General Manager, Adventure Canada
Martin Aldrich, born in Halifax, moved to North Vancouver at the age of nine. Growing up, Martin was very active and played many different sports, with a focus on water polo and long-distance open-water swimming. After completing a double major at the University in Victoria, Martin travelled extensively throughout Europe, Asia, and Central/South America. His passion for adventure and experiencing new things keeps him constantly exploring and learning. He has a keen eye for photography and a passion for physical fitness. Martin is part of the Business Development team in the office and is the Assistant Cruise Director aboard the Ocean Endeavour.
Author, Moon Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip
Adventures Along the PCH –Veteran road-tripper Ian Anderson, author of Moon Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip, shares experiences and tips from over two decades and more than ten thousand miles along coastal highways, from towering redwoods and glittering surf to the best fish tacos you’ve ever tasted.
Tourism Development, and Sales Manager, Visit Anchorage Alaska
Marsha is a life-long resident of Alaska attending school and college in Anchorage. She started traveling in college and has never stopped. Marsha started her tourism career at Anchorage’s high-end Alyeska Resort working with international visitors in the 1970’s. Her career in the visitor industry continued through a 20-year career with Delta Airlines working in several cities before retiring in 1996. Masha returned to Alaska permanently to work for a day cruise company operating in Prince William Sound. In those days she liked to say her office was a catamaran located in “front of a glacier.” In 2008 she accepted a job as Tourism Sales Manager for Visit Anchorage responsible for Taiwan, China, Australia, New Zealand, India, and Korea. When possible, she also works the domestic market participating in the Travel & Adventure Shows with the rest of her team. Marsha feels very grateful to have lived in Alaska and feels especially fortunate to have the honor of sharing this magnificent destination with fellow travelers.
CEO, Pique Travel Design
Jim Bendt is the owner of Pique Travel Design. His agency specializes in custom designed trips, cruises, and group escorted tours around the world. As a member of the Virtuoso travel network, Pique Travel Design ranks amongst the Top 1% of travel agencies in the world. The agency was named as one of the Top 10 Most Innovative Virtuoso Offices in 2017. Jim has become a reputable industry resource. His work has appeared in the Associated Press, NY Times, Fodors and Barron’s. Jim has been recognized as a 2016 Top 5 Most Innovative Virtuoso Advisor, 2016 Top 5 Advisor – Travel Pulse and is certified as a National Geographic Private Expedition Specialist.
Host, Places to Love
Travel expert and television host Samantha Brown has been hosting TV travel programs for 18 years. During her time at Travel Channel she created 10 original international and domestic travel series generating over 170 hours of television. In 2017 Samantha moved from the Travel Channel to PBS and her new series Samantha Brown’s Places to Love will make its premiere in January, 2018. In Places to Love, Samantha will feature the destinations, experiences and most importantly the people that make us the traveler feel like we belong to a place. In Season 1, Samantha will feature 7 U.S. and 6 international destinations including Houston, Switzerland, Brooklyn, China, Orange County and Big Sur, CA.
Samantha is known for getting to the emotional heart of travel by focusing on the people, their culture, and the privilege of spending time in their everyday lives. Viewers passionately follow Samantha and her expert advice not only because of her experience and knowledge, but also because of her warmth, genuineness and love for travel.
Samantha grew up in New Hampshire and currently lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband and 5 year old twins Ellis and Elizabeth.
President of Your Own Italy
Carmen Carbonell is founder and President of Your Own Italy. Carmen was born in the United States, where she obtained a degree in Architecture. Following college, she married an Italian and moved to Rome, where she raised 4 sons. She also developed a passionate love for Italy – its art, its architecture, its cities, its countryside, its culture and cuisines, and its people.
Now, after nearly 30 years living in Italy, Carmen wants to share her love for Italy with American travelers who want more than a standard tour…travelers who want to experience the real Italy, with the heart and soul of the nature and its people. She founded Your Own Italy as a boutique tour company that will provide private tours that take travelers deep into Italy’s heart and soul, with vacation packages that will be memorable for life, and shore excursions that will give tour ship guests a unique day in Rome, Florence, Venice, or the Amalfi Coast. –
The team works with boutique hotels, tested and proven restaurants, historic sites, museums, basilicas, plus individuals and tours that meet Your Own Italy’s standards – standards virtually guaranteed to ensure that Your Own Italy vacation or shore excursion will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience you will remember forever. And long to repeat with your new friends in Italy, Your Own Italy.
Founder and Co-Owner of LivItaly Tours
Angelo Carotenuto, had a dream for a new type of tour service. One that was not about herding large groups quickly from one site to another but rather about offering the chance to experience the sites in the most personal, memorable, and entertaining way possible. This is something LivItaly Tours has been able to deliver throughout the years thanks to exclusively small and intimate groups, Italy’s best and most passionate guides and a creative roster of tours and experiences which can produce once-in-a-life-time moments.
