Freelance tour leader / director and regional expert / lecturer Christopher P. Baker has four decades experience leading international tours and as an expert educator for National Geographic Expeditions and other top travel companies. He has led trips as far afield as Colombia, Costa Rica, Great Britain, Korea, New Zealand, and Oman, and is acclaimed as the world’s most knowledgeable and experienced tour leader to Cuba 


IATDG TourConnect 2021 – IATDG

Christopher is a member of the International Association of Tour Directors & Guides
AVAILABLE IN THE FOLLOWING CAPACITIES
–  Tour manager/guide – 
– Tour director –
– Expedition Leader –
– Regional expert –
(California, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Panama)

Christopher–the Lowell Thomas Award 2008 ‘Travel Journalist of the Year’ and award-winning National Geographic photographer–combines a rare combination of attributes as an authoritative regional expert, gifted speaker and educator, and an experienced professional tour director and leader with almost 40 years experience working for top travel companies worldwide. He is considered one of the world’s leading authorities on Cuba (about which he has written eight books and to which he has led more than 100 tours), 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 leader and 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 and repatriation.

a brief tour leader history

Christopher led his first tour–a travel agent’s familiarization trip to New Zealand–in 1982 on behalf of California-based Adventure Center. In 1984, he 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.

CRUISE LECTURER
In the 1990s, he spent considerable time as a guest lecturer and Caribbean and South American port-of-call specialist aboard cruise ships. He is a former faculty member of Cunard Cruise Lines and Holland America Lines, and has been a lecturer and photography instructor for Noble Caledonia and UnCruise Adventures, as well as a regional expert on Costa Rica, Panama, and Cuba aboard more than two dozen adventure cruises for Lindblad Expeditions.

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC EXPEDITIONS
The author of six books for National Geographic, he is a regional expert for National Geographic Expeditions, specializing in Colombia, Costa Rica and, notably, Cuba. Since 2011, he has led 87 programs to Cuba as regional expert, photo instructor, and/or Tour Manager & Expedition Leader on behalf of National Geographic Expeditions, as well as some two dozen tours to Colombia and Costa Rica & Panama in a similar capacity; including tours in conjunction with Backroads and Santa Fe Photo Workshops

CUBA EXPERT
In addition to the above-mentioned tours for National Geographic Expeditions, as a Cuba expert, he has also prepared itineraries and led tours of Cuba for Air Journeys, Los Angeles Times Expeditions, the Children’s Cancer Foundation, the UCSF Medical Center, and to CNN’s Michael Smerconish.

PHOTO INSTRUCTOR
An acclaimed National Geographic assignment photographer, Chris 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 has also led photo tours in and around Palm Springs for Atlas Obscura. He currently leads photography tours to Bhutan, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Japan, Mozambique, Oman and Scotland for Jim Cline Photo Tours.

ADVENTURE MOTORCYCLIST
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.

FORTHCOMING TRIPS

Confirmed tour-leading commitments for 2022 & 2023 include multiple trips to Cuba for Jim Cline Photo Tours, Lumaria Workshops, and the UCSF Medical Center, plus tours to Bhutan, Colombia, Japan, Mozambique, Oman, and Scotland. See Calendar of Tours.

