About Douglas Ward

He has received worldwide praise for his Berlitz Cruising and Cruise Ships (now in its 35th year of continuous publication) and Berlitz River Cruising in Europe and the USA guidebooks, and is acknowledged as the world’s foremost independent authority on cruising and cruise ships.

  • At the prestigious UK Travel Media Awards event in October 2018 in London he was nominated and jointly won the Best Guidebook category for his Berlitz Cruising and Cruise Ships guidebook.
  • His guidebooks have helped more people make the right decisions about their cruise vacation and cruise ship choices than any other.
  • In 1985 his Berlitz Cruising and Cruise Ships guidebook was the first to introduce three ship size categories: Intimate (from 10,000-20,000 tons); Medium (between 10,0001-20,000 tons), and Large (Over 30,000 tons).
  • In the 1997 edition, he introduced a fourth size category: Intimate (under 10,000 tons); Small, Medium, and Large.
  • In 2005 he further modified the categories as Boutique, Small, Mid-Size, and Large Resort Ships, based on the number of passengers carried (and fire zones).
  • He has travelled to more than 1,800 ports of call – many of them repeatedly.
  • In the early 1980s, he toured the USA for CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association), representing the cruise industry nationwide in more than 30 live television and radio interviews in the USA.
  • In 1982 he founded PortHole Magazine (originally called Cruise Digest Reports – for members of the now dissolved International Cruise Passengers Association), which he sold to Panoff Publications in 1996 (it is still published in the USA).
  • He has appeared as cruise expert on major television shows and stations throughout the United States, including “Good Morning America,” “The Today Show,” “NBC Nightly News,” and “CNN Travel Guide?.
  • For several years, he supplied extensive cruise ship reviews and articles for The Telegraph (UK) website, together with destination and cruise features for both website and newspaper.
  • In 2001 he made nine proposals at the “Safety of Large Passenger Ships” conference at the Institute of Marine Engineers in London, one of which (Proposal Four requiring the muster station or lifeboat number to be printed on cabin key cards) has been adopted by most cruise lines.
  • He has given many cruise lectures/presentations, including: World Congress of ASTA (American Society of Travel Agents) in Hamburg, at Seatrade cruise conferences in Miami and Hamburg, among others.
  • Together with maritime historian John Maxstone-Graham (now deceased), he gave a presentation at the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C.
  • In 2016, he gave a presentation at the cruise conference organised by the Japan Transport Research Institute (a government body).
  • In 2013 he gave the keynote speech about the global cruise industry, at the Cruise Tourism Seminar presented by Plymouth University, UK.
  • In 2015 he gave the keynote speech at the World Congress of the International Association of Ports and Harbours, in Hamburg, Germany.
  • He was keynote speaker and panel participant at the Yokohama International Cruise Conference for several years in the early 1990s.
  • In 1985, following the Achille Lauro seajacking, he represented the cruise industry at a House of Representatives Subcommittee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries (Ninety-Ninth Congress, Serial No. 99-17 (pages 210-217) regarding cruise ship security.
  • He has made several television documentaries, including:
  • 30-minute documentary for Germany’s NDR in 2001 (ocean cruising)
  • 30-minute documentary for Germany’s ZDF in 2004 (ocean cruising)
  • 60-minute Der Spiegel TV documentary in 2002 (ocean cruising)
  • 18-minute documentary for ZDF in 2005 (river cruising)
  • Since 1990, he has written a regular two-page feature for Japan’s bi-monthly CRUISE magazine.
  • His first seagoing job was as leader of a small musical unit in First Class aboard RMS Queen Elizabeth (1965). He met and talked with several film stars, including Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Hermione Gingold, and Moira Shearer and Dame Alicia Markova – stars of the ballet world, and others. He also met and talked to giants of the music world, including Leopold Stokowski (conductor of the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra).
  • When working aboard Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) he met and talked at length to Buzz Aldrin (about the idea of a space cruise).
  • His early years in the cruise industry were spent as part of “Geraldo’s Navy” aboard several ships of Cunard Line (RMS Queen Elizabeth (RMS= Royal Mail Ship),? RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2), RMS Queen Mary, Cunard Countess, Cunard Princess), but he also worked aboard ships operated by Fred. Olsen Cruise Line, P&O Cruises, Royal Mail Line, Shaw Savill & Albion, Thompson Cruises, Ulysses Cruises, and Union Castle Line.