Candidate Profile

Earth Sciences, Geology & Geography
History - Maritime
World Affairs
Captain Tom Anderson spent his childhood in a coastal city adjacent to a large seaport, where he developed an early fascination with the maritime world. As a small boy, he devoted many hours to observing ships come and go, while wondering about their destination, cargo, and adventures. Those countless hours stimulated his imagination about the maritime world and, after completing his education, he became a career Naval officer. During his 30-year military career, he lived and worked on, over, or under the sea. Those experiences were important in shaping his understanding of the influence the oceans and seas have had on the origin and evolution of our modern civilization.

Now retired from the Navy, Dr. Anderson devotes his time researching, writing, and speaking about the ideas and events that are changing our world. His current research interests include maritime geopolitics, contemporary maritime affairs, and the future of the international maritime community. He has created a series of original, wide-ranging conversations about the Maritime World which have proven to be extraordinarily popular with cruise ship audiences. His quote: “My passion is sharing, with audiences of all ages, the beauty, the history, and the mystery of the maritime world.”

Tom’s academic achievements include an undergraduate degree in Applied Mathematics, a Master of Science degree, a PhD in Physics, a Doctor of Medicine degree, and a Master of Public Health degree in International Health. His hobbies include flying sailplanes, woodworking, diving, and traveling.

Maritime History, World Affairs and Current Events, and International Geopolitics, especially as they relate to the Maritime World


Iceland: The Land of Ice and Fire: Volcanic eruptions that created Iceland’s spectacular landscapes began only twenty million years ago. Almost two dozen active volcanoes continue to add ash and lava to the island. Numerous glaciers have carved deep coastal fjords and long valleys through the volcanic landscape, and the twin forces of fire and ice continue to shape the majestic scenery of the countryside.

Greenland and the Geopolitics of Melting Ice: Greenland is covered by a sheet of ice which is melting rapidly. Melting exposes previously undiscovered mineral resources including oil, rare earth metals, and gemstones. As an autonomous Danish territory with limited self-government, Greenland lacks both the ability to develop these resources herself, or to effectively resist resource exploitation by other countries.

The Vikings, A Maritime Civilization: The Vikings were a quintessential trading civilization. They established trading emporia from the Baltic to the Mediterranean, and in the process, founded many great cities. They left us a rich cultural heritage; evidence of that heritage is still visible in many cities, in our language, and even in world governments.


The Inside Passage is an intra-coastal waterway weaving through a complex inland archipelago stretching from Alaska to Washington State. The sheltered waterway, home to many isolated communities, is one of the most scenic waterways in the world. The Passage offers views of massive glaciers, towering mountains, deep fjords and a spectacular array of wildlife, including eagles, sea lions, whales, and bears.

The Salish Sea - A cultural Mosaic: The Salish Sea is a complex, diverse, geographic region in the Pacific Northwest that includes many different cultures and communities. The region is home to several Indigenous nations, including the Coast Salish peoples, who have lived in the area for thousands of years. It is also an immigration hub, and people from all over the world continue to arrive to make their home here. Their traditions, histories, and identities combine to create a community that forms a cultural mosaic.

Glaciers of Alaska: Alaska contains thousands of glaciers, rivers of solid ice that literally flow downhill. Along the way, they carve deep fjords and majestic mountains, leaving behind magnificent landscapes. Numerous glaciers flow directly into the sea, where they break into large blocks of ice that fall into the water and become icebergs. In response to warming environmental temperatures many of Alaska’s glacier are now receding.


Myths And Legends of The Canary Islands: In mythology, the Canary Islands were called the Elysian Fields and the Garden of the Hesperides. Strange lights and the discovery of pyramids suggest extraterrestrial visits to the islands. Recent geological events and sensational television programs have created more contemporary legends of the Canary Islands.

Macaronesia: Gems of The Atlantic: Macaronesia is the modern name for five different island archipelagos in the mid-Atlantic Ocean: The Azores Archipelago, the Canary Islands, Madeira, and the Cape Verde Islands. Although geographically separate and geopolitically diverse, these islands are usually mapped together, based on one common bio-geographical feature.

The Azores: History, Mythology, And Culture: The Azores occupy a unique place in the North Atlantic, at the junction of three tectonic plates. Early explorers called these islands The Fortunate Islands and believed they might be the remnants of the fabled Lost Continent of Atlantis. Today, their rich heritage and unique natural beauty are preserved in two distinct UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The Sargasso Sea: Atmospheric winds and sea currents shape the mid-Atlantic Ocean into a unique marine ecosystem called the Sargasso Sea. This area, first described by Christopher Columbus, is home to a fascinating array of interesting plants and animals found nowhere else in the world.


Oceania: Islands and Archipelagos: Oceania consists of more than twenty-five thousand islands scattered across the Pacific Ocean. Many islands are associated with continents, but others are created by undersea volcanoes rising directly from the sea floor. Some islands form vast archipelagos thousands of miles long and were formed from the remains of living coral reefs.

Polynesian Navigators: Over the period of only a few centuries, the Polynesian civilization colonized vast stretches of the Pacific Ocean. This wave of exploration and discovery was due to the skill of navigators who accurately guided small vessels across thousands of miles of ocean, using only their knowledge of the heavens and the seas, aided by crude navigational tools and maps fashioned out of sticks and pebbles.

