Understanding the causes of recent cruise ship mishaps and disasters Academic Article uri icon


  • 2014. The core of the cruise industry experience is to provide a pleasant recreation for the customer. When a mishap/disaster on a cruise ship occurs it can put the customer at serious risk. Although rare and, precisely why they are a rare phenomenon, cruise ship mishaps receive global media attention when they do occur which can cost the cruise ship companies millions of dollars in lost revenue. Further, some regulators are questioning the safety practices of the cruise industry.There is little academic research on the causes of cruise line mishaps. Merchant vessel mishaps, however, have been greatly investigated. The goal of this research is to contribute to the understanding of the nature of mishaps in the current cruise industry by evaluating 580 mishap incidents from 1989 to 2013 through a two-stage measurement design. This novel application of this methodology may provide a new insight into mishap evaluation research. Under this method, an evaluation of what happened during a reported mishap is done. Then, the incident report data are used to evaluate and classify the cause of the mishap. This classification may reveal what factors contribute to cruise ship mishaps and start to lay a foundation of operator preparedness.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 1.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Mileski, J. P., Wang, G., & Beacham, L.

citation count

  • 34

complete list of authors

  • Mileski, Joan P||Wang, Grace||Beacham, L Lamar IV

publication date

  • January 2014