Work on a Cruise Ship and Get Paid to See the World

Aged 58, Richard Cowley came face-to-face with an unexpected early retirement. He was a man accustomed to being active but what would happen to him now? He was too young not to be productive, but who hires a 58-year-old?

It turned out that the most interesting chapter of his life was just about to begin.

Thirty-four years ago, Richard moved from the UK to Montevideo in Uruguay with his wife Liz. He had been offered a job as the director of an organization called the Anglo-Uruguayan Cultural Institute.

Then, after 25 years, things changed.

An Opportunity to Work on a Cruise Ship

A financial crisis struck the region in 2002. The Institute was hard hit—and Richard found himself out of a job. But then, he met an old friend who had recently retired from a public service career. Rather than staring into a grim, empty retirement, he was now having a great time traveling and meeting new people as a destination speaker on cruise ships.

A cruise ship destination speaker?

Richard was a strong public speaker and enjoyed making people laugh. In fact, he had been an amateur actor in college. A job as a destination speaker would make good use of his talents. On top of that, he would be traveling in style.

The Englishman had a contact back in Uruguay who worked as an entertainment agent for cruise ships—and he quickly found an opening for Richard. But to get the job, Richard needed to be ready to sail in two weeks.

That was nine years ago.

Traveling the World on a Cruise Ship

Richard is now a regular speaker for three different cruise lines. His work involves informing and entertaining guests, telling them about the 40 destinations on his beat.

These days, Richard’s working day involves cruising along the coast of South America and the Caribbean, oftentimes taking his wife Liz with him. He recently returned from a job on the Queen Mary II and is about to set sail on another cruise from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to Barbados.

He enjoys teaching people about the places they are soon to see, all the time keeping it fun and entertaining. And he gets to spend his downtime in some of the world’s most sought-after locations.

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