Sunday, December 10, 2017

St Kitts Scenic Railway

The St Kitts Scenic Railway was one of the highlights of our recent 
Caribbean cruise on board the Seabourn Odyssey.  

We found St Kitts to be a strikingly green and scenic volcanic island.  

At the turn of the 18th century, St. Kitts was the richest British colony, per capita, in the Caribbean, a result of the sugar trade. St. Kitts and Nevis achieved independence in 1983, becoming the newest sovereign state in the Americas.
Originally the “sugar train” was used to transport sugar cane from the fields to the central sugar factory near Basseterre.  The last train was the shut down in 2005, bringing an end to over 350 years of sugar production on the island.

We were pleased to learn that the “Sugar Train” survives as a partnership between Government and private enterprise, with tourist excursions beginning in 2003.  This is a great way to see the island -- on the “Last Railway in the West Indies” - a living link to a past when sugar ruled the island's economy.

See the informative website at  for more about the history, including many excellent photos.  AND don't pass up a visit to St Kitts if you have a chance!

Friday, November 24, 2017

Seabourn Odyssey Caribbean Treasures

Thank you to the many guests who attended my lectures and also viewed them on the entertainment channel.   It was wonderful to meet you; Jan and I had a truly enjoyable adventure cruising with you through the Caribbean islands!  Please do keep in touch - you can sign up for my posts in the sidebar.

Here are a couple of 360' panoramas taken while we were in port in Basse-Terre, Guadalupe.  I love these 360's!! You can use your mouse to move the image all around as if you were standing there!  Please feel free to share them with friends and family.  You can direct people to this post on my blog or you can share them via Google Maps.  I will post some more in the next day or so.

All the best and happy travels!  Cheers, George

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Exciting Japanese Horse Archery - Yabusame

Had the amazing experience in Nikko, Japan of attending Yabusame; the famous horse archery tournament.  This is an exciting event!! A Yabusame course is 220 meters in length, with 3 simple wooden targets. The archer tries to hit all three targets while the horse is in full gallop. The arrows have a rounded head and make a big thwack when the target is struck.

The tournament took place at the World Heritage Tōshō-gū shrine in Nikko.

Three Japanese Ports via Google Earth

Overview of Japanese ports by Cruise Ship.
Part II Japanese ports

Vancouver to Alaska Fly-over Google Earth

Video overview of Trans-pacific voyage by Cruise ship.
Part 1 Vancouver to Dutch Harbor Alaska

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Baltic Adventure lecture series

My upcoming lecture series will be on board the Zuiderdam in July 2017.  Check out my video presentation below, where I "fly" over these popular Baltic Ports via the amazing detail provided by Google Earth.

I've prepared a flight over some popular Baltic Ports

The Baltic Adventure cruise July 4 - 16 will begin and end in Copenhagen with overnight stays in St Petersburg, Stockholm, and Copenhagen. This will provide a great opportunity to explore these amazing cities in-depth...especially with the extra-long daylight evenings of the Scandinavian summer!

I'm looking forwarding to presenting two very interesting and entertaining talks!

Baltic Tales: Explosions, Shipwrecks, Dead Zones & Undersea Mysteries
The Baltic Sea presents us with an opportunity to explore the stories and mysteries of a real life twilight zone.

Nordic Fashion & Passion through the Eyes of a Biologist
Did Vikings have horns?  Get ready for a wild ride exploring the basis of attraction, sexual selection, and the joys of passing along our genes. 

 Look forward to seeing you on board!!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Thank you Noordam!!

Dravuni Island, Fiji, tender dock, with Noordam in background
We've just returned from an amazing cruise through the South Pacific on board the Noordam.  Thank you to all the great people we met for making it such a wonderful experience!! And many thanks to the hundreds of people who attended my presentations on the ecology and cultures of the ports we visited in Vanuatu, Fiji, American Samoa, and Hawaii.  Jan and I both really appreciate your tremendous support.  Please let Holland America know in writing how much you value having lecturers on board!  Guest feedback is highly valued by HAL and they respond accordingly, especially during times of cost cutting.

If you didn't have a chance to collect one of my postcards, please download one from my postcards page on this website.

Please sign up for my email list over on the right hand side of this page --->>  I promise I won't overwhelm you with emails...I usually post once or twice a month.  I will post some more photos from the South Pacific cruise over the next couple of days.

Happy travels and hope we have a chance to cruise together again soon!! 

George & Jan

Reefs along coast of American Samoa

Dravuni Island beach

Monday, February 20, 2017

South Pacific Crossing - Noordam

Photo Mo'orea, French Polynesia by George Sranko
My next lecture assignment will be in April, on board the Noordam from Sydney Australia to Honolulu Hawaii.  We're looking forward to some amazing South Pacific scenery including the ports shown in the map below. 
South Pacific Crossing April 2017 on board the Noordam
Here's a quick little video that I've prepared with Google Earth Pro to provide some context for the upcoming cruise.  We're looking forward to meeting you on board!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

How to show your photos to Millions of viewers - Photospheres & Google Maps

Click here for 360'

It is fun to take photos on our journeys...but what do you with them once your family and friends start getting that glazed look in their eyes?!  Well, there's a massive audience actively seeking photos like yours and mine... on Google Maps.  Where else can you get millions of viewers without breaking a sweat (perhaps on YouTube...but it takes a LOT of work).  My photos receive roughly 10,000 views per week and my current count is over 4 million views.  Click on this link to check out my entire portfolio of over 500 photos on Google Maps.

I particularly enjoy posting 360 degree Photospheres - such as the one above of the Roman Agora in Athens, Greece (coordinates 37.974, 23.727).  You should be able to click on each of these captions for a 360' view.

Here's another one from a wonderful vista of Porto Timoni beach on the island of Corfu, Greece.

Click here for 360'

 Here's one I took in the amazing Galleria Umberto I in Naples, Italy, built in the late 19th Century.

Click here for 360'
I take these photospheres with my Android cell phone using the Google Camera app.  They aren't perfect but they sure are fun!!