Project Description

Culture Assessment programme – ship and shore

Carnival Corporation & plc provides cruise holidays around the globe. The company’s portfolio of brands includes Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Seabourn, P&O Cruises (Australia), Costa Cruises, AIDA Cruises, P&O Cruises (UK) and Cunard. Carnival Corporation also operates Holland America Princess Alaska Tours, the leading tour company in Alaska and the Canadian Yukon.

Together, these brands comprise the world’s largest cruise company with a fleet of 92 ships visiting over 700 ports around the world under normal operations and totalling 223,000 lower berths.

In 2019, Carnival Corporation’s record full-year revenue totalled $20.8 billion, putting the company in the top 160 on the Fortune 500 list.

The company places an enormous amount of importance on health, safety and the environment with the following featuring in the vision statement: ‘…our highest responsibility and top priority is compliance, environmental protection and the health, safety and wellbeing of our guests.’


Tribe began working with Carnival UK in 2013. From then until 2017 the focus was on Health and Safety but, after an environmental issue in one of the global cruise lines, the programme pivoted to cover a wider Health, Environment, Safety and Security (HESS) remit.

Culture assessment

In 2013 the first stage of Tribe’s work was undertaking a Culture Assessment with Carnival UK to understand the current attitudes, values and beliefs around Health and Safety.

The scale and challenge around this was significant, with 20,000 crew members working on ships scattered around the globe with limited internet access. We overcame this by combining a paper-based survey with focus groups to collect results.

The survey identified areas of cultural strength alongside opportunities for enhancement. Focus groups painted a picture of people’s attitudes, values and beliefs around how things are done.

The research findings allowed us to benchmark the company’s cultural maturity and create a three-year strategy.

The strategy included a variety of training, communications and engagement elements at different levels. Key elements included improved effective conversations about safety, a stronger vision, hearts and minds communication and a variety of improved proactive improvement processes.

Taking into account a wide range of cultural backgrounds and languages, a clear and impactful communications campaign drove participation and engaged people in the company’s message of a healthy and safe working culture for everyone.

Moving beyond health and safety to HESS – Health, environment, safety and security

When we re-assessed the culture in 2017, it gave us the opportunity to change the context of the programme, and include other, related elements such as a focus on the Environment.  We were able to do this because the same behaviours amongst leaders and the workforce can make a difference across all areas of HESS.

This phase of the work had a broader reach, working across the US for other brands – specifically the Holland America Group and another 50+ ships.

We delivered an updated vision, ‘golden rules’ programme campaigns, training using VR headsets and immersive 360 film, a range of updated communications and a variety of drama-led engagement.

Feedback has been incredibly positive at all levels as we head towards the next stage of cultural maturity for the business.

Where tools were developed, such as the golden rules or workshop content, we made sure that, contextually, these newer elements were really brought to life to create focus on what could go wrong, and how to prevent the potential negative consequences that come from HESS incidents.


Between 2014 and 2017 Tribe’s work led to a significant improvement in cultural maturity and a subsequent 46%+ reduction in incidents, making the UK business the best performing part. Other parts of the business across the globe adopted similar programme tools and techniques to lead to a significant shift forward in culture.

Over 20,000 crew and onshore employees got involved in the survey across the group.

Over 20,000 crew and onshore employees got involved in the survey across the group.

carnival uk golden rules

The Golden rules articulate the behaviours that will drive the difference that is required to maintain the highest standards of safety & health.

Leadership immersive workshops with 360° film.

“Normally when you work with a culture change consultant, they have an off the shelf product. Tribe have their approach but they always tailor what they’re doing for Carnival UK. Everyone at Tribe is very knowledgeable, creative and open minded and there is a strong sense of collaboration.”

Russell Hobbs
Director, Safety & Environmental, Carnival UK