Our experts are here to safeguard both explorers and the pristine environment. They serve as your invaluable hosts throughout your expedition cruise.
“The oceans are full of fascinating life forms, from birds to plankton, from fish to seals to whales – and I love to help our guests learn to observe all the diversity of life on their route.” - Mario Acquarone, Expedition Team Leader
Expedition Teams at Hurtigruten represent the best of the best. The Expedition Team Leader and Assistant Expedition Leaders are experts on safety and sustainability, making sure your exploration of these remote destinations is done right.
Together with guest lecturers and scientists, they will enhance your voyage with first-hand knowledge and fascinating insights, ensure your complete safety during landings, and guarantee the lightest possible footprint in this pristine environment.
Leading and teaching
During your discovery of the Northwest Passage, your Expedition Team will lead the way on landings, short hikes and small boat cruises. Briefings occur before each landing, making you aware of any potential risks and of strict protocol regarding local wildlife.
Both on and off the ship, lectures are held on a wide variety of specialist topics. These may include:
Get to know some of the Expedition Team members you may encounter on a cruise to the Northwest Passage:
Mario was born at the foot of the Alps in Turin, Italy. A trained researcher, with a PhD in the feeding ecology of walrus, Mario has significant fieldwork experience in remote areas in the Arctic, Antarctic and the Bolivian Altiplano.
Before joining Hurtigruten, Mario worked at the University of Tromsø, Norway, where he was an award-winning teacher and communicator.
“When I was ten years old, I experienced being on a small sailboat on a mirror-flat sea, encircled by thousands of playful dolphins. It was epic!”
Ralf gained a PhD in outdoor education at Edinburgh University and has since worked in a range of diverse roles such as ranger, Outward Bound instructor, lecturer as well as trekking and sea kayak guide in national parks in Svalbard and North-East Greenland.
“In 8th grade, our class constructed Inuit-style kayaks. It took four months, but it really planted the seeds that led me to want to explore new frontiers.”
Saga grew up in a small Icelandic village called Budardalur. She studied tourism and then became a biologist. Her studies brought her to North Norway, where she has lived for the past 10 years.
Saga today works as a dog sled musher and helps Sámi reindeer owners minimise the loss of their animals to predators. She spends each summer in Svalbard to study seabirds.
Lecturer in biology
As a wildlife biologist, Delphin has studied and worked around the world. He has also taught at UCLA and participated in various nature conservation projects.
Every summer since 2011, Delphin has studied seabirds in Svalbard for the Norwegian Polar Institute, but during the Arctic winter, he works as a Northern Lights guide in Northern Norway, where he now lives.
Dr. Heidrun Oberg
Lecturer in biology
Heidrun studied biology and psychology at Braunschweig University, Germany. She received a doctorate in Ethology. She later studied biosociology, anthropology and palaeontology.
At the Natural History Museum in Braunschweig, she teaches about environmental protection organisations and zoological gardens.