A PARTIAL LIST OF RECENT TOURS 
  • Quirky & Surreal Palm Springs Photo Tour (Atlas Obscura, November & December 2020)
  • Cuba: Photo Tour (Jim Cline Photo Tours, March, 2020)
  • Oman & Dubai Photo Tour (Jim Cline Photo Tours, February 2020)
  • Cuba Motorcycle Tour (BWM Rider Academy of Turkey, December, 2019)
  • Cuban Chrome (Los Angeles Times Expeditions, November 2019)
  • Colombia: Bogotá, Coffee Country, Medellin Flower Festival, & Cartagena (Jim Cline Photo Tours, August, 2019)
  • Cuba: Its People & Culture (National Geographic Expeditions, January, February, April, May, 2019)
  • Cuba Motorcycle Tour (Edelweiss Bike Travel, February, 2019)
  • Cuba Motorcycle Tour (Edelweiss Bike Travel, January, 2019)
  • The Culture & Enigma of Cuba (Los Angeles Times Expeditions, November 2018)
  • Colombia: Bogotá, Coffee Country, Medellin Flower Festival, & Cartagena (Jim Cline Photo Tours, August, 2018)
  • Cuba: Cultural Heritage & Natural Wonders (Lindblad Expeditions, May 2018)
  • Cuba: Its People & Culture (National Geographic Expeditions, January, February, March, April, May, November & December, 2018)
  • Best of Cuba Photo Tour (Lumaria Workshops, April, 2017)
  • Cuba: Its People & Culture (National Geographic Expeditions, January, February, March, April, May, November & December, 2018)
  • Cuba Medical Mission (Children’s Cancer Foundation, April 2017)
  • Cuban Delights: A Semi-Circular Navigation of Cuba (Noble Caledonia, February & March, 2017)
  • Cuba: Cultural Heritage & Natural Wonders (Lindblad Expeditions, February 2017)
  • Eastern Cuba Photo Tour (Jim Cline Photo Tours, January 2017)
  • Mexico: The Sea of Cortez (UnCruise Adventures, January 2017)
  • Cuba: Cultural Heritage & Natural Wonders (Lindblad Expeditions, December 2016)
  • Cuba: Private Family Tour (CNN’s Michael Smerconish, July 2016)
  • West Central Cuba Motorcycle Tour (Tours Caribe de Chile, June, 2016)
  • Journey to Cuba (AIr Journeys, June 2016)
  • Cuba: Its People & Culture (National Geographic Expeditions, January, February, March, April, May, November & December, 2018)
  • Cuba Photo Tour (National Geographic Expeditions, February/March 2016)
  • Best of Cuba Photo Tour (Lumaria Workshops, January, 2016)
  • Cuba: Its People & Culture (National Geographic Expeditions, January, February, March, April, May, November & December, 2018)
  • Western Cuba Motorcycle Tour (MotoDiscovery, May, 2015)
  • Cuba End to End Motorcycle Tour (MotoDiscovery, March & April 2015)
  • Discovering Colombia (National Geographic Expeditions, February 2015)
  • Costa Rica & Panama Canal (Lindblad Expeditions, January 2015)
  • Discovering Colombia (National Geographic Expeditions, November 2014)
  • Western Cuba Motorcycle Tour (MotoDiscovery, May, 2014)
  • Eastern Cuba (National Geographic Expeditions, February 2014)
  • Cuba: Its People & Culture (National Geographic Expeditions, January, February, March, April, May, November & December, 2018)
  • Costa Rica & Panama Canal (Lindblad Expeditions, January & December 2014)
  • Cuba End to End Motorcycle Tour (MotoDiscovery, January & February 2013)
  • Cuba: Its People & Culture (National Geographic Expeditions, January, February, March, April, May, November & December, 2013)
  • Costa Rica & Panama Canal (Lindblad Expeditions, January & February 2013)
  • Costa Rica Family Trip (Backroads / National Geographic Expeditions, December 2012)
  • Cuba: Its People & Culture (National Geographic Expeditions, January, February, March, April, May, November & December, 2012)
  • Costa Rica & Panama Canal (Lindblad Expeditions, January 2012)
  • Cuba: Its People & Culture (National Geographic Expeditions, November & December, 2018)
  • Cuba Photo Tour (Santa Fe Photographic Workshops, April 2011)
  • Costa Rica & Panama Canal (Lindblad Expeditions, February, 2011)

TESTIMONIALS

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

If clients had traveled with you before, they came to Cuba to experience it with you. If they hadn’t met you before, they’ll go out of their way to travel with you again in the future… I’ve got a Cuba opening December 20-28 of this year. We’re very much in need of a Christopher Baker!”
FORD COCHRAN, DIRECTOR OF PROGRAMMING, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC EXPEDITIONS

Molly Danner [Program Director & Director, Photography Trip Talent, National Geographic] came back with a rave review of your performance on our Eastern Cuba trip, along with the recommendation that I consider featuring you as NG photographer on future private jet trips—which I most definitely will do!
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, what can I say. The trip was spectacular. We all thoroughly enjoyed your company.”
In 2016, the second time I had the privilege of visiting Cuba, this time with my family,
Christopher P. Baker was our travel guide and he was extraordinary!.”

MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN TV ANCHOR, PRIVATE TOUR OF CUBA, 2016

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

SCROLL DOWN FOR MORE PRAISE FROM NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC EXPEDITIONS CLIENTS

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.”