Our experience and reliability is perhaps best illustrated by the range of 100+ cruises I have completed as guest speaker since 2005, most often with Sue in attendance to assist with wildlife spotting on deck and ashore. I have a wide range of presentations (none of them lectures!) available for the areas we have visited, which I am constantly revising and updating, but I am always happy to research and prepare talks on the natural history of new areas too to expand our horizons!
JULY 2005: Iceland and Greenland (lecturing for National Trust for Scotland)
JUNE 2006: Iceland and Greenland (for Connoisseur Travel)
JANUARY 2007: The Caribbean and Amazon on Black Prince (Fred Olsen Cruise Line)
JUNE 2007: Norway and Iceland on Discovery (Voyages of Discovery)
JULY 2007: Iceland on Saga Ruby (Saga Cruises)
AUGUST 2007: Norway on Saga Rose (Saga Cruises)
JUNE 2008: North Cape, Norway on Discovery (Voyages of Discovery)
JULY 2008: Norway and Svalbard on Boudicca (Fred Olsen Cruise Line)
JANUARY 2009: Chilean Fjords and Antarctica, as passengers on Discovery (Voyages of Discovery)
APRIL 2009: The Mediterranean on Oceana (P&O)*
MAY 2009: The Mediterranean and Aegean on Black Prince (Fred Olsen Cruise Lines)
JUNE 2009: North Cape of Norway on Black Prince (Fred Olsen Cruise Lines)
JULY 2009: Norwegian Fjords on Spirit of Adventure (Saga Cruises)*
JANUARY 2010: The Caribbean, Costa Rica and Peru on Saga Ruby (Saga Cruises)*
MARCH 2010: Madeira and the Canaries on Boudicca (Fred Olsen Cruise Lines)*
JUNE 2010: Madeira and the Canaries on Boudicca (Fred Olsen Cruise Lines)
AUGUST 2010: Iceland and Greenland on Discovery (Voyages of Discovery)
JANUARY 2011: South America: Barbados to Buenos Aires, including the Amazon, on Discovery (Voyages of Discovery)
FEBRUARY 2011: The Amazon on Braemar (Fred Olsen Cruise Lines)*
JUNE 2011: Norwegian Fjords on Ocean Countess (Cruise & Maritime Voyages)*
JULY 2011: Norway and Svalbard on Marco Polo (Cruise & Maritime Voyages)*
SEPTEMBER 2011: The Black Sea and E Mediterranean on Spirit of Adventure (Saga Cruises)*
DECEMBER 2011: Ascension, St Helena, Tristan da Cunha and the Falklands on Island Sky (Noble Caledonia)
APRIL 2012: The Cape Verde Islands and Senegal on Boudicca (Fred Olsen Cruise Lines)
JUNE 2012: Norway and Svalbard on Discovery (Voyages of Discovery)
AUGUST 2012: The Faroes and Iceland on Quest for Adventure (Saga Cruises)*
NOVEMBER 2012: The Caribbean on Boudicca (Fred Olsen Cruise Lines)*
JANUARY 2013: The Amazon on Quest for Adventure (Saga Cruises)
FEBRUARY 2013: South America: Chile, the Falkland Islands and Argentina on Voyager (Voyages of Discovery)
MARCH 2013: "Grand Voyage (Rio de Janeiro to Cape Town leg)", including Montevideo, Buenos Aires, Puerto Madryn, the Falkland islands and a stop off Tristan da Cunha on Saga Ruby (Saga Cruises) *
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013: "Grand Voyage Across the Erythraean Sea" on board Voyager (Voyages of Discovery), sailing from Sharm El Sheik, Egypt to Colombo, Sri Lanka, via Safaga (Egypt), Djibouti, Salalah and Muscat (Oman), Fujairah, Dubai and Abu Dhabi (UEA), Khasab (Oman), Porbandar, Mumbai, Marmagao, Cochin and Tuticorin (India) *.
MAY 2014: "Coastal Explorer" - a 6-day, non-stop, round Britain cruise on Saga Sapphire with a strong emphasis on cetaceans and other wildlife *.
