2 Big Steps to Getting On Board as a Cruise Ship Lecturer

ByBill Belew

2 Big Steps to Getting On Board as a Cruise Ship Lecturer

Google Finds Speakers

Google Finds Speakers

Provided you have an expertise, can talk and can put together a good presentation there are still 2 big steps to getting on board as a cruise ship lecturer.

The 2 biggest steps are:
1. to be accepted by an agency to represent you to the various cruise lines.
2. to be accepted by a cruise line – the agent makes the pitch on your behalf.
In order to be accepted by an agent you need:
1. Titles and brief descriptions of 4-5 talks (depends on the agency) on topics they are looking for. Each agency looks for expertise in different areas. We have a list from the various agencies of who is looking for and who does NOT want what.
2. Links to actual presentations you have given … the best way to do this is to make a recording of you in front of a live audience and put it on YouTube.
3. A detailed resume establishing your credibility – work experience, books written, radio appearances, online visibility, testimonials. I have found the best way to do this is to create a website. I can do this for you or walk you through it.
4. To pass the interview with the agency – done by phone and lasts for 1-1.5 hours. Quite thorough.
SoC has been through all this successfully and can introduce you and make a recommendation to our agents provide you have the above.
In order to be accepted by a cruise line the agent must satisfy the cruise line’s request for:
2. Special interest destination speakers – history of the destination, famous people, etc.
3. Naturalists – this is a tree and so on.
4. Special Interest – where you fall in. Something that might be appealing to the cruising demographic.
The ultimate decision is made by the Cruise Director. You know, the guy who runs everything on board.
Rick has been speaking on ships for 7 years. He is also the one who twisted my arm to get me, Bill, to apply. He walked me through the whole process and now I consider myself a veteran.  He didn’t teach me my expertise or how to speak or how to establish my credibility and such … just the application process and specifically what pleases agencies and cruise directors. It worked.
Many people ask us, “How do you get these speaking gigs?”
That’s why we created this website … www.speakoncruises.com .
I can create a website for you. It is what I do in my ‘other’ life. It is not super costly or complex. Something along the lines of www.speakoncruises.com .
And while I am doing that, you work with Rick to hone your topic. He has more experience at this point in dealing with the different lines.  I will help with the titles and descriptions.
Rick is a member of the National Speakers Association. He will go through speaking tips, powerpoint creation, and so on with you as well. This can all be done by webinar.
Or if it fits your schedule … we could meet you here in NorCal and do all of this in one pretty long day. Including making the Youtube video … effectively putting all of your tools together.
Once this is done, Rick and I will individually email our respective agents and give them a heads up that your application is on its way.
You fill out the applications and we wait.
Are you ready to start?
Contact us. You know you want to.
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About the author

Bill Belew administrator

Bill Belew, PhD, MFA, MSc also has a very interesting career. Bill spent a half dozen years in the US Navy climbing the enlisted ranks and making the jump to Lieutenant where he served as a Surface Warfare, Communications and Intelligence Officer. While aboard ship, in the Navy, he sailed enough nautical miles to circumnavigate the globeAfter his military time, Bill spent nearly 20 years in the Far East – Japan, China, Russia and India where he taught university and created and grew his own language school throughout Japan and Far East Russia.Bill speaks to audiences of all size, countless times yearly. He has a network of 4000+ individuals who follow him in the Silicon Valley Bay Area to learn about Social Media/inbound/content marketing. He is a weekly guest on the Social Network Station broadcast to 90+ countries from the University of Nevada Las Vegas.More than 75,000,000 people have viewed over 125,000,000 pages in his network of sites.Bill is represented by 4 cruise ship agencies that send him, literally, anywhere and everywhere in the world, and is a principal of SpeakOnCruises.com

    23 Comments so far

    Jamie HayesPosted on7:12 am - Jul 20, 2017

    By profession, I am an free lance opera/musical director (married to the opera singer, Jean Rigby) and have spect many years working around the world on new opera productions, and closer to home I have been involved with West End shows, including working with Cameron Mackintosh when Associate Director on the original production of Miss Saigon. I am 57 years old.

    I have been a member of the Garrick Club in London since 2001 and since 2011 have been been given the honour of interviewing our most illustrious guests to invited audiences. These have been excitingly varied (and I apologise in advance if this feels like name dropping!) and have included Sir Michael Parkinson, Roy Hudd, Sir Tom Courtenay, Russ Abbott, Sir Brian Rix, Nicholas Parsons, Robert Lindsay, Ken Stott, Roy Strong, Timothy West, Melvyn Bragg, Stephen Fry, Nigel Havers, Robert Powell and Brough Scott. If it of interest I have CD recordings from this year with those of Robert Powell, Sir Johnathan Bate (specialist Shakespeare scholar) and Brough Scott; which I would be more than happy to pass on to you. My next interview at the Club will be on 8th November 2017 with our distinguished playwright Sir David Hare.

    The major purpose of writing is to offer myself as a candidate with you as a Cruise Lecturer. My specialised passion and interests could cover (generically) The History of the Drama the Musical and the Opera.

    Topics could include:

    The History of Opera
    Mozart: A Journey through his Operas
    The Life, Times and Works of William Shakespeare
    A Celebration of the Broadway Musical
    Rodgers and Hammerstein; a Celebration
    Gilbert & Sullivan: Their Topsy Turvey World
    The Beatles: Here, There and Everywhere
    The World of West End Theatre; Curtain Up to Curtain Down
    From Hair to Hamilton : The Story of the West End Musical
    Staging of a West End Musical; Miss Saigon
    Actors and Actresses of the English Stage ; a Celebration
    The Garrick Club: A Fascinating History

    I feel confident to say I could make these lectures highly entertaining, innovative and theatrical; illustrated and employing musical items.

