Speaking on cruise ships sounds exotic and adventurous. And for many speakers it is. Cruise ships need to keep their guests happy with lots of entertainment, and lectures are a part of that. The cruise industry is a $37 billion dollar a year business and still going strong.

I looked up the statistics and found that the average age of a cruise ship passenger is 50+ with average earnings of $107,000, and 86% have a college degree. That’s probably something to keep in mind when you prepare your pitch, depending on which cruise you’ll be on.

Even though some speakers do get paid on a cruise ship, most don’t. But they do get a free cruise, and sometimes get travel paid to the port, but not always. Some speakers do quite well selling books and DVDs. Plus, like on regular free gigs, they are able to build up an email list.

There are two ways to get work as a speaker on a cruise ship. One is through an agency. There are several agencies that are known and trusted in the industry. Sixth Star, Compass Speakers, Tim Castle, and Posh Talks. Paying a standard $50-$100 a day administrative fee to them is the industry norm. Like a speakers bureau, you can work for more than one agency. (more…)