JULY 2014: "Iceland and the Northern Isles" for Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) on board Discovery, with ports including Eskifjordur, Akureyri, Isafjordur and Reykjavik in Iceland.*
AUGUST 2014: "North Cape and Land of the Midnight Sun" also for CMV on Discovery, including visits to Geiranger, Hammerfest, Honningsvåg, Tromsø and a deck commentary on a sail by the Svartisen Glacier. Followed by another short cruise on Discovery to the 'Majestic Fjordland' of Åndalsnes, Olden, Flåm and Eidfjord in Norway.*
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014: "Voyage to Australia" for Cruise & Maritime Voyages on board Astor - a truly remarkable voyage departing from Tilbury on the Thames and ending in Freemantle, Australia, via Le Havre, Lisbon, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Mindelo in the Cape Verde Islands, Ascension, St Helena, Cape Town, Durban, Reunion Island and Mauritius - a total journey of 12,336 nautical miles. *
APRIL 2015: Michael joined the maiden voyage of Viking Star at the launch also of a brand new cruise company, Viking Ocean cruises, sailing from Istanbul, via Kusadasi in Turkey, Piraeus and Santorini in Greece, Kotor in Montenegro, Dubrovnik and Pula in Croatia to Venice.*
MAY 2015: "Oslo and the Timeless Fjords" on board Voyager for Voyages of Discovery.
JUNE 2015: "Iceland and the Northern Isles" for Cruise & Maritime Voyages on board Azores, the oldest ocean-going passenger ship still in service and a delight to sail on - an excellent cruise in benign weather including five ports around Iceland and a circumnavigation of Surtsey.
JULY 2015: "Viking Odyssey" was Michael's first trip for Regent Seven Seas Cruises on the luxurious ship Seven Seas Voyager. As well as Honningsvag in northern Norway and Longyearbyen, the trip took Michael north of 80°N for the first time and first visits to Murmansk in arctic Russia and the Solovestsky Islands in the White Sea. *
AUGUST 2015: "Voyage to the Arctic" on board Fred Olsen's Boudicca, took us to the North Cape of Norway and on to Svalbard, then westwards, cruising past Jan Mayen Island, to Iceland and some magnificent whalewatching in Akureyri.
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015, Michael spent seven weeks on Seven Seas Mariner around the coast of Africa, including first visits to Ghana, Togo, Benin, Sao Tome island and Walvis Bay in Namibia. Other stops included Cape Town, Maputo in Mozambique, Durban and East London in South Africa, and Luderitz in Namibia, as well as return visits to Madeira, three of the Canary Islands, Sao Vicente in the Cape Verde islands and Dakar in Senegal, and the trip ended in Rio de Janeiro. *
FEBRUARY 2016: Madagascar, Zanzibar and the Seychelles on a leg from Mauritius to Salalah in Oman of the Boudicca cruise round Africa for Fred Olsen Cruises Ltd.
MARCH 2016: From Cartagena in Columbia, via the San Blas Islands, the Panama Canal, Panama City (Flamenco Island). Manta in Ecuador, Callao in Peru (with an overland excursion to Machu Picchu) to Guayaquil in Ecuador on Voyager for Voyages of Discovery. *
MAY/JUNE 2016: Horta and Ponta Delgada in the Azores, plus Madeira and a first visit to Porto Santo, along with Guernsey, A Coruna, Lisbon, Jersey and Honfleur in France onboard Voyager for Voyages of Discovery.
JUNE/JULY 2016: A first booking on Swan Hellenic's Minerva from Kirkenes in Norway to Arkhangelsk, the Solovestsky Islands and Murmansk in Russia, back to Portsmouth via the Lofoten Islands and various ports in Norway including Florø and Haugesund.
JULY 2016: A first trip to Alaska and a first booking for Oceania Cruises on Regatta, sailing from Seattle via Ketchikan, Wrangell, Juneau, the Hubbard Glacier, Haines and Sitka in Alaska and Victoria in Canada.
AUGUST 2016: Bergen to Piraeus (for Athens) on Viking Sea, via Lisbon, Cadiz, Malaga and Valletta in Malta * (cruise 50)
SEPTEMBER 2016: 'Rugged and Rural Canada' on Boudicca for Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, including St John's in Newfoundland, St-Pierre, Sydney on Cape Breton Island and Red Bay in Labrador.
