A Comparison of Values around Cruise Tax in Iceland and Alaska

Theses and Dissertations

Cruise ships pose many environmental harms: they emit more black carbon and CO₂ per passenger-mile than any other vehicle, discharge untreated sewage and wastewater into the open ocean, carry large quantities of heavy fuel oil onboard, and transport invasive species via ballast water. As the Arctic Ocean melts and becomes more accessible to marine vessels, cruise lines have taken advantage of the “last chance tourism” phenomenon and increased the numbers of cruise ships that tour the Arctic. Without sufficient regulation, the influx of cruise ships could create negative impacts for the Arctic environment. In this study I use Alaska’s Cruise Ship Tax Initiative as a model for cruise regulation and examine the high-level values that would influence Icelanders to adopt a similar, explicitly environmental per-passenger cruise tax. To determine the values to which advocates of a cruise tax should appeal, we interviewed twenty policymakers and stakeholders in Ísafjörður and Reykjavík, Iceland with the laddering method. As an extension of the study I interviewed one government administrator and one cruise tax advocate in Southeast Alaska to compile lessons learned from the implementation of the Alaska Cruise Ship Tax Initiative. The values from each location were compared to find which lessons would be relevant for Icelanders.

Cited Authors

  • Stith, M

Duke Editors

Cited Editors

  • Johnson, TL

Conference Name

  • NSOE Undergraduate Thesis Presentations, 2017 National Council for Science and the Environment Annual Conference