Meet the Experts Theatre

We've gathered the industry's best to bring you insider's tips, expert advice and truly inspirational stories. As a discerning traveller, we know you are looking for experiences that are truly unique and bespoke to your interests. That's why we are offering complimentary talks every day at the Fair in our Meet the Experts Theatre. This intimate and exclusive setting will allow you to get to know the celebrities and experts that will be giving talks and being interviewed, sharing accounts of their travel tales and imparting their wisdom for those passionate about exploring all corners of the world.

See below for the 2016 timetable of talks and find out more about our speakers and experts here.


Meet the Experts Timetable

Thursday 3 November 2016

Join Mara Engai Lodge, Santo Maris Oia and MAhout in conversation with Condé Nast Traveller discussing the latest luxury boutique hotel trends... 

Nick is a geographical writer and broadcaster. The author of several travel books, he has also been published in the Daily Telegraph, the Sunday Times and the Guardian. In 1986 he was part of a two-man team which identified and visited for the first time the geographical Pole of Inaccessibility, the point on the globe most distant from the open sea, in a remote corner of the Gobi Desert. He has travelled extensively in Tibet, China, Afghanistan and Africa.

Sri Lanka is a lush, tropical island paradise, known to Arab traders as Serendib (serendipity) – having been discovered by happy accident. It was famously described by Marco Polo as "undoubtedly the finest island of its size in the world”. Sri Lanka has so much to offer for all kinds of travellers. It has amazing wildlife, 2000 year old history, ancient temples and monuments, tea plantations in the hill country, rainforests and golden sandy beaches. 

Come and learn more at a fascinating talk where Seabourn’s Expeditions Manager, Robin West, veteran of expeditions to Antarctica and beyond since 2002 and now leading and managing Seabourn's team of explorations staff will talk about his own experiences and travel opportunities.  Robin is a fascinating speaker - and there's very little he doesn't know about penguins, whales, icebergs and glaciers!

Japan is now recognised as the top culinary destination in the world but there is much more to Japan than Michelin starred restaurants, with great food to be found in some surprising places. The culture is reflected in the cuisine, always prepared with pride enhance by a level of precision that becomes art. The travel experience offers regional specialities as well as amazing “kaiseki” courses at the top ryokans. While the rest of the world is importing Japanese cuisine, Japan is taking influences from outside resulting in some truly astonishing “fusion” restaurants.

Friday 4 November 2016

Join director of Latin Routes, Martin Johnson, for an inspiring and informative talk on the best luxury experiences in South America. Presented as a series of countdowns, topics include the finest ways to get to Machu Picchu, the best lodge experiences in Patagonia, the most luxurious ships in the Galapagos and more. Enjoy a mixture of inspiration and practical information, to inspire your travel plans across this fascinating continent.

Israel is somewhat of an undiscovered gem for the engaged traveller:  what makes it unique is the diversity of contrasting cultural, historical and natural attractions packed within its tiny land mass.  A country the size of Wales, Israel offers ancient spirituality, uber-modern technology, expansive deserts, emerald forests, bikini dotted beaches, foodie fantasies, and a whole lot of geo-political complexity.  Intellectually engaging and sensually delightful – it is waiting for your visit.    

Few destinations in West Africa offer such an overwhelming wildlife experience as Ghana. From the southern forests, full of giant mahogany and ebony trees, through the central woodland plains to the Northern grasslands, the country is home to well over 700 species of birds – some very rare, many endemic - and a strong population of migrating African elephants. Though Ghana will most certainly challenge the most adventurous wildlife traveller, it will also reward your efforts!

Kate Adie became a familiar figure through her work as BBC Chief News Correspondent. She is considered to be among the most reliable reporters, as well as one of the first British women, sending despatches from danger zones around the world including both Gulf Wars, four years of war in the Balkans and the final NATO intervention in Kosovo. Join her in conversation with Condé Nast Traveller as she provides an exclusive insight into her gripping experiences.

Founded in 1776, Louis Roederer is still family-owned and today they own 230 hectares (570 acres) of vineyards in the best villages of Champagne. During the workshop you will taste Louis Roederer’s Champagnes specially blended from some of Roederer’s best vineyards. Mark Bingley, Master of Wine, has worked with Louis Roederer Champagne in Britain for 25 years. His expert guidance through the complexities and pleasures of Champagne will be informative and entertaining...

Saturday 5 November 2016

Bhutan has, over the years, been consistently voted as one of the world’s top travel destinations. Ever evolving and dynamic, the tiny Himalayan Kingdom, with Gross National Happiness as its key development philosophy, has much more to offer – from experiencing the spectacular Buddhist festivals in ancient monasteries to camping in the wild alongside the yak herders. However, Bhutan’s high value, low impact tourism policy is often misunderstood and during the talk we aim to dispel the very common misconceptions around travel to Bhutan. The talk will focus on what travellers need to do to organise their trip and also highlight what visitors should expect from their travels to Bhutan.

Sunday 6 November 2016

From the bears of Katmai to the glaciers of Prince William Sound and the secretive wildlife of the northern coast, Alaska is one of the greatest wildernesses on the planet and unlike any other. Bubble-net feeding humpback whales, salmon-guzzling grizzly bears and even polar bears (!), Alaska has a treasure-trove of remarkable wildlife encounters for you to experience, surrounded by breathtaking scenery...

In Tibet the air is thin, the scenery dramatic, and the history of the people has always been shaped by the extremes of the environment. Mary-Ann spent this summer on the ‘Roof of the World’, documenting the lives of everyday people who live on the high plateau. From milking and making yak butter to harvesting barley by hand, to helping repair a sacred monstery roof, Mary-Ann will share some of the highlights and striking images from a land that is changing rapidly, but remains mostly hidden from the outside world.

What, where, when, why and how to take advantage of easy mainstream routes into Africa. Then beyond into the wilder and more remote regions of East, southern and Central Africa. Where you're most likely to encounter extraordinary wildlife, in the company of some of Africa's top Professional Guides, ideally in the absence of travelling hordes.

It is no exaggeration to say the railways made Canada a country. Unlike the USA there was no mass immigration into the centre of Canada by wagon train. The railway joined the east and the west in 1885 and since then has been a driver for economic growth. In the early days it brought immigrants into the west from Europe, took the grain they grew back east to ship to Europe. Today it still performs the task of moving large tonnage’s of goods but also a platform for tourist to see the ‘real ‘ Canada. During our short presentation we will show how a rail trip can very much enhance your trip to Canada.