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Meet the Experts - Theatre One

Our two Meet the Experts Theatres have over 50 hours of expert talks covering the different corners of the globe. The experienced travellers who give the talks, share their insights and advice as they take you on fascinating and memorable journeys inspiring your next holiday. 

Click the individual sessions to reveal more about what you can expect.

To view the timetable for Meet the Experts Theatre Two click here.

Below is the 2017 schedule - stay tuned for the 2018 schedule this December!

Meet the Experts Theatre One Timetable

- 10:45am: Indochina Revealed, Laos & Cambodia

HF Holidays Ltd

Get inspired and get a real insight into the two countries of Laos & Cambodia, where French colonial styles meet Khmer architecture, Buddhist temples and rural wooden structures on stilts. From northern Laos in Luang Prabang, the former royal capital to the mighty Mekong in a southerly direction, you will finish at Siem Reap in Cambodia, home to the largest religious monument in the world, Angkor Wat.


Speaker:

Jane Sedgwick, Worldwide Product Manager HF Holidays

HF Holidays Ltd

Thursday, February 2, 2017 - 10:45

- 11:45am: Nicaragua: Travels in Central America's Most Exciting Destination

Geodyssey

Charming colonial cities with cobblestone streets, year-round Pacific breakers producing perfect surf, tiny Caribbean islands you can make your own for a day, and the smoothest rum that ever came out of an oak barrel. Nicaragua is hot at the moment as more and more travellers discover the delights of the land of lakes and volcanoes and more areas of the country open up to tourism. Travel author Russell Maddicks will introduce you to the country's main tourism attractions, with additional information on inspiring accommodation options, what to eat, where to watch birds, and other top tips to help you plan your trip.  

 


Speaker:

Russell Maddicks

Geodyssey

Thursday, February 2, 2017 - 11:45

- 12:45pm: Travel Clinic - Your Problems Solved

The Times & The Sunday Times

Having a nightmare with car hire companies or facing a stone wall when you're trying to get money back from a flight delay? Laura Whateley, Times Money consumer expert, plus Sunday Times Travel Magazine consumer writers Jennifer Cox and Richard Green should be able to help. Please note that while the panel can't get involved with intricate details on individual cases, they will be available on the stand afterwards for these queries.
 

 


Speaker:

Laura Whateley

The Times & The Sunday Times

Thursday, February 2, 2017 - 12:45

- 1:45pm: Travels in Afghanistan in Today's World

Hinterland Travel

An Introduction to that beautiful but wild Country -Afghanistan.. The do's and don'ts of modern travel around  Afghanistan set in the modern complicated aspect of recent history with a background of stunning beauty.

 


Speaker:

Geoff Hann

Hinterland Travel

Thursday, February 2, 2017 - 13:45

- 2:45pm: Undiscovered Eastern Europe: A Recent Journey from Kaliningrad to Moldova

Explore Worldwide Ltd

From Cold War to cutting edge (and incredible value) travel destinations including Kaliningrad, Lithuania, Belarus, Transnistria and Moldova and beyond, John Telfer lifts the curtain on what has to be Europe's most off-the-beaten track experiences - Chernobyl and the sand dunes of the Curonian spit, horseradish vodka, tractor factories and urban street art.

 


Speaker:

John Telfer

Explore Worldwide Ltd

Thursday, February 2, 2017 - 14:45

- 3:45pm: Beyond Machu Picchu

Go Andes - The South America Holiday Specialists

Peru is a fascinating and fantastic travel destination with so much to offer. This talk will look beyond Machu Picchu focusing on what else Peru has to offer beyond the world famous UNESCO World Heritage Site. Peru is a country steeped in a rich cultural and archaeological heritage with many world-class sights and lesser-known secrets to explore. Discover the hidden gems and lesser-known locations around Peru's history, archaeology, cuisine, people and geography.  For example the Peru's northern landscapes - these regions are little-known to the modern traveller yet are home to ruins that rival Machu Picchu in size and grandeur, waterfalls that are among the highest in the world, and so much more. A true travel destination.

