Candidate Profile

Wildlife & Nature
Michael Scott is now largely retired from a freelance career as a natural history writer and broadcaster and is taking every opportunity to explore the world as a guest speaker on cruise ships, anywhere from Svalbard to Antarctica (including the warm places in between). His talks cover wildlife and the environment, always relating directly to the areas the cruise is visiting, and his aim is to help passengers get the very best experience from their cruise. His wife, Sue (a marine biologist), often accompanies him on cruises, and Michael and Sue both regard 'deck time', helping passengers spot and identify seabirds, whales, dolphins and other wildlife as an important part of their role on the ship. Their partnership on deck is always much appreciated and enjoyed by passengers.

In recent years, Michael has worked mainly with Viking Ocean Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, but, as with everyone, coronavirus has paused those associations, with over 120 nights of bookings lost. Now duly injected against the virus, he is happy to consider future bookings, particularly to wildlife-rich areas such as northern Europe, the Arctic, Atlantic islands, Alaska, South America etc. To see a full list of the 79 cruises on which Michael has worked as a guest speaker to date - and a list of any future cruise bookings - please check his website at

Michael is a botanist by training, but with a general interest in all natural history. His books for adults include the “Collins Guide to Scottish Wild Flowers”, a walks guide to Cape Town, written with wife Sue, and "Mountain Flowers", published in August 2017 by Bloomsbury Books in the "British Wildlife Collection". He contributed to Dorling Kindersley volumes on “Oceans” (along with Sue) and “The Natural History Book”. Children’s books include “The Young Oxford Book of Ecology”, and “Amazing Plants”. He still writes regularly for “British Wildlife” magazine, and formerly contributed to natural history programmes on BBC Radio 4. He lives with Sue in the north-west Highlands of Scotland.

Michael is a former Deputy Chairman of the government conservation agency, Scottish Natural Heritage, and was awarded the OBE in 2005 “for services to biodiversity conservation in Scotland”.

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Michael has available a range of over 60 tailored talks on the natural history and environment of ports of call and areas visited on individual cruises, including Norway, Greenland, Iceland, Svalbard, Madeira, The Canaries, Cape Verde, the Mediterranean, Arabia and the Indian Ocean, the Caribbean, North and South America, South Atlantic islands (including Ascension, St Helena and Tristan da Cunha), South Africa, Australia, New Zealand etc. Please ask for suggested titles relating to any particular cruise.

Other typical talks that Michael can offer:-

1. The Cruise Ship Advantage: Watching Seabirds at Sea (note: talk will be adapted to region visited)

2. Spotting Whales and Dolphins on our cruise (note: talk will be adapted to region visited)

3. Amazing Plants

4. Whales, Dolphins and the Cruising Naturalist

5. From the Arctic to the Rock Garden

6. The Allure of Mountain Flowers.

7. But really why don't Polar Bears eat Penguins (on appropriate cruises)

8. Climate Change: A Scientist's Perspective

AND a regular feature of Michael's cruises, which is always popular with passengers, is a "Highlights" talk on some of the wildlife (and other features of interest) that Michael has seen on that particular cruise, illustrated with his own photos from the trip.
Since 2015, I have been a regular speaker with Regent Seven Seas Cruises (booked directly from their offices in Miami), having completed 25 cruises for them to date, with my talks covering a mix of destinations and wildlife themes.

I recently have enjoyed working increasingly with Viking Ocean Cruises, especially as their additional ships has led to rather more wide-ranging cruises. By the start of lockdown in 2019, I had completed 7 cruises for them (including their maiden ocean voyage), and I lost a further 6 bookings because of the virus-enforced pause in their cruise programme. I am delighted already to have 4 provisional bookings with the company for 2022 and 2023.
The following recent Cruise History has been recorded for this candidate.
Viking Sun SU191118 World Cruise 2019 - 2020 Sector 6 21 Buenos Aires Monday, November 18, 2019
Viking Orion OR190526 Alaska & the Inside Passage 10 Vancouver Sunday, May 26, 2019
Viking Orion OR190505 North Pacific Passage 22 Tokyo Sunday, May 5, 2019
Viking Sky SK190125 In Search of the Northern Lights 12 Bergen Friday, January 25, 2019
Viking Sea SE180710 Into the Midnight Sun 14 Bergen Tuesday, July 10, 2018
Boudicca D1617 Rugged & Rural Canada 16 Liverpool Tuesday, September 6, 2016
Viking Sea SE160731 Bergen to Athens 14 Bergen Sunday, July 31, 2016
Voyager VGR160606 Essence of Voyager, Jersey & France 3 Portsmouth Monday, June 6, 2016
Voyager VGR160522 Escape to Madeira & The Azores 15 Portsmouth Sunday, May 22, 2016
Voyager VGR160312 South American Exploration 16 Cartagena de Indias Saturday, March 12, 2016
Boudicca D1601 Around Africa & the Indian Ocean 76 Southampton Tuesday, January 5, 2016
Boudicca D1518 Exploring the Arctic 27 Newcastle Sunday, August 2, 2015
Voyager VOY150515 Oslo & the Timeless Fjords 10 Harwich Friday, May 15, 2015
Viking Star ST150411 Nordic Explorer 35 Istanbul Saturday, April 11, 2015