Our UK Team
Our UK Office
Pioneer Expeditions have our Head Office in the delightful market town of Wimborne Minster in Dorset.
If you live nearby or are visiting the area, do please pop by, we would be delighted to meet you.
Philip Beale, Director
Philip has been passionate about adventure travel since his early school days which culminated in him winning a place on Operation Drake at 17 to visit Fiji and Papua New Guinea. He then read Politics at Hull University and joined the Royal Navy to pursue his interest in maritime exploration. He is a keen adventurer and traveller with has a special interest in pioneering historic “Kon Tiki” type expeditions.
In 2003/04 Philip organised and led the building of a replica ancient Indonesian ship and sailing it across the Indian Ocean, around the Cape of Good Hope to West Africa. This project, known as the Borobudur Ship Expedition (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borobudur_ship) was successfully directed & completed in March 2004 and Philip was awarded a state medal for Services to Indonesian Culture by the President of the Republic of Indonesia. Philip is our Indonesia expert.
He also recently completed an historic sailing expedition recreating the first circumnavigation of Africa -further details can be found at www.phoenicia.org.uk
Laurenne Mansbridge, Director
Laurenne also got the ‘travelling bug’ when she was at school and took time out before university to explore the world. After working in corporate management for 10 years she decided to follow her dreams and along with her husband set off for another long term travelling adventure.
Now happily able to combine her passion with her work, Laurenne manages the expedition organisation and product development for Pioneer Expeditions.
As an active director she is involved in all aspects of the running of the expeditions and the company and is totally committed to providing our clients with the best designed trips and the best customer service. Laurenne is our Central America and Madagascar expert.
Laurenne loves the water and is a keen sailor, diver, kayaker and rafter. On land she enjoys hiking and all wildlife. Her recent adventures have included Madagascar, Central America, Uganda, Philippines, Borneo & Indonesia.
Victoria Smith, Client Manager
Victoria joined Pioneer Expeditions in 2017 and has always had a keen interest in travel, especially if it includes the opportunity to observe wildlife.
After 8 years as a retail manager Victoria returned to university to pursue her interest in primates. For her masters degree in Primate Conservation at Oxford Brookes University she completed her research project in Central Kalimantan, Borneo. After her MSc Victoria worked as a Primate Carer at Monkey World Ape Rescue Centre, as a Project Coordinator for the Orangutan Foundation UK, then as Office Manager for The Linnean Society of London (the world’s oldest active biological society). Since 2011 she has been a trustee of the Borneo Nature Trust, a charity and research organisation working to protect orangutans and their tropical rainforest habitats.
Some of her favourite trips include visiting Japan’s Yudanaka hot springs to see snow monkeys (Japanese macaques), watching blue whales off the coast of LA and tracking chimpanzees in Uganda’s Kibale Forest National Park.