Freelance tour director, leader and guest regional expert and lecturer Christopher P. Baker has three decades experience leading international tours and as an expert educator for National Geographic Expeditions and other top travel companies. He is one of the world’s most knowledgeable and experienced tour leaders to Cuba, Colombia and Costa Rica, and combines an authoritative expert’s knowledge with consummate tour managing and guiding skills
I have learned so much from you over the years, and I have so enjoyed our trips together. Particularly as I work with others and hold you as the benchmark for what ‘experts’ should be and do!”
CINDY TRUIT, TOUR MANAGER, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC EXPEDITIONS
FORD COCHRAN, DIRECTOR OF PROGRAMMING, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC EXPEDITIONS
Donna and I traveled with you to Cuba with National Geographic. It was the best trip I have ever had – and being in the travel and tour agency business I think that says something! Donna and I just returned from a week at Necker Island with Richard Branson (I am a Virgin Galactic future astronaut.) That place is heaven on earth! While Cuba with you was the best trip ever, Necker Island was the best vacation ever.
CRAIG C., NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC EXPEDITIONS, CUBA, 2016
Christopher… I gave the tour a 99 on a 100 scale as I can’t imagine it gets much better than we experienced in Cuba.
You did everything well and made sure that everyone in the group had a very memorable trip.”
BOB HENIG, BOB’S BMW, MOTORCYCLE TOUR OF CUBA, 2015
Chris was the perfect trip leader. His knowledge of the country and its history is vast and he enthusiastically wanted to share it with us along with his years of experience as a photographer… He’s talented, interesting, accessible, and fun to travel with. Plus, he really did seem to care about each of us — if we were okay, getting good images, too tired, too hot, etc. I would certainly travel with him again. He certainly kept up the high standards of a Jim Cline Photo Trip.”
JUDY B., JIM CLINE PHOTO TOURS, COLOMBIA, 2018
Chris, you are a one of a kind. Really enjoyed you as a photographer, a guide, and of course as a fabulous story teller. You have so much Cuba knowledge and I loved your positive energy.”
ASA M., JIM CLINE PHOTO TOURS, CUBA, 2020
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Christopher is a member of the
International Association of Tour Directors & Guides
He combines a rare combination of attributes as an authoritative regional expert, gifted speaker and educator, and an experienced professional tour director and leader with more than 30 years experience for top travel companies.
He is considered one of the world’s leading authorities on Cuba, and also has an expert’s knowledge of Colombia and Costa Rica.
He is passionate about his fields of expertise and is dedicated to enriching the experience of trip participants by sharing his vast and unique knowledge and insights through fascinating presentations, informal discussions, and personal introductions to special people and places.
Christopher is a skilled, forward-thinking, pro-active tour manager who works to ensure the safety and successful completion of every tour. He also has experience handling all manner of emergencies, from hospitalization and medical evacuations to fatal bus accidents and client death.
Christopher led his first tour–a travel agent’s familiarization trip to New Zealand–in 1982 on behalf of California-based Adventure Center. He later founded his own company, British Pride Tours, and led deluxe garden and stately home tours of England. He also founded Kim Mason’s Serious Shopping Tours with former fashion model Kim Mason, with whom he escorted upscale shopping tours to Hong Kong and South Korea, plus Italy and Switzerland.
He is a National Geographic Expert specializing in Colombia, Costa Rica and Cuba, and acts as tour director and Expert on trips to all three destinations. He has acted as Expert and/or Tour Manager/Expedition Leader on more than one hundred programs to Cuba, Colombia and Costa Rica & Panama on behalf of National Geographic Expeditions, Lindblad Expeditions and Los Angeles Times Expeditions; and has led custom FIT and group programs to Cuba for entities from the Children’s Cancer Foundation and UCSF Medical Center to CNN’s Michael Smerconish.
He also has a broad experience as a guest lecturer aboard cruise ships and is a former faculty member of Cunard Cruise Lines and Holland America Lines, and is a lecturer and photography instructor for Noble Caledonia and UnCruise Adventures.
An acclaimed National Geographic assignment photographer, he has led photo tours and workshops for Lindblad Expeditions, National Geographic Expeditions, and Lumaria Workshops, and in 2011 led the first photo workshop in Cuba for the prestigious Santa Fe Workshops. He currently leads photography tours to Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Japan, Mozambique, Oman and Scotland for Jim Cline Photo Tours.
A keen adventure motorcyclist, in 2013 Christopher led the first group motorcycle tours of Cuba for U.S. citizens since the Revolution. He currently leads group motorcycle tours of Cuba (including custom groups on request) on behalf of Edelweiss Bike Travel and Profil-Cuba Reisen.
PRAISE FROM NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC EXPEDITIONS TOUR PARTICIPANTS…
“National Geographic is blessed to have such an individual as part of their expedition team”
“Chris was amazing! I am very happy that he was our guide and I could not imagine any better person to be with us on this trip. Grade A+!”
“Chris’ knowledge and enthusiasm for Cuba are incomparable.”
“Not just excellent. Fabulous! His vast knowledge of Cuba along with his interaction with participants and the Cuban people made him invaluable.”
“We cannot say enough about Chris. We think he is a remarkable person!”
“Chris Baker was great. He was an interesting, even-tempered and fabulous expert. His enthusiasm was contagious. He made Cuba great fun. Chris makes you feel as if you are having a private tour with him. Almost every day, Chris had a surprise for us. What wonderful surprises they were!”
“He was outstanding. I can’t even imagine doing this trip without him. I can’t even begin to describe how great he was in every respect.”
“As good as I’ve ever seen. Would go with him anyplace.”
“What you added to this trip is almost immeasurable. It was our good luck to be with you. The manner in which you broke down a complex country situation: past, present and future, sent all of us home with a clear well-rounded picture of Cuba. A tribute to your sensitivity and well-studied and well-worded presentations.”