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Hurtigruten Group

Dr. Henry Evans | Guest Learning Coordinator

From skiing to the South Pole dressed as a Penguin to quite literally falling in love along the Norwegian coastline - Henry's passion for understanding and experiencing the natural world is matched by his love for travel.

Dedicated to understanding the natural world

Since childhood, Dr. Henry Evans had a passion for the natural world and was curious to learn more about the weird and wonderful biodiversity – both in the UK and around the world. His first memory of being in nature was pond dipping at a local wildlife event and feeling amazed at the fascinating array of creatures discovered in the nets. Henry started his academic career at the University of Plymouth, UK where he studied for a degree in Marine Biology before moving to the University of Copenhagen, Denmark to complete a Masters in Climate Change. In the summer of 2022, he completed a Ph.D. in Sustainability Education and out-of-school settings (e.g., museums, science centres, zoos, and aquaria).

However, Henry didn’t just want to study the natural world – he had a passion for travel and wanted to experience it first-hand. Soon after completing his undergraduate degree, He embarked on his first expedition to Antarctica as part of a two-person team skiing 225km to the Geographical South Pole. This journey to the South Pole played a key role in centenary celebrations of British explorer Captain Robert Falcon Scott, and his race against Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen to be the first to reach the pole in 1911. Working in conjunction with the British Antarctic Survey, Henry collected sub-surface snow samples as part of ongoing research into the effects of climate change in the region. It wasn’t all science and adventure! Henry became inspired by the local wildlife and regularly wore a penguin costume on the way to the South Pole pulling two heavily laden pulks behind him.

His sense of adventure has so far taken him to 60 countries across seven continents and is hoping to tick off a few more while onboard future sailings with Hurtigruten Expeditions. It was in November 2014, that Henry had his first experience onboard the Original Coastal Express on MS Nordknapp, sailing from Trondheim to Svolvær in Norway. It was on this sailing that Henry fell in love with the Norwegian coastline and particularly the Lofoten Islands. These idyllic islands have held a special place in his heart ever since, and as such he proposed to his now wife there several years later.

‘Working on Science and Education projects in the most amazing parts of the world with experts at the top of their fields, and inquisitive guests who come onboard ready to learn and be inspired. Most importantly, the company places sustainability at the front and center of their work, which is particularly important when we’re regularly sailing to some of the most fragile regions on planet Earth’

What do you like most about your new role?

Since stepping onboard MS Nordkapp in 2014, Henry has actively followed the progression and growth of Hurtigruten from the Norwegian coastline to exploring the four corners of the world. Almost a decade later, Henry had the opportunity to join the Science & Education program for Hurtigruten Expeditions, bringing together his academic background and expertise, which reflect our future direction and focus on becoming the most sustainable inspirational travel company.

During the summer of 2023, Henry was onboard MS Maud for his first Hurtigruten Expedition sailing. Closely with Dr. Emily Baxter, the pair manage the onboard experience for our guests – ranging from destination-specific lectures, tiny talks, and workshops to the use of the Science Centre and engaging with our exciting citizen science projects. During the sailing around Iceland, he worked alongside the Expedition Team interacting with guests on various Citizen Science projects to experience the program firsthand. Upon seeing the passion and engagement for science and understanding the natural world from everyone onboard, Henry is more motivated than before to ensure we continue to deliver and grow this world-class program. Whilst onboard, he was also able to enjoy some memorable wildlife experiences including a fin whale out in the North Sea, and seven orcas close to the Icelandic coast - as well as the 45 bird species identified using the citizen science tool of eBird.

In his role as Guest Learning Coordinator, Henry is always on the lookout for new and exciting opportunities to engage our guests with the experts and resources we have on board. But he is not done travelling the world and hopes to return to Antarctica soon, and maybe the well-used penguin costume could be brought along too.

Other stories

Penguins perched on the ice of Cuverville Island, Antarctica. Credit: Espen Mills / HX Hurtigruten Expeditions

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