Avid Jeopardy! watchers — like myself — have caught glimpses of the quiz show’s partnership with Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic in more than 400 Jeopardy! clues featuring the cruise line’s global expedition cruises.
What many people may not realize is that Alex Trebek — Jeopardy! game show host, pop culture icon and my lifelong idol — is also a cruiser.
In 2009, contest winners joined Trebek for a Galapagos cruise sponsored by Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic. He’s also sailed onboard a Lindblad ship for a family trip to Antarctica and will be joining an upcoming “Explore the World” sailing on the line, in addition to personal trips on Seabourn.
I spoke briefly with Trebek at Lindblad’s headquarters in New York City, where he appeared at an event announcing Jeopardy!’s Explore the World sweepstakes. Starting at the end of October, the contest will select 30 lucky winners (in honor of Jeopardy!’s 30th anniversary) to embark on a Lindblad expedition cruise.
The host appeared eerily similar to his television presence — listening back to our recorded conversation, I had to laugh at the comparison between my mere mortal, questioning voice and the rich, resonating responses of a professional conversationalist. I half expected the Final Jeopardy! music to queue up as we were nearing the end of our discussion.
When asked the appeal of cruising, the well-traveled Trebek replied, “You only have to unpack once!”
Trebek will be sailing on one of the upcoming Explore the World itineraries, though which one is still up in the air. (Trebek mentioned that he and his wife were strongly considering Greece and the Dalmation Coast, although there’s also interest in the Upper Amazon.) He previously sailed through the Greek Isles onboard a Mediterranean Seabourn cruise in 2003, and the region left an impression on him.
“It’s hard to find more beautiful islands, or more beautiful populated islands, than the Greek islands — the vegetation and Santorini, for instance, with the white buildings with blue roofs. I was there, interestingly enough, when Sea Cloud was in port down below, and we’re up top and I’m looking down and I’m thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, this is as good as it gets, folks — it doesn’t get more beautiful than this.'”
Trebek later sailed Seabourn’s Treasures of the Baltic itinerary — from London to St. Petersburg — in 2005 onboard Seabourn Pride.
In just a few weeks, the legendary game show host will be onboard Disney Magic for the TCM Classic cruise (December 8 – 13). A fan of both classic movies and cruising, it’s a perfect fit for Trebek.
“The fact that the ship moves at night, you’re sleeping, and you wake up in perhaps a different country the next morning and there are fabulous ground excursions that have been arranged for you [that’s the appeal of cruising]. It’s a marvelous learning experience, it’s a marvelous relaxing experience — I’m a big fan of cruising.”
You, too, can travel like Trebek with the Jeopardy! Explore the World sweepstakes, beginning October 28. A new expedition will be given away each day to one winner (and a guest) during the three promotional periods (October 28 – November 8, January 20 – 31 and April 21 – May 2). To enter, submit the Final Jeopardy! category for a day during the promo period on Jeopardy.com.
Each winner will receive roundtrip airfare from their home city, all onboard accommodations, and $1,000. Expedition locations include Peru: Machu Picchu; Vietnam and Cambodia; Galapagos; Antarctica; Arctic Svalbard: Land of the Bears; Costa Rica and the Panama Canal; Baja California: Whales and Wildness in the Sea of Cortez; Southeast Alaska; Greece and the Dalmation Coast; Upper Amazon; and South Pacific.
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