Lonely Planet Job

Posted by Chika On 11:49 AM 0 comments

Have you ever dreamed of being a commissioning editor for Lonely Planet at their office in Oakland. Uh, they have a few qualifications for the job........

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Cruise Ship Lecturer Wanted

Posted by Chika On 1:19 PM 0 comments


Have you ever wanted to lecture on a cruise ship? Here's the latest update.


Attention Destination Speakers... Tremendous Deals on April & May Cruise Assignments

If you are the kind of person who always has bags packed for the next adventure, then Sixth Star has some tremendous cruising opportunities for you.


From the tropics of the Caribbean to the glaciers of Alaska... from the antiquities of the Med to the pink sands of Bermuda, entertaining speakers are needed on a number of fantastic cruises. And due to the short notice of these assignments, Sixth Star is offering the voyages below at special reduced placement fees.

Qualified Destination Speakers and Destination-Related Special Interest Speakers who are interested and available for these specific assignments below should contact Sixth Star as soon as possible at (954) 462-6760 to learn more and reserve your spot.

April 20 - 27, 2007
Ship: Regent Seven Seas Mariner
Itinerary: Caribbean & Mexico (roundtrip Ft. Lauderdale)
Special Offer: Free (no placement fees)

April 21 - 28, 2007
Ship: Diamond Princess
Itinerary: Mexican Riviera (rountrip Los Angeles)
Special Offer: 50% discount on placement fees

April 26 - May 9, 2007
Ship: Celebrity Century
Itinerary: Miami - Amsterdam (via Azores, Spain & France)
Special Offer: Free (no placement fees) with one roundtrip airfare and gratuities for one

April 27 - May 12, 2007
Ship: Regent Seven Seas Mariner
Itinerary: Panama Canal (Ft. Lauderdale to San Francisco)
Special Offer: Free (no placement fees)
April 28 - May 5, 2007
Ship: Grandeur of the Seas
Itinerary: Caribbean (New Orleans to San Juan)
Special Offer: Free (no placement fees)

May 1 - 14, 2007
Ship: Celebrity Galaxy
Itinerary: San Juan to Rome (via Morocco, Spain & France)
Special Offer: 50% discount on placement fees with one roundtrip airfare and gratuities for one

May 5 - 12, 2007
Empress of the Seas
Itinerary: Bermuda (roundtrip Norfolk, VA)
Special Offer: 50% discount on placement fees

May 8 - 20, 2007
Royal Princess (NEW SHIP)
Itinerary: Mediterranean (Athens to Barcelona)
Special Offer: 50% discount on placement fees with one roundtrip airfare and gratuities for two

May 12 - 19, 2007
Splendor of the Seas
Itinerary: Greek Isles & Turkey (roundtrip Venice)
Special Offer: 50% discount on placement fees

May 18 - 25, 2007
Radiance of the Seas
Itinerary: Alaska (Vancouver to Seward)
Special Offer: 50% discount on placement fees

May 19 - 26, 2007
Empress of the Seas
Itinerary: Bermuda (roundtrip Norfolk, VA)
Special Offer: 50% discount on placement fees

May 20 - June 1, 2007
Royal Princess (NEW SHIP)
Itinerary: Mediterranean (Barcelona to Athens)
Special Offer: 50% discount on placement fees with one roundtrip airfare and gratuities for two

May 20 - 27, 2007
Marco Polo
Itinerary: Mediteranean (Rome to Barcelona)
Special Offer: 50% discount on placement fees

May 25 - June 1, 2007
Radiance of the Seas
Itinerary: Alaska (Seward to Vancouver)
Special Offer: 50% discount on placement fees

May 26 - June 2, 2007
Celebrity Journey (NEW SHIP)
Itinerary: Bermuda (roundtrip Cape Liberty, NJ)
Special Offer: 50% discount on placement fees

May 26 - June 2, 2007
Empress of the Seas
Itinerary: Bermuda (roundtrip Norfolk, VA)
Special Offer: 50% discount on placement fees

May 29 - June 10, 2007
Emerald Princess (NEW SHIP)
Itinerary: Mediterranean (Barcelona to Venice)
Special Offer: 50% discount on placement fees with one roundtrip airfare and gratuities for two

May 31 - June 12, 2007
Legend of the Seas
Itinerary: Italy and Croatia (roundtrip Rome)
Special Offer: 50% discount on placement fees


Go Sailing with Sixth Star's Newest Cruise Line Partner - Lindblad Expeditions

We are thrilled to tell you about a very special lecturing opportunity with our newest cruise line client - Lindblad Expeditions and it's magnificent sailing vessel, the Sea Cloud II.

Limited to only 82 guests, the spacious three-masted barque is 384 feet long with over 29,000 square feet of sails all set by hand. Like no other ship, she combines the timeless elegance of windjammers of the past with the highest safety standards and luxurious comfort of modern cruise ships.

We are seeking a Destination Lecturer or Destination-Related Special Interest to sail from Cadiz, Spain to St. John's Antigua via Funchal, Madeira. The dates of this once in a lifetime crossing are November 7 - 25, 2007. Adding to this special opportunity, gratuities, airfare and grand transportation for the lecturer and his/her guest will be provided.

Lindblad Expeditions' website features a wonderful video of the Sea Cloud II on the home page. If you are interested in this assignment, we encourage you to visit www.expeditions.com to learn more. For more information about booking this assignment, contact Iain Jamieson at (954) 462-6760 ext. 225.


Cruise One of the World's Most Spectacular Destinations - French Polynesia

This summer and fall, Sixth Star has several opportunities to cruise one of the world's most beautiful destinations - Tahiti and French Polynesia.

