Casting off: An exploration of cruise ship space group tour behavior, and social interaction

Careen Mackay Yarnal, Deborah Kerstetter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

121 Scopus citations


Growth in tourism during the past 20 years means more people are using physical spaces away from home for vacation. Yet research on vacation spaces is noticeably absent. Focusing on a cruise ship, the primary purpose of this article is to draw attention to how social interaction in a group vacation context intersects with vacation experiences. A secondary purpose is to introduce space and how it can extend thinking about the role that tourism spaces play in the development of social interaction. The results indicate that individuals use cruise ships to feel at ease and comfortable with themselves, as well as in control and liberated. They also develop social interactions during a cruise and make "playful" spaces on the cruise ship. Using these themes, the authors highlight limitations in current conceptualizations of tourism behavior. The authors also suggest how cruise lines might use the study to create more meaningful passenger experiences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)368-379
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Travel Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Transportation
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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