 


Speaker:

Jonathan Lillie

Go Andes - The South America Holiday Specialists

Thursday, February 2, 2017 - 15:45

- 10:45am: New Zealand: Why its Magnificent Landscapes Should Be on Your Bucket List?

Silver Fern Holidays

Join John Lightwood as he shares with you some of the most magnificent natural highlights of New Zealand - its landscapes.

 


Speaker:

John Lightwood

Silver Fern Holidays

Friday, February 3, 2017 - 10:45

- 11:45am: Discovering Antarctica for the First Time

Chimu Adventures

With so many factors to take in to consideration when booking a trip to Antarctica it can be hard to know where to start and slightly overwhelming, especially when the trips there are so expensive. During this informative talk you'll learn some of the key points to think about when you start the booking process including the choice of itineraries on offer, the different ships, when to go, what wildlife you'll see, what clothing to wear, what kind of experiences you'll have and the budgets you'll be looking at. Visiting Antarctica really is a unique and magical experience and with these expert tips and advice from someone that has seen it all first hand you'll come away with a much clearer understanding of how to turn your dream in to a reality! 

 


Speaker:

Simon Evans

Chimu Adventures

Friday, February 3, 2017 - 11:45

- 12:45pm: Under The Radar: The Travel Hotspots That Will Earn You the Ultimate Bragging Rights

It sometimes feels like no matter where you go, a tour group has been there before. But there are new places to discover and innovative ways to find a different side to the familiar. The Sunday Times chief travel writer Chris Haslam, Young Travel Writer of the Year Francesca Angelini and the Sunday Times Travel Editor Stephen Bleach discuss how to go off-grid in an increasingly connected world.

 


Speaker:

The Sunday Times Travel Team


Friday, February 3, 2017 - 12:45

- 1:45pm: Seeing The World As a Single Traveller with Jan Leeming

Just You

Exploring the world as a single traveller can be a daunting prospect. Broadcaster, author and actress, Jan Leeming decided that she wanted to see more of the world, however while she wanted to be independent she did not want to be on her own. Jan has recently travelled with Just You Holidays to Tuscany and Burma and in this talk she will dispel the myths surrounding single travel and encourage like-minded adventurers that there are some great places to explore.   Jan will also talk about her experiences of travelling as a journalist and when she headed off to India with her fellow celebrities for BBC’s Real Marigold Hotel.  

 


Speaker:

Jan Leeming

Just You

Friday, February 3, 2017 - 13:45

- 2:45pm: A Female Traveller in Iran

Travel The Unknown

From the mass media narrative, it may seem as though Iran is not a very friendly country for travellers, especially not for female ones. What they don't tell us is how genuinely welcoming Iranians are, how the dress code actually works and how fascinating the culture really is. We seem to have forgotten Iran’s rich history and the archaeological gems that fill the country to the brim. Come along to learn about travel practicalities and much more at this introduction to Iran from a female perspective. Bonus: find out how to put on a headscarf!

 


Speaker:

Tami Khramtchenko

Travel The Unknown

Friday, February 3, 2017 - 14:45

- 3:45pm: Remote Islands of Polynesia

Christian Walter will talk about Silversea Expeditions voyages calling in Polynesian islands. Having travelled extensively in Chile in 1972, he was finally able to see Easter Island in 1975. His first visit lead to a study visa, giving him the ability to return in 1976 to do a comparative study of Easter Island’s petroglyphs and the possible relationship between the island’s unique writing system, Rongo Rongo. His expertise in the fields of anthropology, archaeology, history and art eventually led him to lecture aboard expedition cruise ships. Christian’s main fields of interest are the History of Exploration and the Art of the Pacific Islands.

