for Cruise Research
centre for research and for
Coggins, Andrew Oscar, Jr.
What makes a passenger ship a legend:
The future of the concept of
the passenger shipping industry
Ph.D., Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University,
2004, 488 pages.
a ten million plus passenger,
multi-billion dollar, world-wide industry, is one of tourism's fastest
growing sectors. With many new ships entering the market each year,
ships must capture the public imagination in order to compete. Over the
ships that have done this have become legends. This study investigates
qualities necessary for a passenger ship to be identified as a
legendary ship and
asks how companies make their ships stand out as legends.
This study proposes that legendary ships,"grand hotels of the sea," are
extensions of other hospitality and tourism legends. Using the Grounded
Theory Approach, in which the theory emerges from data, notable ships
and their properties were identified from the literature. Integration
of categories, factors, and their constituent properties under a
Constant Comparative Method created a model of the legendary
A Delphi Panel tested and confirmed these properties as well as the
study's initial model. It also produced a pool of legendary ships and
additional properties. The results were further
validated by the passenger shipping public using a world-wide
electronic survey. Respondents rated intangible properties such as
"External Appearance," "Internal Layout," "Quality of Service and
Cuisine," "Funnel Design and Shape," "Repeat Passenger Patronage,"
"Legacy," "History," "Media Attention," "Speed," "Marine Technology,"
and "Route;" and the tangible properties of "Facilities, Fittings, and
Furnishings," "Size," "Speed," "Marine Technology," and "Non Marine
Technology," on their importance and named up to ten ships they
Factor analysis was used to divide the properties into four composite
"Significance," "Power," and "Competitive Advantage." Cluster analysis
of the ships produced four legend classifications--"Grand Legends,"
"Legends," "Demi Legends," and "Personal/Local Legends."
Results confirmed the thesis that legendary status is based on
superiority across a combination of factors. Those with more intangible
properties were found to be stronger, with
"Attractiveness," and "Significance" being the strongest.
Significantly, no modern cruise ships placed in the top three legend
classifications; except Queen Mary 2 , built, marketed, and viewed as
an ocean liner; indicating that the public views ocean liners and
cruise ships as