Guest Hosts on Theme Departures

Theme 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.

Alaska Insider

400x300-amy-gulick.jpg

Amy Gulick

Alaska: Glacier Bay National Park Adventure Cruise | May 19, 2018
Alaska: Whales, Wildlife, & Glaciers | May 27, 2018

A self-described storyteller, Amy’s tools of the trade include pictures and words. She is also a conservationist and focuses her photography and writing on sharing the important stories of issues most important to her. Among these are the impacts of oil drilling in the Arctic and plastics in the ocean, the illegal wildlife trade, and the protection of endangered species and old-growth forests.

An award-winning photographer and writer, Amy’s multi-media project Salmon in the Trees shares the incredible story of the Tongass Rainforest ecosystem through imagery, a book, videos, and lectures. Her project won two Nautilus Book Awards. The recipient of many honors, she has received awards from the Alaska Conservation Foundation, Alaska Wilderness League,, North American Nature Photography Association, and Society of American Travel Writers Foundation. She is a founding member of the International League of Conservation Photographers and International League of Conservation Writers, among other organizations. http://amygulick.com/

400x300-bob-armstrong.jpg

Bob Armstrong

Alaska: Glacier Bay National Park Adventure Cruise | May 5, 2018

Since his first visit to The Great Land after taking a fisheries job in college over 50 years ago, Bob has had a devoted relationship with Alaska. Bob is a former fishery biologist and research supervisor for Alaska’s Department of Fish and Game, and associate professor of fishery and ornithology at University of Alaska. He is also a prolific author of natural history, guidebooks, and articles and an accomplished, self-taught, professional photographer.

Calling Juneau home, Bob has out-the-front-door access to the birds and wildlife he enjoys writing about and photographing. An attentive “student” of Alaska, he carefully observes and tracks the patterns of local fauna, from beavers to dragonflies to Merlin falcons, learning the conditions and times when he can find and photograph them. Bob’s calm, conscientious style of photography allows him to capture elusive animals that could be easily disturbed into flight. http://www.naturebob.com/

400x300-caroline-fox.jpg

Caroline Fox

Alaska: Alaska's Inside Passage & San Juans Cruise | May 18, 2018

Conservation scientist and marine ecologist, Caroline Fox is as well-known for her talented storytelling, as she is for her meticulous research. Caroline has a bachelor’s in biology and environmental studies from the University of Victoria (UV) and her masters in science, with a focus on kelp forest ecology and the effects of climate change from Case Western Reserve University. She earned her PhD from the UV focusing on land-sea ecological interactions. Throughout her university years, she worked as a lighthouse keeper, creel observer, biologist for the Raincoast Conservation Fund, and aerial surveyor for Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

Caroline’s post-doc work has been focused on marine birds and she continues to work as a biologist for the Raincoast Conservation Foundation. Her book, At Sea with the Marine Birds of the Raincoast, was published in 2016. Learn more about Caroline’s work at www.CarolineFox.ca

400x300-cathy-connor.jpg

Cathy Connor

Alaska: Glacier Bay National Park Adventure Cruise | April 14, 21, 2018

Cathy earned both her bachelors and masters degrees in geology from Stanford University before continuing on to earn her Ph.D in geology with a focus on glaciology from University of Montana. A professor at the University of Alaska Southeast, she teaches courses in geology, mineralogy and petrology, archaeology, environmental science, glaciation, and climate change as well as guiding field research. Cathy was honored with an Outstanding Faculty Award in 2008.

Beyond the university, Cathy has shared her knowledge with others in her guidebook, Roadside Geology of Alaska. During the summers, Cathy heads for Juneau’s icefields to conduct field studies, including research on an ancient forest that has recently reemerged from beneath the retreating Mendenhall Glacier. A long-time Juneau resident, Cathy and her husband raised their three kids in the capital city. They’ve found it to be the perfect launching point for getting out to explore Alaska’s landscapes or waterways by ski, boat, or simply their hiking boots. http://www.uas.alaska.edu/dir/z-emeritus-as-clconn...

400x300-david-shaw.jpg

David Shaw

Alaska: Northern Passages & Glacier Bay | April 21, 2018

David shares some of Alaska’s most wild places and creatures through his lens and words a professional photographer, writer, and wildlife biologist. He also guides birding, photography, and natural history trips throughout Alaska. He has his masters degree in wildlife biology from University of Alaska, Fairbanks, and while he studied avian migrations through Mexico in graduate school, his heart has long been in Alaska.

