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.
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.
Dr. Tony Whitten
Dr. Tony Whitten was trained as a wildlife biologist and since late 2010 he is the former Regional Director for Asia-Pacific at Fauna & Flora International, the world’s oldest international conservation organization. The subject of his PhD at Cambridge University was on the endangered gibbon on a remote and primitive island west of Sumatra in the mid 1970s. After this Tony worked at the University of North Sumatra where he initiated production of a major and innovative series of books on the ecology of the several regions of Indonesia, writing three of them himself, each taking about three years. During a two-year spell in the UK, he was employed by the British government’s conservation agency to write its Recovery Plan for Protected Species – covering sea anemones to wild cats. He joined the World Bank in 1995 and supported a broad range of activities and projects until he left in 2010: he advised on habitat and species protection issues as part of infrastructure projects, started various region-wide and global activities (e.g. on the forgotten biodiversity of caves and karst), ran a programme which produced 111 volumes of local language field guides to all manner of plants and animals, and was responsible for a suite of conservation projects in Mongolia, China, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Vietnam and elsewhere in the region. He has an in-depth and broad knowledge of biodiversity and has published on a wide variety of topics.
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.
Australian author Ian Burnet has spent 30 years living, working and travelling in Indonesia, and is fascinated by the diverse history and cultures of the archipelago. His first book, ‘Spice Islands,’ tells the 2000-year-history of the spice trade from the Moluccas of Eastern Indonesia through China, India and the Middle East until the spices reached Europe. It was the lure of the fabled Spice Islands and exotic spices such as clove and nutmeg that drove ‘The Age of Discovery’ and the first circumnavigation of our planet. Spice Islands has been described as “A wonderful book – a triumph of passion and scholarship.” ‘East Indies,’ Ian’s second book, begins in the port city of Malacca, and tells the story of the 200-year-struggle between the Portuguese Crown, the Dutch East India Company and the English East India Company for trade supremacy in the Eastern Seas. It follows the rise of the world’s first joint stock and multinational trading companies and their conversion to huge colonial states ruling over millions of people in Indonesia, India and Malaya. The book documents the founding of the historic port city of Batavia (Jakarta) and concludes with the founding of the modern port cities of Singapore and Hong Kong. His latest book was published in 2017 and is entitled Where Australia Collides with Asia: The Epic Voyages of Joseph Banks, Charles Darwin, Alfred Russel Wallace and the origin of “On the Origin of Species”, a must for any lover of history and the sciences.
Lindsay is an international yoga teacher (ERYT-500) in search of adventures on and off the mat. She is known for her keen understanding of breath work practices, body alignment, sense of humour, and ability to empower her students to live fully! With over a decade of experience in her field, she leads 200- and 300-hour teacher trainings, workshops, and retreats throughout the world. Lindsay is a writer of continuing education programs for yoga teachers and is releasing her first book in 2017. She is passionate about teaching yoga alignment, world travel, stand up paddle boarding, and SUP yoga. Follow Lindsay on Instagram at @Breatheonboard for inspiration and upcoming workshops, retreats and trainings.
Melody is a certified Hatha yoga instructor, singer, writer and world traveller. While living in India, her casual yoga practice became a passion that inspired her to become a yoga teacher. Her classes range from gentle yoga and Vinyasa to Bhakti yoga, a heart-opening practice weaving storytelling with mantras, music and asana. Melody teaches private, group, and virtual yoga classes, hosts yoga retreats and workshops, and offers live music for yoga classes. She is lead singer of Oneness, a mantra rock band with shades of blues, jazz, roots and gospel, merging ancient chants with original and sampled lyrics to create an uplifting, interactive experience with the audience.
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.