In 2020, Seattle-based Zegrahm Expeditions Inc. will celebrate 30 years in expedition travel. This adventure travel company specializes in small-ship expedition cruises, tours, and safaris to remote and intriguing destinations around the world. Led by expert guides and lecturers, Zegrahm itineraries are carefully crafted and all-inclusive, feature deluxe accommodations, and operate in all seven continents. 

The six company founders met while “out in the field” leading trips around the world on board a variety of expeditionary vessels. They bonded over their mutual love of travel, learning, and making new discoveries, and decided that they had something exciting to offer in the newly-emerging sector of adventure-based travel. In 1990, they came together to form their own expedition company, with a commitment to crafting innovative and industry-leading itineraries for curious explorers and modern-day adventurers.

First things first, the company needed a name. It all began with a trusty cocktail napkin, where the first letters of everyone’s last name were arranged and rearranged until "Zegrahm" was born. Now armed with a name, where would the company be based? Having traveled the world many times over, the founders tossed out dozens of possibilities before finally settling on beautiful Seattle, Washington. This felt like a natural choice as the headquarters for an adventure travel company. With its abundance of recreational activities and rich pioneer legacy, Seattle has long been a hub for outdoor enthusiasts and folks who possess an adventurous spirit.

Over the last three decades, the company has celebrated many milestones in travel. With annual voyages to Antarctica since 1992, Zegrahm is a founding member of the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators, which promotes safe and environmentally responsible travel to the Antarctic. Leading the industry in off-the-beaten-path travel, Zegrahm has offered a number of “firsts” in expedition travel, including voyages to the Weddell Sea to view emperor penguins; to Franz Josef Land to search for polar bears; to Australia’s remote Kimberley region; to circumnavigate both Papua New Guinea and Sumatra; and even offered a cosmonaut-training program for civilian space travel in 1997. (This ultimately did not get off the ground as technology had not quite caught up with the vision).  

After all these years, the founders’ original mission remains Zegrahm’s core focus. In fact, cofounders, Mike Messick and Jack Grove, (the M and GR in the company name) are still living that passion and continue to help craft and lead expeditions around the world.

To commemorate this milestone, Zegrahm will be celebrating aboard four Anniversary Voyages—Antarctica, South Georgia & the Falkland Islands, Ultimate Seychelles with Aldabra Atoll, Circumnavigation of Iceland, and Melanesia, Solomon Islands & Vanuatu. These expeditions embody the spirit of Zegrahm and represent expedition travel at its finest. On all of these Anniversary Voyages guests will not only visit remote corners of the world, they’ll also participate in special onboard celebrations, enjoy local treats, and receive exclusive commemorative gifts. 

Discover the world of Zegrahm Expeditions!