 


Speaker:

Christian Walter


Friday, February 3, 2017 - 15:45

- 10:45am: In Conversation with Julia Bradbury

RWH Travel Limited

Julia is currently on our ITV screens with her new series ‘Britain’s Best Walks with Julia Bradbury’. Julia loves to share her passion for walking, both on TV and in person, and has travelled the world over to experience close up and on foot, the best of destinations. Hear her tales of worldwide tours and be inspired by her adventures.


Speaker:

Julia Bradbury, Ambassador, Ramblers Walking Holidays

RWH Travel Limited

Saturday, February 4, 2017 - 10:45

- 11:45am: Zanskar Dream Trek

Mountain Kingdoms

Steve Berry first heard stories of the tiny Tibetan-Buddhist kingdom of Zanskar told to him by his father when he was a young boy. In 1946 his father had tried to climb the highest mountain in Kashmir and Ladakh, Mount Nun Kun 23,410ft/7,135m, and at the end of that expedition had come across Zanskari villages where a white man had never been seen before. It fuelled Steve's imagination, and 35 years later he and his brother and friends succeeded in standing on the summit of Nun Kun. They gazed north and west over huge ranges of snow covered Himalayan mountains and gorges practically unknown to western man, and an ambition was germinated to go exploring thereIn 2009 Steve returned to complete his 'Dream Trek' and of the 60 or 70 treks he has so far undertaken in the Himalaya he rates this the best. He describes the route in Cicerone's 'Trekking in the Himalaya' published in 2013 and edited by Kev Reynolds. Do come and hear Steve's stories of his various adventures in the kingdom of Zanskar and marvel at the pictures of the peaks, passes and gorges of the Zanskar Dream Trek

 


Speaker:

Steve Berry

Mountain Kingdoms

Saturday, February 4, 2017 - 11:45

- 12:45pm: Cruising For First Timers: How to Plan a Cruise and Find The Right One For You

The Times & The Sunday Times

From how much you should tip and the best cabin for seasickness sufferers to which excursions are worth taking. With the Times cruise editor Sara Macefield, the Sunday Times cruise editor Sue Bryant and the Times Travel Editor Jane Knight.  

 


Speaker:

Sara Macefield, Sue Bryant and Jane Knight

The Times & The Sunday Times

Saturday, February 4, 2017 - 12:45

- 1:45pm: Jordan: Take a Trip Back in Time From Land to Sea

Everyone has seen a photo of the famous treasury at Petra. However there is so much more to this most ancient of lands. Throughout history Jordan has been a cultural hub, as the centre of the spice routes from Africa, Europe and Asia. Along these historical roads travellers and merchants had to stop for rest and entertainment, and today these remain some of the most famous and ancient monuments on earth. Re-trace these steps and experience Jordan's fantastical cities and unique natural landscapes - truly an adventure and culture-lovers dream. Explore stunning national parks by horse-back, on foot, camping - or glamping! - whilst taking in Jordan’s most famous historical sites. Stand where Moses first saw the promised land, explore the tastes of Jordan everywhere from the manic souks to the remote deserts, discover incredible diving and beaches in the red sea resort of Aqaba, or float away from your worries in the waters of the dead sea. 

 


Speaker:

Tara Gandhi


Saturday, February 4, 2017 - 13:45

- 2:45pm: Blue Chips and Frozen Assets

Award-winning wildlife photographer, guide and presenter Paul Goldstein has spent well over a year in polar waters leading expeditions. He lists Spitsbergen and South Georgia among his two favourite destinations in the world. Paul has a big following despite his outspokenness. Come and enjoy an opinionated and lavishly illustrated presentation on polar bears, penguins, walrus, and big, big ice as he brings some warmth to these frozen lands of ice and tundra.


Speaker:

Paul Goldstein


Saturday, February 4, 2017 - 14:45

- 3:45pm: Beyond China’s Cities

Wendy Wu Tours

China is a country well-known for its bustling, busy and historic cities, but travel beyond the cities and it’s a whole new world. Find out why the meeting the locals in small villages, hiking through beautiful remote scenery and getting a deeper understanding of the many local cultures only compliment your visit to the well known cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Xian. The Wendy Wu Tours expertswill be on hand to tell you why rural China is worth a visit and to provide advice as to the best way of travelling through these regions. 

