We have assembled a team of truly exceptional guides we have worked with over the years, who tailor presentations and activities to your group and interests. A few examples:

Michael Bennett

Small Planet Adventures founding partner, is at home cruising in the exotic places of the world. Over the past 20 years he has piloted boats for many National Geographic magazine and film expeditions. An ardent diver and skilled captain, Michael teamed with world-renowned National Geographic photographer Flip Nicklin in Patagonia, Panama, Brazil, Hawaii, Sri Lanka, Canada and Costa Rica to document whales, dolphins and other exotic marine wildlife. [See the Book] Prior to launching Small Planet, Michael was an Expedition Cruise Ship Captain, steering vessels through nearly every corner of the globe. He then went on to launch one of the first successful luxury yacht cruising companies, handling all phases of operations, personnel and maintenance for a fleet of luxury overnight cruise vessels. His enthusiasm and respect for the wonderful places on our planet are infectious, and he is happiest when sharing them.


Robert Dippold

Trip Coordinator Bob has been involved in the adventure travel business for over two decades. Bob has parlayed his love of travel and adventure into an exciting career. From the jungles and temples of Central America and Asia to both Polar Regions and all across the Pacific, Bob is Small Planet Adventures' "Man in the Field" guiding scores of groups and many celebrities to many exciting destinations. Bob lives to show discerning guests the wonders of far-off places. With his love of history and wildlife, Bob is equally at home discussing Russian icons in the Hermitage or "ticking off" a new bird from his life list.

Alastair Newton

Alastair brings a consummate level of professionalism and breadth to Small Planet's team. Some of his recent accomplishments: Leading itineraries in Alaska, Russia, Japan, Vietnam, Korea, China, Philippines and New Zealand's sub-Antarctic Islands & Fiordland. He has also recently worked with Expedition Teams in Australia, Papua New Guinea, Borneo and the Commonwealth Bay & Ross Sea regions of Antarctica.
 His portfolio also includes leading a team of naturalists and specialist guest speakers on expedition style cruises between:

  • Vancouver and Anchorage
  • Anchorage and Nome, passing through the Aleutian Chain, the Bering Sea and the Chukotka Peninsula in Russia
  • Anchorage and Niigata, passing through the Aleutian chain, the Kuril island chain and Northern Japan
  • 10 day cruises in Japan
  • Kobe to Haiphong, cruising Japan, China and Vietnam
  • Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh, cruising solely in Vietnam
  • Guam, Fiji and Tahiti in the South Pacific, passing through Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia.
  • Antarctica, the Falklands, South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula
  • Singapore to Rome, including destinations such as Myanmar, Iran, Algeria and many others in between.


Mike Carroll

Mike spent his formative years sailing and exploring the coastal wilderness areas and islands of the Northeast. After graduating from College, he headed west and found work in the marine industry in the Pacific Northwest. The work took him to many different, interesting, and beautiful locations. He was fortunate to spend time working the waters of the Caribbean and Central America. He gained experience sailing and navigating the rivers, sounds, and bays of the West Coast of N. America, and eventually Alaska. The time and experience enabled him to spend many years as a licensed Captain in the small ship cruising industry. Mike also spent time in the fishing and towing industries. Throughout, he pursued interests in Natural History, Geology, Marine Biology, and Botany. Having the opportunity to share knowledge with others in remote locations has been a great and personally fulfilling experience. The chance to share uncommon experiences in remarkable places is wonderful. Mike also worked as Assistant Expedition Leader on expeditionary ships sailing to Antarctica and the South Pacific Island groups from Easter Island to New Guinea. His personal travels include extensive time following Wallace’s Line in remote parts of Asia and visits to ruins and temples in the Americas. Mike loves to hike and kayak and is always excited to help others spot birds and other wildlife.


Randall Tate

Randall grew up in Minnesota, where his passion for exploring started early, canoeing the pristine waters of the Boundary Waters. He graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2001 with a BS in Psychology and Marketing. Knowing the corporate world was not his path he headed west to become an outdoor adventure guide and photographer. He got his start leading rafting trips down the wild rivers of Alaska, Arizona and Utah. He later moved on to working in the adventure cruise ship industry where he now works as Expedition Leader and Guide on small adventure cruise ships in Southeast Alaska, Antarctica and Svalbard in the Norwegian Arctic.

A love for traveling and exploring comes naturally for anyone in the expedition cruising industry and Randall is no exception. He recently completed a traverse of Baranof Island in Southeast Alaska and has led 2 expeditions to climb Mt. McKinley, North America's highest peak. He has also completed two cross-continental road rallies, one driving from London to Gambia and another from London to Mongolia.

Randall's broad skill set includes logistical planning, emergency medicine, wilderness navigation, coastal sea kayaking, photography and a diverse knowledge of the flora, fauna and geology in Alaska and the Polar Regions. He also brings a sense of adventure and exploration to every trip he leads. Randall believes in getting out there and experiencing wild places firsthand, while at the same time working to preserve and protect them.


Lee Burrows - Naturalist

Lee Burrows first came to Alaska in 1995. She drove from California with her dog and her kayak, exploring Alaska, from the Inside Passage to the Top of the World Highway in the Yukon. Lee has been leading high end yacht expeditions in Southeast Alaska for the past eleven year and has an intimate knowledge of the waterways and wildlife of coastal Alaska, and a desire to share her knowledge of that wilderness. Her presentations on wildlife and native culture are first rate and her connection to the native community is deep, she is recently an adopted member of the Tlingit people’s Raven Clan and has many contacts throughout the region. She has participated in expeditions in Antarctica, traveled solo in the Arctic, attended the Iditarod, and has seen the northern lights dance in the midnight sky and is a delightful shipmate.


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