Candidate Profile

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Destinations & Ports
Health, Medicine & Wellbeing
History - General
Travel & Destinations
Dr. Glassner’s enrichment presentations look at history through the eyes of a physician. His talks reveal the little-known medical factors which influenced geopolitical events that shaped the course of western civilization. All of his presentations are meticulously researched, cogently presented and geared toward the layperson – no medical jargon is used.

As the chairman and medical director of his hospital’s emergency department he was called upon to address both professional and lay audiences, including the internationally-recognized American Academy of Emergency Medicine which honored him with the James A. Keaney leadership award in 2006. He has also been a featured speaker for the City College of San Francisco Adult Education program. He has been speaking on cruise ships since 2013. 

Sam’s love of travel began over forty years ago when he served for two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Republic of Korea. Photographs of his travels have been published. He has visited six of the world’s seven continents and his current destination topics include talks on Cuba, the Caribbean, Russia and the Baltic countries. He is a member of the Slavic National Honor Society and prior to retirement was a fellow of both the American Academy of Emergency Medicine and the American College of Emergency Physicians. His writings have been published in the emergency medicine literature. When he is not traveling and/or speaking he is expanding his repertoire of destination and enrichment presentations. 

Destination Topics – Russia/Baltic

The Song of Norway - the historical and cultural evolution of Norway from the Viking Age to the most admired welfare state in the world.

The Saga of Sweden - the history, architecture and antiquities of Sweden and Stockholm from their tribal days to the present.

A Day in Stockholm – a talk about the history and location of Stockholm’s most famous venues and attractions.

They Sang to Be Free - how Estonia survived for centuries under German and Russian rule and then won its independence by singing.

Great Danes - the history and culture of Denmark and Copenhagen from the Ice Age to the present.

The Finnish Line - the country Finland, born of Sweden and Russia, its heritage, culture and place in the modern world.

The Norwegian Fjords – their formation, history, nearby towns and unique attractions.

Germany and the Kiel Canal – geopolitical history of the links from the North Sea to the Baltic and the canal as a symbol of Germany’s emergence as a world power.

Destination Topics – British Isles

Scotland and the Jacobite Rebellion – the story of the attempt to restore the House of Stuart to the English throne.

The Irish Potato Famine – perhaps the greatest tragedy in Ireland’s history.

Destination Topics – Caribbean/Cuba

Sugar and Slavery – how our craving for sweetness shaped the evolution of the Caribbean and the history of the world

The Mafia in Cuba – the interaction of criminals, politicians and Castro in pre-revolutionary Cuba

The Spanish-American War – the elements that led up to the war and how Cuba and the world changed after it was fought.

The Last Pirates of the Caribbean – the last hurrah for the Caribbean pirates of the 18th century, how they lived and how they died.

The Bay of Pigs – the full story of the failed attempt by the US to invade Cuba and overthrow Castro.

The Rogues & Righteous of the New World – the first settlers of the Caribbean and how they came to be there.

Destination-related Enrichment Interest Topics – Russia/Baltic

The Czar Who Built St. Petersburg - the life and reign of the tsar who opened Russia to Europe, defeated Sweden, conquered the Baltic, founded St. Petersburg and allowed his son to be tortured to death.

The Early Life of Catherine the Great – the German princess who found herself in a loveless and sexless marriage to the czar of Russia only to replace him on the throne as Catherine the Great.

Catherine the Great: Majesty in the Age of Monarchy - the longest ruling female monarch in Russian history; the lands she conquered, the revolt she put down, the palaces she built, the art she collected and how she created the Hermitage museum.

The Twelve Lovers of Catherine the Great – the men in the life of Catherine the Great and their influence on her life and rule.

The Fall of the House of Romanov - the roles of disease, Queen Victoria of England and her descendants in bringing down the House of Romanov and ending imperial rule in Russia.

Enrichment Topics – World History

Science, Sickness and the Age of Reason - the changing ideas about life and illness and significant medical advances during the Enlightenment.

