MEET THE EXPERTS
Our award winning expert-led cruises program provides recognised explorers, scientists and writers a platform for research and for the design of exceptional expeditions, exclusively available to our guests. Browse Our Expert-Led Cruises.
Ray & Angela Hale
Ray and Angela Hale have travelled the length and breadth of both Indonesia and Malaysia in search of endangered species. They have discovered and photographed hundreds of species from the endearing Orangutans to the tiniest of insects. Over the last 20 years, Ray has delivered many lectures around the world and is passionate about reconnecting people with nature and conserving the Earth’s endangered animals. His aim on this trip is to ensure that the guests, be they entomologists, wildlife photographers, experienced explorers or simply nature lovers visiting the islands of Indonesia for the first time, are given the best possible chance of success.
Dr. Lawrence Blair
Dr. Lawrence Blair has spent much of the past 40 years living in, exploring and making films about Indonesia. In 2006 he wrote and presented, for SKY TV UK, the five-part series Myths, Magic and Monsters, which explores the stranger sides of both nature and the human mind. He is also the writer, presenter and co-producer (with his late brother, Lorne) of the internationally acclaimed series RING OF FIRE, (PBS in the States, and BBC in the UK) which won two Emmy awards in l988, and awakened the world to Indonesia’s existence. In addition to having been Visiting Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Southern California, Lawrence has also co-written and or co-presented such documentary films as Bali – Island of the Dogs, Baraka, and The Coral Triangle, which has been airing this year on Animal Planet. Lawrence is much in demand as a speaker both on cruise ships and private expeditionary vessels to the remotest parts of Indonesia.
Jeffrey Mellefont is a research associate of the Australian National
Maritime Museum, where he had a long career as a publisher and editor.
Formerly a blue-water mariner, celestial navigator and skipper, Jeffrey
became a specialist marine writer and photographer and has made a
lifetime study of the fascinating maritime world of Asia and in
particular of Indonesia. He has published extensively on these subjects
in both popular and academic journals. Jeffrey has been visiting
Indonesia since 1975 when he was immediately drawn into the maritime
life of this tropical archipelago with its extraordinarily diverse
cultures and history – as well as the study of Bahasa Indonesia, a
national language with its roots in the ancient world of sailors and
seaborne traders. Jeffrey’s richly illustrated presentations on your
SeaTrek cruise draw upon decades of research and adventures sailing with
the traditional seafarers and boat builders of Indonesia. He has also
sailed through the archipelago by yacht. Jeffrey has shared his
knowledge and enthusiasm for this oceanic world by leading tour groups
exploring maritime themes in Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia and India.
David and Sue Richardson
David and Sue are passionate researchers and collectors of Asian textiles and since first visiting Indonesia in 1980, David and Sue have systematically visited every part of the archipelago, both overland and by sea using a variety of local vessels. Over the years David and Sue have assembled one of the finest and most comprehensive private collections of Indonesian and other Asian textiles, many of museum quality. They are members of the Textile Society of America as well as the Oxford Asian Textile Group, which is affiliated to the Ashmolean and the Pitt Rivers Museums of the University of Oxford. The Oxford Asian Textile Group was until recently chaired by Dr Ruth Barnes, a leading academic expert on the textiles of Eastern Indonesia.
David has a doctorate in quantum physics from Cambridge University and in his early career he spent several years working with the Ministry of Education in Jakarta on two major government aid projects to completely re-equip the universities of Indonesia with scientific equipment. Sue is an English graduate who spent her career in training and human resources for a leading chain of British department stores. They live in Nottingham with their two cats, Treacle and Truffle.
Dr. George Beccaloni
Dr George Beccaloni is an zoologist, evolutionary biologist and historian of science, who worked at London’s Natural History Museum (NHM) for more than 20 years on butterflies and other insects. He enjoys natural history photography and travel, and has visited Indonesia five times, twice as a speaker on tours. George has studied Wallace’s life and work for c. 16 years and is the founder and Director of the Wallace Correspondence Project. In 1999 he set up the Wallace Memorial Fund, which restored Wallace’s grave in Dorset and paid for several memorials to him, including a bronze statue now in the NHM. George has published a number of articles about Wallace and co-edited the book Natural Selection and Beyond: The Intellectual Legacy of Alfred Russel Wallace. He was the Historical Consultant for Bill Bailey’s Jungle Hero, an award winning two-part BBC series about Wallace, and he recently helped the Folio Society produce the first ‘deluxe’ edition of Wallace’s famous travelogue The Malay Archipelago.
To read more about George, visit this link on the BBC website.
Gert De Jong
In 1990, Gert de Jong lived in the Moluccas for six months as a student in marine biology studying dugongs and seagrass. He fell in love with the oceanic islands of eastern Indonesia and its people. He then worked as an ecology consultant in studies on marine mammals, and as a teacher of biology in Amsterdam. In 2008, he started a conservation project for the seabirds that were breeding on remote Indonesian islands. For pan-tropical seabirds, such as frigate birds, there are only a few islands left of refuge on which they can breed in Southeast Asia. Since 2012 Gert has worked as an independent researcher studying swifts in Amsterdam during their breeding season, and since 2015, he has been continuing the Indonesian seabird project, to study and protect the unique island habitats in the Flores and Banda Seas.
Dr. Kees Groeneboer
A linguist, historian and 30-year resident of Jakarta, Dr. Kees Groeneboer is passionate about the spectacular birdlife of his adopted homeland. He has travelled extensively though Indonesia’s eastern isles on countless missions to see, hear, and identify as many as possible of these graceful, colourful and often-endangered denizens of the forests and the cliffs. He often shares his enthusiasm with others by leading specialist bird-watching cruises aboard the Katharina during which he embellishes his bird expertise with his in-depth knowledge of Indonesian history and culture. He is published on language policy and has a PhD in the history of the Dutch colonial policy in Indonesia from 1600 onwards.
Alexander Reeuwijk is an expert in the field of the history of evolutionary theory, together with Redmon O’Hanlon’s he wrote the book “Darwin, Wallace and others’ in which the contributions of Darwin and Wallace on evolution are compared. Alexander has traveled extensively through the ‘interior’ of Indonesia, He visited Sumatra, Sulawesi the Moluccas and spend one month in Aru where he studied the Greater Bird of Paradise.
Dutch photographer Thijs Heslenfeld has travelled all over the world, focusing on the planet’s most remote and unhospitable corners. His images are characterised by careful composition and an eye for the smallest details that people tend to overlook. He prefers natural light and doesn’t like styling. His work covering seven continents has been published in magazines worldwide such as National Geographic, GEO Saison, Professional Photographer and Holland Herald. He has published six award-winning photo books on remote places like Antarctica, the Amazon, the Australian outback and the deserts of Namibia. He leads adventurous photography workshops to destinations such as the Caribbean, Namibia and Morocco, and is a sought-after speaker. For more information and to view his portfolio, visit www.thijsheslenfeld.com