WINNER: World’s Best Expedition Cruise Line | 2023 World Cruise Awards

Howard Whelan

Expedition Leader

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Howard’s lifelong passion for adventure, writing and filmmaking has taken him to many of the planet’s wildest places. One of the first to walk the 4000-kilometre Pacific Crest Trail from Canada to Mexico, he went on to cross the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea, spent three months in remote Russia writing for America’s Outside magazine, and was cameraman on the first Australian ascent of Mt Everest.

As the founding editor then publisher of Australian Geographic and trustee of the Australian Geographic Society, Howard led scientific expeditions to remote parts of Australia, often resulting in significant geographic articles for the journal’s nearly one million readers. In 2002 he lead the Antarctic filming expeditions that resulted in the Academy Award-winning Happy Feet.

Howard has been part of the Aurora Expeditions team since our inception over 20 years ago and has led expeditions every year since. Besides exploring much of the Antarctic coastline and sub-Antarctic Islands, he’s led trips in the Amazon, Galapagos, Kimberley, European Arctic, Russia’s Far East and the Northeast Passage.

These days he runs a polar logistics and media consultancy specialising in the environment, natural history and adventure. He was recently guest curator of the Australian Museum’s exhibition, TrailBlazers: Australia’s 50 Greatest Explorers, is a Senior Polar Tourism Guide and Fellow of the Explorer’s Club.

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