Our crew and staff are a dedicated group of people passionate about the whales and our passengers.
They are here to make you experience the journey of a life time! Each one of them has taken the time to write something about themselves and we have asked them if they were an animal what animal they would be.

Angela Del Bianco


I am a family oriented person and a lifelong learner. I have a passion to encourage and motivate people to reach their hidden potential, turning it into active energy.
I am so inspired by the Staff as they have this amazing enthusiasm for Mother Nature, especially the gentle giants of the sea. Their knowledge is insurmountable. I have learnt so much from them which I pass onto our customers over the phone.
I have chosen The Eagle for its glorious energy; soaring above the clouds. The Eagle is swift, fierce and graceful.

Denise Ryan

Cruise Director

I have always loved being surrounded by water. With 15 years experience flying as an International Flight Attendant with Qantas, this enabled me to be in the warm waters all over the world 12 months of the year. Leaving for family reasons, and settling on the Gold Coast some 12 years ago, my Love of the Ocean and Our Majestic Humpback Whales really began!
I am so passionate about these Amazing Creatures. My favorite days on Spirit are when the Whales become really inquisitive and come up close and personal to the boat. The Joy from the passengers is just amazing; the hugs and kisses I receive from them at the end of a cruise is a very special feeling.
Besides Whales my other favorite animal is a Horse especially Thoroughbreds. Well I am a Sagittarian after all…

Erica Bauchiglione De Freitas

Office Manager & Marketing Specialist

I am from Brazil and I’ve been in Australia for 4 years. I graduated in Marketing as I really like people. I like talking with people, helping them and always if I can, changing their life’s, showing them the good side of life in everything.
My other passion is Nature and animals in general. Since I was child my dream was to work with Ocean animals. My goal has always been to find a job which I would love and be happy in, living my passion. Here am I working with Spirit Family as Office Manager/Marketing Specialist being so close to those fantastic creatures the “gentle giants of the sea” and making people happy, showing them how incredible the experience is to watch the Humpback Whales in their natural habitat.
What inspires me about working with Spirit is that I believe and love the way we work together as a big family, and every single one loves what they do. You can feel the good energy in every aspect. Just one word: Gratitude! “Do what you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”! 😊

Besides the whales which are my favorite if I could be an animal I would love to be a dolphin, being truly lovable, surrounded by friends, swimming and enjoying the wonders beneath the ocean, and of course, following my huge and lovely whale friends. Imagine how cool it would be!

Daniele Sostisso

Office Assistant

Hi there, I’m originally from Brazil. The reason why I came to Australia was to learn English and I fell in love from the first sight with this amazing country, especially the Gold Coast!! I have been here for 3 years and just love it!!
I’m passionate about life, in all the ways; the sun, moon, ocean, animals, nature… It’s just perfect!!
This year a great opportunity came my way to work with Spirit of Gold Coast, and it feels incredible to work and learn about the humpback whales. Everyday there is something new and I feel such a good energy from the Spirit family! Everyone is passionate so I’m really looking forward to having a great time!!

If I choose to be an animal I would be an Elephant, as like the whales, these giant animals are amazing and gentle!

Zara King

Marine Biologist & Hostess

I have grown up on the ocean’s doorstep here in South East Queensland where I recently completed my Marine Biology and Ecology Degree. My passion was always whales and dolphins growing up, and is the reason I pursued science.
This love has taken me around the world to explore other marine worlds, but I find that wherever I go, I always want to come home to the Gold Coast. Humpback whales were the first marine mammal I ever saw in the wild and I knew from that moment I wanted to work with them. Spirit has given me that amazing opportunity as I continue into my second season with these magnificent creatures and the wonderful Spirit family.

There are too many amazing animals on this earth that I just couldn’t decide which one I would want to be.

Ivan Zeljko

Master Deckhand

I am most passionate about life and seizing every opportunity to enjoy it.
Working with spirit enables me to be myself and share the wonderful joy of life

If I could be any animal is a hard question to answer as I love all animals. Maybe a donkey! 🙂

Rachel Smith

Hostess & Deckhand

I’m Rachel and I’m from Ballarat, Victoria and have been living in Queensland for the last 4 years from Airlie Beach to Cairns to Port Douglas, and now I’m here on the Gold Coast. Three and a half of those years were spent working on the Great Barrier Reef which was such a fun and amazing experience.
I love to explore different avenues so I became a Myotherapist, Coxswain and Dive Instructor! I’m really looking forward to my first official whale watching season with Spirit and being a part of this awesome team for 2016!

I would probably be a turtle, because they get to hang out at the reef all the time and they are really chilled out.

Diego Bezerra

Marine Ecologist & Deckhand

As a marine ecologist, I am particularly fascinated by fauna diversity and its conservation. I began my passion about marine life in Brazil, where I obtained my Master’s degree, Advanced Scuba Diver Certification and knowledge about marine animals and conservation biology.
In 2010, I migrated to Australia as our beloved Humpback Whales do each year. However, it was not a seasonal visit as the whales but a permanent stay. Since then, I have been experiencing work as a musician and event’s organizer, entertaining people and spreading as much love and fun as possible to everyone around.
Spirit of Gold Coast experience inspires me because I can enjoy and learn about such incredible and huge creatures every day. Also, it is an opportunity for me to deal with people and marine animals which are my lifelong joy.

If I could be another animal, I would be a little and humble barnacle so I could attach to a Humpback Whale and witness their whole journey, understanding the mysterious of these amazing mammals.

Yonit Negri

Marine Biologist & Deckhand

I’m a Brazilian Marine Biologist that came to Australia nearly 2 years ago.
Since I was young I was completely in love with the ocean. I grew up close to the beach and it was always hard for my parents to take me out of the water. So they decided to give me my first snorkel and I could finally start to grub the marine life!!!
Because of my interest in animals, I’ve been watching many documentaries about animal life and I never forget one about the thousand of whales and dolphins that are murdered every year.
Working with Spirit is a dream coming true. Being part of this big family, sharing information, passion and knowledge about whales with people who care, further inspires me to protect the whales in any way that I can! Allowing me to be more active in this fight against all this murdering!!

If I could be an animal maybe will be a turtle, to be able to swim everywhere around, having a relaxed life under water, live longer years and to be able to travel around the four corners of the globe!

Thiago Barbosa

Marketing “Guru”

Adriana Del Bianco


Koji Takada

Skipper / Engineer

Got too wet from my 15 year scuba dive instructor experience and became a skipper to dry myself out 😉
Searching for whales definitely inspires me and sharpens my 5 senses…
If I were an animal I would be a Coral – forever young and beautiful!

Bruce Hesford

Skipper / Engineer

My love for the sea began as a SCUBA diving instructor on the Barrier Reef, Cairns area. That was over twenty years ago. Seems like a long time ago when I say it like that! As my knowledge for the oceans grew, so did my desire to make a career upon the ocean. After attaining formal qualifications I began a professional career as a ship’s Captain. I had my first Whale Watching experience with SPIRIT of GOLD COAST cruises some eight years ago.It was a fantastic look into a developing industry. I had seen whales before, both above and below the waters, but this was different, these were Humpbacks! It was Just like I had seen on TV. They were leaping up out of the water and crashing back down again creating a huge splash, and then the entire boat would erupt into a chorus of spontaneous delight. One month later I began working for Spirit of Gold Coast Cruises…

Romano Del Bianco


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