About us

Meet the Wild Earth team

Aaron Russ - General Manager

Aaron Russ - General Manager

Aaron spent a childhood like no other travelling on small ships every holiday to the Subantarctic Islands, New Zealand and Antarctica. Since that time, he has led expeditions on over 100 small ship cruises to the world’s most interesting regions. With a degree in zoology, a passion for photography and a desire to showcase the world’s premier destinations, he is the perfect person to lead the Wild Earth Travel team. Antarctica still remains one of his favourite destinations, however he recently lead a number of cruises around the Scottish Isles which he really enjoyed. Spending time recently with the great pacific navigator Mau Piailug in Micronesia is one of Aaron’s most recent highlights.

Recently Aaron spent time exploring and leading small ship cruises in the following destinations -

  • Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands
  • The Antarctic Peninsula
  • Spitsbergen & Greenland
  • The Canadian Arctic

 

Neil Saunders - Sales

Neil Saunders - Sales

With over 18 years travel industry experience, and expertise in Adventure Travel, Luxury Travel, Family Holidays and Small Ship Luxury and Expedition Cruising, Neil joins the Wild Earth Travel team managing our business development via the extensive Travel Agency Network in Australia.  Based in Adelaide and the home of wine in Australia, he loves nothing better than a good chat over a glass or two on travel and especially some of the great places you can visit on a small ship or while expedition cruising. He has sold tours, managed and run tour operators in the the UK, Europe and Australia and has travelled extensively in UK, USA, Asia, Africa, Australia and Europe including the Arctic (Iceland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland). HIs most recent overseas trip was to Bali, Indonesia and is looking to head to the Pacific and Antarctica in the coming year.

Ellen Batchelor - Reservations

Ellen Batchelor  - Reservations

Originally from Yorkshire, Ellen travelled the world living in Australia and Canada before settling in New Zealand after meeting her Kiwi husband. Travel has always been a passion for Ellen, and she has made the most of every opportunity – travelling around the world multiple times in a variety of ways from backpacking to small ship cruising. Ellen recently spent time on the Caledonian Sky enjoying the spectacular scenery of the South Island of New Zealand, and experienced the Galapagos Islands on a small ship cruise in March 2014. She also enjoyed cruising on luxury small ship L'Austral in early 2015 around the north island of New Zealand

Sarah Porter - Sales

Sarah Porter  - Sales

 Sarah has been passionate about travel from an early age, with adventures abroad every year since the age of 5. Sarah has a degree in Communication, initially working in the media, sponsorship and marketing field. More recently Sarah spent 3 ½ years living in Niue, when her husband Hayden headed up Tourism Development for the small Pacific nation. In between beach time with sons Isaac & Lachie and her passions of diving and fishing; Sarah was asked to run the only supermarket on Niue. Sarah has also done various consulting roles, running Customer Service workshops and assisting organisations in building positive workplace environments. Returning home to Auckland, Sarah is loving the opportunities and adventures Wild Earth Travel has in store.

Lorna Carnaby - Design

Lorna Carnaby - Design

Lorna grew up on Canterbury's Banks Peninsula and trained as a graphic designer, working in both Christchurch and Wellington. Her affinity with the sea led her to work in marine tourism for some years where she enjoyed observing the local wildlife. She lists the Little Blue Penguin and the rare Hector's Dolphin as her two favourites. Lorna recently returned from Macquarie Island, Campbell and the Auckland Islands where she enjoyed spending time with the young elephant seals and colonies of King and Royal Penguins.

Amy Forsyth - Communications and Marketing

Amy Forsyth - Communications and Marketing

Amy has mixed heritage (South African and Scottish) which has fuelled her passion to see more cultures, places and experiences. She has previously done PR and marketing for hotels. 

Best wildlife encounter to date?

Witnessing wild baboons run into beach homes in Pringle Bay, South Africa- so comical!

Best cultural encounter to date?

Learning about the gypsy neighbourhood of Sacromonte (in Granada), and how the flamenco originated there by the cultures of Andalusia.

Three words to describe Wild Earth Travel?

Extraordinary, authentic and limitless.

Where in the world is next on your travel wishlist?

I would love to see blue-footed boobies and ancient tortoise in the Galapagos archipelago and of course, Antarctica is also top of the list!

 


Evelina Barman - Reservations

Evelina Barman - Reservations

Hailing from Sweden Evelina has lived in some of the most colourful parts of the world including Cape Town and Melbourne and studied tourism back in her hometown of Stockholm...

What is one thing you travel with that you could not live without? 
My camera, either my Nikon, a go-pro or a disposable camera. Love capturing a beautiful light, an interesting street or an activity trying something new for the first time!

What is the best international cuisine you have tried? 
Went to local little cafe in Sri Lanka, a local man that we met on the beach took us to his friends place for a late breakfast. Sat on the floor, ate with our hands and it was amazing! New flavours, beautiful colours and nothing like I've ever tried before.

What advice would you give to individuals that are new to the world of small cruise-ship cruising? 
If you love exploring in smaller groups and really want to discover an area, then I would definitely recommend small cruise-ship cruising. There's really something for everyone, doesn't matter if you want to travel by yourself or with friends or family.

Where in the world is next on your travel wish list? 
Would absolutely love to visit the Arctic, looks so magical and to have the possibility to see Polar Bears: epic! Hiking in the mountains in Nepal would also be an amazing experience.

Tomasa Demarchi - Reservations

Tomasa Demarchi - Reservations

Tomasa originating from Italy joined us from the New Zealand School of Tourism where she taught for 5 years. She has a passion for travel and many passport stamps to match and her ultimate, favourite travel destination is Disneyland! 

What are the biggest ‘travel trend’ destinations right now? 

Croatia and Alaska have been very popular this year, and they both are a good choice during the Northern Hemisphere's summer. Both destinations offer 7 days cruises which is the perfect addition to a longer trip in areas of the world which have a lot to offer.

If you could single out the most advantageous thing about small ship cruising for you, what would it be and why?

That's a difficult question to answer because there are so many advantages in choosing a small ship! If I had to choose one, I would probably go with the fact that a small ship is able to reach more remote areas and disembark passengers more quickly to gain more time for excursions.

Best wildlife encounter to date?

I would have to say swimming with the manta rays in the Maldives - being in the big wide ocean with such graceful animals was incredible.

Where in the world is next on your travel wish list? 

My travel wish list is very long....on top of the list of new destinations are Iceland and the Caribbean....very different destinations from each other, I know! But both look equally enticing!


Our Associates Include

Adventure Canada
Heritage Expeditions New Zealand
Lindblad Expeditions
Noble Caledonia
UnCruise Adventures
Variety Cruises