Captain, Crew & Guides
Dean Rand and Megan Ciana are the owners and operators of the family run Discovery Voyages. In addition, they are your licensed captains and naturalists during your voyage. Dean began his Alaskan maritime experience in the Bering Sea crab fisheries in the 1970’s. He continued with commercial fishing ventures as well as forestry projects throughout Alaska and in the late 1980’s began providing logistic support for maritime scientific research studies in Prince William Sound. He and his two daughters started the tourism business aboard the Discovery in 1992 in the coastal community of Cordova. In 1997, they relocated to the small town of Whittier in Western Prince William Sound to provide better access for their growing tourism business.
Megan Ciana met Dean in 2010 and they were married in 2015 on a lush mountain hillside overlooking a glacier in Prince William Sound. Megan is a licensed captain, a licensed physical therapist, and an accomplished gourmet chef. She handles much of the business details, booking, and correspondence responsibilities for Discovery Voyages.
As owner/operators and captains of the Discovery, Dean and Megan are fully committed to sharing their knowledge and experience with you to ensure you have the vacation of a lifetime. The M/V Discovery is a 65-foot former Presbyterian Church Missions vessel. The lower deck includes sleeping accommodations for up to twelve guests in six cabins fitted with upper and lower berths and stowage space for clothing and personal items. The Discovery has two shared bathrooms with hot showers. Guests enjoy the panoramic scenery and wildlife viewing from the ship’s complete walk-around deck and expansive windows. The Discovery carries two large, outboard-powered, inflatable zodiacs used for shore visits. Single and double kayaks are stored onboard and used for kayak excursions.
The M/V Discovery is distinguished among other vessels in the small cruise ship category by maintaining status as a U.S. Coast Guard inspected and certified passenger vessel. This means it adheres to the strictest safety regulations, including annual examinations of the vessels’s structural, mechanical, and safety equipment in addition to requirements for captains and crew licensing, training, and testing. This certification also allows the Discovery to obtain a legal liquor license and offer complimentary wine, beer, and spirits as part of your tour package.
Two knowledgeable naturalists and experienced guides round out the Discovery crew. This helps to accommodate for varying guest interests or activity levels.
Meg is the voice you hear when you contact the office of Discovery Voyages. Aside from obtaining her 100-ton USCG Captain’s License, she is a licensed Physical Therapist in the off-season. Before she transitioned into the galley, most of her time aboard the Discovery was spent guiding guests on excursions. Meg’s culinary interest develop growing up in an Italian and Irish food loving family, and was fine tuned by working alongside Discovery chefs. Her menu is authentically Alaskan, prepared in a way that only someone who enjoys eating as much as they enjoy cooking, can. Having gathered recipes from years of talented Discovery cooks, Meg has put together a vast arrangement that features her top picks.
“There are not enough superlatives to describe the food prepared for us by Meg, the cook on our trip. Each meal was filled with fresh and nutritious food. One of my favorite reasons for visiting AK is the fresh sea food. Meg prepared salmon, as well as other fresh fish, in creative and delicious ways. “Oyster Dave” also provided us with amazing shell fish for at least one of our meals. Meg was able to make oysters taste good, which is something I didn’t think was possible.” – Sierra Club member, May 2017
Heather is Captain Dean’s oldest daughter, and grew up aboard the Discovery. She acquired her USCG 100-ton Captain’s License, and has filled many roles from crew, guide, chef and most recently your friendly driver to and from the port of Whittier.
In the off-season, Heather’s home base is in Anchorage, where she has a home with her husband, Edward, and their daughters, Jasmine and Lily.
Hugh Rose, Photographer and Natural History Guide
Special Guest Hugh Rose has lived in northern climates most of his life and currently makes Fairbanks, Alaska home. Compelled by Alaska’s natural beauty, he left a 10-year career in geology to explore and photograph the vast landscapes and wildlife of the north.
Both nature and a camera have intrigued Hugh since childhood and he continues to explore these worlds through photography and guiding. Hugh is a skilled birder, and with a masters degree in geology, blends a keen mix of natural history with his people and photography skills. He travels worldwide sharing the the wonders of the natural world with his clients.