shop on the Oregon Coast” by writer Wine Julia and inclusion on GQ Magazine’s list of “Top Wine Stores in America”. All this and they celebrated two decade of wedding bliss, too!


Juan-Carlos Solis

Birding / Ornithology
MEXICO’S SEA OF CORTÉS: Baja’s Bounty; November 26, 2016

Juan-Carlos has cultivated a successful career as a seasoned naturalist and expedition leader with over 20 years of experience. He’s lead expedition trips throughout California and across all 7 of the world’s continents and has presented environmental education lectures in India, Australia, Panama, Chile, Mexico, Argentina, and Sweden. Passionate about connecting people with nature and our planet through hands-on experiences, Juan-Carlos organized the first bilingual bird-count for Latino families in the US.

In addition to leading naturalist expeditions, he was the Public Programs Manager for the California Academy of Sciences for 9 years and Field Associate for the Ornithology and Mammalogy Research Department, leading local and international natural history programs to Antarctica, Baja California, Mexico and Canada’s West Coast. Throughout his career, Juan-Carlos has been praised for his hands-on teaching style, enthusiasm and vision for environmental education.


Boe Trosset

Craft Beer
PACIFIC NORTHWEST: Explore! Olympic Wilderness & San Juan Islands; October 22, 2016

Aslan Brewing Company started when Boe Trosset and his brother Frank, along with friends Pat and Jack, moved their 5 gallon home-brewing project from their parents’ basement to a community warehouse in Bellingham, Washington. Soon after, the partners broke ground on a new brewhouse and pub in Bellingham’s historic McBeath Building, and today, they operate a 15 barrel organic, craft brewhouse. In 2014 the brewery was Washington State’s largest USDA Organic beer producer and in 2015 they won two golds and one silver from the Washington Beer Awards and North American Beer Award.

As one of the owner operators, Boe manages and maintains the brewery production schedule, sales and distribution team, over 500 accounts in Washington State, and tasting events. Boe is a certified beer server through the Cicerone Certification Program and has an immense passion for craft beer and the local community.