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Meet the Experts Theatre

The Meet the Experts Theatre will be playing host to expert talks covering the different corners of the globe. Speakers will give you unique insight into their experiences and take you on fascinating and memorable journeys to inspire your next adventure. 

Click the individual sessions to reveal more about what you can expect.

Timetable

- 11:00am: Africa for Beginners

Exploring Namibia is a piece of cake – just slice your itinerary into three chunks: desert, coast and safari, then sprinkle on a few extras (anyone for sea kayaking on the Skeleton Coast, porcupine hunting in Bushmanland, or hippo watching in the Caprivi Strip…?). Joining the dots between the highlights (and hidden gems) of southern Africa’s rough diamond, Travel writer and photographer William Gray explains how to plan the ultimate Namibian self-drive – where to go and what to do, whether you’re a solo adventurer looking for adrenaline and wildlife, or a young family with your eye on the ultimate sandpit.


Speaker: William Gray - Writer & Travel Journalist

Discover The World

- 12:00pm: Australia – The Great South West Edge


Speaker: Worldwide Motorhoming Holidays

- 1:00pm: A Journey Across Patagonia

At South America’s southernmost tip lies a vast and wild land that offers some of the world’s most beautiful and dramatic scenery. Patagonia spans both Argentina and Chile and is home to some of the biggest mountains in the world, vast steppes, jaw dropping glaciers, stunning National Parks and some amazing wildlife that is unique to this fascinating region. From the unbelievable whales of Peninsula Valdes to cruising some of Chile’s most remote fjords, trekking on Argentina’s spectacular glaciers to self-driving some of Argentina’s famous Highway 40 in the shadow of the Andes Mountains, discover the sights in this detailed talk.


Speaker: Martin Johnson - Director of Latin Routes

Latin Routes

- 2:00pm: Europe from the Rivers

Imagine seeing Europe from a different angle, with your River Ship taking you to a different city, town or village each day. In this talk hear about the places visited along the River Danube, travelling through 3 different countries and visiting some of Europe’s most Iconic cities including Budapest and Vienna. Learn about the enriching excursions Viking Cruises offers as well as the places you can explore on your own. 


Speaker: Jenny Wade - Regional Sales Manager

Viking Cruises

- 3:00pm: Atlantic Canada- the forgotten part of Canada

Atlantic Canada is the most historic part of North America. Being on the eastern seaboard is was the easiest part to access from Europe and at the same time as the Vikings came to the UK they also landed in Newfoundland. Atlantic Canada comprises of 4 provinces ( calling them states will really upset folks from Canada!), Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. The area was settled by the British and Irish along with the French and we battled for many years with them as to who would control this area and ultimately all of Canada. Until commercial flights to North America Halifax was where all new arrivals landed. The exhibit is well worth a look. Canada as we know it was founded 150 years ago in Prince Edward Island thus adding to its claim to be the historic part of North America. However it is not all about history the Bay of Fundy with the highest tidal range in the world, Gros Morne National Park and the Cabot Trail the iconic drive in the area are all must see things to do. However the warm welcome you get from every person who are pleased just to show you what the area has to offer.


Speaker: Malcolm Peasnall - Product Director

The Independent Traveller

- 11:00am: The Great Rail Way - The World’s Greatest Rail Journeys

Viewing an ever-changing landscape from the comfort of your seat is surely the finest way to travel. This talk takes you on a tour of the world's greatest rail journeys, from the Iconic Trans-Siberian Express and Venice Simplon-Orient-Express to the heritage railway journeys of a once-in-a-lifetime USA Coast to Coast adventure. Discover some of the world's most breathtaking sights along the way, from the natural beauty of the Northern Lights to the awe-inspiring Great Wall of China and the splendour of the Taj Mahal.


Speaker: Rosalinde Smith -Tour Manager

Great Rail Journeys

- 12:00pm: South African Safari


Speaker: Worldwide Motorhoming Holidays

- 1:00pm: The Great Atlantic Stepping Stone

We all know that Iceland is a superb destination in its own right, but less people realise just how well it combines with other equally exciting bucket-list beauties. Award-winning guide Cathy Harlow explores the tantalising possibilities of dovetailing the Land of Fire & Ice with Greenland, Canada or Alaska. As well as describing a range of holiday options (from expedition voyages to hiking tours and independent self-drives), he'll also reveal the best activities and excursions to fill a short break in Iceland.


Speaker: Cathy Harlow - Award-winning guide

Discover The World

- 2:00pm: Madagascar - A dream Trip For Outdoor Lovers

Madagascar is an exotic island like nowhere else on earth. This nature paradise is abundant with unique flora and fauna dating back to the dinosaur’s era of lost world. There are more than 102 species of lemur, 120 endemic birds and many colourful chameleons and mammals. The diverse landscape dotted with giant baobab trees, rainforests, golden sandy beaches and friendly people with smile. It is the 4th biggest island with 592,800 square kilometres (km2). Madagascar is a must for every traveller.


Speaker: Aleem Raheem - Director

The Earth Trip

- 3:00pm: Wildlife photography in Europe’s far north

Join award winning photographer Bret Charman to explore some of Europe’s less-visited realms which are home to some of the continent’s finest wilderness and an incredible array of wildlife. The European brown bear is the star in both Slovenia's and Finland’s forests, while polar bears are the focus in the remote landscapes of the Svalbard archipelago.


