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What would Responsible Cruising look like?

What would Responsible Cruising look like? What would be the characteristics of a Responsible Cruise?


Cruising is growing rapidly driven on by technological advances, the attractiveness of the moving, multi-activity, all inclusive, floating resort and the luxury, perceived safety and isolation of the cruise experience.


Presumably we would expect Responsible Cruising to have most, if not all, of the characteristics of Responsible Tourism as defined in the Cape Town Declaration:


  1. minimises negative economic, environmental, and social impacts;
  2. generates greater economic benefits for local people and enhances the well-being of host communities, improves working conditions and access to the industry;
  3. involves local people in decisions that affect their lives and life chances;
  4. makes positive contributions to the conservation of natural and cultural heritage, to the maintenance of the world's diversity;
  5. provides more enjoyable experiences for tourists through more meaningful connections with local people, and a greater understanding of local cultural, social and environmental issues;
  6. provides access for physically challenged people; and
  7. is culturally sensitive, engenders respect between tourists and hosts, and builds local pride and confidence


At the March conference in Leeds participants will be discussing the applicability of this definition to cruising and the extent to which current practise meets these criteria.


However, cruising raises some additional issues.

  • Economic
    • the bargaining power of cruise operating companies over landing and berthing fees when they have exceptional mobility and are able to play one port against another.
    • the capturing of value in highly vertically integrated companies which often own or part own their handling agents and
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