Living off-the-grid in a small cabin in the forest near Fairbanks, the natural world that most sparks David’s curiosity is right at his fingertips. A nearly two-decade resident in Alaska, David has a passion is conserving and exploring the world’s most wild places and creatures. He has served as a board member with Audubon Alaska for seven years. http://www.explore.david-w-shaw.com/

400x300-joe-upton.jpg

Joe Upton

Alaska: Northern Passages & Glacier Bay | May 26, 2018

Joe made his way to Alaska for the first time in the mid-1960s when he landed a job as a crewman aboard a fishing boat. He was taken under the wing of an old-timer who not only showed him the ropes onboard, but filled days with stories about people and places throughout Southeast Alaska. On that first trip north, Joe fell in love with The Great Land. Throughout the 1970s, he lived in a tiny, roadless village fishing, making maps and photographing the area. In the 1990s, Joe started a publishing company and published his first book, Alaska Blues, based on his early years in Southeast.

With over two decades of experience working, living, and raising a family among small communities and fellow fisherman, Joe has amassed many sea salty stories of the area, as well as an intimate knowledge of the Alaskan coast, and its people, history, and lore. He shares his stories through his books—he’s published several guidebooks for Southeast, several memoirs from his years in the Inside Passage and historical figures, even a young adult fiction. He has produced an extensive series of videos that tell the stories of locals and places throughout the passage. An award-winning author and gifted storyteller, Joe and his wife now live an island life near Seattle.

400x300-kate-and-bill.jpg

Kate Troll & Bill Hanson

Alaska: Alaska's Fjords & Glaciers | May 12, 2018
Alaska: Northern Passages & Glacier Bay | May 19, 2018

Wife-husband duo, Kate Troll and Bill Hanson share a love of words and of Alaska. They moved north to The Great Land in the 1970s to pursue careers in natural resources and land management. In their retirement, both have focused on sharing their experiences and passion for Alaska through written word.

An author, adventurer, and activist, Kate was the executive director for Alaska’s largest fishing organization and pioneered a program to implement salmon stream protections in rural Alaska. In addition to her bi-monthly column in the Alaska Dispatch News, she has written a memoir and screenplays for several films. Bill spent his career as a supervisory biologist, forester, and fire effects specialists for agencies in Alaska including US Dept. of Fish & Game and Bureau of Land Management. Long nurturing his interest in fiction and creative non-fiction, Bill is an Alaskan blogger and has published several novels focused on small fishing communities and characters who are likely to reside in them. http://www.katetroll.com/ http://www.hansonalaska.com/

400x300-kim-heacox.jpg

Kim Heacox

Alaska: Glacier Bay National Park Adventure Cruise | May 26, 2018

Raised in the western states of Idaho and Washington, Kim got his first taste of Alaska as a naturalist ranger in Glacier Bay National Park. That first season offered plenty of adventure for test-your-metal expedition kayaking. He also met his wife there, who was also a park ranger. Photographer, conservationist, and award-winning author of over a dozen books, Kim’s work spans literary fiction to Alaska’s natural history and history of exploration, to memoir.

A resident Alaskan storyteller for more than two decades, Kim and his wife live in the small town of Gustavus, accessible only by boat or plane. Known for his passionate love of Alaska, his writing on his home state has appeared in many publications including National Geographic, Audubon, and Orion. http://kimheacox.com/

400x300-lavern-beier.jpg

LaVern Beier

Alaska: Alaska's Fjords & Glaciers | May 26, 2018

Recognizable by his long grey beard, Alaska bear expert LaVern Beier has tagged and tracked more than 800 bears for research throughout his 35-year career as a field technician in the Alaska Fish & Game bear research program. LaVern first saw Alaska as a teen on a visit to see family. He was enthralled. When he turned 18, he moved north to live off the land in Southeast Alaska’s forests. In the early years, he held many guiding, hunting, and fishing jobs and was taken under the wings of renowned pioneers, guides, and conservationists.

While not educated as a wildlife biologist in a traditional sense, LaVern’s extensive, hands-on experience with wildlife in the backcountry has made him one of few experts in North America at tracking and trapping bears. He is respected greatly by his peers for his meticulous, precise skills, his conservation ethic, and his immense compassion for bears. Over the years, he amassed epic tales, including surviving a helicopter crash and multiple bear attacks. http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=wildlife...

400x300-will-atlas.jpg

Will Atlas

Alaska: Alaska's Inside Passage & San Juans Cruise | April 7, 2018

Will Atlas is a conservation and population ecologist specializing in salmon. He manages a sockeye salmon monitoring program for Heiltsuk First Nation, supporting the tribe’s subsistence fisheries and serves as the science director for the Heiltsuk non-profit, Qqs (“Eyes”) Project Society. After earning his bachelor’s degree in aquatic and fisheries sciences at the University of Washington, he went on to earn a master’s in biology from Simon Fraser University (SFU). He is a PhD candidate at SFU in the salmon watersheds lab focusing on integrating traditional knowledge with scientific insights to support sustainable salmon fisheries.

