Provide an insider’s perspective on the cultures we explore
X of X
Engage in the human history of the places you explore, and learn the ways of contemporary life.
On select voyages, cultural specialists are added to an already impressive lineup of naturalists, historians, and guest speakers to further illuminate local life.
These cultural commentators are leaders in their fields, some still engaged in conducting research, who know the region intimately. You’ll have ample opportunity to learn from them in onboard lectures, and engage with them on a one-to-one basis to learn more about their topic or backgrounds.
When in South America, a wine expert may talk about the local vineyards and their effect on the national economies. In West Africa, you’ll learn about the vital tradition of spiritual music in this part of the world. In Alaska, a native interpreter will reveal the landscape through the filter of myth and tradition. No matter the topic, they’ll add to your appreciation and contribute a vital, but not easily discovered, facet of a region.
Featured Cultural Specialists
Suzana Machado D'Oliveira
Suzana Machado D’Oliveira was born and raised in Brazil, where she studied history at the Catholic University in Rio de Janeiro. Her diverse interests encompass a wide range of cultural, historical and biological subjects.
Australian Suzanne Noakes has been traveling in Melanesia for the last two decades, leading trips in Papua New Guinea for private groups, university alumni and conservation associations, and has developed a deep understanding of Papua New Guinea's people, culture, language, flora and fauna.
Konia was born in Germany, but she fell in love with Scotland twenty seven years ago when she first visited. Settling on Scotland's West Coast, Konia quickly immersed herself in the local culture, the remarkable natural settings, and the history of the Highlands.
Gemma is a native Greek, born in Athens. She completed three years of study in the Licensed Lecturer Guides School of Athens, and for the last 19 years has been working as a licensed guide in English and Spanish, conducting various types of land tours and cruises all over Greece.
Jacob is an ethnomusicologist, world music tastemaker and global explorer with an insatiable curiosity for the diverse ways in which people express themselves through music. Jacob’s adventures have taken him to dozens of countries, and hundreds of the world’s greatest international music festivals, showcases and performance venues in search of exceptional musical talents.
A native of Athens, Stella Galani is a Greek scholar with extensive experience leading groups through her native country and revealing the rich history and culture of her homeland. Stella earned a master's degree in cultural anthropology from SUNY Albany and is completing her doctorate degree in anthropology at University College in London. Stella looks forward to bringing the ancient sites and civilizations of her country to life for travelers.
Lora grew up on the island of Corfu, and after high school lived for extended periods in England and Germany. She completed undergraduate studies at the National Guiding College and worked for a number of years as a travel agent on Corfu. She has been guiding visitors to Greece since 1997, often guides VIP guests of the Greek government, and also conducts archeological tours for the municipality of Athens. Her knowledge and effervescent manner have made her a great favorite with our guests.
"When in Rio, do as the Cariocas (Rio natives) do", writes Priscilla Ann Goslin, author of How to Be a Carioca. Priscilla has made Rio her home for more than 38 years and will give us an insider’s view into the unique daily rituals of the charming natives who populate this marvelous city.
Effie was born in Kozani, in the northern part of Greece. She studied for two years at the Superior School of Tourism Administration. She attended the Guide School of Corfu during the period of 1998 – 2000. She has traveled extensively in Greece and Europe. She speaks English, French and German. Her interests include music, sailing, traveling, reading and foreign languages.
Eleni is a native of Athens who studied English from the age of 5. She also developed a passionate interest in history and archaeology at a young age, and completed her degree in those subjects at the University of Athens. She continued her studies with courses and seminars at a number of locations in Greece. She has taught English and Greek, and has been helping travelers discover Greece since 1996.
Sophia Theona was born in Canada but has lived most of her life in Greece. She studied at the University of Athens and the National School for guides. For more than two decades she has guided specialized tours around Greece. Guests often call her “the eternal traveler” because her enthusiasm about every aspect of history, archaeology and life in Greece inspires the people she is traveling with.
Born in Piraeus into a family with roots in Macedonia, Greece, “Smaro” majored in sociology at university, then received an M.A. in cultural heritage theory at University College in London. She also completed a three-year course of study at the School of Guides in Athens. She has been guiding university, museum and other groups in Greece since 1998. She is fluent in Greek, English and Italian, and is a member of the World Archaeological Congress and the Initiative of Heritage Conservancy. Smaro enjoys reading, travelling, trekking and — still — studying!