Joanne Wheeler

Joanne Wheeler

Senior Iceland & the Arctic Travel Specialist

Having started working for Regent Holidays in 1986, I have seen many changes to the destinations that we visit and I have loved seeing unknown countries evolve into thriving, cultural gems.
I still recall my first work trip as a young 18 year old, walking by foot across the Yugoslav border into Albania - a country which was barely discovered in my teens. Back then Albania didn’t allow individual travellers, men were not allowed to have beards or wear shorts and Americans were not allowed entry at all. What I saw totally captivated me; there are many reasons to visit Albania, but on top of this are that the people were so friendly. To this day Albania is still a real favourite of mine.

I now specialise in our Iceland & the Arctic collection and really love exploring Iceland, Finland, Sweden and Norway. The stunning landscapes in Iceland are hard to beat and with the northern lights dancing in winter and the central highlights opening up the rest of the island in the summer, there's adventure to be found year-round. 

My recent travels include a great trip to Gothenburg - its industrial heritage is palpable in the graffiti-laden streets and there are some great eclectic bars and cafes.  As well as a weekend filled with fun and laughter in Reykjavik with several of my colleagues, taking a dip not only in the Blue Lagoon but enjoying ocean vistas at the Sky Lagoon too. 

This summer, I explored the Finnish cities of Helsinki, Tartu, and Tampere, venturing into the captivating beauty of Lahti, situated around the scenic bay of Lake Vesijärvi. Highlights included cultural gems like the Lahti Museum of Visual Arts Malva, architectural wonders such as Alvar Aalto's Church of the Cross, and the vibrant harbour area, where Nosturi Sauna and Beach left a lasting impression.

Wrapping up the year with an exhilarating Arctic adventure, I chased the Northern Lights in Tromso, experienced the thrill of a husky safari, and revelled in the Arctic charm of Longyearbyen, staying the uber chic Funken Lodge and an unforgettable Aurora display at Camp Barentz



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