    I would be delighted to meet you; and would be most grateful to be given the opportunity to do so.

    I very much look forward to hearing from you.

    Yours faithfully,

    Jamie Hayes

    Based in UK. Home tel: 01908 474799. Mobile: 07795 206112

    Ruth finneganPosted on9:07 am - Jul 25, 2017

    What agencies recruit for Saga cruise speakers??

      Rick DeutschPosted on4:55 pm - Aug 2, 2017


      The Saga Sapphire and Pearl II are fine ships. They cater to the guest seeking smaller ships. They are based in the UK. Generally, European Agencies service them for speakers. There are four agencies that work with the lines more familiar with Americans. None handles Saga. if you’d like to try and speak on the popular US focused lines, let us know. You could easily gain assignments on ships traveling the Mediterranean. I see you live in the UK – that is actually an advantage since your travel to the port would be easier. You need not be wed to Saga.

    Harry MahnPosted on2:58 pm - Aug 8, 2017

    I sketch portraits using markers. A portrait takes about 10 minutes. Can also lecture on art. Is there an opening on a cruise ship? Do you need additional info?

      Rick DeutschPosted on6:31 pm - Aug 12, 2017

      Harry – there are many opportunities to speak on ships regarding art. Portraits don’t work. But 4 talks on Art – generally do. I’ll send you an email explaining how we can help you.

    Tony DaviesPosted on7:36 am - Oct 15, 2017

    Hi I have created 6 x 45 minute presentations titled Simple methods to save a life. These are based on First Aid principles e.g. What to do if someone chokes, how to deal with an unconscious patient etc.
    These presentations are entertaining as well as informative.
    Any advice please?

    Rachel MatthewsPosted on5:42 am - Feb 15, 2018

    Travel is all about memories and escape…
    As an acclaimed Australian author and university lecturer in creative writing, I can offer entertaining, thought provoking and meaningful writing forums where people won’t be subject to the drone of an ‘expert’.
    Instead, they will write about the beautiful, amazing experiences they shared that day and shape them into eloquent snap-shots for social media and leather-bound diaries.
    They’ll also connect with other passengers through an intimate sharing of lives, a step up from a hello at the buffet breakfast…
    Dr Rachel Matthews

    Julianne AdamikPosted on8:07 am - Feb 16, 2018

    I teach workshops on Genealogy for Beginners and Genetic Genealogy—Using DNA to Discover Your Ancestors. Do you think there would be an interest in these topics?

    Helen VarelaPosted on4:04 am - Feb 20, 2018

    My husband and I are vegan plant based fitness instructors and certified Laughter Yoga leaders. We like to promote plant based eating for reversing diseases. We’ve done juicing demonstrations and talks on using food as medicine. I will be getting my Plant-based nutrition course through Cornell on line with Dr. Campbell’s program. Do you think this would be any interest for curseline lecture.

    stuart rosenPosted on1:02 pm - Apr 12, 2018

    I am a licensed london cabbie of 45 y. As a London tour guide having a vast knowledge of London.
    My ideas for a lecture are. To start with where I came from experience the 60,s in London the clubs. Working in Carnaby St . Famous people that I have met with autographs & stories which go with them. Also how to spend your time in london cover all parts of the city . The history also would include sights for the American visitor.99% of the tours I do are Americans. We have fun I engage with them. Minus have never done any lecturing before but have great stories to tell which include the English royal familly Princess Diana. Pippa Middleton, Prince michael of Kent. Would like to know is my story good enough for the cruise market or am I wasting my time? Look forward to hearing from you


      Rick DeutschPosted on7:34 pm - Apr 22, 2018


      We focus on people who speak on cruises worldwide. I think you would be best to seek out an agency in the UK that hires guides to entertain people getting off ships. I am sure there are many that could use your expertise.

      Good luck!

    Sarah WyerPosted on2:59 pm - Jul 8, 2018

    Hi Rick,
    Im a Clinical Psychologist working as an Expert Witness, based in the UK.
    I would like to branch out as a port speaker, worldwide. Im used to public speaking.
    I have a 15min video giving an entertaining and informative port talk on visiting Rouen from a cruise ship. Im about to upload this to Youtube and can send you the link.
    Many thanks,

    Ralph S.Posted on7:02 am - Nov 18, 2018

    My wife could speak for herself and quite well. I’m just trying to find out if she should bother making the effort to try using her talents to attract a cruise line to hire her.
    She has two areas of expertise; she has a PhD. In computer science, and she has done lecturing in genealogy. She would probably prefer using the latter, not only lecturing but teaching on an elementary to an advance level on genealogy and perhaps using the computer knowledge as an extra selling point. Any suggestion?

    Dr. Jonathan CaudillPosted on3:50 pm - Dec 13, 2018


    I am a professor and speak regualarly on the history and evolution of music, nurturing young minds through interactive presentations. I specialized in music of Latin America music. Specifically in the Central America and the Caribbean. I would love to share some of this rich and wonderful music and aid in educating those visiting that region of the world. Of course as a professional opera singer I have a wide background in oper that would The suited for Mediterranean cruisea and even Baltic cruise into St. Petersburg.

    I would love to learn more about how you could help me to share my skills and knowledge onboard cruise ships.

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