Ex­pe­di­tion Leader,

Seabourn Club Herald - - MEET THE CREW -

Juan Car­los was born and raised in Maniza­les, Colom­bia, a uni­ver­sity city nes­tled among the peaks of the An­des cordillera, in cof­fee-grow­ing coun­try near the snow­capped Ne­vado del Ruiz vol­cano. That ac­tive seis­mic en­vi­ron­ment may have piqued his early in­ter­est in ge­ol­ogy, which even­tu­ally be­came his field of study. “I also got the travel bug from my par­ents,” he ad­mits. “From an early age they took me on ad­ven­tur­ous and ex­cit­ing trips. I owe them that, and much more.”

Fol­low­ing his school­ing, Juan Car­los set out trav­el­ing and kept it up non-stop for al­most five years. Dur­ing that time, he worked on ships for the first time, as a scuba dive-mas­ter on the Star

Clip­per sail­ing ships. Years later, he re­turned to ex­pe­di­tion-style ships as a ge­ol­ogy lec­turer. Over the last 10 years, he has grad­u­ally com­bined his love of hands-on ad­ven­ture ac­tiv­ity with his pas­sion for teach­ing and ge­ol­ogy to de­fine a new role for him­self as an ex­pe­di­tion leader. “I still love to lec­ture,” he says, “and I like be­ing able to go back and forth be­tween those two roles, do­ing them si­mul­ta­ne­ously. It’s a challenge I en­joy and it keeps me stim­u­lated.”

Juan Car­los spends about seven months a year trav­el­ing on ships, split be­tween two con­tracts. When he is not at sea, he re­turns to Maniza­les to be with his fam­ily and friends. “Maniza­les is a very stim­u­lat­ing city,” he notes. “There are seven uni­ver­si­ties there, so the pop­u­la­tion is lively, with a lot of young peo­ple, lots of cul­tural events and nightlife.” He also loves to ex­plore the sur­round­ing An­dean ter­rain, which of­fers am­ple op­por­tu­ni­ties to pur­sue his pas­sion for paraglid­ing. “I have been paraglid­ing for nearly 20 years,” he says. “I fly as much as I can when I am not on board. I also like mo­tor­cy­cle tour­ing in the coun­try­side, vis­it­ing small vil­lages and tak­ing ad­van­tage of Colom­bia’s abun­dance of wind­ing moun­tain roads.”

“When I first saw Alaska, I im­me­di­ately rec­og­nized the wilder­ness I had dreamed about when I was watch­ing doc­u­men­taries as a boy,” says Juan Car­los. “The scale of the moun­tains and the huge glaciers stim­u­lates the sci­en­tist in me, and the sight of iconic wildlife species ex­cites the boy in me. I can’t wait to share it all with guests aboard Se­abourn So­journ this sum­mer.” As ex­pe­di­tion leader, Juan Car­los will head the ex­pe­di­tion team of sci­en­tists, nat­u­ral­ists and his­to­ri­ans who will be of­fer­ing pre­sen­ta­tions on board as a part of the Se­abourn Con­ver­sa­tions on­board en­rich­ment pro­gram. They will also be cir­cu­lat­ing in the Ob­ser­va­tion Bar and on the open decks dur­ing scenic cruis­ing and when­ever any­thing es­pe­cially in­ter­est­ing is sighted from the bridge. In ad­di­tion, he will over­see the launch of Ven­tures by Se­abourn kayak­ing and Zo­diac-cruis­ing ex­cur­sions from the ship in breath­tak­ing places such as Tracy Arm, Misty Fjords and the Inian Is­lands.

“It’s a job that’s al­ways chang­ing,” he says. “It starts early and of­ten goes late. But you are help­ing peo­ple re­al­ize their dreams ev­ery day. They say, ‘Choose the right ca­reer path, love what you do and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.’ There’s no other job that I would rather do!”

JUAN CAR­LOS RESTREPO

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