Guide to researching the Cruise Lines Industry

Your Cruisin' Librarian
Your Cruisin’ Librarian


The purpose of this guide is to point business researchers to some key resources when researching the cruise lines  industry.  This guide contains several of the key and highly recommended resources when analyzing the industry and researching the companies in the industry.  I’ve listed the databases and resources below, with recommendations on how to find the best information in the quickest fashion.

The guide starts with resources for performing an industry analysis, but don’t miss the top picks for company analysis further down the page.  For additional tips, take a look at my guides for  Industry Research Basics and Company Research Basics.

Best Bets for Industry Analysis

The resources in this section are the best bets for analyzing the broad industry.

Encyclopedia of American Industries

The  Encyclopedia of American Industries refers to cruise lines as the “SIC 4481 Deep Sea Transportation of Passengers“. You will find a great overview of the industry.  This is one of the better sources for the history of the industry.


IbisWorld is a good place to get started for a good overview of several sectors of the industry.  There you will find report a report on Ocean & Coastal Transportation in the US.  Simply search for “cruise” to find this and other related reports.

First Research

First Research also offers broad industry overviews, which compliment the reports from IbisWorld quite nicely.  In First Research you can find reports on Cruise Ships and Water Transportation Services.


Passport  some excellent market research reports on retailing in specific countries.

  • Use the search box in the top right of Passport to search for “Cruise ships”, “cruise lines” or “cruise industry”.  You may find the results will vary with the different terms. Be on the lookout for the “Water Transportation in the U.S.” and other articles pertinent to the cruise industry.
  • It is also useful in finding local company profiles, which include strategy of the companies.
  • Passport also addresses the broad Political, Economic, Social, and Technological trends affecting industries.  This video shows you how to find information from Passport GMID for your PEST analysis.


Mintel has a great report called “Cruises – U.S. 2013” .

  • Simply search for “cruises” to find this report.
  • The market research reports in Mintel cover consumer buying, demand, preferences, market drivers, and much more.

S&P Net Advantage

S&P NetAdvantage  can be useful in understanding the overall lodging and gaming industry.

  • It has a very good report for the “Lodging & Gaming” Industry.  The report includes a lengthy discussion  regulation and changes within the industry.     The industry reports can be very useful in performing a PEST analysis, particularly when addressing the “economic” area.   To find these reports, click on the Industry Tab in NetAvantage, then select the industry in the drop-down menu.

SEC Filings

The 10-k (annual SEC filings) for individual companies in the industry contain financial information for companies, as well as textual descriptions of business strategies, risk factors, competition, and more.  Look in Part 1, Item 1 and Item 1A for this information in a company’s 10-K report.   You will notice that the companies use some of the similar language found in reports like IBISWorld and others.


Statista is great resource to find some extremely useful statistics for you industry.  Simply search for “cruise ships,” “cruise lines”, etc. or by company or brand  to find stats for your project.

Business Source Complete

Business Source Complete has a lot of useful information that can take your research to the next level. I’ve listed here last not because it is the least important, but because I would us articles and reports from Business Source Complete to fill in the gaps of your research.  You will find Industry Profiles and Trade Publications that can enhance the broad coverage of other industry reports.  Search for “cruise lines” or “cruise industry”.

Hospitality and Tourism Complete

Hospitality and Tourism Complete (direct link) is a database that contains publications pertaining to travel, lodging, hotels, tourism, and more.  You can do the same search here as you did in Business Source Complete, or use the “Choose Databases” option to search the two databases simultaneously.

Top Picks for Company Analysis

The following resources are particularly useful when analyzing specific companies in the industry.


OneSource is another fantastic resource for both company and industry information.

Hoover’s Online

Hoover’s Online has great company and industry information.

  • Use the Company tab to search for a particular company  to find company financials, competitors, company news, and more.
  • Use the Industry Tab to search for your industry terms to find some excellent industry reports.  The industry data comes from First Research, which is the same information found via the First Research interface.

Morningstar Investment Research Center

Morningstar Investment Research Center is on trial for Spring Semester 2015.

  • Use Morningstar to find excellent analysis of the companies in the industry.
  • If you like Morningstar, please let Chad know.

S&P Net Advantage

S&P NetAdvantage  is a also a great tool for researching companies.

Mergent Online

Mergent Online is a great tool for looking at both company and industry information.


Factiva is a great resource for looking for news about companies in the industry.  You will also find company profiles, financials, ratios, and more in the “Companies & Markets” section of Factiva.  This video shows you how to use Factiva effectively when analyzing your company.


In LexisNexis, use the “Get Company Information” search box to search for company information.  In addition to company financial information, you will find company news, company organization and subsidiary information, and company legal/lawsuit information.




Related Topics: Business Cluster, Class Guides, Industry Guides