Human Origins: Southwest France and Northern Spain

  • Examine Europe's most renowned prehistoric cave art
  • Meet with local archaeologists and paleontologists

National Geographic Experts


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.

Robert Hernandez
Editor, Naturalist, Wildlife Ecologist

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. On this expedition, Rob will share his intimate knowledge of Spain, France, and paleoanthropology.

Departure Dates
  • Apr 24 - May 03, 2015

Chris Stringer
Archaeologist, Anthropologist

Paleoanthropologist Chris Stringer has worked at the Natural History Museum London since 1973, where he now leads research in Human Origins. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society. Chris's early research was on the relationship of Neanderthals and early modern humans in Europe. Through his work on the "Recent African Origin" model for modern human origins, he now collaborates with archaeologists, dating specialists, and geneticists in attempting to reconstruct the evolution of modern humans globally. He has excavated at sites in Britain and abroad, and is currently leading the Ancient Human Occupation of Britain project in its third phase (AHOB3). He has published more than 250 scientific papers, and his recent books include Homo Britannicus: The Incredible Story of Human Life in Britain, The Complete World of Human Evolution (with Peter Andrews), and Lone Survivors.

Departure Dates
  • May 29 - Jun 07, 2015

Donald Johanson

Paleoanthropologist Donald Johanson is best known as the man who discovered “Lucy,” the 3.2-million-year-old partial skeleton and hominin ancestor to Homo sapiens. An accomplished scientist, scholar, and National Geographic grantee, Donald has helped piece together the puzzle of human evolution. He is the founder of the Institute of Human Origins at Arizona State University and the author of the book Lucy’s Legacy: The Quest for Human Origins. His work has been featured many times in National Geographic magazine and television documentaries.

Departure Dates
  • Aug 28 - Sep 06, 2015

Andrew Howley
Author, Editor

National Geographic staff writer and editor Andrew Howley's enthusiasm for cave art began in college when he scrawled a bison on the wall above his desk. Throughout his studies of archaeology and art, images from the European caves held an elevated status and later inspired him to paint them on everyday objects to peddle at local fairs. He finally visited the caves when his first writing assignment for the Geographic had him covering the 2010 International Federation of Rock Art Organizations (IFRAO) conference in France on the 70th anniversary of the discovery of Lascaux. Later, while reporting from a marine biology expedition to the Pitcairn Islands with NG Explorers-in-Residence Enric Sala and Mike Fay, he scaled perilous cliffs to see some of the most remote petroglyphs in the world. In late 2013, he headed underground once more, to produce daily reports on Lee Berger's Rising Star Expedition, which unearthed a record number of early hominid fossils from a tiny cave in South Africa.

Departure Dates
  • Sep 04 - 13, 2015

David Barnes
Educator, Historian

Historian and educator David Barnes joined Lindblad Expeditions as a full-time expedition historian in 1998 and has traveled the world aboard the National Geographic-Lindblad fleet in that capacity, from the Arctic to the Antarctic (via Saudi Arabia) and from the Seychelles to Easter Island (via Namibia). He studied history at the University of York in England and theology at the University of Wales. Research in the field of religious history, at Cardiff, followed on naturally. He has spent most of his professional life teaching history. In addition to work as a lecturing historian for National Geographic and Lindblad, David has taught a wide variety of adult education courses with the University of Wales. He has published extensively on Welsh history and topography—his most recent book being The Companion Guide to Wales—and is a frequent contributor of articles and reviews to Welsh cultural and literary journals. He speaks English and French in addition to his native Welsh, and has travelled extensively in Ireland and France for more than forty years. David was elected a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in 1998 and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society in 2003, and he is a member of the Welsh Academy and of the Gorsedd of Bards.

Departure Dates
  • Oct 02 - 11, 2015