About the Project

We all like to do our bit to make the world a fairer place. Whether we take care to reduce, reuse and recycle in our everyday lives, eat organically produced food or avoid buying clothes from companies that use low paid migrant labour. We cannot do it all but every little helps doesn’t it and it’s not too difficult to make some minor adjustments for the wider good.

When it comes to our holidays it is not so easy, and that is something we might all struggle with at times. For those of us who love cruising then the challenges get a little more difficult and we can be overwhelmed with some of the decisions we have to face.

Let’s look at the benefits cruising brings – as an industry it is booming. Over 28 million passengers took a cruise in 2018. Bigger ships, better on-board facilities and more destinations make cruising more attractive for a wider audience. I never thought I would be one of them until I took a cruise to Norway back in 2016 and was surprised at how much I enjoyed the trip.

But as the industry grows, so too do its environmental and societal impacts. On the one hand, the industry sustains 1,177,000 jobs worldwide and helps generate a total of $68.0 billion from onshore visits by passenger and crew as well as from direct expenditure by the cruise lines on goods and services in support of their operations. On the other hand, critical sources argue that cruise passengers spent the least of all tourists in a destination due to the limited time spent ashore.

If you are looking for a low emission holiday – a cruise probably isn’t for you. However, the good news is the cruise industry has reduced its environmental impacts. In 2019, the industry invested $22 billion into the development of greener technologies and cleaner fuels. While some may feel that this is a drop in the ocean, we need to remember that the cruise fleet makes up less than 2% of ocean-going vessels.

Such issues may cause inner conflicts for cruise passengers, which have to be resolved. My PhD study explores whether cruise tourists experience such conflicts and investigates what they can do to feel better about cruise holidays.

Research in other fields of tourism suggests that social media has the potential to help resolve these inner tensions, which is why I focus my research on the online cruise community. Overall, the outcomes of this research project will provide a deeper understanding of how cruise passengers think about these issues.

If you want to take part in my study, please email J.Romhild-Raviart@brighton.ac.uk, use the contact form or join the conversation by leaving a comment below.

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