Francesco Schettino, interviewed on NBC's "Today," said the disaster, which killed 32 people when the ship ran aground on the Italian island of Giglio and overturned, was a chain of human errors and possible mechanical failure.
"I take my responsibility, of course, as a gentleman, as a man, as a captain. I am not blaming nobody. I am clear with my conscience," the Naples-born captain said.
Schettino has been charged in Italy with multiple manslaughter, causing the accident and abandoning ship, but said in the interview that it may have been a compass failure that caused him to steer too close to shore.
"Something inside that compass was wrong," he said. "The rock was marked on the charts but the depth of the water on the charts was more than, in reality, it is."