At AE Expeditions we’re asked all kinds of questions. Some are scientific, others are more historical or geographical. If someone asks ‘what kind of seals are in Antarctica’ or ‘why there are no penguins in the European Arctic?‘ the answer is usually quite simple. But every now and then we get a question that makes us stop and think – and gives us a bit of a giggle! One that’s turned a few heads is ‘who are the naturists on board?’ Today we’ll lay bare the facts about AE Expeditions naturists.

What is a naturist: the naked truth

While many of us prefer to spend our days fully clothed, some prefer to live their lives au naturel. In their birthday suits. Nude. Unclothed. They are naturists.

While everyone is welcome to make this lifestyle choice, you can safely assume that we will never have an active naturist on board. Aside from anything else, it’s probably a little cold in most of the places we visit!

Fortunately, we do have the next best thing: our expert team of on-board naturalists.

What is a naturalist?

While naturists may be in a state of nature, naturalists are into nature and natural history, and they are always eager to share their expertise with everyone on board. They take a passion for penguins and wonder of wildlife to the next level, and bring everyone on board along with them. They are an important and special part of the AE Expeditions’ team.

Where can I find them?

While at sea, you will often find naturalists on deck enthusing over a thrilling whale or seal sighting. They may be updating the wildlife list with the most recent observations, or in the lecture theatre giving a presentation on the wildlife you have seen or hope to encounter.

On land, naturalist guides are available to answer your questions about local wildlife, vegetation and other natural phenomena. If you have a question about king penguins in South Georgia, howling monkeys in Costa Rica or puffins in Iceland, our naturalists are there to reveal the hidden lives of these remarkable creatures.

Whether you’re travelling to Antarctica, the European Arctic or Patagonia, their contagious enthusiasm and impressive local knowledge will enrich your expedition.

Meet our naturalists

Our naturalists are passionate about the natural world, and together they have centuries of combined experience working in the wild landscapes we visit.

Please read on to find out what they can offer on your voyage.

Dr John Kirkwood
Dr John Kirkwood

Dr John Kirkwood (Naturalist) – European Arctic and Antarctica
Dr John Kirkwood has spent over 30 years immersed in polar and marine research studying a range of specialised creatures great and small. If you’d like to bend the ear of someone who has not only devoted his career to scientific research but also ice dived in Antarctica, studied dugongs in Moreton Bay and explored the Amazon rainforest, Dr John Kirkwood is your man.


Heidi Krajewsky

Heidi Krajewsky (Naturalist) – European Arctic and Antarctica
With a Marine Biology degree from the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Heidi Krajewsky understands more than most about the marine mammals and sea birds on the British Columbia coast. Heidi’s scientific voyages have also taken her to the South Pacific, Bermuda and Antarctica. More than a font of knowledge, Heidi’s boundless enthusiasm is quite contagious!


Dr Roger Kirkwood
Dr Roger Kirkwood

Dr Roger Kirkwood (Naturalist and Expedition Leader) – European Arctic and Antarctica
A polar expert for over 30 years, Dr Roger Kirkwood has completed more than 10 research trips to Antarctica studying everything from krill and emperor penguins to albatross. Roger has had an illustrious career so far and loves to share his extensive knowledge of wildlife and the natural world.


Dr Alan Burger
Dr Alan Burger

Dr Alan Burger (Naturalist and Expedition Leader) – Antarctica and European Arctic
Dr Alan Burger is one of the most respected wildlife conservationists in the world. Having spent more than two years researching and studying birds on the subantarctic Marion Island, he’s extraordinarily adept at spotting albatrosses, penguins and petrels as we sail!

If you’d like to meet some of our naturalists in person, get in touch with our team to find out which of our voyages is right for you.


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