Stuart MacDonald
founder of Tripharbour Limited

Trip harbour

Stuart MacDonald, the founder of Tripharbour Limited, operator of and, is no stranger to the online travel planning world. In truth, you could just about call him a seasoned veteran. You may have heard of Well, Stuart started that particular endeavour in his home, and then grew it to be most successful online travel company in Canada and one of the country's largest and most profitable online ventures. Oh, and not only that, but also became the most successful local
Expedia unit in the world. No small potatoes.

Not the sort of person to rest on his laurels, Stuart then got involved with (one of the leading brands in the world), as the SVP Packages and Chief Marketing Officer. Through a combination of huge brand smarts, business acumen and plain old marketing intelligence, Stuart deployed's $300 million marketing budget and delivered a planned $10 billion in annual gross bookings. He also ran Expedia's packaged travel business - the fastest growing and most profitable area of the company's activities - to the tune of about 30% of's total revenue.

So that's a fair bit of online travel planning experience. And there's also the early (well, earlier, anyway) days, when he led the online initiative for Signature vacations, while holdng various senior management positions in both sales and marketing.

And now we get to and Stuart is, you might say, a fan of the cruise vacation. It all started with a particular cruise, when he was, as he says, young(er). On this > particular cruise, in 1992, he asked his fiancée to marry him - happily, she said yes. And so began a long and amicable (to say the least) relationship with cruising. However, as Stuart has long been less than delighted with the planning aspect of cruise vacationing - he's decided to fix it. Thus and were born - out of a desire to make planning a cruise vacation easier, smarter and more well informed. To give people a way to share their cruise experiences and learn insider tips, and just generally plan a cruise that's perfect for them - because they've seen all their options and they've learned a whole lot.

When Stuart is not changing the future of cruise vacationing, he sits on the board of directors of, the Toronto-based global online community for youth. With over 170 000 members worldwide, uses social media to promote social change. He's also an advisor to, a Vancouver-based philanthropic giving portal.


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