In addition to teaching several biology courses, Will has given lectures at SFU and the University of Victoria. He has also been a keynote speaker and invited speaker and guest panelist at speaking on salmon stewardship and First Nations community partnerships. When he’s not wader-deep in research, Will can be found fly-fishing, sailing, and honing his photography skills. Read more about Will’s work at www.willatlas.com

Birding / Ornithology

400x300-birding-host-Esteban-Biamonte.jpg

Esteban Biamonte

Costa Rica & Panama: Unveiled Wonders | December 8 & 15, 2017

A biologist and passionate naturalist, Esteban has spent most of his life outside in Costa Rica’s most diverse environments. Discovering an interest in birds at an early age, Esteban has carried his fascination with avian wildlife throughout his career. Writing for many publications, he contributes important observations and insight into the ecology and conservation of local avifauna. Preferring an office in-the-field, he has led countless birding trips and worked with local students sharing his knowledge of Costa Rica’s bird populations. He’s presented on birds of Central America at conservation conventions, and is actively engaged in conservation efforts to protect endemic and migrant species in Costa Rica. Esteban loves to share the little actions that can make a big difference for a better planet.

An avid traveler, Esteban never misses an opportunity to see new, exotic places even if getting into the wilderness means sleeping on the ground. Having travelled throughout three continents, with every new environment he explores, it feels like a lifetime achievement as it grows his understanding of the wild beauty and complexity of our living world. Despite the desire to seek out new destinations, Esteban never loses his interest in his own “backyard” and the many unexpected surprises the rainforest has in store.

400x300-karen-leavelle-bird-host-rev.jpg

Karen Leavelle

Costa Rica & Panama: Unveiled Wonders | January 19 & 26, 2018

Founder and executive director of Osa Birds: Research and Conservation, Karen’s current work is focused on protecting birds and their habitats on Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula. But with over 20 years of experience working throughout the Americas, she has a deep knowledge of avian species throughout the continents. While earning her masters of science degree in avian ecology and natural resources studies from University of Nebraska, Lincoln, she had the opportunity to research the endemic, endangered blue-headed quail-dove in Cuba. Other projects have similarly been focused on conservation and research, including work with the Peregrine Fund on California Condor reintroduction in Arizona, researching breeding biology of Neotropical migratory birds in the United States, and studying the ecology of the endangered yellow-billed cotinga and black-cheeked ant tanager of Costa Rica.

Committed to interdisciplinary studies of avian conservation, Karen works closely with a variety of groups including students, university faculty and local communities to conduct research and provide education opportunities. With so many years living and working on the Osa Peninsula and southern Pacific Coast region of Costa Rica, she is particularly committed to protecting the biodiversity of resident and migratory birds that rely on those environments.

400x300-Lyanda-Haupt.jpg

Lyanda Lynn Haupt

Pacific Northwest: Explore! Olympic Wilderness & San Juan Islands | April 21, 2018

Naturalist, author, and speaker, Lyanda is working to help connect people with nature in their everyday lives. Her belief is that no matter where we live, in a “forest cabin, suburban bungalow, or urban condo…connection to nature inspires our deepest imaginings, artfulness, intelligence, and activism.” Based in Seattle, she has written multiple books on how experiences with nature and wildlife can be found right outside your backdoor.

A master birder with a graduate degree in eco-philosophy, Lyanda has directed educational programs for Seattle Audubon, rehabilitated raptors, and conducted seabird research for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Her work has earned her honors including the Washington State Book Award and Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award. Learn more at www.LyandaLynnHaupt.com

Craft Beer

400x300-nate-becca-schons.jpg

Nate & Becca Schons

Coastal Washington: Explore! Olympic Wilderness & SJIs | April 7, 2018

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. Check out their site here: http://www.islandhoppinbrewery.com/

400x300-Robyn-Schumacher-Beer-Host.jpg

Robyn Schumacher

Coastal Washington: Explore! Olympic Wilderness & SJIs | April 14, 2018

Robyn Schumacher is one of the owners and brewers at Stoup Brewing in Seattle, Washington. Stoup Brewing melds Robyn’s two great loves—beer and science. As a recovering high school science teacher, she brings an educator’s mind to the art and science of beer.

Robyn’s beer journey started with her first sip of craft brewed Hefeweizen while studying biology in Helena, Montana. The beer seed was planted right then and there and would follow her for the rest of her life. After her first career—13 years teaching—she decided that the beer industry was just too alluring to ignore. In a reversal of roles, Robyn hit the books and immersed herself in the brewing community while studying for the Cicerone Certification Exam. In 2012, Robyn became Washington State’s first female Cicerone (certified beer server).

