Cruise Ship Accidents

Riskiest Countries for Cruise Travel Due to Natural Hazards


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Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A. is comprised of attorneys that are nationally-recognized industry leaders in the field of maritime and admiralty law. Our team of lawyers has over a century of combined experience, has successfully handled over 3,000 cases, and has recovered over 300 million dollars in damages for our clients.

Though our cruise ship accident attorneys often talk about the dangers associated with certain popular cruise destinations as far as crime risks go, hazards don’t just stop there. Natural disasters can also negatively affect the safety of cruise passengers. This is especially true in Caribbean destinations, where cruise ships tend to frequent. If you’re planning on cruising, below is a look at some of the most dangerous and safest countries to visit in terms of natural disaster risk.

The Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters identified five countries where natural disasters were most likely to occur. Among the countries listed, some of the top risks are quite surprising. The list found China, the Philippines, Indonesia, and India as among the top countries at risk of experiencing a natural disaster. Also on the list was the United States. Location and the size of the country had a significant impact on the assessment, with many of the countries listed being in the path of hurricanes, cyclones, and typhoons. The United States is also located along the “ring of fire” making it susceptible to earthquakes and volcanoes.

Yet, people planning to travel shouldn’t cancel their travel plans within the United States just yet. While the assessment focuses solely on risk of natural disasters, it doesn’t focus on a country’s ability to respond or prepare for disasters. So, while a developing country might not be able to afford safety and preventative measures, a country like the United States has many safety measures, monitoring measures, and disaster relief services in place.

For cruisers genuinely interested in mitigating their risk, they should consider both the risk of natural disasters and the country’s ability to financially handle such disasters. According to the Telegraph, when economic vulnerabilities are taken into account, the United States is actually among one of the safest countries to visit. So, what are the lowest ranked countries in terms of safety?

Vanuatu, Tonga, the Philippines, and Guatemala were ranked as among the list of ten least safe countries to visit when natural disaster risk was assessed. Another popular travel destination that made the list was Costa Rica, Europe, Qatar, Barbados, and Saudi Arabia were listed among the safest countries to visit.

Prospective cruisers should take into account all factors when making decisions about where to go. While countries like India, Costa Rica, and China offer a wealth of cultural experiences and natural beauty, the countries may not be as prepared as others to handle natural disasters.

Cruise passengers can mitigate their risk by avoiding typhoon, hurricane, and cyclone season. They can also avoid travel in places prone to landslides during the rainy seasons. Finally, travelers can also check with government agencies for possible travel warnings before they head out. Changes in weather patterns, rising sea levels, and heavier rainy seasons also contribute to the risk. We’re seeing more cases of serious natural disasters now than ever before.

Yet, travelers in the U.S. can also take into account the risk of each city. For instance, in one report, New Orleans was listed among the most vulnerable city in the world for natural disasters. As our climate continues to change, and as some countries attain more wealth and develop more infrastructure, these lists are likely to change.


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