Our Crew for our Alaska Wildlife Cruises aboard Discovery
Captain John "Ben" Swanson - Licensed Master - Captain - STCW- ( Standards of Training, Certification & Watch keeping ) First Aid & CPR.
competent and adventurous Captain Ben Swanson has a joy for life that is
contagious. He is a passionate naturalist and guide and will take you on a
remarkable journey through Alaska in a way that only a long time owner/operator
can do. His accumulated knowledge of wildlife habits and habitat comes from
first hand experience and he has many colorful stories of classic yachts and the
Alaska of old that make for lively conversation in the wheelhouse, where guests
are always welcome, or at the dinner table.
Susi Zimmerman ( Ozzie, Ozzie, Ozzie ) Crew- Chef's helper -
outdoor enthusiast Susi has travelled the world working and sightseeing as many
Australians tend to do. Fortunately for us she has found Alaska special enough
to return year after year and has been with the Discovery since 2007.
Captain John Swanson - Manager - Relief Captain - Licensed Captain - STCW - First Aid & CPR
Shortly after receiving a degree from the University of Puget Sound in economics and accounting in 1975. I decided the world had much more to offer than ivory towers and three piece suits, so I began working in the maritime industry.
At first I owned and operated a charter fishing vessel off the Washington coast, then decided to try my hand at fishing. After enduring the hardships of fishing for a few years, I decided I needed to make a change. Though I loved working in Alaska, I did not love being away from my family for months at a time.
So in 1981, with my wife Ellen and son Ben at my side, we began conducting natural history and Alaska wildlife cruises in Southeast Alaska. I wanted to share my amazement at the grandeur of this vast wilderness region, my love for its great natural beauty, and my respect and affection for its abundant wildlife.
Our first Alaska wildlife cruises were on the Norden , the Sobre Los Olas and the Sea Play. In 1998 along with my son Ben we acquired a new vessel the Discovery to continue our Alaska wildlife cruises.
The past 35 years have been the happiest time of our lives. We have accumulated a wealth of memories, both of wonderful people met and new friends made along the way, and of incredible wildlife experiences such as our friendly Humpback Whale who sometimes swims along side within touching distance.
So it is with both pleasure and pride that we continue to offer these Alaska wildlife cruises. Pleasure because they are as much fun for us as they are for our passengers. Pride because the unforgettable nature of these trips is evident in the fact that fully 60% or more of our bookings are repeat passengers.
If your imagination is captured by the thought of seeing areas of Alaska where few others have been, incidentally, there are only 2 companies permitted to visit both of Southeast Alaska's two Bear Observatories, ( Anan and Pack Creek ), we hope you will decide to take a cruise with us. We would be delighted to share our great Alaskan wilderness with you.
Captain John Swanson & Family
Ellen, Ben & John Swanson -1981- On our Sailing Vessel the Schooner Norden
Ben is now 41 and I'm losing my hair !!!
When others were dreaming of Alaska We Were There Exploring.
Chef Helgi Spencer Olafson
Helgi Olafson brings more than 17 years professional culinary experience to the
Discovery galley. Helgi has been with us in the past and we are excited to have
him aboard for another fun-filled season. Helgi prides himself on customer
service and, after spending a few minutes talking to Helgi in the galley, you
will see why we have chosen to invite him back. Helgi's culinary creations have
fed tens of thousands of hungry mouths as Sous Chef and Executive Chef in
Florida, Arizona, Hawaii, and most recently, in Portland, Oregon. For the last
6 years, Helgi has also been one of the few casting food judges for America's #1
ranked food show, MasterChef on Fox with Gordon Ramsay. He is also an
accomplished endurance athlete who has ranked nationally in the top of his age
group in long distance triathlons and spends most of his free time running
trails or cycling to prepare for his next race. Helgi is happy to share his
time with the guests and crew and looks forward to seeing those smiles this
summer, especially those as a result of his food.
For More information on our Alaska Wildlife Cruises please contact:
All Aboard Yacht Charters, P.O. Box 436, Union, WA 98592 Phone: 1-800-767-1024
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