With its crystal clear water in countless hues of blue, framed by lush and rugged mountain ranges, French Polynesia's spectacular beauty is enjoyed on a regular basis by only two intimate cruising vessels - the Paul Gauguin and the Tahitian Princess.

Sixth Star is pleased to offer lecturing assignments on both vessels to qualified speakers in our rosters. The following cruises are available:

June 5 - 17, 2007
Ship: Tahitian Princess
Itinerary: Tahiti & Hawaii - (Papeete to Honolulu)
Contact: Pat McPherson at pat@sixthstar.com

June 17 - 29, 2007
Ship: Tahitian Princess
Itinerary: Hawaii & Tahiti - (Honolulu to Papeete)
Contact: Pat McPherson at pat@sixthstar.com

June 30 - July 11, 2007
Ship: Paul Gauguin
Itinerary: French Polynesia (roundtrip Papeete)
Special Note: Lecturer on this voyage is requested to speak exclusively on the life and art of Paul Gauguin.
Contact: Iain Jamieson at iain@sixthstar.com

July 19 - 31, 2007
Ship: Tahitian Princess
Itinerary: Tahiti & Hawaii - (Papeete to Honolulu)
Contact: Pat McPherson at pat@sixthstar.com

September 19 - October 1, 2007
Ship: Tahitian Princess
Itinerary: Hawaii & Tahiti - (Honolulu to Papeete)
Contact: Pat McPherson at pat@sixthstar.com

November 3 - December 1, 2007
Ship: Paul Gauguin
Itinerary:French Polynesia, Cook Islands & Fiji (sailing roundtrip Papeete)
Special Note: Lecturer on this voyage is requested to speak exclusively on the Cook Islands and Fiji.
Contact: Iain Jamieson at iain@sixthstar.com

Travel Writing Subsidies

Posted by Chika On 3:47 PM 0 comments


There's been a long running discussion about the ethics of travel writers accepting "freebies" and it's an issue most professional travel writers consider a non-issue. Most travel writers accept free or subsidized travel since the industry does not pay enough to first pay all travel expenses and then write and sell the stories. A free or partially free trip or hotel room does not necessarily mean that the travel writer will give a positive review, but in most cases only means that the service will not be mentioned. It's all covered, once again, in a recent post by a travel writer in Texas.

Subsidized travel is controversial and lots of very ethical and pious journalists look down on me as tainted and corrupt because I do it. Fuck 'em. It's a debate I don't bother getting into anymore. Suffice to say that I can't be bought. I accept only trips I think I can sell. If something isn't worth writing about, I don't write about it. I include negative impressions in larger stories when appropriate but rarely write completely negative stories not because I am beholden to anyone, but because they don't sell. Editors with limited space don't want to squander it telling readers where not to go.

I'm an ethical person doing my best in a squirrely field. A lot of newspapers pay peanuts but don't accept stories from subsidized trips. A lot of newspapers have a don't ask-don't tell policy about subsidies but if you get "caught" you're in trouble, not the editor. Many magazines are less stringent in their policies, although Conde Nast Traveler and Travel & Leisure are among those with strict no-subsidies policies. They pay for their reporters' travel. I cracked T&L once a long time ago but got tired of the effort it took to get back in and haven't tried again in many years.

By stating here that I sometimes travel on subsidies I have ensured that I will never write for The New York Times, which claims never to accept stories from writers who have ever accepted a subsidy. I have heard differently from many publicists, who claim to frequently spot stories in the Times by freelancers they have hosted. Nobody will ever go on the record with that, though, because nobody wants to piss off the Times.

Sophie's Blog

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Travel Writing Not All Fun and Sun

Posted by Chika On 9:49 AM 0 comments


The average person may regard travel writing as among the world's most blessed professions, but the reality is often quite different, as once again pointed out in this eye-opening article by Susan McKee.


Travel writing not all fun and sun
Strong ethics, research keys to success

By Susan McKee


As a professional travel writer, I occupy a place in the journalistic hierarchy somewhere just above pond scum. It’s tricky territory for a freelancer for two major reasons: press trips and poseurs.

Almost all newspapers and magazines still buying freelance will not pick up a writer’s expenses, and the rates they pay don’t come close to making up that shortfall. Freelancers are responsible for their own health insurance and other costs that are typically part of the benefits package for an employed journalist. Add in travel time and, as one writer put it, the profit margin shrivels like salted leeches in the sun.

If you don’t have a trust fund to underwrite your travel writing specialty, two solutions beckon: write only about your own hometown (yawn!) or take press trips.

SPJ Link

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Carla King Motorcyle Adventures

Posted by Chika On 4:53 PM 0 comments
Carla and Ural with Sidecar

Sorry about the gap in posts, but I've been indisposed. It's always great when a local acquaintance publishes a book, especially when it's about one of my favorite subjects: hitting the road with your motorcycle. I'm known Carla for many years and see her at local travel writing events here in the Bay Area, and followed her motorcycle adventures many Moons ago when she left to explore some of the back roads of the American West. And now, the book.

I'll be going to her booksigning at Get Lost on Market Street later this month, but she's also making appearances elsewhere in the Bay Area and has even lined up a few gigs in Europe. And to think her secret occupation is ....... computer geek.

A journey to explore the borders between the United States, Canada, and Mexico becomes a comedy of breakdowns in small towns all around America in this new travelogue by Carla King, author of the Motorcycle Misadventures series of Internet dispatches. Mechanical, social, and natural disasters punctuate the four-month, ten-thousand mile solo test ride of the newly-imported Russian Ural sidecar motorcycle: cracked welds and electrical gremlins, evil tow truck drivers, roadside romances, even tornadoes and hurricanes.

Carla King Motorcycle Misadventures

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