The Environmental, Economic, and Cultural Aspects of the Modern Cruise Industry with a Focus on South Florida and the Caribbean

Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

M.S. Marine Biology

Second Degree Name

M.S. Coastal Zone Management

First Advisor

Donald McCorquodale

Second Advisor

Curtis Burney


Cruise tourism is the fastest growing sector of the tourism industry. In recent years, an increasing number of larger ships have been constructed to accommodate more passengers and provide increasingly diversified onboard activities and amenities. As the number of ships and passengers embarking on cruises continues to grow each year, cruise ships are generating larger volumes of gray and black water, solid and hazardous wastes, and harmful air emissions. If improperly managed, ship-generated wastes pose as a serious threat to coastal ecosystems. The cruise industry has demonstrated a poor track record littered with fines and violations as a result improper waste management practices. This study describes many of the environmental impacts caused by the modern cruise industry, identifies possible solutions, and discusses the economic, cultural, and political aspects of the evolving cruise market.

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