Marine Biology

400x300-Jackie-hedgpeth.jpg

Jackie Hedgpeth

Costa Rica & Panama: Unveiled Wonders—Costa Rica & Panama Canal | June 22, 2018
Alaska: Alaska's Glaciers & Whales | August 19, 2018

A “Jane-of-all-trades” and master of many, Jackie is a tenured Biology professor with two masters degrees. She has studied marine biology, physiology of animals and plants, anatomy, botany, biology, microbiology, environmental studies, genetically engineered food products, and other “-ology” subjects extensively. Jackie has sailed worldwide aboard ships as a guest marine biology host and naturalist lecturer for almost 20 years.

Jackie’s deep interest in Marine Biology has taken her to Alaska each summer since 1997, and around the globe from New Zealand to the Red Sea, Russia, Cambodia, and, extensively, to Central America. Throughout her research and travels, she has followed population dynamics of humpback whales, orcas, sea lions, sea otters, salmon, and sea birds. Her passion for studying marine mammals and ocean ecosystems has grown to include scuba diving and underwater photography. A PADI certified rescue diver, her most recent dives have been in Cuba, Thailand/Myanmar, Fiji, and Churchill, Manitoba with Beluga whales. While her strongest desire it’s to always be in the water, Jackie spends her downtime cultivating the vineyard she and her husband own in the Umpqua Valley AVA, Oregon. With such a strong background in science, it’s no surprise that the pair is in the habit of conducting “faux science experiments” on the vines and soil to find out what work best in their terroir.

400x300-dr-wallace-j-nichols.jpg

Dr. Wallace “J.” Nichols

Costa Rica & Panama: Unveiled Wonders | June 15, 2018

Dr. Wallace “J.” Nichols has been called the “Keeper of the Sea” by GQ Magazine and “a visionary” by Outside Magazine. An entrepreneurial scientist, water advocate, author, and well-known marine biologist, J. focuses on what he calls the Blue Mind—an mindset that values healthy oceans and waterways and our relationships with them. A prolific lecturer, J. has appeared in many media outlets including NPR, BBC, PBS, Animal Planet, Fast Company, Surfer, and Scientific American. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in biology and Spanish from DePauw University, a Master’s in natural resource economics and policy from Duke University, and a PhD in wildlife ecology and evolutionary biology from the University of Arizona. He was the recipient of a Bradley Fellowship to study sea level rise at Duke, a University of Arizona Marshall Fellowship, and Fulbright Fellowship to study at the Universidad Autonoma de Mexico marine station in Mazatlán.

Work, play, and passion are intertwined for J. He lives with his family on the California coast, in an area known as the Slowcoast for its residents’ approach of supporting local artisans and farmers, and the marine environment. An avid traveler, he has trekked the entire Pacific coastline from Oregon to Mexico. In 2010 he received an honorary doctorate in science from DePauw, was inducted as a Fellow National member of the Explorers Club in 2011, and in 2014 received the University of Arizona's Global Achievement Award. Learn more: www.wallacejnichols.org

Music / Entertainment

400x300-letters-from-home-music-theme.jpg

Letters from Home

Alaska: Alaska's Glaciers & Whales | June 3, 2018 - book early! Last date sold out!

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 Courtney Groves, Letters from Home tours the country to honor veterans, active military and their families through song. More on their website: lettersfromhomesingers.com

Photography

400x300-Liz-Olof-Carmel.jpg

Elizabeth and Olof Carmel

Alaska: Alaska Fjords & Glaciers | May 5, 2018

Elizabeth and Olof Carmel are a photography team who own two successful art galleries. They love the landscapes of Alaska, where they have taken many of their best-selling images.

Elizabeth’s expressive landscapes and “waterscapes” of the natural world capture the subtle details with stunning clarity and color. Her award winning images are in numerous private collections and galleries including the Smithsonian Museum, California Museum of Photography, and Nevada Museum of Art. Elizabeth has two published books of photography, is a columnist for Outdoor Photographer Magazine, and her work has been featured in People Magazine, Professional Photographer, Hasselblad Forum, Sierra Magazine, Sierra Heritage, and Tahoe Quarterly. She was one of 12 photographers selected as a Hasselblad Master Photographer in 2006.

