Cruise Lines

Select Language
Current language: English
Cruise Lines industry entities provide passenger transportation and leisure entertainment, including deep sea cruises and river cruises. A few large entities dominate the industry. Cruises provide a luxury resort experience for thousands of passengers at a time. The Cruise Lines industry often has been the fastest-growing segment of the travel industry, but it is very cyclical.

Relevant Issues (7 of 26)

Why are some issues greyed out? The SASB Standards vary by industry based on the different sustainability-related risks and opportunities within an industry. The issues in grey were not identified during the standard-setting process as the most likely to be useful to investors, so they are not included in the Standard. Over time, as the ISSB continues to receive market feedback, some issues may be added or removed from the Standard. Each company determines which sustainability-related risks and opportunities are relevant to its business. The Standard is designed for the typical company in an industry, but individual companies may choose to report on different sustainability-related risks and opportunities based on their unique business model.

Disclosure Topics

What is the relationship between General Issue Category and Disclosure Topics? The General Issue Category is an industry-agnostic version of the Disclosure Topics that appear in each SASB Standard. Disclosure topics represent the industry-specific impacts of General Issue Categories. The industry-specific Disclosure Topics ensure each SASB Standard is tailored to the industry, while the General Issue Categories enable comparability across industries. For example, Health & Nutrition is a disclosure topic in the Non-Alcoholic Beverages industry, representing an industry-specific measure of the general issue of Customer Welfare. The issue of Customer Welfare, however, manifests as the Counterfeit Drugs disclosure topic in the Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals industry.
General Issue Category
(Industry agnostic)

Disclosure Topics (Industry specific) for: Cruise Lines

GHG Emissions
  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions

    Cruise lines generate emissions mainly from the combustion of diesel in ship engines. The industry’s reliance on heavy fuel oil (‘bunker fuel’) is of material concern because of rising fuel costs and intensifying greenhouse gas (GHG) regulations. Evolving environmental regulations are encouraging the adoption of more fuel-efficient engines, engine retrofits and the use of cleaner-burning fuels. Fuel constitutes a major expense for industry players, providing a further incentive for investing in upgrades or retrofits to boost fuel efficiency. In addition, GHG regulation violations may result in fines and compliance costs.
Air Quality
  • Air Quality

    Fuel use on cruise lines generates air pollutants such as sulphur oxides (SO?), nitrogen oxides (NO?) and particulate matter (PM10). These pollutants can have localised environmental and health impacts and are of particular concern at port cities and other restricted areas where entities may be penalised for exceeding emissions limits. Entities can manage these risks by commissioning more energy-efficient vessels, retrofitting existing fleets and using onshore power if it is available at ports.
Ecological Impacts
  • Discharge Management & Ecological Impacts

    Cruise holidays offer access to undeveloped ocean waters and destinations with marine protected areas or areas with protected conservation status. Cruise ships, associated with large vessels, rapid influxes of tourists, intensive resource consumption and high waste generation, can be particularly damaging to ecosystems in which they travel and operate. Cruise ships discharge many types of treated and untreated wastewater at sea and non-degradable solid wastes on land. Careful management of ship discharge and the mitigation of cruise line ecological impacts may maintain shipping access to ports and preserve the natural beauty guests wish to experience, both of which are essential for entities to maintain market share as well as attract new customers.
Product Quality & Safety
  • Customer Health & Safety

    Cruise lines offer a variety of luxury experiences and activities to their customers, including elabourate shows, casinos, fine dining, indoor skydiving, spa treatments, swimming and fitness facilities. Each activity comes with its own set of health risks, safety challenges and liabilities that entities must navigate. Consumer expectations for safety and comfort are high, so avoiding health and physical safety risks is especially important for entities’ viability. Publicised cases of crimes, injuries and illnesses onboard cruise ships may have serious repercussions on brand value and ticket sales. Customer lawsuits may also result in high incremental legal costs. Although cruise ship crime rates are low when compared to crime rates in most developed countries, law enforcement is much more difficult to navigate, and cases are not as easy to resolve since ships commonly take passengers to international waters and fly a foreign flag, leading to uncertainty about which jurisdictions are responsible for law enforcement. Entities can protect customer health and safety by implementing a robust safety management system.
Labour Practices
  • Labour Practices

    Cruise lines employ thousands of workers onboard each large vessel. Ships may register in countries where labour laws related to pay, working hours, fair treatment and termination may be flexible. Ship crews are multinational, and many are hired on a contract basis. Crews often work long hours for many months residing in shared quarters, which can make recuperation difficult. Some entities offer a gratuity-based wage structure to reduce payroll costs. Language barriers, the complexity of flag state laws and the laws in workers’ home countries may make labour law violation charges difficult for workers to file. Low morale among workers may impair their ability to meet customer service expectations, potentially reducing an entity’s revenues and market share over the long term.
Employee Health & Safety
  • Workforce Health & Safety

    Entities in the Cruise Lines industry operate a unique service that requires them to provide safety oversight comparable to a small city, including addressing all medical and security needs. A commitment to providing a clean and sanitary environment on board is important for protecting crew health, which can affect productivity and morale as well as customer health, and thus an entity’s reputation and market share. Additionally, several governing bodies—including the flag state, port state and home country of a crew member—may be involved in both providing and enforcing industry safety regulations. This regulatory mix may create confusion regarding the protections afforded to crew members. Entities that fail to protect crew health and safety may also experience higher employee turnover and difficulties with employee recruitment and retention.
Critical Incident Risk Management
  • Accident Management

    Although cruise ships are one of the safest forms of travel for holidays, the industry competes on customer experience and satisfaction, making safety management a top priority. Given the scale of cruise vessels and the vulnerability of passengers at sea, one mismanaged accident may significantly reduce consumer confidence in an entity. Although major accidents are rare, they may affect not only an entity’s revenue and brand value, but those of the entire Cruise Lines industry. Proper equipment maintenance, staff training and implementation of the latest safety technologies and practices may protect an entity’s safety record and ensure high customer satisfaction while lowering an entity’s risk profile and cost of capital.

Select up to 4 industries

Current Industry:
Cruise Lines
Consumer Goods
Extractives & Minerals Processing
Food & Beverage
Health Care
Renewable Resources & Alternative Energy
Resource Transformation
Technology & Communications

Tell Us About Yourself

While it’s free to download SASB Standards, we request the following information to better understand how the Standards are being used.

Content Use Policy

The SASB Standards are made available for free for non-commercial use, such as corporate disclosure. The content in the SASB Standards is copyrighted. All rights reserved. Commercial use of the content in the SASB Standards – including for investment analysis, data services, and product development - is not permitted without consent. To request more information, please contact us at: [email protected].

Stay Informed: Please tick the below boxes to subscribe to specific email updates. The IFRS Foundation is committed to protecting and respecting your privacy, and we’ll only use your personal information to administer your account and to provide the products and services you requested from us.

You can unsubscribe from these communications at any time. For more information on how to unsubscribe, our privacy practices, and how we are committed to protecting and respecting your privacy, please review our Privacy Policy.

By clicking submit below, you consent to allow the IFRS Foundation to store and process the personal information submitted above to provide you the content requested.

We encourage you to visit the IFRS Foundation notification dashboard to register for an account and sign up for additional email subscriptions you may be interested in, such as notifications about the ISSB and the IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards.