Home Yachts and Cruises Crystal Endeavor’s expedition team announced for inaugural voyages in Antarctica

Crystal Endeavor’s expedition team announced for inaugural voyages in Antarctica


Partnership with marine conservation organizations ORCA and COA, as well as a team of expedition specialists including marine biologists, geologists, and ornithologists among program highlights.

Crystal Expedition Cruises announced its impressive roster of experienced expedition team members comprised of scientists, naturalists, lecturers and guides who will join members of marine conservation agencies ORCA and California Ocean Alliance (COA) for Crystal Endeavor’s inaugural voyages in Antarctica beginning next month.

The luxury expedition yacht’s highly anticipated Antarctica season launches November 18 with the first of eight voyages round-trip from Ushuaia ranging from 11 to 19 nights exploring incredible wildlife within this remote icy wonderland, including the Antarctic Peninsula, the Weddell Sea, the Falkland Islands, South Georgia Islands and lands beyond the Antarctic Circle.

Expedition Leader Sam Gagnon and Assistant Expedition Leader Rashidah Lim will lead the immersive expedition experience sharing their passion for polar discovery with guests during Zodiac landings, sea kayaking adventures, onboard presentations and more, for a large portion of the season.

“With Crystal Endeavor, we are offering our guests a new lens to see the world through enrichment and visual storytelling with our team of talented expedition experts, as well as hands-on scientific research that allow our guests to actively participate in marine study and conservation,” said Walter Barinaga, vice president of Crystal Destination Experiences.  “Exploring Antarctica alongside our passionate guides and researchers from ORCA and COA make the expedition experience come alive for our guests, providing them with valuable insight into the unique wildlife and pristine landscapes they are witnessing.”

Gagnon is a naturalist and polar expedition guide, as well as an experienced photographer and videographer, bringing a keen eye to his work whether leading a Zodiac or land adventures or offering hands-on photography lectures and pointers.  A native of Singapore, Lim has worked on Expedition vessels in both the Arctic and Antarctic, crossing the Drake Passage more than 60 times and holding multiple seafaring certifications.

Gagnon and Lim will oversee a team of expedition specialists including Zodiac and kayaking guides, marine biologists, ornithologists, geologists, glaciologists, and ecologists, as well as photographers and artists-in-residence who will bring an added dimension to explorations by encouraging guests to capture their experiences with sketching, painting and photography.

The line’s expedition program is also highlighted by its partnerships with marine research and conservation organizations ORCA and COA.  Crystal Endeavor’s first two Antarctica voyages, which visit The Drake Passage and Southern Ocean, will feature conservationist Anne Bunney, head of education for ORCA, who will accompany guests on guided excursions ashore, as well as offer lectures on the behavior and distribution of whales in Antarctica, how it relates to ORCA’s work, and host wildlife deck watches, for interactive data collection. She will also train Crystal Endeavor’s bridge team in collecting scientific data about the animals’ behavior as well as share best conservation practices.