Olof began his photo career in a prominent San Francisco-area custom black and white lab in the early 1980s. During the 1980s and 1990s he worked as a Backcountry Ranger and photographer with the National Park Service in Yosemite, Denali, Glacier, Mt. Rainier and Rocky Mountain National Parks including a seven-year residence in Yosemite Valley. In addition to photography, Olof has a background in drawing and watercolors - an influence that can be seen in some of his images. His award winning prints are available in small open editions or as limited editions of 200.

400x300-jacqueline-deely.jpg

Jacqueline Deely

Alaska: Alaska's Glaciers & Whales | May 27, 2018

Originally from the United Kingdom, Jacqueline has lived in the U.S. for most of her adult life and calls northern California home. Specializing in wildlife photography, she is a member of the North American Nature Photography Association. With a deep interest in conservation, she utilizes her photos to raise awareness and funds for the causes that align with her values. Jacqueline’s images have been published by and supported Audubon California, the San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory, and the Wildlife Conservation Network. She has won numerous awards from organizations including the North American Nature Photography Association and the San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory.

What began for Jacqueline as a hobby has become both an exciting way of life and a dream come true. Combining her lifelong passion for wildlife and the outdoors with her love of exploring, Jacqueline is driven to roam the globe in pursuit of nature's wonders. Among her travels are annual trips to the polar regions teaching photography on expedition tours. A natural instructor, she also conducts classes in her local area. You can view Jacqueline's website here: www.jacquelinedeely.com

400x300-jaymi-heimbuch.jpg

Jaymi Heimbuch

Alaska: Whales, Wildlife & Glaciers | August 26, 2018

A San Francisco-based photographer and writer, Jaymi is passionate about creating engaging storytelling through her words and images. Her special focus has been telling the stories of animal life across the world, from the wildest wildlife to furry companions who run wild in our backyards. She has leant her skills to building awareness about the endangered Ethiopian wolf, river otter recovery, and documenting the urban coyote and gray fox.

Jaymi’s work has been published in National Geographic Books, Sierra Magazine, National Wildlife Magazine, Huffington Post, and BBC Wildlife Magazine. She is a board member with the North American Nature Photography Association, an International League of Conservation Photographers affiliate and member of shelter animal advocacy and art non-profit, HeARTs Speak. In 2014, a photo she took of a rescue dog was selected by the United Nations Postal Administration as one of only six images to be made into a stamp for International Day of Happiness. http://www.jaymiheimbuch.com/about

400x300-peter-west-carey-photographer.jpg

Peter West Carey

Costa Rica & Panama: Unveiled Wonders | November 24; December 1, 2017

A love for travel and photography has taken Seattle-based Peter West Carey around the world in search of beautiful vistas. He has accumulated over 26 years of experience photographing landscape, travel, and nature scenes, including over eight years teaching others to capture the beauty around them. He has instructed classes around the world including in Nepal, Bhutan, Mexico, Oregon, and Alaska. Peter's educational style is to provide patient, resourceful guidance, helping others learn to take stunning images that tell the true story of the journeys they experience.

In addition to teaching, Peter has been invited by the countries of Jordan, Bhutan and Mexico, as well Hawaii, Colorado and British Columbia, to photograph their natural wonders and travel opportunities. His images have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, National Audubon Society Magazine, Alaska Airlines Beyond Magazine, Huffington Post, Washington Magazine, and American Alpine Club Journal. View his photography on his website: peterwestcarey.com

400x300-pf-bentley.jpg

PF Bentley

Alaska: Alaska's Glaciers & Whales | May 20, 2018

PF grew up in Honolulu and got his start in photography by snapping surf photos of friends and covering Hawaiian music concerts for Sunbums, a bi-weekly newspaper. Throughout his 30-year career as an award-winning photojournalist and documentary filmmaker, PF covered 70s rock and roll, and domestic and international politics. He is a former photographer and special correspondent for Time magazine and won five first-place Picture of the Year awards.

Sharing his knowledge, PF was a lead instructor for Platypus Workshops, training photojournalists on video-journalism production. He also taught visual journalism courses at the Brooks Institute of Photography. Today, PF lives on Moloka‘i, Hawaii, where he teaches one-on-one photography workshops for clients such as the International Monetary Fund, Golf Digest, and Hawaiian Airlines Magazine. He continues to shoot and edit work for clients including ABC Nightline, The Travel Channel, and Warner Books. Learn more on his website, www.PFPix.com

400x300-Eric-Lindberg.jpg

Eric Lindberg

Costa Rica & Panama: Unveiled Wonders | April 20 & 27, 2018

Specializing in adventure travel, culture, wildlife, and the natural world, California-based photographer Eric Lindberg travels to familiar and remote corners of the world in search of the exotic, the exquisite, and the offbeat. His journeys have taken him throughout Asia, Africa, Antarctica, the South Pacific, Europe, and the Americas. Covering subjects ranging from foreign rail journeys and wilderness river expeditions to American road trips and urban cultural destinations, his award-winning photos and stories have appeared in magazines, guidebooks, calendars, newspapers, tourism websites, and promotional travel publications nationwide and overseas.