Station Manager, Azores Airlines, Grupo SATA
Zeto Carvalho was born and raised in the Azores, where he’s been working for Azores Airlines – Grupo SATA since 2000. Since that time, he has travelled between all the islands getting to know all the nature and beauty. I’ve been in California since 2016 promoting and marketing the Airlines and the Azores.
World Traveler, Travel Expert, Writer, AngelsTravelLounge.com
Angel Castellanos, (www.AngelsTravelLounge.com) is a passionate world traveler, travel writer, influencer and nationally recognized speaker dedicated to help people travel smart, well and often. He has over 15 years of experience in the travel industry as a tour guide, retailer, buyer, travel consultant and brand consultant. Traveling to over 55 countries on 5 continents (and counting), Angel travels 8-10 weeks internationally each year and draws on his experience and frequent travels to teach “Smart Travel” and equip travelers with the skills they need to make travel easy and enjoyable. He bridges the gap between the practical, common sense advice he’s learned by traveling the world and the new savvy tips and experiences that has helped his generation revolutionize travel. Angel has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Fox News, Univision, Frommers Radio, USA Today & Travel & Adventure Show as “America’s Newest Travel Expert”. Most recently, Angel completed an around-the-world trip by traveling over 9,000 km overland by train from Beijing to London.
Regional Director Tourism Fiji
Ruth Daly and her team at Tourism Fiji are proud to represent the 333 islands that make up the South Pacific paradise known as Fiji. With overnight flights from LAX and SFO, our islands are easy to reach and offer something for all sorts of travelers. But it’s the people of Fiji that make the destination the unique and unforgettable vacation destination that it is!
Editorial Director of the Frommer’s Guides and Publisher of Frommers.com
Pauline Frommer is a nationally syndicated radio talk show host. The Travel Show, which she co-hosts with her father, travel legend Arthur Frommer, is now heard in every state in the nation except Alaska. She also pens an internationally syndicated newspaper column on travel for King Features. You may recognize her face as Pauline created weekly travel segments for CNN’s Headline News for 3 years. She’s also appeared on The Today Show, Good Morning America, The Early Show, The O’Reilly Factor, NPR’s Marketplace and Talk of the Nation, CNN, FOX, MSNBC and every local news station you can name. She was the founding editor of Frommers.com and edited MSNBC.com’s travel section for two years. Pauline is the proud mother of two well-traveled daughters and wife to physical therapist Mahlon proud mother of two well-traveled daughters and wife to physical therapist Mahlon Stewart.
Ultra-Economical Travel Expert
Once feeling unable to afford to travel, Russell Hannon uses lean principles to travel at a fraction of the going rate. He has been on CNBC, FOX, CBS, America Tonight, the Huffington Post, Around the World Travel TV and nationally broadcast lifestyle and personal finance shows. Russell has worked as a CBC Budget Travel Columnist, is the founder of breakthetravelbarrier.com and is the author of ‘Stop Dreaming Start Traveling: The Ultimate Guide to Traveling More and Spending Less.’
Carolyn B. Heller
Author, Moon Vancouver & Canadian Rockies Road Trip
The Best of Western Canada—Lifelong road warrior Carolyn B. Heller, author of Moon Vancouver & Canadian Rockies Road Trip, will take you past mirror-bright lakes, over glacier-carved mountains, and through charming towns and cosmopolitan cities as she shares the hidden gems and expertise gained traversing over 5,000 miles of highway.
Marketing and PR Executive, the Tourism Authority of Thailand Los Angeles Office
Candy has been with the Tourism Authority of Thailand Los Angeles Office since she was a college intern from UCLA and has since spent her time promoting a place she now considers her second home. She is a Los Angeles native who in addition to working for TAT has a camera attached firmly to her forehead for as long as she can remember. Her transition from selfies to landscapes and travel photography was the debacle but upon completion, served far more compelling pieces than the usual pouty lips pose.
Author, Moon Nashville to New Orleans Road Trip
Top Destinations between Nashville and New Orleans – Margaret Littman, author of Moon Nashville to New Orleans Road Trip, began exploring the music, cuisine, and soul of the South when she moved to Nashville, and she shares her tips on this creative route, and all the best places in between to eat, sleep, and explore.
Richard Liverance, ThM, DMin
Israel Ministry of Tourism, Marketing Director, Western Region USA
Rich has traveled the world since he was a boy, exploring North America, South America, Europe, the Caribbean, the South Pacific, Asia, and the Middle East; but of all the destinations where he has been, his greatest passion is for Israel. He is an ordained pastor with advanced degrees in both theology and Bible teaching, and served for more than 25 years in various churches in the United States, always impressing upon his audiences the importance of Israel to world history and the wonder of traveling there. He now serves as the US Western Regional Marketing Director for the Government of Israel Ministry of Tourism in Los Angeles.
Strategic Partnerships Coordinator, Cruise Planners
Julianne McDermott is Strategic Partnerships Coordinator at Cruise Planners where she works closely with a wide variety of travel suppliers to implement training and marketing partnerships for Cruise Planners agents. McDermott also coordinates the company’s travel agent familiarization trips and consumer trade shows, as well as assists in coordinating all agent events, including new franchisee training classes and the company’s annual Convention – the largest training and development event of the year. She has an education in hospitality management and a background in event planning, which makes her a perfect fit for her position within the Cruise Planners family.
Travel Writer, Host of Rick Steves Europe and Travel with Rick Steves
Rick Steves grew up in Edmonds, Washington and studied at the University of Washington where he received degrees in Business Administration and European History. But his real education came in Europe — since 1973 he’s spent 120 days a year in Europe. Spending one third of his adult life living out of a suitcase in Europe has shaped his thinking. Today he employs 80 people at his Europe Through the Back Door headquarters where he produces over 50 guidebooks on European travel, the most popular travel series in America on public television, a weekly hour-long national public radio show, and a weekly column syndicated by the Chicago Tribune. Rick Steves lives and works in his hometown of Edmonds, Washington. His office window overlooks his old junior high school.
Author, Moon California Road Trip
American West Road Trip — Stuart Thornton, author of Moon California Road Trip, has stared deep into the Grand Canyon, explored the ins and outs of LA, Las Vegas, and San Francisco, and sampled every taco on the West Coast. He shares his insights on finding the next secluded beach or mountaintop vista.
CEO (Chief Experience Officer), PhotoEnrichment
Ralph Velasco is Founder and CEO (Chief Experience Officer) of PhotoEnrichment Adventures (PEA), as well as a travel photography instructor, author and international guide. As such he organizes and leads cultural tours, with a focus on photography, in destinations around the world, including to India, Cambodia, Vietnam, the Baltics, Spain, Romania, Bulgaria, Morocco, Iceland, Cuba, the Adriatic, Central Europe, Tuscany, Mexico and others.
Ralph is also the creator of the Tour Organizer Training free webinar and online course series where he teaches everyday people to make a living from travel. In this step-by-step program, he shows participants how to organize and lead their own special interest tours, around the world, or around the corner.
He’s the creator of the My Shot Lists for Travel app for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch® (available for free on iTunes) and two years in a row he was shortlisted in the prestigious Travel Photographer of the Year awards.
Gerry van der Walt
Co-Founder of Wild Eye, Private & Specialist Guide, Public Speaker, Wildlife Photographer
Gerry van der Walt is a specialist safari guide, photographic educator, public speaker, and co-founder of Wild Eye. By combining a passion for nature photography and more than 15 years of experience as a field guide and 5-star lodge manager in various wildlife reserves throughout Africa Gerry’s goal is to not only assist people, whether through teaching them new skills or pushing them creatively, in capturing the beauty of nature but also to create an awareness of the fragile balance that exists in nature. Gerry believes that his photography speaks for itself and his goal is to keep on creating images that will keep an awareness of our planet’s natural heritage in people’s minds. At the same time, through the various Wild Eye safaris that he helps conceptualize and host, Gerry aims share the privilege of being out in the unspoiled wilderness area that Africa is so well-known for. Through his company, Wild Eye, Gerry has created has created a vehicle which merges the raw beauty of traveling in some of the world’s most spectacular wilderness areas with the ability to not only capture these moments on camera but also teaching and inspiring people along the way. Gerry looks forward to changing the way you see the world.
Founder and Editor of Wanderlust and Lipstick WanderTours
Beth Whitman is the Chief Wanderer at Wanderlust and Lipstick (http://wanderlustandlipstick.com) and WanderTours (http://wandertours.com). She began traveling 30 years ago as a backpacker—taking solo trips throughout Asia and the U.S. She has expanded on her love for travel and now leads tours, takes hardcore adventure trips, is the author of several books and runs a non-profit that helps women and children in developing countries.
Beth has twice completed the 25-day, 220-mile Snowman Trek in Bhutan (considered the most difficult trek in the world); ridden a motorcycle solo from Seattle to Panama; spent a year traveling through Pacific Rim countries before it was fashionable; and is the founder of the WanderWorld Foundation (http://wanderworldfoundation.org) which helps women and children around the world. She now hosts the Be Bold podcast (http://beboldpodcast.com/), featuring extraordinary women doing Bold things.