Candidate Profile

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Destinations & Ports
Travel & Destinations
Stuart Gustafson took early retirement from his high-technology career so that he could spend more time with his family (including his Mom who was 90 at the time), work on his writing, and so he could do more traveling. He's been successful on all counts (he took Mom on a 14-day New Zealand cruise; he's published over a dozen books, including travel-based mystery novels, and he's been to 55 countries and 145 different cruise ports). He's been sharing his knowledge and his experiences with cruise ship passengers since 2012, and the rave reviews he's received from guests and staff have continued to encourage him. On a recent trans-Pacific crossing, one guest (Margaret) approached him after one of his talks and said, “Your talk today was worth the price of the entire cruise.” WOW!

His formal education of a B.A. in Mathematics and an MBA surprise some guests who think he was a history professor. It's just that his keen interest in helping passengers enjoy their cruise has enabled him to develop interesting talks on Destinations, the specific Ports, a few general Travel subjects, and even Classical Music Composers. He's always available to speak with guests during the cruise, and often seen ashore handing out local maps to the passengers as they head out into town on their own. Stuart is that dynamic speaker who creates excitement about the cruise journey and makes passengers want to come back for more (more presentations and more cruises!).

More information on my cruise ship speaking experiences are summarized at
With my U.S. Registered Trademark America's International Travel Expertฎ, I've been helping people enjoy their travels by providing information that enhances their experiences in places where they might not be extremely knowledgeable. You may also visit
  • Port Lectures -- I have delivered port-specific presentations on cruises where the independent travelers are seeking logistical information from sources that are not directly tied to the ship's shore excursions. These presentations include information about the specific ports of call, where we'll be, how to get around in the area, currency exchange opportunities, the best places for shopping, etc. I've given these talks primarily in SE Asia (from Singapore to Japan, and all countries in between), and the ship's staff have said that these talks reduced the number of questions they typically received from guests by at least fifty percent. I encourage people to take notes or to take photos of the information on the slides to help them while they're in port.

  • Destination Talks -- From the Mediterranean, Baltic, and SE Asia regions, my Destination presentations have focused on the arts, history, culture of the areas. While they're not port-specific in nature, they are relevant to the areas where the cruise ships are going. For example, when the ship docks in Helsinki, my talk Finland, its Culture & its Music highlights the Sibelius Monument (with "music" from its pipes) and the organ at the Rock Church, among others, using videos that I've taken on my four visits to the area. Overall, I've visited 145 different cruise port, so I have plenty of information to share with the guests.

  • Other Travel-Related Talks -- There are times and places (such as a trans-Pacific crossing) where a destination-specific talk isn't relevant. I have some travel-related talks that fit nicely into these situations, or when there is a weather-related change and we're going to be "at sea" for the day instead of in port. Some examples of these talks are
    > The International Date Line -- How Do We Really Lose a Day?
    > 7 Wonders of the World -- Ancient and New
    > Countries and Their Names
    > World Money
    > Journaling Your Trip -- or How to Remember THIS Cruise

  • Music of the Masters -- This is [currently] a six-part series of well-vetted presentations on some of the best-known and most influential classical music composers (an Intro, Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, with more in the works). The presentations include some historical information (about 30% talking) plus lots of their music (70%). I also have other full-length video productions of each master that have been used as a warm-up to the presentation as guests are coming into the venue. These Music of the Masters talks are especially well-received when the guests are wanting additional culture as well as on the higher-end cruise lines.
As America's International Travel Expertฎ, I have traveled to 152 different cruise ports as I've spoken on 29 cruises and cruised as a passenger on 9 others. My passenger-orientated destination presentations have helped thousands of guests enjoy their independent travels on land, and my talks on Classical Music Composers (30% talk, 70% music) have been enjoyed by guests wanting added culture. I’ve also held informal Q&A sessions on writing books as I’m a published author of over one dozen books, both fiction and non-fiction.

