Our experts are here to safeguard both explorers and the pristine environment. They serve as your invaluable hosts throughout your expedition cruise.
“The best part is when our guests begin to really feel the overwhelming grandeur of nature.” - Friederike Bauer, Assistant Expedition 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 Svalbard, your Expedition Team will lead the way on landings, beach cleanup activities and birdwatching as we sail close to bird cliffs and glaciers.
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 that cover:
flora and fauna (polar bears),
geology and oceanography
sea ice and glaciers
marine mammals and birds
culture and history
photography and personal stories
Expedition Team members in Svalbard
Get to know some of the Expedition Team members you may encounter on a cruise to Svalbard:
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!”
Assistant Expedition Leader
Friederike grew up in a large family in Southern Germany, where her brothers taught her to play football, swim, and enjoy getting completely covered in mud. This may be why she became a geologist, graduating with a PhD from Heidelberg, focusing on sedimentary rocks in Spain.
In 2013, she started at the University of Bergen, working on landscape formations in East Africa and Norway. Her Hurtigruten adventure started in 2015, and she is relishing the chance discover more of the world with her fellow explorers.
“As a kid, putting on hiking boots always meant great adventure, fun and companionship. I still feel that way when I go exploring today.”
Jean received his PhD in geology/marine sedimentology from the University of Bremen, Germany. He is specialized in palaeoclimatology - or "the study of changes in climate taken on the scale of the entire history of Earth" - and is also a lecturer.
He currently lives in France, where he does considerable palaeoclimatologyrelated research that he publishes in international peer-reviewed journals.
Vanessa has a bachelor’s degree in marine science with Arctic studies. Currently, she is a master student at the University in Tromsø and University Centre in Svalbard.
Her MSc degree is in marine ecology with a focus on the Arctic marine ecosystem and more specifically the microscopic plants and animals in seasonal ice attached to land.
Lecturer in biology
Will holds a PhD in biological oceanography and works in interdisciplinary climate research programmes at the University of Kiel, Germany. He has participated in multiple international seagoing expeditions into the Arctic.
As a deepsea and benthic zone ecologist, he focused on the biological and physical exchange process at the seafloor-water interface.