OCTOBER 2016: Akureyri and Reykjavik in Iceland on Marco Polo in search of the Northern Lights for Cruise & Maritime Voyages.
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016: Two back-to-back cruises on Seven Seas Navigator as a Smithsonian Journeys speaker for Regent, the first from Cape Verde to Cape Town, via West Africa including first visits to The Gambia and Cote D'Ivoire and a return visit to Sao Tome, followed by a Cape Town to Cape Town South African cruise including Richard's Bay, Durban, East London and Walvis Bay. *
JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017: Two more back-to-back cruises as a Smithsonian Speaker for Regent Seven Seas Cruises on Seven Seas Voyager, including our first visits to New Zealand with 9 ports of call including Milford Sound, plus Burnie in Tasmania, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Cairns and Darwin in Australia, Komodo Island and Bali in Indonesia and ending in Singapore.
MAY/JUNE 2017: Back on Seven Seas Navigator for Regent on a round-trip from Miami visiting four of the key ports in the Amazon, including Manaus, as well as seven Caribbean Islands and Ile de Salut ('Devil's Island') off French Guiana, including first visits for Michael to St Barts and Puerto Rico. *
AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2017: On Seven Seas Navigator again, from Montreal via Quebec, Saguenay, Corner Brook and St John's (Newfoundland) in Canada and St Pierre & Miquelon to Greenland (Nuuk, Paamiut, Qaqortoq and Prins Christian Sund) and Reykjavik in Iceland, then on to Isafjordur and Akureyri (Iceland) and Torshavn (Faroe Islands) before ending in Ålesund, Norway.
[SEPTEMBER 2017: Michael was 'host', with Sue, for an 'overland' Smithsonian Journey trip to Machu Picchu and the Galapagos, including visits also to Lima, Cusco and Quito in Peru and Ecuador.]
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017: Miami to Los Angeles, via Grand Cayman, Cartagena in Columbia, the Panama Canal, Golfito and Puntarenas in Costa Rica, Corinto in Nicaragua, Puerto Quetzal in Guatemala and Acapulco and Cabo San Lucas in Mexico on Seven Seas Navigator. * (cruise 60)
MARCH/APRIL 2018: We joined Seven Seas Navigator for 51 nights of her World Cruise, on legs from Singapore to Rio, visiting Kuala Lumpur and Langkawi in Malaysia; Phuket, Thailand; Colombo, Sri Lanka; Malé in the Maldives; Mahé in the Seychelles, Port Louis, Mauritius; Pointe de Galets, Réunion; then Richards Bay, Durban, East London and Cape Town in South Africa; Luderitz and Walvis Bay in Namibia; then 9 days at sea (sadly without the scheduled visit to Tristan da Cunha) to Montevideo and Punta del Este in Uruguay; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Santos in Brazil and ending in Rio de Janeiro.
JUNE 2018: New York to Reykjavik on Seven Seas Navigator, via Martha's Vineyard, Boston and Bar Harbour, then Halifax and Corner Brook in Canada, Nuuk and Paamiut in Greenland, a transit of Prins Christian Sund, and Isafjordur in Iceland.
JULY 2018: A return to Viking Ocean Cruises for a cruise visiting Bergen, Geiranger, Molde, Tromso, Honningsvag, and Leknes in Norway, Shetland and Orkney and ending in Rosyth for Edinburgh.
AUGUST 2018: North again to Arctic Russia, including Murmansk and Arkhangelsk, with a first visit to Lysekil in Sweden and a variety of Norwegian ports on Seven Seas Navigator. *
OCTOBER 2018: Miami to Honolulu on Seven Seas Mariner, with stops in several Central American ports and first visits for us to Havana in Cuba and to Hawaii, with time on Maui and Oahu.
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018: We rejoined Seven Seas Mariner for a return visit to New Zealand, cruising from Auckland to Sydney, including our first visits to Wellington and Lyttleton Harbour (for Christchurch) and Gelong and Eden in Australia.
JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019: A first visit to Arctic Norway in winter, (very) successfully In Search of the Northern Lights for Viking Ocean Cruises on Viking Sky, with ports including Narvik, Alta and Tromsø.
FEBRUARY/MARCH 2019: Three back-to-back cruises on Seven Seas Explorer took Michael from Guayaquil in Ecuador to Lisbon, via changeovers in Los Angeles and Miami. As well as mutliple visits to Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Mexico, and a 4th transit of the Panama Canal, the trip included welcome returns to Georgetown on Grand Cayman and Faial and Sao Miguel in the Azores, and a first visit to Bermuda. *
MAY 2019: "North Pacific Passage" on Viking Orion took us to Japan for the first timne, then on to Korsakov and Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky in the Far East of Russia and across the International Date Line to Alaska. New ports for us here included Dutch Harbor, Kodiak, Seward, Valdez, Icy Strait Point, other 'Inside Passage' ports and Vancouver. This was followed by "Alaska & The Inside Passage" which added a first visit to Skagway as we got to know Alaska much better.
JULY 2019: We returned to the fjords and far north of Norway and Murmansk on Seven Seas Navigator. Hurricane force winds stopped us entering the White Sea, but the bonus was unscheduled visits to Tromsø, Narvik (in summer) and a first time ashore in Bodø.
SEPTEMBER 2019: We enjoyed three short cruises to the Inside Passage of Alaska and its wonderful wildlife on board Seven Seas Mariner, visiting Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Sitka, the Hubbard Glacier and Seward, as well as Vancouver. The last cruise travelled on to Los Angeles, via Victoria on Vancouver Island, Astoria in Oregon and San Francisco.
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2019: The South of South America on Viking Sun, starting from Buenos Aires and visiting Montevideo, Stanley in the Falkland Islands, Ushuaia in Argentina, my 3rd transit of Cape Horn, then Punta Arenas, Puerto Chacabuco and Valparaiso in Chile *.
JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2020: "CIRCLE AUSTRALIA" cruise on Seven Seas Navigator, an amazing 36-night cruise covering 8,771nm, Sydney-Sydney, stopping at Brisbane, Airlie Beach, Cairns, Alotau and Port Moresby (our first visit to Papua New Guinea), Darwin, Komodo, Benoa on Bali, Exmouth, Geraldton, Fremantle, Adelaide, Kangaroo Island, Portland, Melbourne, Phillip Island, Burnie in Tasmania, and Eden.
FEBRUARY/MARCH 2020: We then stayed on Seven Seas Navigator for "NEW ZEALAND SPLENDORS", stopping again at Melbourne and Burnie. Return visits then followed to Milford Sound, Dunedin, Akaroa, Wellington, Napier, Tauranga and Bay of Islands in New Zealand, and we flew safely home from Auckland on March 13th, just as the coronavirus was starting to lockdown the world. (Cruise 80 - an appropriate time for a break!))
COVID INTERVENES: In 2020-21, I estimate that I missed over 120 days at sea as a result of the Covid shutdown.
JUNE/JULY 2021: I was thrilled to help Viking Ocean Cruises make their Covid-secure return to sea, on four week-long cruises on Viking Sky that circumnavigated Iceland from Reykjavik, also visiting Isafjorđur, Akureyri, Seyđisfjorđur, Djupivogur, and Heimaey on the Westman islands, in perfect safety ensured by daily PCR tests.
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021: I returned to Viking Ocean Cruises for an IBERIA TO WEST INDIES cruise on Viking Sea from Barcelona to San Juan, Puerto Rico, with calls to Valencia, Cadiz, Gibraltar, Madeira and a first visit to St Maarten in the Caribbean, with 6 days at sea cross the Atlantic. I then did part of WEST INDIES EXPLORER*, returning to St Maarten, St Lucia, and Barbados, and with first visits to Dominica for some excellent whale-watching and St Kitts. *
JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2022: Sue and I joined two back-to-back cruises for Viking Ocean Cruises IN SEARCH OF THE NORTHERN LIGHTS, on Viking Venus, with return visits to (and excellent aurora sightings in) Narvik, Tromsø and Alta. Stormy weather prevented docking in Lerwick and Bodø, but Trondheim was added as some consolation.
