10 years ago, a courageous New Zealand university professor publicly stated that cruise ship sexual assault rates were higher than that encountered on dry land. It should be noted that in the intervening years, the reported incidence of cruise ship sexual assault has risen.
According to an article written about the study, which was published by the Telegraph.co.uk in September 2007, the reported rate of sexual assault aboard cruise ships is significantly higher than that on dry land. Specifically, the report, which studied data submitted by U.S. cruise operators, found that “the rate of sexual assault on board was 59 per 100,000 - compared with an average of 32 per 100,000 on dry land. There were an additional 53 cases per 100,000 of sexual harassment”.
Another significant finding by the study was the fact that “Nearly 70 percent of sexual assaults were carried out by crew on guests, and 10 percent by crew against co-workers…”
This study was published well before the 2016 change in the way cruise lines report crimes. Before the change, cruise companies were allowed to delay reporting crimes until they had closed their own internal investigations into the incidences, a process which could presumably prevent the crimes from being reported indefinitely. The 2016 change in reporting rules saw a corresponding jump in the number of cruise ship crimes reported.