whole summer season. On the other hand, a Danube River cruise is the best way to becomefamiliar with natural landscapes and cultural heritages which have witnessed many nations
historical influence. On a Danube River cruise, Europe's vineyard-lined valleys and beautifullypreserved medieval towns in countries such as Germany, Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria, andRomania can be discovered. Since the number of cruise vessels and industry itself keepgrowing larger, greater investments are also anticipated. Eventually,nowadays the term cruise goes beyond having a pleasurable sea trip in a liner. It is beingviewed as an attractive voyage, which offers joyful experience, safety, quality food, sportfacilities, shopping centers, entertainment venues and excellent service.Based on the abovementioned factors of importance of cruise tourism, it can be concludedthat the high quality services and the globalization of operations of cruise providers furtherintensify competition among them. In addition both competition and more demandingcustomers push the quality limits higher, which altogether fosters the growth of cruisetourism. As a whole, the researcher has chosen to study this particular type of alternativetourism due to the fact that it represents a chief part of world tourism and due to itsconsiderable global significance in terms of its economic, social, cultural and environmentalimpacts.
2. Literature review
In present times, the cruise ship segment of leisure tourism has received a lot of attention byacademic literature (Duman, 2002, Kester, 2003). In real terms, the interest in the segment is justified by its enormous growth reaching over $ 1900 million in 2005 (Datamonitor, 2005).According to the European Cruise Council (2005) the market is still in its growth stage and isnot likely to stagnate in the short run. As a matter of fact, the growth tendency is valid forregions such as Eastern Europe for example, as cruise tourism represents a narrowsegment of the tourism market (Euromonitor International, 2007). However, a review of theexisting literature on cruise tourism has revealed that there is a lack of researches on the