MARCH 2022: Back on duty on Regent, on board Seven Seas Explorer, on a 17-night trans-Atlantic cruise from Miami to Civitivecchia (for Rome) via Madeira, Malaga and Cartagena in Spain, a first visit to Palma de Mallorca, then Marseilles in France and Monte Carlo in Monaco. *
JULY 2022: Another assignment on Viking Orion in the Inside Passage of Alaska, with return visits to Ketchikan, Sitka, Juneau, Icy Strait Point, Skagway, Valdez and Seward, I stayed on for the return trip, although my contribution was cut short when I was confined to cabin for 6 days having finally succumbed to the dreaded Covid! *
AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2022: On Viking Star from Bergen to Montreal, via Iceland, Greenland, a first visit to L'Anse Aux Meadows on Newfoundland, and a successful whalewatch from Saguenay. We then stayed on the ship for 'Eastern Seaboard Explorer' from Montreal to New York with a first visit to Gaspé and our first transit of the Cape Cod Canal.
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2022: Back to Viking Orion for a much amended cruise with Russia and Japan off-limits for very different reasons. It included a perfect 13-day Alaskan cruise, including our first visit to Glacier Bay and return visits to Kodiak Island and Dutch Harbor, followed by 7 days at sea to Hawaii, with stops on Kaua'i and Maui islands, and a flight home from Honolulu.
JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2023: Began a busy year with two back to back AMAZON AND CARIBBEAN cruises on Viking Sea, enjoying return visits to Santarem, Parintins and Manaus in Brazil, as well as Puerto Rico, Antigua, St Lucia and Barbados, but with winds stopping both attempts to land on Iles du Salut. *
FEBRUARY/MARCH 2023: i joined Viking's new ship, Viking Mars, for two AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND cruises*, stopping at Melbourne and Hobart in Tasmania, then Dunedin, Lyttleton (for Christchurch) Wellington, Tauranga and Auckland in New Zealand (although the return itinerary had to miss Hobart because of engine issues, and replaced Lyttleton with the much nicer port of Ataroa, because of a broken-down ship on our Lyttleton jetty). I then remained on the ship for KOMODO & THE AUSTRALIAN COAST*, which included first visits for me to Newcastle, Townsville and and TI (Thursday Island) - which I especially enjoyed - plus a first visit to the island of Rinca, adjacent to Komodo, for much more 'sanitised' (and less exciting) sightings of Komodo Dragons, ending in ending in Bali.
MAY/JULY 2023: Next up was eight weeks helping to break in Viking's latest ocean ship, Viking Saturn, beginning with Barcelona to Reykjavik, via Valencia, Malaga, Lisbon, Lexois, La Coruña, Dublin and Liverpool - certainly a varied cruise *. This was followed by a very weather-disrupted cruise from Reykjavik to New York * (for the ship's naming ceremony), missing no less than 5 ports but managing Seyđisfjörđur, Akureyri and Isafjörđur, then Halifax in Canada. The reverse itinerary back to Reykjavik was much more successful, adding a first visit to Louisbourg on Cape Breton island, plus Djupivogr and Heimaey in Iceland to the itinerary.
100th Cruise: I then stayed on Viking Saturn for what I reckon was my 100th cruise as a guest speaker, on a totally new Viking itinerary, ICELAND & NORWAY'S ARCTIC EXPLORER from Reykjavik to Bergen in glorious weather with amazing wildlife sightings. We stopped at Isafjörđur in Iceland, had a stunningly sunny sail by of Jan Mayen Island, before an overnight stay in Longyearbyen (complete with walrus watching), and the cloud also parted as we sailed past Bjornøya island to Honnigsvåg. The trip then continued via Tromsø, Narvik, Leknes on the Lofoten islands, and a rainy Geiranger to Bergen.
JULY/AUGUST 2023: ICELAND'S MAJESTIC LANDSCAPES* on Viking Jupiter, from Bergen to Reykjavik and back again, returning to 3 ports in Norway, Torshavn on the Faroe Islands and 3 ports in Iceland.
* = with Michael on sole speaking duty; on all others Sue joined me on wildlife-watching duties on deck.