There’s something special about traveling the world by cruise ship. A hosted voyage—where a dedicated host accompanies the sailing—enhances your travel experience even further, adding a sense of camaraderie and providing additional destination knowledge about your itinerary for the duration of the cruise. At Cruise Specialists, we’ve embraced and been at the forefront of hosted voyages for 35 years. We humbly agree with our clients when we say that our hosts are the best in the business!
It’s fitting that as cruising approaches new levels of popularity and normalcy we provide some updates on our hosted voyage program, including some new hosts we hope you will get the chance to cruise with soon!
Susie and Keith Boyland
If you have cruised on board Holland America Line, Susie and Keith Boyland may be familiar to you. A Veteran Arts & Crafts Instructor team, Susie and Keith will be joining Tom Mullen as co-hosts on the 2022 Grand Africa Voyage on Zuiderdam. Keith was a Warrant Officer in the Royal Navy and Susie had a craft store in Gibraltar, where they first met. Combining Susie’s passion for crafts and their mutual love of travel, they have cruised all over the world for more than a decade sharing fun and creative projects with their students. When not taking on new adventures, Susie and Keith make their home in Exeter, Devon, England. They always enjoy meeting new people, experiencing new cultures and look forward to being part of the Cruise Specialists team.
Kirsten Ulmer and Alex Tokar
We are also delighted to announce that Kirsten Ulmer and Alex Tokar, popular Ballroom Dance Instructors who have cruised extensively for more than 25 years, including six Grand World Voyages on Holland America Line, will be joining Tom Mullen as Cruise Specialists co-hosts on the 2023 Grand World Voyage on board Zuiderdam. Originally from England (Alex) and Germany (Kirsten), they now make their home in British Columbia, Canada. Alex served as a Naval Officer in the Canadian Navy and he and Kirsten both retired from distinguished careers as teachers and principals in the Canadian school system. They have seen how travel “opens minds, builds connections, and has the power to change us and our world, journey by journey.” They are excited to join our team and look forward to supporting our guests on their upcoming adventures.
We Welcome Back…
Wendy and Steve Bodenheimer
Wendy and Steve Bodenheimer have been assisting Cruise Specialists clients on their travels since 2012. They will be returning as Cruise Specialists Voyage Hosts for the 2022 Tales of the South Pacific this October on Zuiderdam, as well as the 2023 Grand South America & Antarctica Voyage on board Volendam, the summer 2023 Voyage of the Vikings on Zuiderdam (one of their favorite itineraries), and the 2024 Grand Australia & New Zealand Voyage on Volendam. Wendy and Steve recently returned from a short cruise on board Zaandam and reported that the staff are doing a remarkable job!
Our most well-known Voyage Host, Tom Mullen, has hosted more than 20 World Cruises and numerous shorter trips. He has spent nearly his entire adult life working aboard cruise ships and loves welcoming repeat guests back on board and making first-time guests feel welcome. Tom has been busy preparing for the upcoming 2022 Grand Africa Voyage. He is also eagerly anticipating the 2023 Grand World Voyage and will be with our guests again as Voyage Host on the 2023 Grand Africa Voyage on Zaandam and the 2024 Grand World Voyage on Zuiderdam.
A Fond Farewell…
Henk and Lucia Barnhoorn
Our longtime Voyage Hosts, Henk and Lucia Barnhoorn, have decided to retire after 23 years of hosting groups with Cruise Specialists. We greatly appreciate all the work they have done over the years to enhance the guest experience for our groups. Henk and Lucia enjoyed meeting so many of our clients and have many happy memories from their time on board and ashore during our exclusive tours. They have a beautiful family, including several great-grandchildren, and look forward to spending more time with them. We wish them all the best in their retirement!
Join us for a Hosted Voyage!
The Voyage Hosts in this post serve on some of our most popular Hosted Voyages. We also have several other longtime Voyage Hosts we have come to rely upon throughout the years. We deeply value all of their contributions and assistance to our clients. We trust them to add value to your cruise experience both on board and ashore each time you sail with us. If you haven’t had the pleasure to join us on a hosted voyage, learn more about the benefits we provide in this blog post.