The Plagues that Shaped History - the influence of ancient pandemics and epidemics on science, Christianity and the evolution of world history.

The Glow that Changed the World – the discovery of x-rays and radiation and its impact on individual lives and civilization as a whole.

Plagues of the Modern World - how global history was shaped and influenced by disease outbreaks of the 20th and 21st centuries.

The Medicine Your Grandmother Took - the nostrums our ancestors once ingested and applied, the industry that arose from these ineffective concoctions, and how these fraudsters were ultimately put out of business.

The First Doctors - who they were, what they believed, how they practiced and what the church and government allowed them to do.

The Epidemic that Wasn’t - how the death of one US soldier in 1976 led the country to prepare for an epidemic that never came.

Paradise Lost: The Hawaii You Don’t Know - how the arrival of Europeans and Americans ravaged the native population, destroyed centuries-old traditions, and then dominated all aspects of Hawaii’s evolution.

The Truth About Body Snatchers – dig deeply with me as I unearth the many reasons behind this seemingly ghoulish practice.

Greece and Italy: The Birthplace of Medicine – the origins of western medical belief, how it was influenced by the Church and the training of doctors from the time of Hippocrates to the beginning of the renaissance.
What started with a B.A. in Slavic studies led to two years of service as a Peace Corps volunteer and a love of travel, foreign culture and history. Dr. Glassner is now a retired physician and an experienced destination and special-interest speaker. Many of his talks, all geared toward the lay person, reveal the little-known medical and scientific factors which influenced geopolitical events that shaped the course of western civilization. Other presentations deal with the history, culture and personalities of the Caribbean and Baltic countries. He has spoken on Celebrity, Princess and Royal Caribbean and is already scheduled to speak on Oceania in 2019.
Travel insurance: Emergency Medical & Medical Evacuation and Repatriation Trekker Choice through GeoBlue

Prefer to make my own travel arrangements

Past and Future Cruise Bookings
01/24/2020 Viking Sky Cultural Cuba (destination)-booked
01/17/2020 Viking Sky Cultural Cuba (destination)-booked
01/10/2020 Viking Sky Cultural Cuba (destination)-booked
09/11/2019 Oceania Nautica Old World Artistry (destination)-booked
09/04/2019 Oceania Nautica Baltic Marvels (destination)-booked
08/24/2019 Oceania Nautica Steeples and Statues (destination)-booked
04/21/2019 Oasis of the Seas Transatlantic (enrichment) - booked
01/31/2019 Viking Star Cultural Cuba (destination)
01/04/2019 Celebrity Reflection Exotic Southern Caribbean (destination)
11/03/2018 Celebrity Silhouette Boston, Broadway & Bermuda (enrichment)
09/24/2018 Celebrity Equinox Southern Caribbean (enrichment)
09/07/2018 Radiance of the Seas Transpacific & Hawaii (enrichment)
05/06/2018 Rhapsody of the Seas Florida to Spain (enrichment)
01/19/2018 Celebrity Reflection Ultimate Caribbean (enrichment)
07/06/2017 Celebrity Silhouette Scandinavia & Russia (destination lecturer)
05/07/2017 Celebrity Millennium Japan & Bering Sea (enrichment)
03/19/2017 Celebrity Infinity Chile to Miami (enrichment)
01/04/2017 Island Princess Panama Canal (enrichment)
10/25/2016 Celebrity Equinox Transatlantic (enrichment)
04/10/2016 Celebrity Silhouette Transatlantic (enrichment)
03/04/2016 Island Princess Panama Canal (enrichment)
09/07/2015 Pacific Princess Transpacific (enrichment)
04/19/2015 Celebrity Silhouette Transatlantic (enrichment)
06/03/2013 Celebrity Silhouette Eastern Med & Greece(enrichment)
The following recent Cruise History has been recorded for this candidate.
Viking Star ST190131 Cultural Cuba 7 Miami, Florida Thursday, January 31, 2019