Candidate Profile

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EXPERTISE
History - Maritime
Oceanography
Vikings & Scandinavia
PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE WITH:
BIOGRAPHY
Allan took up cruise ship lecturing as both an Enrichment Lecturer and Destinations Presenter when he retired from the Royal Air Force in 2003. He has completed many cruises with companies such as Viking, Silver Seas, Holland - America, Cunard, SAGA, Voyages of Discovery and Fred Olsen.

During his service, he flew the AVRO Shackleton and was an aircraft commander on Nimrod Maritime Patrol aircraft. He saw action in Aden and the first Gulf War, but most of his flying career was spent keeping an eye on the Soviet Navy - especially its submarine force - as well as long-range search and rescue missions.

Between flying tours, Allan was assigned to several posts that involved oceanographic research, and between 1978 and 1982 he was assigned to the Admiralty Research Laboratory at Teddington where Barnes Wallace developed his famous bouncing bomb.

When his flying career ended in 1993, Allan was seconded to the United States Navy. He was posted to Norfolk, Virginia to qualify as a military oceanographer prior to taking command of Operations at a joint US-UK Undersea Surveillance Facility. This gave him the opportunity to study ocean geology, underwater sound, and marine animals and their habitats. In his career he spent a total of 12 years with the US Navy and formed a great affinity with both America and Americans.

He is a qualified instructor in both the USN and his own service and uses these skills to great affect in his PowerPoint presentations which include short, interesting video clips.
OCEANOGRAPHY LECTURES
EXAMPLES OF ALLAN’S ENRICHMENT LECTURES

Allan's talks are individually constructed for the waters where the assigned ship is cruising although he has talks on all of the world's oceans. As well as oceanography, geology, geography and history they contain some amusing anecdotes from his Service days. He also describes some fascinating, and generally unknown historic tales of the sea. Some examples of titles are:

“THE SAGA OF NORWAY.”
Examine its geography, society and how it emerged as one of the world’s most developed nations.

“THE ARCTIC CONVOYS OF WORLD WAR II.”
Learn about the heroism and hardships that were endured 73 years ago in these waters.

“THE AWE-INSPIRING NORTH SEA & ENGLISH CHANNEL.”
Gain an overview of the geology, oceanography, naval history and oil rig rescues of these waters.

“THE THAMES RIVER FROM THE NORTH SEA TO GREENWICH.”
Listen to the story of this great waterway and find out how it relates to the capital of the UK.

“THE ARCTIC AND BARENTSZ’ SEARCH FOR THE NORTH-EAST PASSAGE.”
The Geology, Oceanography of the Arctic Ocean and the story of Barentsz' doomed expedition.

"BEAUTIFUL BERGEN - NORWAY'S NUMBER TWO CITY."
Taking in Bergen’s geography and maritime history. Its development and culture with a surprising insight into the effects that global warming is having on the city.

"Mare Nostrum - Our Sea."
Revealing the oceanography, geology, and history of Mediterranean Sea and marine animals we may see during the cruise.

"Papa Hemmingway’s Spain."
Examining Ernest Hemingway’s adventures in the Spanish Civil War and his love of bullfighting which inspired some of his most famous writings.

"The Battle of the Mediterranean."
Studying the naval conflicts and convoys which were crucial to the relief of Malta and the Allied victory in North Africa and Italy in WWII.

"ROB WILSON’S WAR"
Take in the story of a young Australian sailor and his ship, HMAS Sydney, and their battle experiences in the Mediterranean in the early years of the Second World War. The talk is derived from his diaries which were not discovered by his family until after his death and we compare his version of these dramatic events with the official version.

"THE BAY OF BISCAY"
HearThe story of the stormy Bay, it's geology, oceanography and the Great Blue Whale and other cetaceans that can be encountered in its waters.

"THE AWESOME ATLANTIC."
Learn about the oceanography, geology, history and the battles that were fought on, over and under its surface.

"ALASKA - AMERICA'S LARGEST STATE."
Take an overview of this incredible region, its indigenous people, history, successes and disasters.

"THE WATERS OF ALASKA"
Covering the Gulf of Alaska, the Bering Sea, and the Chuckchi Sea, their geology, oceanography and maritime history.

"THE YUKON RIVER AND THE ALASKA GOLD RUSH."
Listen to the story of this mighty river and the largest voluntary human migration in history in the quest to “strike it rich.”

"FIRE AND ICE."
Situated alongside two of the Earth’s largest and most active tectonic plates makes Alaska a focus for dramatic volcanoes and violent earthquakes. Alaska was also one of the planet’s most frozen regions of the Ice age which created magnificent fjords, straits, gulfs and glaciers.

"THE SEARCH FOR THE NORTH WEST PASSAGE"
From the 16 century, explorers looked for a Northwest Passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific because traders needed a quicker route to bring back riches from Asia. This is the story of the men who braved the cold and ice to find it.

"THE MIGHTY SPERM WHALE AND THE SINKING OF THE WHALESHIP ESSEX".
Discover what inspired Herman Melville to write Moby Dick. Could a whale actually sink a large whaler? The astonishing answer is yes. This is the story of the disaster that moved Melville to write his famous novel.

"THE VOYAGE OF HMS CHALLENGER."
Hear the story of a small frigate, her crew, and a group of scientists who circumnavigated the globe in the world’s first oceanographic expedition.

"AMAZING WHALES"
Discover the habits and conservation of these gentle giants, focussing on those we may see on our cruise.

"DYNAMIC DOLPHINS"
Introducing some of the more unusual and enigmatic characteristics of these energetic and intelligent animals.

"SINISTER SHARKS?"
Hear how,over millions of years of evolution, these fish have become super-efficient swimmers and hunters. But how deadly are they? Have movies like “Jaws” and more recently “Shark Night” incorrectly painted them as indiscriminate man-eaters?

"THE HISTORY OF OCEANOGRAPHY AND OCEAN NAVIGATION"
Learn how the challenge to navigate the featureless oceans has been overcome by mankind from the early Polynesians to today’s ultra-accurate satellite navigation systems.
CRUISE HISTORY / EXPERIENCE
Allan has completed many cruises with companies such as Viking, Silver Seas, Holland - America, Cunard, SAGA, Voyages of Discovery and Fred Olsen cruise lines.
ADDITIONAL RELEVANT INFORMATION
Allan received the following letter of appreciation from Mr Rick Barnes the Cruise Director for Holland-America’s M/S Ryndam:

"I want to thank you for an incredible series of lectures you have provided to our guests on our Atlantic crossing.
The guests have been so excited to attend your sessions for the entire cruise. Many times our guests will attend the first few lectures and then stop participating. However, they are asking daily about your next topic and continue to show up to the Show Room every lecture to full capacity.
I have worked with many lecturers over the years and have not experienced the level of success from speakers as you have provided. It is very comforting to know that when I see your name on our daily agenda that I have a guaranteed home run every time.
You are a very important part of the success of this voyage. It is an extremely successful, educated and well-travelled Mariner group of guests who hold our speakers to a very high standard. You have exceeded their expectations in every way.
Once again, on behalf of myself and the entire entertainment department...thank you!"
Sincerely,
Rick Barnes
RECENT PAST CRUISES COMPLETED
The following recent Cruise History has been recorded for this candidate.
SHIP REF CRUISE DESCRIPTION NIGHTS SAILING FROM DEPARTURE DATE
Viking Star ST180630 Into the Midnight Sun 14 Bergen Saturday, June 30, 2018
Viking Sky SK170701 Into the Midnight Sun 14 Greenwich, London Saturday, July 1, 2017