Eric is the 2013 and 2011 winner of the prestigious Travel Photographer of the Year award, Society of American Travel Writers. He provides destination imagery for numerous tourism offices and visitors bureaus in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. For more information visit www.ericlindberg.com.

400x300-Steve-Matera.jpg

Stephen Matera

Costa Rica & Panama: Pure Panama | May 18, 2018

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. You can see Stephen's photography on his websites: stephenmatera.com and/or materaphoto.com

400x300-Steve-Essig.jpg

Steve Essig

Costa Rica & Panama: Unveiled Wonders—Costa Rica & Panama Canal | May 25, 2018
Mexico's Sea of Cortes: Baja's Bounty | March 23, 2019


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.

Wellness

400x300-alex-schimmel.png

Alex Schimmel

Alaska: Glacier Bay Small Ship Cruise—Fitness & Yoga | April 29, 2018

The son of a yoga instructor, Alex was familiar with downward dog and happy baby from an early age, though in his youth, baseball was his big interest. He realized the mental and physical benefits of yoga in college after reading how much it could improve his ball game. Shortly after, he was diagnosed with Crohn's disease and found yoga to be the most effective treatment and he dove fully into the practice studying with some of the top teachers in the U.S. Alex is a registered yoga teacher, yoga teacher trainer, and Life Time studio manager.

Today, yoga is the basis for Alex’s holistic approach to life and he has seen the transformational effects it can have in himself and in his students. His practice has helped him reach a happier, healthier and more positive place. Alex believes yoga practice can benefit all people no matter their ability or background and leads to greater personal awareness, overall comfort, and being ready for anything life throws at you. He calls his practice “OMasis”—a combination of OM and oasis.

400x300-amy-armbrust.jpg

Amy Armbrust

Mexico's Sea of Cortes: Baja's Bounty—Fitness & Yoga | January 13, 2018

The daughter of aerobics instructor and nutrition expert, Amy developed her interest in wellness at a young age. She is a certified yoga instructor through Life Time Fitness. With a passion and bachelors degree in theater and dance, she incorporates Pilates and barre into her classes. Amy is also a certified personal trainer and certified in Precision Nutrition and weaves all disciplines together in her approach to wellness.

Amy’s goal is to help her students find balance and develop healthy habits that stick—not just quick fixes. A mom of four, she understands the juggle of a busy life and believes fitness, workouts, and nutrition can be fit into any experience. Amy is known by her students for her inspiring approach, love of life and sense of humor—that infuses all of her classes.

400x300-anna-winton_copy.png

Anna Winton

Alaska: Glacier Bay Small Ship Cruise—Fitness & Yoga | September 2, 2018

Anna hails from Minneapolis where she grew up as a competitive gymnast. After college, her interests turned toward triathlons, and technique and strength-driven sports. A National Academy of Sports Medicine certified personal trainer and corrective exercise specialist, and certified peak pilates trainer, Anna is passionate about helping people from all walks of life find their way to healthier lifestyles. She brings awareness of fitness functionality to all endeavors, focusing on athleticism, muscle focus, and postural awareness in all endeavors whether it’s a hike, kettlebell class, or Life Time TEAM boot camp.

Instructing a wide spectrum of courses from barre to strength training and cardio dance, Anna has taught group fitness classes for over a decade. She specializes in utilizing pilates to overcome injuries, joint replacements, chronic pain, and imbalances due to sports, overuse, and everyday life. Outside of her classes at Life Time Fitness, Anna spends as much time in the great outdoors as possible, whether paddling on the lake or enjoying happy hour on a sunny patio with friends.

400x300-dee-hein.jpg

Dee Hein

Costa Rica & Panama: Unveiled Wonders—Fitness & Yoga | January 5, 2018

Dee has been a yoga student for more than two decades and a yoga instructor for over 17 years. She has completed training programs through Ganga White, Ananda Yoga, Forrest Yoga, Gary Kraftsow, and other yoga, meditation, and massage masters. Her approach combines all of these healing arts. In addition to teaching yoga and mediation, she has been a massage practitioner for over 20 years and is continuously inspired by the healing power of touch.

Prior to opening her yoga studio in Seattle’s Beacon Hill neighborhood, Dee owned a yoga and meditation retreat center on Orcas Island, providing workshops for people living with cancer and their families. A joyful, intuitive, and compassionate teacher, Dee sees the practice of yoga as a path for connecting with our essence and higher spirit. With this intention at the heart, she guides her students toward their brightest selves.