Cruises I’ve Been on as a Speaker
July 2012 – Scandinavia & Russia (round trip Amsterdam) – Celebrity Constellation (13 days)
September 2012 – Italy & Adriatic (Venice to Civitavecchia) – Celebrity Silhouette (13 days)
April 2013 – Northeast Asia (Hong Kong to Shanghai) – Celebrity Millennium (15 days)
July 2013 – Norwegian Fjords (round trip Harwich) – Celebrity Infinity (11 days)
August 2013 – British Isles (round trip Harwich) – Celebrity Infinity (12 days)
August 2013 – Scandinavia & Russia (Stockholm to Copenhagen) – Oceania Marina (11 days)
September 2013 – Scandinavia & Russia (Copenhagen to Stockholm) – Oceania Marina (11 days)
July 2014 – Great American Waterways (Warren, R.I. to Chicago) – Blount Grande Caribe (15 days)
September 2014 – Western Europe & Mediterranean Highlights (Amsterdam to Istanbul) – Celebrity Constellation (15 days)
December 2014 – Northern Asia Allure (Singapore to Hong Kong) – Celebrity Millennium (15 days)
July 2015 – World Cruise Segment (New York to Sydney) – Sea Princess (41 days)
September 2015 – Alaska to Japan (Seward, Alaska to Tokyo) – Silversea Silver Shadow (17 days)
November 2015 – Grand Asia (Tianjin, China to Singapore) – Sapphire Princess (18 days)
November 2015 – Vietnam, Thailand & Malaysia Grand Adventure (round trip Singapore) – Sapphire Princess (16 days)
September 2016 – Bering Sea & Japan (Vancouver to Tokyo Yokohama) – Celebrity Millennium (15 days)
February 2017 – Southeast Asia Immersion (Singapore to Hong Kong) – Celebrity Millennium (15 days)
March 2017 – China & South Korea (Hong Kong to Shanghai) – Celebrity Millennium (15 days)
March 2017 – China & South Korea (Shanghai to Hong Kong) – Celebrity Millennium (15 days)
April 2017 – China & Japan (Hong Kong to Tokyo Yokohama) – Celebrity Millennium (15 days)
June 2017 – Great Lakes Grand Discovery 1 (Toronto to Chicago) – M/V Victory I (10 days)
July 2017 – Great American Waterways (Warren, R.I. to Chicago) – Blount Grande Caribe (16 days)
July 2017 – Great American Waterways (Chicago to Warren, R.I.) – Blount Grande Caribe (16 days)
September 2017 – Bering Sea & Japan (Vancouver to Tokyo Yokohama) – Celebrity Millennium (16 days)
September 2017 – Japan Explorer (round trip Tokyo Yokohama) – Celebrity Millennium (11 days)
October 2017 – Japan, Korea, and China (Tokyo Yokohama to Shanghai) – Celebrity Millennium (12 days)
June 2018 – Great American Waterways (New York to Chicago) – Blount Grande Caribe (16 days)
June 2018 – Great American Waterways (Chicago to New York) – Blount Grande Caribe (16 days)
May 2019 - Viking Homelands - (Bergen to Stockholm) - Viking Sea (15 days)
June 2019 - Viking Homelands - (Stockholm to Bergen) - Viking Sea (15 days)

Pleasure Cruises
Not on as a speaker; I was just one of the many pampered guests.

February 1992 – Hawaiian Islands (round trip Honolulu) – American Cruise Line (8 days)
August 2004 – Scandinavia & Russia (round trip Copenhagen) – Holland America Cruise Line (10 days)
December 2007 – Scenic New Zealand (round trip Sydney) – Sun Princess (13 days)
May 2011 – Alaskan Inside Passage (round trip Seattle) – Holland America Line (7 days)
November 2011 – Repositioning Cruise through the Suez Canal (Barcelona to Dubai) – Brilliance of the Seas (19 days)
September 2012 – Holy Lands (round trip Civitavecchia) – Celebrity Silhouette (13 days)
September 2014 – Panama Canal (San Francisco to Fort Lauderdale) – Island Princess (16 days)
April 2016 – Inaugural Fathom Travel cruise to Dominican Republic (round trip Miami) – P&O Adonia (7 days)
April 2019 – Chโteaux, Rivers & Wine (round trip Bordeaux) – Viking Forseti (8 days)
  • As I'm retired, I'm typically available on short-term notice, although I do have to travel from Boise, Idaho (usually means one flight to San Francisco or to Chicago to catch a connecting international flight)

  • I have a 10-year visa (L Class) for China that is good through 28 October 2025

  • I have a three-year Maritime Crew Visa (MCV) for Australia good through 08 August 2021

  • I carry my own personal Medical Evacuation Policy (as does my wife)

The following recent Cruise History has been recorded for this candidate.
Viking Sea SE190606 Viking Homelands 14 Stockholm Thursday, June 6, 2019
Viking Sea SE190523 Viking Homelands 14 Bergen Thursday, May 23, 2019