Natural History of The Hawaiian Archipelago: The Hawaiian Islands were created by a series of mid ocean volcanoes. Over millions of years, the islands were sculpted into their present form by the action of wind, water, and sand. Their geographic isolation from distant lands created a natural biological laboratory where arriving plants and animals could evolve into completely new species.


Maritime Commerce and the Origins of Globalization: Globalization is the process of integration resulting from increasingly rapid movement of people, products, ideas, and culture around the world. Many factors have contributed to this process, but maritime commerce has always been the one constant driving force connecting cultures and civilizations.

The Box that Changed the World: Invention of the modern shipping container changed the world of sea going commerce. Containers found unexpected service in addressing many of our most difficult humanitarian problems and in the process, they have revolutionized the lives of millions of people around the world.

Lighthouses: Silent Sentinels of the Sea. Lighthouses have played a prominent role in the history, exploration, and the culture of our civilization. This visual tour of some of the most beautiful lighthouses along our itinerary illustrates the structure, function, and charm of these silent sentinels of the sea.

Sea Power in the 21st Century: The modern concept of Sea Power includes far more than the traditional ideas of conflict, conquest, and dominance. In the 21st century, a new paradigm is emerging that emphasizes cooperation, collaboration, and diplomacy among maritime states in the pursuit of their economic, political, and diplomatic goals. Naval power will continue to play an important role in countering aggression and ensuring the safety of the seas.


Coastal Megacities of Southeast Asia: The emergence of megacities in southeast Asia is an unprecedented social phenomenon. Three megacities along our itinerary, Manilla, Bangkok, and Saigon, have unique personalities and approach problems in their own special way.

The Geography and Geopolitics of the South China Sea: The South China Sea has an extraordinarily complex geography and is home to many diverse cultures. Numerous sovereign states are actively competing with outside actors for power and control here, and the region is becoming a geopolitically active region.

China and the Geopolitics of Inland Waterways: China’s history has always been intimately determined and directed by her rivers and canals. These same inland waterways that controlled China’s destiny for millennia and will continue to exert a powerful influence as she strives to emerge as a great nation in the 21st century.


Songs of the Sea: Sea songs were an essential part of shipboard life during the great age of sail. Work songs coordinated teamwork for difficult tasks and relieved the boredom of long weeks at sea. Ballads told stories of love, adventure, and the constant longing for home. Nautical hymns metaphorically described sea journeys in religious terms and asked for Divine protection for sailors at sea.

The Nautical Origin of Everyday Phrases: Many common phrases have their origins in nautical history and tradition. Colorful expression such as “fly by night”, chew the fat”, “as the crow flies”, “spic and span”, “let the cat out of the bag”, and “the whole nine yards” provide an interesting historical insight into seafaring life.

The Northern Sky: Many unusual and often unique meteorological and astronomical phenomena are more often seen in the higher latitudes of the far north. The Aurora Borealis, sun pillars, nacreous clouds, solar corona, and the false dawn are just a few of the many beautiful displays that combine to make the Arctic sky a living theater of light and color


Singapore, The Garden City: Singapore, both a city and a state, refers to itself as The Garden City. Lush vegetation now covers a city once referred to as a “blighted urban jungle”. A green revolution manages growth and development: vegetation lost to development is replaced by high rise terraces and vertical gardens. Many of Singapore’s urban parks are connected into a green network, and Singapore is now known as the “greenest city in the world”.

The Amazon River and Rain Forest: The Amazon River basin is home to the second longest river in the world. The Basin also contains the world's largest tropical rain forest, which consists of a mosaic of ecosystems that support the highest biodiversity of any place on the planet.
The St. Lawrence Seaway: The Saint Lawrence Seaway is one of the engineering marvels of the twentieth century. It is the longest deep-draft passage on Earth, and its construction exposed the American heartland to the world of maritime commerce. Indigenous residents called this region the “Garden of the Great Spirit” and its 1000 islands support a very rich blend of Canadian and American culture.

The St. Lawrence Seaway: The Saint Lawrence Seaway is one of the engineering marvels of the twentieth century. It is the longest deep-draft passage on Earth, and its construction exposed the American heartland to the world of maritime commerce. Indigenous residents called this region the “Garden of the Great Spirit” and its 1000 islands support a very rich blend of Canadian and American culture.
CAPTAIN Thomas G. Anderson, PhD, MD: Speaking Assignments, in Reverse Chronological Order

NB: Booked future voyages NOT shown

Seabourn - Odyssey - Los Angeles to Auckland October 21 - November 23

Oceania – Sirena –Barcelona to Lisbon, (Canary Islands) September 2 – 12, 2023

Oceania – Sirena – Rome to Barcelona, (Western Mediterranean) August 25 – September 2, 2023

Oceania – Riviera – Reykjavik to Oslo to London, (Iceland, Greenland and Norway) July 21 to August 23, 2023

Oceania – Riviera – London to Reykjavik, (Scotland & Iceland) July 9 – 21, 2023

Seabourn – Quest – Bridgetown to Miami to Lisbon, (Caribbean & Transatlantic) 19 – April 9, 2023

Seabourn – Encore – Singapore to Singapore, (South China Sea) February 5 – March 5, 2023

No additional information provided.