400x300-hunt-parr-yoga-wellness.jpg

Hunt Parr

Costa Rica & Panama: Unveiled Wonders—Fitness & Yoga | January 12, 2018

Originally from Petersburg, Alaska, Hunt is currently based in New York City. A highly-sought yoga teacher and modern dance artist, he earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance from the Tisch School of the Arts, NYU. A registered yoga teacher, he completed some of his 1,000 teacher training hours under renowned instructors Cyndi Lee and Adrienne Burke. He has provided yoga instruction and consultation for Buzzfeed, A&E Networks, Animal Planet, Lifetime and the History Channel and has been featured on the Huffington Post and in Yoga Journal publications. He currently teaches private sessions and also maintains a busy group class schedule at several studios in the city. Hunt is also a Reiki Master teacher and a devoted student of Tibetan Buddhist philosophy.

While his classes are vigorous, Hunt always adds a bit of fun and play to the practice. The sequences he presents are unique and his style of instruction had been described by students as lyrical. Calling himself a “student of anatomy, meditation, movement, music, and happiness” you can be sure your body, heart, and spirit will be charged up and inspired after a practice with him.

400x300-josh-gibbons.jpg

Josh Gibbons

Mexico's Sea of Cortes: Baja's Bounty—Fitness & Yoga | January 13, 2018

Josh cultivated an active, outdoors-oriented lifestyle from a young age and maintained that focus through school, earning a bachelors degree in Exercise Science from the University of Kansas. He is a certified personal trainer, certified strength and conditioning specialist, performance sports coach, and an area training manager with Life Time Fitness. He has twice been profiled in Experience Life Magazine for his training style.

Whether working one-on-one or in groups of 20 to 200, Josh believes in helping each of his students find the health and wellness solutions they seek. In addition to boot camp, fitness, or weight loss oriented classes, Josh tailors programs for individual goals and has worked extensively with veterans through the Wounded Warrior Project. Josh’s approach is to ignite motivation, challenge students’ minds and bodies, and provide the resources to help each student realize their lifelong fitness goals.

400x300-wellness-cruise-lindsay-ogden.jpg

Lindsay Ogden

Mexico's Sea of Cortes: Baja's Bounty—Fitness & Yoga | December 2, 2017

Growing up in Iowa, Lindsay’s love of the outdoors and being active began at an early age. She feels privileged to have turned her passion into a career and holds a certification from the esteemed Precision Nutrition. She earned her degree from Iowa State University and while attending school, worked with the ISU athletic department. She is also a certified alpha master trainer, nutrition coach, and program development manager with Life Time Fitness in Minnesota.

Lindsay’s whole-body approach to personal training combines both fitness and healthy nutrition. Her students describe her as an incredible listener and dynamic professional. While Lindsay has a strong drive to make change happen, she also keeps sight of balance, and in addition to active time outside, she’ll happily take advantage of the opportunity to sneak in an afternoon snooze whenever she can.

400x300-makenzie-fly-yoga.jpg

MaKenzie Fly

Mexico's Sea of Cortes: Baja's Bounty—Fitness & Yoga | December 2, 2017

Originally from a small town in Oklahoma, MaKenzie now calls Las Vegas, NV home. She is a certified yoga instructor and yoga teacher trainer for Life Time Fitness, Las Vegas and teaches numerous classes and workshops at the health club. A joyful student and grateful teacher, MaKenzie believes health and wellness are accessible to everyone. She instructs students of all levels through practices of varying speeds and intensities, including her favorite inversion workshop “Flight School.” MaKenzie is also a certified health coach through Dr. Sears Wellness Institute and a sought-after lecturer on whole food nutrition.

MaKenzie attended Belmont University in Nashville, TN where she earned her bachelor’s degree in musical theater and dance. In addition to yoga, she is passionate about performing arts and continues dance and sing professionally. From the Panama Canal to Norway’s fjords, she’s an avid traveler. MaKenzie and her husband have even performed jazz standards aboard cruise ships as “That Crooner Couple.”

400x300-mary-van-heukelom.jpg

Mary Van Heukelom

Costa Rica & Panama: Unveiled Wonders—Fitness & Yoga | January 5 & 12, 2018

Mary places the focus of her practice on guiding and inspiring others to discover their optimal health of mind, body and spirit. She is a certified personal trainer, ACSM-certified cancer exercise trainer, and RRCA-certified running coach. Mary has also completed training seminars in kettlebell, TRX, Pilates, indoor cycling, HIIT, wellness coaching, and meditation. She brings on board unique expertise in corrective exercises to ease pain and improve balance, the positive impact of meditation on whole health, goal setting, nutrition, and key training for ideal health.

