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The Tour Guide Excellence Program is an international certification program designed to train Tour Guides in the cruise industry around the world. Tour Guides will learn exactly what makes an excellent Tour Guide and the skills required to put that knowledge into practice.

Program Objectives & Video Excerpts

  • In this lesson, you will learn about the tourism industry and the cruise sector, with specific details about the role of shore excursions and the importance of the tour guide. You will also learn the best practices for responsible tourism.


  • In this lesson, you will learn the standard practices and behaviours of an excellent Tour guide. This includes how to provide excellent service and ensure passenger satisfaction, how to maintain a positive working relationship with your driver and others on your team, how best to respond to guests with special needs, and more.


  • In this lesson, you will learn how to build a foundation of knowledge about the information guests expect and how to turn that knowledge into an excellent tour commentary. This includes learning the types of information required for a tour, how to maintain up-to-date information, how to develop a tour commentary, and the art of fine-tuning the delivery of the commentary.


  • In this lesson, you will learn how to develop interesting and memorable commentary and to communicate it effectively. This includes tips on how best to present information, how to interpret information for the guest, and how to tell a story in a way that really engages the guests. You will also learn the art of answering questions and much more.


  • In this lesson, you will learn about the procedures involved in preparing for a tour and conducting a tour. This includes topics such as starting a tour off right, following the itinerary, keeping track of guests, following procedures at stops, working with suppliers, managing post-tour reporting, and more.


  • In this lesson, you will learn how to manage difficult situations, including assisting passengers in locating lost items, handling complaints, responding to a passenger.s disruptive or undesirable behavior, solving problems, responding to emergencies, locating a missing passenger, assisting a sick or injured passenger, and more.


  • The final component of the program is a final examination, which will evaluate what you have learned throughout the program. The examination will include both a written component to test your knowledge, as well as a video component which will evaluate your presentation, research and tour guide skills. Upon successful completion of the program and final examination, you will be awarded International Certification in Tour Guide Excellence from Aquila.s Center for Cruise Excellence.

Sustainable Travel International

Shore Excursions Standard

Sustainable Travel International (STI) and Aquila's Center for Cruise Excellence have signed an agreement to share the goals of promoting environmentally and socially responsible tourism practices and standards.

Offered by our partners at Sustainable Travel International, the Shore Excursion Standard is an international sustainable tourism certification program designed for tour operators serving the cruise lines and scuba diving operators. Tour operators interested in becoming recognized leaders in sustainable tourism and aligning their efforts with the world's leading standard will receive a host of benefits. Participation in the Shore Excursions Standard lowers costs through enhanced resource productivity, increased energy efficiency, and reductions in waste while improving profitability through improved customer loyalty, employee retention, and market reach.


.I cannot emphasize enough the vital role professionally trained personnel play in making a successful cruise call. With over 20 years experience handling cruise passengers . Aquila is ideally situated to share their experience and expertise."