Ross Klein

School of Social Work
Phone: 709-864-8147

Research Interests

Ross Klein’s earliest maritime research concerned fishing rights, specifically the Cod Wars between the UK and Iceland (1949 -1976) and Tuna Wars between the US and Ecuador and Peru (1948 – 1975), but he now studies the international cruise ship industry in its many facets. Most recently he has analyzed problems of onboard crime especially sexual assaults and disappearances under mysterious circumstances. His work of the past several years has been concerned with environmental practices, with flags of convenience and off-shore corporate registration. He has lectured and written about the economic impact of cruise ships on ports of call. Medical care and illness outbreaks on board ship come within his expertise, and he has contributed to the literature on shipping companies’ liability for passengers’ medical care. In addition to publishing four books about the cruise industry, Klein has written six reports for non-governmental organizations in the US and Canada, more than a dozen articles and book chapters, and has given over 50 public lectures across North America, the Caribbean, and in Australia, New Zealand, and Belize.


Following appointments in the United States, at Skidmore College and Iowa State University, Klein joined the faculty at Memorial in 1988. He is frequently interviewed by media about his research and asked to comment on issues related to the cruise industry. He is an expert witness in legal cases against cruise lines, and has testified before the U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, and several city/county councils. Klein has also worked closely with Members of Parliament on issues related to environmental practices of the cruise industry and crimes against Canadians on cruise ships. He is a research Associate of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives


  • Syracuse University, PhD, 1982
  • Syracuse University, MA, 1979
  • University of Maryland, MSW, 1974
  • Arizona State University, BS. 1972

Select Publications

  • Introduction to Special Issue on Cruise Tourism,” 2018 Journal of Tourism in Marine Environments 13:4, pp. 189-192. (Weeden & Klein).
  • “Overstating Cruise Passenger Spending: Sources of Error in Cruise Industry Studies of Economic Impact,” 2018 Journal of Tourism in Marine Environments 13:4, pp. 193-203. (Kayahan, VanBlarcom & Klein).
  • “Felons of the Seas: Smoke, Mirrors and Obfuscation,” 2018 Yellow Tourism: Crime and Corruption in the Holiday Sector (ed. A. Papathanassis, S. Katsios, R.N. Dinu). Pp. 3-17. Cham, Switzerland: Springer Nature.
  • “Dreams and realities: A critical look at the cruise ship industry,” 2018 In S. Gmelch & A. Kaul (Eds.) Tourists and Tourism: A Reader, Third Edition. Illinois, USA: Waveland Press Inc.


Maritime Studies Research Unit

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000