Mary takes a whole-health approach to helping her clients overcome barriers through small group training where she can provide focused attention to meet individual needs. She specializes in coaching cancer survivors on a holistic path toward eliminating relapse and boosting recovery. Throughout her programs, Mary has trained and led cancer survivors on treks to Mt. Everest Basecamp, Mt. Kilimanjaro, and Race Across America, among other challenging objectives. An adventurer to the core, she finds a way to get outside—ski, kayak, bike, swim, no matter the weather and conditions in her Iowa home.

400x300-tessa-foss.jpg

Tessa Foss

Alaska: Glacier Bay Small Ship Cruise—Fitness & Yoga | April 29, 2018

Tessa found her way to a career in wellness after being her own first whole-health success story. After losing 80lbs, this mother of three was asked for help by friends and family. She is a NASM certified personal trainer and corrective exercise specialist, and Precision Nutrition certified nutrition coach. Tessa provides one-on-one coaching and leads groups at Life Time Fitness that focus on heart rate zone, cardiovascular training and strength training.

Tessa’s approach is to provide accountability, friendship, and support to her students in pursuit of optimal health, with a balance of nutrition and exercise. She believes that nutrition and exercise don’t need to be complicated, a philosophy mirrored in her approachable style and welcoming energy. Motivated by seeing her students discover their own “a ha!” moments, she is committed to helping each along their individual, lifelong path of wellness.

400x300-tracy-jennings-hill.jpg

Tracy Jennings-Hill

Alaska: Glacier Bay Small Ship Cruise—Fitness & Yoga | September 2, 2018

Tracy discovered yoga after sustaining an injury on active duty with the US Air Force. She discovered the balance of a healthy lifestyle in vinyasa style yoga. Retiring from the military after serving 20 years, she pursued her dream of becoming a yoga and fitness professional. Tracy is a registered yoga teacher and yoga teacher trainer specializing in vinyasa, yoga philosophy, and Ayurveda. She has taught in India, Taiwan, Germany, and Egypt. In addition to yoga, she has taught group fitness for twenty years and holds NASM and ACE personal trainer certifications.

Tracy believes in meeting her students where they are and helping them grow, and is continuously inspired when she sees the “lightbulb” come on in their eyes as they find new personal growth. Currently, she is the studio manager at Life Time Fitness in Georgia, where she instructs classes with a focus on functional training and daily meditation and yoga practices for longevity and to perpetuate total wellness. In addition to yoga, she teaches indoor cycling, dance, and strength and endurance training.

Wine

400x300-April-reddout-wine-host.jpg

April Reddout

Columbia & Snake Rivers: Rivers of Wine | October 27, 2018

Motivated by her curious nature, April Reddout dove headfirst into a career in wine in 2008. Over the years, she’s come to realize the more she learns, the more she realizes there’s even more still to discover. One of her biggest drives in her work is finding ways to debunk wine myths and help people feel confident while they learn about wine. As the wine program director for the Walter Clore Wine & Culinary Center in Prosser, WA, she designs and oversees the wine education programs provided by the center. Programs provided by the center include topics from Washington vs. German tastings to the region’s history of wine.

Thoroughly involved in the industry, April judges 10 wine competitions per year and has served as a panelist for Great Northwest Wine. In 2017 she will serve as a judge for the SavorNW Wine Awards, one of the largest competitions highlighting Pacific Northwest wines.

400x300-sarah-wolcott.jpg

Sarah Wolcott

Columbia & Snake Rivers: Rivers of Wine | October 20, 2018

Growing up on farm near the confluence of the Snake and Columbia rivers and attending college in Walla Walla, Washington, Sarah is intimately familiar with the rich, wine-growing regions of Washington and Oregon. After leading tours in the Walla Walla wine country during her college years, she continued on to earn her wine-specific master’s degree from Kedge Business School in Bordeaux, France. Her “hands-on” education includes travels and tastings in wine regions throughout the U.S. and the world including Latin America and Europe.

Sarah is an instructor of wine marketing and tourism at Washington State University and is a wine-business strategy consultant. She is passionate about telling the story of wine and has written about wine for over fifteen years, including for Bend Lifestyle Magazine and spoke about busting the myths of wine at TEDxSpokane. Residing in Bend, Oregon with her fly-fishing guide husband, she spends her downtime rafting the rivers near home whenever she can.

400x300-Steven-Maryann-Sinkler-Wine-Shack.jpg

Steven & Maryann Sinkler

Columbia & Snake Rivers: Rivers of Wine | December 1, 2018

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!