Sunday, November 14, 2010

Arctic Cruise Tourism - at what price are the side effects?

Cruise Ships and the Arctic, Subject of New Book

Prince George, B.C.-   Can cruise tourism ever be sustainable? That is  the question UNBC Outdoor Tourism and Recreation Management Professor Patrick Maher set out to answer.
The result is a new book which details many of the side effects being brought to the northern and southern polar regions by cruise tourists.
’ “Cruise Tourism in Polar Regions,” is the first-ever text to provide in-depth coverage of the Arctic cruise tourism phenomenon.
Dr. Maher says when it comes to sustainability  “The jury is still out, but there are a number of aspects that we now know are impeding sustainability.”

Dr. Maher says the industry has entered a mature phase with an increasing number and variety of ships, more demanding routes, and more regular and predictable patterns of activity. Some of the negative impacts he notes include the possibility of fuel spills and other disturbances when ships run aground or sink,  the disruption of  fragile ecosystems on the land and in the sea, disturbance to wildlife, and issues of crime, and cultural conflict.

“There are local communities to keep in mind,” says Dr. Maher. “Imagine: a boat carrying 300 passengers pulls up to visit a community also composed of around 300 people. Obviously that is going to be more than a little disruptive.”

Dr. Maher also indicates ways Arctic cruises could be improved and made more sustainable such as through the use of sailing vessels rather than diesel-powered ships.


Norman Douglas, Pacific Profiles, Australia
Ngaire Douglas, Visiting Professor, Bond University, Australia
1. Setting the Scene: Polar Cruise Tourism in the 21st Century
Part I: Market Dimensions
2. Polar Yacht Cruising
3. Cruising to the North Pole aboard a Nuclear Icebreaker
4. Selling the Adventure of a Lifetime: An Ethnographic Report on Cruising in the Antarctic
Part II: Human Dimensions
5. Cruises and Bruises: Safety, Security, and Social Issues on Polar Cruises
6. Exploring the Ethical Standards of Alaska Cruise Ship Tourists and the Role they Inadvertently Play in the Unsustainable Practices of the Cruise Ship Industry
7. Students on Ice - Learning in the Greatest Classrooms on Earth
Part III: Environmental Dimensions
8. Environmental Impacts of Polar Cruises
9. Monitoring Patterns of Cruise Tourism across Arctic Canada
10. Climate Change and its Implications for Cruise Tourism in the Polar Regions
Part IV: Policy and Governance Dimensions
11. Stakeholder Perspectives on the Governance of Antarctic Cruise Tourism
12. Port Readiness Planning in the Arctic: Building Community Support
13. Beyond the Cruise: Navigating Sustainable Policy and Practice in Alaska's Inland Passage
Part V: Conclusions
14. Moving Forward



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