Primordial Splendour: The Hubbard Glacier

Fragments of ice up to ten stories tall began to peel off its face and crash into the sea below. I work as a cruise ship naturalist during part of my year, giving presentations about the wildlife and geography of places like Alaska, the Baltic, and the Mediterranean. It is exciting and tremendously rewarding work, and the luxury of cruise ship life (and the international […]

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The streets of Montevideo

The Streets of Montevideo

Montevideo was recently recognized as having the best quality of life in all of Latin America. It seems that everyone nowadays needs a bucket list, that public register of Things You Must Accomplish before you join the choir invisible. I suppose it’s a nice idea—none of us is getting any younger, and it’s good to remember that all the things we dream of doing aren’t […]

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Paris, girls on bicycles.

In Paris, it’s OK to stare.

Paris is the global capital of live and let live. It’s not easy being a street photographer. You’re eternally caught in a dilemma: do I ask permission to shoot, and end up with someone posing stiffly and awkwardly for me? Or do I just shoot and risk their wrath? This torments me. I have the right to shoot in public—the law is on my side. […]

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St. Kitts: The Frigatebird Whisperer

Frigatebirds are the unofficial mascot of every cruise ship in the Caribbean. But getting a good photo is harder than it looks. Being a birdwatcher, or a ‘birder’ as we call ourselves in a vain attempt to sound cool, is not for everyone. I recognize this. But when people tell me, emphatically, “I just CAN’T tell one kind from another! It’s too hard!” I have […]

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Slumming with Sloths in Costa Rica

Almost everything you do on the ground, sloths do in the trees, upside-down and in slow motion. They’re the Ginger Rogers of the animal kingdom. I’m staring straight at it, and I can’t see a thing. I’m standing in the sweltering, sticky afternoon air of Costa Rica’s Atlantic rain forest, squinting, craning my neck, shifting sideways… and I see nothing but leaves. Yet my young […]

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Stockholm, Sweden

Eight Great Hours in Stockholm, Sweden

Cruising to Stockholm? Make the most of your short time in one of Europe’s great cities. And bring your sweet tooth. It’s madness, of course, to visit one of the world’s most beautiful cities in a single day. It’s pure cruelty, in fact, to drop anchor at the doorstep of one of the world’s most civilized cultures only to call “all-aboard” a few short hours […]

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Berlin, Before the Wall Came Down

It was late winter, 1988. I was in my twenties and had been studying in Paris for several months, and was now pretty much broke. I decided Berlin would be my last blowout before heading home to look for work. I had been spending my evenings in Paris at the cinema, and the film that haunted me more than any other was Wim Wenders’ Wings […]

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Tallinn: Medieval, Modern, Magical

Catch the optimism and resolve of this tiny, beautiful country and its gorgeous capital, Tallinn. Cruising on a Scandinavia-to-Russia itinerary is surely one of the most pleasurable ways to spend a bit of summer in Europe. Long, long days, blue skies, refreshing temperatures and, of course, some of the world’s great cities await you. Having made the trip a few times, I take secret enjoyment […]

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