Rupert Wallace

Rupert Wallace
Royal Navy

Rupert Wallace retired from the Royal Navy in 2014 as a Commodore, after a 33 year career which included seeing action in the Falklands War in 1982, several ship commands, and six months in Baghdad working on the Iraqi constitutional referendum. He also became a specialist in the Middle East and North Africa via operational deployments, a tour as Defence Attaché in Tunis and Algiers, and strategic international relations work in the Ministry of Defence.

Rupert has visited and worked in almost every Arab country, often on multiple occasions, and has also been to Iran, Israel and the Palestinian Territories (including not just one but two visits to Gaza). Since retirement he talks and teaches widely both on the Middle East and the impact of Empires in the modern world; he is an active member of the Royal United Services Institute; and he has recently completed an MSc in International Relations at the London School of Economics. He remains an inveterate traveller, and in 2014 completed a solo US Coast-to-Coast ride on a bicycle and (this time with his wife, Kate) travelled under their own steam the Silk Road from Iran to China. He also keeps a boat in Greece to keep his feet wet.

Rupert is an experienced, up-to-date and popular world affairs speaker on cruise ships, regularly achieving full houses of guests who want to share conversations about history and the uncertain world we now live in.

Showreel available.

Rupert has a wide range of talks to suit many cruise itineraries, and he will always tailor them for each occasion. For example, on a cruise to and from the Middle East he would include an regional overview of history, politics and culture, country-specific talks prior to visits, for example to Israel, Oman or Jordan; and on the longer sea passages he would add maritime flavour using talks on the Suez Canal and his experiences in the Falklands War. In the Far East, in addition to regional and country talks he would add in talks on Empires, World War Two campaigns or, for example, the Vietnam War. On ocean passages he might add talks as varied as international affairs, migration, or (on Transatlantic itineraries) he includes the story of the first Europeans in the Americas and modern US Foreign Policy. With all talks delivered without notes but with plenty of pictures, with authority and a fund of personal anecdotes, his aim is always to attract and interest the very diverse audiences - and to bring his topics to life!

1. The Modern Middle East: fascinating, frightening, fraught - what is going on, and why?

2. The Arab Israeli Conflict: never out of the news, the story of this tragic struggle.

3. Modern North Africa: from French rule to the modern day, a topical survey of Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco.

4. Egypt: a modern look at the complexity and challenges of the largest Arab country.

5. Turkey: East or West, secular or Muslim, the future model for the Middle East?

6. Islam Made Easy: both illuminating and entertaining, what you have always wanted to know but been afraid to ask.

7. Jordan: Petra, Lawrence of Arabia, and its place in the modern Middle East

8. Oman: The Arab Kingdom on the Indian Ocean.

9. Dubai: The extraordinary rise of this remarkable state.

10. Iraq and Afghanistan: the story of the British military campaigns of the last 12 years.

11. Suez: History of and Stories from the Canal.

World Titles:

12. The Sea: Ungoverned Space: Migration, Resources and Piracy: a practitioner's look at three of the biggest problems at sea.

13. The Falklands War: A Personal Account of the Conflict


14. The Battle of Trafalgar: not just an extraordinary victory but one relevant to this day.

15. Vietnam: The Tragedy of the French and American Wars 1945-1975.

16. Malaysia and Singapore: Retreat from Empire to the Modern Day

17. India: The Extraordinary Story of Freedom at Midnight: Independence 15 August 1947.

18. Empires: The Story of the expansion and contraction of the European Empires.

19. The Mediterranean: 'The centre of the known world': its story.

20. Asia-Pacific: The Future?

21. Two Oceans Meet, Two Worlds Collide: the story of the Western Maritime Empires expansion to Africa and Asia.

22. The Emergence of Modern South Africa:

23. Slavery: The Story, Effect, and Impact of this most terrible trade.

North America Titles:

21. A Continent 'Discovered'?: the story of the arrival of the Europeans in the New World.

22. The Emergence of a Superpower: the United States in and after the Second World War.

23. US Foreign Policy: Where Now?

24. Smoke Filled Rooms: The Writing of the American Constitution.

23. The Emergence of Canada.

ExpertiseWorld Affairs, Maritime, History
Cruise Experience as Speaker/TutorRupert has been giving talks on cruise ships for three years, with multiple bookings on Crystal, Seabourn, Cunard and Fred Olsen.


History - Naval
History - General
Politics & Current Affairs
History - Military
History - Maritime
Diplomacy & International Affairs