 


Speaker:

TBC

Wendy Wu Tours

Saturday, February 4, 2017 - 15:45

- 10:45am: The Hebrides - Britain's Hidden Jewels

The UK boasts some of the most beautiful coastlines anywhere. None more so than Scotland's west coast and Hebridean Islands.  This area contains some of the oldest rock found in Europe and has been settled by man since the Mesolithic period around 6,500 years ago.  Learn about the history of the area, the castles, Victorian Gardens, glorious white sandy beaches and amazing wildlife.  Join Ken Charleson on a trip to St Kilda, the most remote islands in the British Isles and the UK's only Double UNESCO world Heritage site. Boasting the highest sea cliffs in Britain and the most important seabird breading colony in Northern Europe with over 500,000 breading birds. Occupied by man until 1930 in the harshest of conditions.  Enter a lost world without leaving the UK and enjoy the amazing scenery from the comfort of the elegant Hebridean Princess.     

 


Speaker:

Ken Charleson


Sunday, February 5, 2017 - 10:45

- 11:45am: Predator

Photographer,  and guide Paul Goldstein has spent a lot of the last twenty five years gazing down the barrel of his precision optics at predators. He spends exhausting hours in his pursuit of ‘that’ image and freely admits the pilgrimage is still very much work in progress. He is also fiercely protective about these largely endangered animals and has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for various animal charities. He is opinionated and outspoken and spares no quarter for those who abuse these precious creatures he insists are worth far more alive. Come and see his latest harvest of images of cheetahs, leopards, lions, tigers, jaguars, polar bears and even his quest for snow leopards.


Speaker:

Paul Goldstein


Sunday, February 5, 2017 - 11:45

- 12:45pm: Discover the Canadian Rockies by rail

 

 


Speaker:


Sunday, February 5, 2017 - 12:45

- 1:45pm: Canada: The Bear Necessities

Wildlife Worldwide

Canada contains some of the world’s greatest untamed lands. A vast wilderness that is the last stronghold of the black, brown (or grizzly), and polar bear, in addition to the rare and beautiful Kermode (or ‘Spirit’) bear. From the extensive coastline of British Columbia to the remote and inhospitable interior of the Yukon, Canada is undoubtedly the best place to view these beautiful mammals, in a variety of incredible settings.

 


Speaker:

Chris Breen

Wildlife Worldwide

Sunday, February 5, 2017 - 13:45

- 2:45pm: Safaris That Change Lives

For 26 years Africa Exclusive has arranged top quality personalised safaris. During this time Africa’s population has almost doubled meaning that people and wildlife are competing for land resources.   Founding Directors John and Susan Burdett explain how the company’s partnership with UK Charity Send a Cow and its policy of using safari lodges with a practical commitment to conservation is bringing about sustainable improvements for both rural people and wildlife in East Africa. Rural communities are seeing that by pooling their land, creating private wildlife reserves people and animals can benefit, funded by safari tourism.

 


Speaker:

John Burdett and Susan Burdett


Sunday, February 5, 2017 - 14:45

- 3:45pm: What's hot for 2017 - which destinations to book now

The Sunday Times Travel Magazine

Between them, the team from the Sunday Times Travel Magazine have been round the globe many times over, and know where the new flights are heading, which cities have a bevy of new luxury hotels, and the on-trend destinations for 2017. With Ed Grenby, editor, Nick Redman, deputy editor; Liz Edwards, associate editor; Alicia Miller, assistant editor, Lucy Thackray, commissioning editor and Alex Allen, staff writer.

 


Speaker:

Ed Grenby, Nick Redman, Liz Edwards, Alicia Miller, Lucy Thackray, Alex Allen - the Sunday Times Travel Magazine team

The Sunday Times Travel Magazine

Sunday, February 5, 2017 - 15:45