Sustainable Cruise Tourism: Systematic Literature Review and Future Research Areas

Ignat Kulkov*, Magnus Hellström, Anastasia Tsvetkova, Johan Malmberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview Article or Literature Reviewpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
65 Downloads (Pure)


The cruise shipping industry has existed for centuries. However, sustainability is a relatively new trend that could make a big difference and someday impact the industry. A growing body of research on sustainable cruise tourism includes studying changes among industry stakeholders, internal and external processes, and more. However, until now, there have been no comprehensive and systematic reviews of the academic literature on this topic and proposals for future research areas. The sample for our research consists of 56 articles structured into the following themes and subthemes: (1) corporate social responsibility (public interaction and emissions management); (2) territory management (collaboration with stakeholders and infrastructure development); (3) training in sustainable behavior (passengers, ship personnel, and other stakeholders). These themes fully explore the various use cases for sustainable cruises, forming a conceptual framework for understanding trends for the industry’s sustainable development. We direct the attention of other researchers to the following areas for further research: GHG emissions of cruising; biodiversity impacts; quantitative understanding of the target audience and their participation in sustainability financing; in-depth understanding of the reasons for cooperation between stakeholders; identifying the true motivation for participation in sustainable development; the long-term trends; and how the shipping industry is adapting to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8335
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2023
MoE publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal


  • corporate social responsibility
  • cruise tourism
  • literature review
  • sustainability
  • territory management
  • training


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