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.
National Geographic photographer, climber and diver Jonathan Kingston captures images of the natural world and vistas of life on the edge. From arresting photographs of vibrant tribal dances to underwater scenes of elephants swimming at sea to silhouettes of climbers scaling rock, Jonathan’s penchant for travel and love of the wild have taken him to some of the most remote and unmapped corners of the globe. His work has appeared in print and online in National Geographic, The New York Times, The New Yorker, and The Wall Street Journal. A passionate teacher, Jonathan spent two years on the faculty of Life and Light Academy, India's first college devoted exclusively to photography. He also taught a National Geographic Photo Camp on the Crow Indian Reservation in Montana in 2016. This program uses photography to help young adults and children in underserved communities around the world to develop their own voices and tell their stories. Jonathan has received multiple honors from the prestigious Communication Arts and PDN Photo Annual competitions. His work is represented by National Geographic Creative and the National Geographic Fine Art Galleries.
National Geographic Explorer and acclaimed documentary photographer Chris Rainier specializes in highlighting endangered cultures and traditional languages around the globe. In 2002, he received the Lowell Thomas Award from The Explorers Club for his efforts in cultural preservation, and was elected in 2014 as a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society of London, where he specializes in cultural preservation. During his continued tenure with the National Geographic Society as a National Geographic Fellow and Explorer, he has been the co-founder and co-director of the Enduring Voices Project and director of the All Roads Photography Program, both designed to support indigenous groups desiring to document their traditional cultures and create sustainable solutions to preserve the planet in the 21st century. Chris also served as a cultural editor and photographer for National Geographic Traveler magazine for over 18 years. Today he directs The Cultural Sanctuaries Foundation, whose mission is to create legally protected cultural zones around the globe that protect both traditional knowledge as well as the biodiversity the communities are guardians of. In the early 1980s, Chris served as the last assistant for famed photographer Ansel Adams. The two worked together to amplify the use of art photography as a social tool, ultimately helping to preserve threatened wilderness areas and national parks. Rainier has been traveling to the continent of India and the Indian Himalayas since 1984. He has explored and documented many tribal regions, including visual studies of the diverse religions of India, on well over 20 trips. He also has deep passion for teaching photography, and for the past 20 years has been leading photographic expeditions for National Geographic around the world. Chris has brought numerous photography groups to places as diverse as Varanasi, Rajasthan, and Ladakh. He looks forward to sharing the richness and stunning culture of India with travelers.
Born in France, Matthieu Paley has traveled all over the world for National Geographic magazine. Focusing his efforts on regions that are misrepresented or misunderstood, he is especially committed to issues relating to diminishing cultures and the environment. Following a decade of relentlessly documenting the harsh, unforgiving existence of Kyrgyz nomads in the high-altitude landscape of remote Afghanistan, Matthieu's first National Geographic story appeared in the February 2013 issue of the magazine (“Stranded on the Roof of the World”). Matthieu has reported multiple stories on India for National Geographic, including a weeklong journey aboard India’s longest domestic train route that stretches 2,600 miles from the southernmost tip of the subcontinent to the northeastern corner of the country. He also gained a new perspective of people and culture during a road trip where he and his family spent three months driving 6,000-plus miles across India. Over the course of his career, he has learned six languages (including Hindi), feeding his passion to connect with the people he meets and helping him to instill a sense of intimacy into his images. Matthieu is the recipient of numerous awards, including a 2017 World Press and a Photographer of the Year International Award. He has published several monographs of his work, and his fine art images have been exhibited in galleries and museums worldwide. Matthieu's images have also been published in numerous other magazines including Geo, Newsweek, Time, Outside, and Le Monde. He enjoys joining National Geographic Expeditions and Student Expeditions, and is a speaker for our Nat Geo Live lecture series.