Dr. Ross A. Klein


School of Social Work
St. John's College
Room: J-2003
Memorial University of Newfoundland
St. John's, NL A1C 5S7

Phone: 709-864-8147

Dr. Klein completed a B.Sc. (Sociology) from Arizona State University in 1972. He received his M.S.W. in 1974 from the University of Maryland, and earned his M.A. in 1979, and his Ph.D. in 1982, both from Syracuse University.

Before coming to Memorial in 1988, Dr. Klein taught at Iowa State University and Skidmore College, had an adjunct appointment to Empire State College, taught in Skidmore College’s University Without Walls, and served as a field instructor for the Wurzweiler School of Social Work at Yeshiva University. He has held non-academic positions in several youth and family serving organizations.

Dr. Klein’s most recent teaching interests focused on social work research methodology at the undergraduate and graduate levels in both classroom and distance education-based venues. Dr. Klein is active as a supervisor for students doing thesis route graduate degrees and served many years on the MSW and Ph.D. program Committees of the School of Social Work.

Dr. Klein is frequently sought nationally and internationally as an expert on the cruise ship industry. He gives invited lectures around the world and serves as an expert witness in lawsuits against the cruise industry, including cases involving sexual assaults, passengers overboard, environmental and social impact issues, labour rights, and passenger deaths.

His publication record is lengthy and includes books, monographs, and published reports pertaining to sex-related crimes on cruise ships, cruise industry environmental practices, oppressive and exploitative labour practices, and passenger rights. He has also published in the areas of anger management, women and addictions, foster care, employability enhancement, and community based psycho-social rehabilitation. He often presents his work at professional meetings and academic conferences. Currently, he is Associate Editor for the Journal of Tourism in Marine Environments, having previously served on the editorial boards of several academic publications.

Dr. Klein served for six years (2008-2014) as President of MUNFA (Memorial University of Newfoundland Faculty Association). Following a sabbatical, in 2015 he assumed the role of Associate Dean, Graduate Studies and Research, in the School of Social Work, and in January 2019 the position of Interim Dean.

At the community level, Dr. Klein has been active in the work of Family Service Canada, the Canadian Mental Health Association, Planned Parenthood, the Family Life Bureau, the St. John’s Cruise Ship Committee, Kidney Cancer Canada, and International Cruise Victims Association. He is actively engaged around the world with grassroots and community groups concerned about cruise tourism.


Recent Publications:


• “Introduction to Special Issue on Cruise Tourism,” 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,” Journal of Tourism in Marine Environments 13:4, pp. 193-203. (Kayahan, VanBlarcom & Klein). 

• “Felons of the Seas: Smoke, Mirrors and Obfuscation,” 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,” In S. Gmelch & A. Kaul (Eds.) Tourists and Tourism: A Reader, Third Edition. Illinois, USA: Waveland Press Inc.


• “Representation without taxation: The power and politics of the cruise industry,” In R K Dowling and C Weeden (Eds) Cruise Ship Tourism, 2nd Edition pp 57-71 Wallingford, UK: CABI.

• “Passengers and risk: Health, wellbeing, and liability,” In R K Dowling and C Weeden (Eds) Cruise Ship Tourism, 2nd Edition pp 106-123 Wallingford, UK: CABI. 2017 (R A Klein, M Lueck & J Poulston)

• “Adrift at sea: The state of research on cruise tourism and the international cruise industry,” Journal of Tourism in Marine Environments 12 2/3, pp. 199-209.

  • "Adaptation and Acculturation Among New Canadians: Implications for Intergenerational Relations and Social Work Practice," Diversity and Social Work in Canada (ed. A. al-Krenawi, J. Graham and N. Habibov), Toronto: Oxford University Press. (D. Dutta and R. Klein), pp. 191-219

  • "Troubled seas: The politics of activism related to the cruise industry," Journal of Tourism in Marine Environments 11:2/3 (R. Klein & K. Sitter), pp. 147-160.

  • "Introductory Note: ‘Long-Tail’ or ‘Fairy-Tale’? The case for scientific publishing on cruise," Special Issue on Cruise Research, Journal of Tourism in Marine Environments 10:3/4, pp. 141-148 (A. Papathanassis and R. Klein)

  • "Safety, Security, Health and Social Responsibility," in Cruise Business Development - Safety, Design and Human Capital (ed. A. Papathanassis), Berlin: Springer Verlag, pp 3 – 15

  • "Crime at Sea: A Comparison of Crime on Carnival Cruise Lines, 2007 – 2011," in Cruise Business Development - Safety, Design and Human Capital (ed. A. Papathanassis), Berlin: Springer Verlag, pp. 17 - 28

  • "Old Ships in New Bottles: Where Do Cruise Ships Go When They Get Old?" Cruise Tourism & Innovation: Improving Passengers’ Experiences (ed. A. Pappathanassis, M.H. Breitner, A. de Groot), Berlin: Verlag. pp. 185-198

  • "The Cruise Industry’s Business Model: Implications for Ports," Harboring Tourism: Cruise Ships in Historic Port Communities (ed. E. Avrami), New York: World Monuments Fund, pp. 46-51

  • "Tensions Between Cruise Tourism and Land-based Tourism: The Case of Key West and Dubrovnik," Harboring Tourism: Cruise Ships in Historic Port Communities (ed. E. Avrami), New York: World Monuments Fund, pp. 88-93

  • "Envisioning Environmental Policy as Social Policy: The Case of the International Cruise Industry," Environmental Policy as Social Policy – Social Policy as Environmental Policy: Toward Sustainability Policy, (ed. I. Wallimann), New York: Springer, pp. 181-196.

  • "Opportunities for Market Development of Nautical Tourism in Europe," Nautical Tourism (ed. T. Lukovic), London: CABI, pp. 201-224. (R. Klein, K. Božic, R. Dowling, P. Gibson, Z. Gržetic, A. Haahti, S. Horak, T. Lukovic, A. Papathanassis and S. Pekkala)



Books and Monographs

  • Getting a Grip on Cruise Ship Pollution, Washington, DC: Friends of the Earth.

  • Cruising without a Bruising: Cruise Tourism and the Maritimes, Halifax, NS: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

  • Paradise Lost at Sea: Rethinking Cruise Vacations, Halifax: Fernwood Publishing.

  • Cruise Ship Squeeze: The New Pirates of the Seven Seas, Gabriola Island, BC: New Society Publishers.

  • Playing Off the Ports: BC and the Cruise Tourism Industry, Vancouver, BC: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

  • The Cruise Industry and Environmental History and Practice: Is A Memorandum of Understanding Effective for Protecting the Environment, San Francisco: Bluewater Network and Seattle: Ocean Advocates.

  • Charting A Course: The Cruise Industry, the Government of Canada, and Purposeful Development, Ottawa: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

  • Cruising - Out of Control: The Environment, Workers, and Atlantic Canada's Ports, Halifax: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

  • Cruise Ship Blues: The Underside of the Cruise Ship Industry, Gabriola Island, BC: New Society Publishers.

  • Death by Chocolate: What You Must Know Before Taking a Cruise, St. John’s: Breakwater Books.