Sustainability and the world's leading ocean cruising companies

Peter Jones*, Daphne Comfort, David Hillier

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this research note paper is to offer an exploratory review of the extent to which the leading ocean cruise companies are publicly addressing and reporting on their sustainability strategies and achievements and to offer some reflections on sustainability within the cruise industry. The paper begins with an outline of cruising and the cruising industry and a short commentary on the sustainability challenges the industry faces. The information on which the paper is based is drawn from the leading cruise companies' corporate web sites. The findings of the paper reveal a marked variation in the extent to which the leading cruise companies publicly report on their sustainability strategies and achievements. While the two leading cruise companies, namely the Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean Cruises, published extensive sustainability reports which covered a number of environmental social and economic issues, the other leading cruise companies published very limited information on sustainability. More critically the authors argued that the cruise companies' commitments to sustainability are driven by the search for efficiency gains and are couched within existing business models centred on continuing growth than on maintaining the viability of natural ecosystems and communities. As such the leading UK retailers are, at best, currently pursuing a 'weak' rather than a 'strong' model of sustainability. The paper provides an accessible exploratory review of sustainability reporting in the cruise industry, and it will interest professional working in the cruise industry and more generally in the hospitality industry as well as academics and students interested in public relations, business studies and hospitality management.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Public Affairs
Early online date11 Mar 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Mar 2016


  • Sustainability
  • sustainable tourism
  • sustainability strategies
  • Cruise Industry


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