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Publication Title | Cruise Risks, Threats and Dangers: A Theory

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American Journal of Tourism Research Vol. 1, No. 2, 2012, XX_XX

Cruise Risks, Threats and Dangers: A Theory

Peter Tarlow1, Maximiliano E. Korstanje2*, Ericka Amorin3 and Jose Manoel Goncalvez Gandara4

1Texas A&M University, United States 2University of Palermo, Argentina 3Lisbon New University, Portugal 4Federal University of Parana, Brazil

The present paper explores the world of cruise tourism considering not only the sociological aspects for what many consumers select these types of mobile hotels for their holidays, but also providing with an all encompassed framework to expand the current understanding of risk and mobilities in our times. The modern world, results in an aplitic tendency not necessarily due to the inevitability of risk, but because it introduces new risks for which the past does not provide us guidance from which to find solutions. From this perspective, modernity’ tendency to produce rapid change and with it to introduce ever more challenging risks has greatly changed the role of the tourism security expert. The cruise-related tourism combines the classical order of control with the creation of new risks. Cruises, like all forms of tourism, are a perishable product and the result of a danger that comes to fruition is a new economic danger and risk to a business in particular and a society in general. This paper gives to reader practical suggestions to create and improve the policies aimed at protecting passengers on board.

Keywords: risks, accidents, cruises, tourism, hospitality


Cruise tourism is a globalized phenomenon that experts and tourism scholars have studied from multiple perspectives. A general overview is needed to expand the current understanding of cruises in our modern societies. As the industry has grown so too has the scientific interest in it. Sociologically speaking, one of the aspects that historically characterized this form of tourism has been isolation; travelers seek cruise- tourism as a mechanism of escapement (Wood, 2000; Wilkinson, 1999). The lack of commitment of cruise- tourism consumers to local economies and habits produces troubling points, discussed in specialized literature. Cruise-tourism specialists have evaluated the industry in terms of its impact on local economies (Dwyer and Forsyth, 1996; Peisley, 1992; Forsyth and Dwyer, 1995; Lester and Weeden, 2004). From 90s decade onwards, the concern for economic multipliers and economic impacts set the pace regarding the question of sustainability. From this viewpoint, cruise shipping helps communities to preserve their natural resources. Ecological destinations such as Antarctica and Australia have been offered to provide international demand of ecological consciousness (Dowling, 2006; Stewart & Draper, 2006; Klein, 2006; Dobson & Gill, 2006).


However, in the last years, to be more exact after the attacks on New York’s World Trade Center, cruise related tourism has been seen as one of the safest ways to experience foreign travel. The current period has been challenging to the tourism industry. From virus outbreaks to terrorism, the onset of this new millennium produced many problems for the tourism industry. Under such a context, many policy makers insisted on the need to improve the sense of safety at tourist destinations. The intervention of national governments, in this process, was of paramount importance by identifying and tracing those elements that jeopardize the societal order. Starting from the premise that cruise consumption mirrors the feeling and political contexts of societies, this conceptual review essay emphasizes on cruises as modern dispositive where travelers are protected.

Security has been commoditized and is offered as a product. Cruises combine not only aspects of security and curiosity, but also represent a valid alternative to integrate hospitality and mobilities, but unless otherwise resolved, cruise tourism in case of accidents may become a trap. From Titanic to Costa Concordia the degree of vulnerability of passengers may actually be higher in cruises than other means of transport (first and foremost whenever a strange virus surfaces and expands rapidly on board) (Miller et al, 2000; Lois et al, 2004). This paper provides readers with an all-encompassing view of risk and practical suggestions to be followed to mitigate the risk on the

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