Written by JJ Barnes
I asked questions about Captain Dan Blanchard’s life, what inspired him to start podcasting and the work that goes into making No Ordinary Adventure.
Tell me a bit about who you are.
When it comes to Captain Dan Blanchard—he’s the real thing. Dan grew up in Washington State, living and working on boats since he was a kid. He spent years exploring winding waterways, beachcombing on remote shores, oyster picking and clam digging, and learning to skin dive. Life on the water is part of his genetic makeup.
Dan was a Sea Scout, and National Boatswain Mate at 16. He received his ship Master’s License at 18 and has gone on to live a storied-tale from owner of Blanchard Marine to Captain of sightseeing vessels to Director at Cruise West and Vice President of Operations; in 1999, he joined American Safari Cruise, he went on to acquire the company in 2008 launching Innersea Discoveries now known as UnCruise Adventures.
He is a natural storyteller, enthusiastic skier and cyclist, energetic hiker, world-explorer, accomplished sailor, ocean lover and lover of the natural world. He connects with nature and culture wherever he goes and in May 2013, he was adopted into a native Alaskan Tlingit tribe. Through all his travels, Captain Dan Blanchard weaves together narrative stories about his time on the sea, supporting sustainable travel, industry news, travel tips, and real conversations about creating adventure at any age.
This is a place for a community of nature lovers, intrepid travelers, and industry experts sharing their love of this fascinating planet. This is a place to fill your heart and your head with travels in nature, hear interviews with people around the world and the movement behind Dan creating his own high-end travel company. He’s living the dream he built around his passions and wouldn’t have it any other way.
How and why did you start podcasting?
Launching a new podcast was part of a pivotal period during a global crisis in 2020 with COVID and has turned out to be worth it, along with a great content generator. As any podcaster will share there is plenty that goes into the creation and launch of a podcast, from the initial branding to photography, graphics, music, voiceovers, marketing, guest sourcing, recording, editing, online hosting, technical aspects, and the support of each guest for starters. Almost 2 years later it is still a key part of our outreach.
What is your current podcast called, and how did you come up with the name?
Our adventure travel podcast is called, No Ordinary Adventure. This was chosen from a few different ones from our internal core team and was fitting of the hosts real life of adventures, seeing things in a different perspective and also along the lines of the hosts travel company name, UnCruise Adventures. We just do things differently.
What platforms can we find No Ordinary Adventure on?
We are on all major platforms, from iTunes, to Amazon, Apple, Google Podcasts, Alexa, Spotify, Stitcher, Podcast Addict, & Podchaser.
What is No Ordinary Adventure about?
Captain Dan Blanchard weaves together narrative stories about his time on the sea, supporting sustainable travel, industry news, travel tips, and real conversations about creating adventure at any age. This is a place for a community of nature lovers, intrepid travelers, and industry experts sharing their love of this fascinating planet. This is a place to fill your heart and your head with travels in nature, hear interviews with people around the world and the movement of adventure travel.
Do you host No Ordinary Adventure alone, or have guest hosts/partners?
Dan is the host for all episodes, and has not had guest hosts or co-hosts, but is open to the right people to join. He interviews various people from around the world in the industry along with individual travelers, movie creators, other podcasters, and travelers from every walk of life.
Do you edit No Ordinary Adventure or have someone who does it for you?
Our podcast is all done in house with our marketing department with editing, producing, promotion and guest bookings.
Do you script No Ordinary Adventure, or just chat as you go?
It’s a bit of both. It pays to be prepared and have talking points for the host and guest to make them feel comfortable and keep the conversation moving.
We like to inspire them to share their best stories and speak freely without a highly structured interview. Things can always change on a whim if it’s great for the listener.
How has No Ordinary Adventure changed or developed since you began?
It has gained in subscriptions, shares and downloads which is always something we want to grow.
What are you biggest challenges with No Ordinary Adventure?
Sometimes it’s just getting guest calendars and bookings that are available to line up with our own calendars. Everyone is super busy these days, and those with stories to tell and adventures to share tend to be some of the busier ones. This is always a challenge.
What are your favorite podcasts to listen to?
Bucket List Guy. Lives a life I have had in the past and will have in the future.
How and where do you promote No Ordinary Adventure?
We do this through our bi-monthly newsletters to our subscription lists, to travel agents, in our social media channels, paid ads, along with tagging and sharing content with the guests to their audiences. We want both the host and the guest to have benefit from this and direct people to their websites or offers.
Do you earn money from No Ordinary Adventure, or is it a hobby?
This began as a way to keep in touch with our travel guests in 2020 when all travel stopped, and everyone was in a lock down. Without out typical ways to experience the sensory feeling of travel, we used this piece to tell and share stories to supplement that pivotal time.
While we are getting back to a bit “more normal” travel its’ expanded to include experts from the behind the scenes and individual travelers’ stories that may not otherwise be heard. We’d say it’s both a hobby and a business content strategy. It’s down to earth content that our audience wants that provides real results and our brand message.
What’s something you never expected about podcasting?
Time needed to prepare for the interview.
What have you learned that surprised you?
How much podcasts really help our online presence.
What is the first piece of advice you would give to anyone inspired to start podcasting?
Be as targeted as possible with who your audience is and the goals for your podcast.
And, finally, are your proud of what you’re accomplishing with your podcast? Is it worth the effort?
Yes, this has been a fun way to stay in touch with not only our guests but gain new audiences and followers who are interested in adventure travel. It has been worth the effort, and we look forward to growing it even more. There are always more ways to learn and grow with podcasting.
Pop all your work, website and social media links here so the readers can find you:
On company website: https://uncruise.com/pages/no-ordinary-adventure-podcast-by-uncruise-adventures
Video podcast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Pg1R4WCtX0&list=PL6BlZDM1bFA1Od944JsUP8GR2_WxMHZoT
Host’s Travel Company: https://uncruise.com/
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