Speaker: Bret Charman - award winning photographer

Wildlife Worldwide

- 11:00am: Western France Discovery


Speaker: Worldwide Motorhoming Holidays

- 12:00pm: Kayaking with orcas

A glacier-carved channel between Vancouver Island and the mainland of British Columbia, Johnstone Strait cuts through a realm of giants – where towering red cedars grow to 1,000 years old and where bald eagles, black bears and orcas gain mythological stature in the minds and carvings of the local Kwagiulth people. Boat tours in fast zodiacs are available from various ports, but the most rewarding and intimate way to explore Johnstone Strait is by sea kayak. William Gray describes what it’s like to paddle into a maze of islands far from other tour boats, learning about wildlife and culture from expert guides and getting sea-level views of seals, sea lions and, with luck, orcas.


Speaker: William Gray - Travel Writer & Journalist

Discover The World

- 1:00pm: Predators & Prey – Wildlife Exposed

Paul Goldstein is a photographer and guide with a huge following. Many travel several times a year to be guided by this hard-working award-winning photographer and guide. Antarctica, Spitsbergen and the plains of the Mara are his favourite haunts but he is also very happy in the deserts of Northern Namibia and the Pantanal. Whales, jaguars, polar bears, leopards, tigers, cheetahs and lions will all be on the menu in what will be a lavish, outspoken presentation.

 


Speaker: Paul Goldstein

Exodus

- 2:00pm: Seeing The World As a Single Traveller

Jan Leeming will be speaking about what it is like to travel the world as a single traveller and talk about her recent experiences of single travelling in Croatia, Burma, Peru, Tuscany and Canada. She will also be speaking about her travels for work, when she was with the BBC and also her experiences in India and Cuba with BBC2’s Real Marigold Hotel. It will be an inspirational talk encouraging single travellers to get out there and enjoy a great adventure.


Speaker: Jan Leeming - broadcaster, actor, and TV presenter

Travelsphere

- 3:00pm: Sri Lanka - One Island with many trips

Discover why Sri Lanka is so fascinating. Sri Lanka offers so much for visitors of all kind. In this talk you will learn about great diverse of wildlife, fascinating and rich ancient history with 8 UNESCO World Heritage sites, colourful culture, intriguing colonial heritage, lush tropical nature, mouth watering food and golden sandy beaches. Whether you would like wildlife spotting or hiking in the tea mountains or climbing Adams Peak or lounging in the golden sandy beaches or discovering the ancient cities or exploring the rainforest, Sri Lanka has it all.


Speaker: Aleem Rahee - Director

The Earth Trip

- 11:00am: Northern Italy


Speaker: Worldwide Motorhoming Holidays

- 12:00pm: The Great Rail Way - Switzerland’s Greatest Rail Journeys

One of the world's most scenic locations, Switzerland boasts beauty like almost no other nation can. From the peaks of its spectacular mountains, to its luscious Alpine valleys, Switzerland's striking allure is impossible to ignore. With so many natural, cultural and historic facets to explore, an escorted rail tour in Switzerland provides an exciting and rewarding alpine adventure for everyone. This talk will explore the highlights of travelling in Switzerland by rail, including the world-famous Glacier Express, which winds its way through some of Europe's most beautiful scenery, and the Jungfrau Railway which travels to the breath-taking 'Top of Europe'.

 


Speaker: Beverley Goring - Tour Manager

Great Rail Journeys

- 1:00pm: In search of Wilderness

Antarctica, Arctic, The Galapagos Islands… Thanks to the BBC’s documentary series Planet Earth and Blue Planet II these fascinating wildlife destinations are back on the map, and one of the best ways to explore them is by joining an expedition ship.

But how about the lesser known, yet equally mesmerizing marine life hotspots such as the Sea of Cortez in Baja California, where hundreds of dolphins chase tuna, Mobula rays leap out of the water, and Brown pelicans expertly scan the sea surface in search of lunch?

Or sailing in the truly remote, wild Russian Far East where eyes rest on volcanic landscape and a rich sea? Various species of whales are often in view; Steller sea lions, northern fur seals, and Pacific walruses haul out on rugged coastline; Brown bears roam in mainland Kamchatka and myriads of pelagic sea birds stop in the Kuril and Aleutian Islands to breed and nest.

Join Christian Walter, Silversea Expeditions’ onboard historian and expedition team member on a visual journey to these wondrous places in search of true wilderness.

 


Speaker: Christian Walter - Expedition team member

Silversea Cruises

- 2:00pm: Which Arctic or Antarctic Expedition Cruise Is Right For Me?

Join director of Latin Routes, Martin Johnson, for an inspiring and informative talk on the best luxury experiences in South America. Presented as a series of countdowns, topics include the finest ways to get to Machu Picchu, the best lodge experiences in Patagonia, the most luxurious ships in the Galapagos and more. Enjoy a mixture of inspiration and practical information, to inspire your travel plans across this fascinating continent.


Speaker: Martin Johnson - Director of Latin Routes

Latin Routes

- 3:00pm: South Africa and its Garden Route

South Africa is one of the best value destinations in the world for British travellers. The strong value of the pound against the rand means that you can enjoy some of the highest standards of hotels and lodges in the world well within many peoples budgets. For many the Garden Route is the first visit to South Africa so we explore some of its main points and highlight some of its less well known secrets. For some a Garden Route add on is part of the increasing number of cruises arriving or departing from Cape Town. You can see some of the best land based whale watching in the world, taste some of the worlds best wines and experience a Big 5 safari in a malaria free area. With no jet lag, flights from many UK airports it is easy to get there and once there you will enjoy the warm welcome from the people of the Rainbow nation


Speaker: Malcolm Peasnall - Product Director

The Independent Traveller