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Our newest small-group trips, provided in partnership with G Adventures, blend fun, hands-on exploration with meaningful cultural encounters, as well as more free time and choices, all for an unbeatable value. See All »
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A National Geographic expert will accompany each departure to share insights and a rare behind-the-scenes perspective. Listed below are some of the experts and the departure date(s) they will be joining.
Renowned percussionist Carol Steele has been traveling to Cuba for more than 25 years and introducing the island to fellow travelers for 15. Carol’s enthusiasm is contagious, as is her love of Cuba, its culture, its history, and its people. As a professional musician, Carol’s résumé reads like a Who’s Who of popular music. She has performed or recorded with Peter Gabriel, Steve Winwood, Joan Baez, Tears for Fears, Bette Midler, and many other well-known artists. Carol was the first American women to play with Los Muñequitos de Matanzas, one of Cuba’s iconic folkloric groups, and played and sang on tour in the United States with Lazaro Ros and Amelia Pedroso, two of Cuba’s most popular and beloved Afro-Cuban folkloric singers.
After many years of study, Carol has been initiated into the Regla de Ocha (or Santeria, as most people know it). She loves to share her knowledge about the history of this religion, of music and art as a form of prayer, and of how the faith manifests itself throughout everyday life in Cuba.
Historian Franklin Knight is the Leonard and Helen R. Stulman Professor Emeritus of History and Academy Professor at Johns Hopkins University. His research interests focus on social, political, and cultural aspects of Latin America and the Caribbean, especially after the 18th century, as well as on American slave systems in their comparative dimensions. His analyses of Latin American and Caribbean issues have been aired on National Public Radio, the Voice of America, the British Broadcasting Corporation, the McNeill/Lehrer Report, C-Span, and elsewhere. Franklin has held fellowships from the Social Science Research Council, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, the Ford Foundation, and the National Humanities Center. A past president of both the Historical Society and the Latin American Studies Association, Franklin served as academic consultant to the television series Columbus and the Age of Discovery, The Buried Mirror, Americas, Plagued: Invisible Armies, Crucible of Empire, and The Louisiana Purchase. He was elected Corresponding Member of the Cuban Academy of History in 2012.
A 28-year veteran of the National Geographic Society, Rob Hernandez began
as a senior editor for National Geographic magazine and later founded its
International Publishing division, which publishes magazines, books, and
other media in more than 35 languages. Raised in Cuba and Spain, Rob spent
his early career doing ecological field research and documenting the wildlife
and culture of the world’s more remote places. He filmed a television special on lions in
Namibia, explored the wilderness of New Guinea, journeyed to rarely visited corners of
South America, and circumnavigated the Indian and Pacific Oceans in a small sailboat
for 2 years. So far, this inveterate globetrotter has made multiple visits to nearly every
destination on our Around the World itinerary.
The Lowell Thomas Award 2008 ‘Travel Journalist of the Year,' photographer and writer Christopher Baker is one of the world's foremost authorities on Costa Rica and Cuba. He has authored guidebooks to Costa Rica, Cuba, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, and Panama in the National Geographic Traveler series. He is also the author of the award-winning Mi Moto Fidel: Motorcycling Through Castro's Cuba, published by National Geographic Adventure Press. His more than 20 other books include the coffee-table book Cuba Classics: A Celebration of Vintage American Automobiles. He has written for more than 200 publications, from National Geographic Traveler to Newsweek, and has been an invited speaker at National Geographic headquarters, the National Press Club, and the World Affairs Council, among other prestigious organizations. Christopher has been profiled in USA Today and featured on the National Geographic Channel, CNN, Fox News, NPR, and dozens of other radio and TV outlets. He has currently partnered with actor/director David Soul to produce a documentary about the restoration of Ernest Hemingway’s recently rediscovered 1955 Chrysler New Yorker in Cuba.
Scott Wallace is an award-winning journalist who covers vanishing cultures, armed conflict, and the environment around the world. A former foreign correspondent based in El Salvador and Nicaragua, Scott covered Central America and the Caribbean during the tumultuous 1980s for Newsweek, CBS News, and The Guardian. Scott is a regular contributor to National Geographic magazine and National Geographic Traveler. He is the recipient of the Explorers Club's prestigious Lowell Thomas Award for excellence in expedition reporting. In addition to his work in the former Soviet Union, the Middle East and South Asia, Scott has evolved a distinguished career as a reporter and photographer in Cuba, Central America, the Andes and the Amazon. He has joined National Geographic Expeditions to Cuba, Costa Rica, Patagonia, and Morocco. He is the author of the bestselling book The Unconquered: In Search of the Amazon's Last Uncontacted Tribes.
Fabio Amador is a Senior Program Officer for the National Geographic Society/Waitt Grants Program, which is dedicated to funding exploratory research around the world. He has traveled and worked extensively throughout Latin America and is presently collaborating with research projects in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, Peru, El Salvador, and Madagascar. He has also traveled regularly to Cuba over the past five years on educational and scientific missions for National Geographic. As a trained archaeologist, his interest in Taino Indian culture (which spanned the Greater Antilles, including Cuba) is focused on the sacred landscape and the use of caves for ritual activity. In his role at National Geographic, Fabio uses imaging and visualization technologies to provide new ways of capturing data and to document the experience of conducting research and exploration. His initiative in supporting National Geographic research and exploration projects worldwide has resulted in a workshop titled The Art of Communicating Science. Fabio uses photography, cinematography, and other multimedia tools to reach large audiences through his public lectures at universities and on expeditions, presentations at international scientific and professional symposia, publications in scholarly journals and on National Geographic’s Explorers Journal and NatGeo News Watch blogs.
Annie Gibson is the Associate Director for Intercultural Learning at the Center for Global Education at Tulane University, where she also completed her Ph.D. in Latin American Studies. Annie's areas of research specialization include Cuban and Brazilian performance cultures, immigration, travel, and tourism studies. She has published widely, including numerous articles in academic research journals and two books: Post-Katrina Brazucas: Brazilians in New Orleans and Hispanic and Latino New Orleans: Immigration and Identity Since the 18th Century, which she co-authored. The latter won the American Association of Geographers' 2015 J.B. Jackson Book Prize for contribution of the year to the historical and ethnic geography of the United States. Annie co-produced and directed a short film entitled Tempo of Tomorrow Revisited that explores U.S. tourism to Cuba in 1958 and 2014. She teaches a diverse range of courses in Spanish and Portuguese languages, literatures, and cultures on Tulane’s campus and abroad.