Saturday, 26 March 2016

New record for cruise passenger numbers from UK and Ireland

A RECORD 1,789,000 passengers from the UK and Ireland took an ocean cruise in 2015, a nine percent rise year-on-year and the highest increase in seven years, according to statistics published by the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).

UK and Ireland, which saw 145,000 more passengers take a cruise in 2015, also has the highest growth rate out of all the major European countries.

The number of Europeans taking an ocean cruise holiday has also grown – since 2008, the market has increased by 49 percent, proving both the cruise industry’s resilience to economic downturns and, says the CLIA, the value provided by a cruise holiday.

A Mediterranean cruise was the most popular holiday choice for Brits, accounting for 672,000 passengers, although the Atlantic Islands (Canaries and Madeira) had the best ever year with a record 188,000 passengers. The Caribbean reclaimed more passengers after a three-year lull.

The number of UK passengers starting their cruise at home rather than overseas grew strongly, with UK cruise departures now accounting for 47% of the market. It was another successful year for British ports overall; in total, more than one million UK and international passengers visited a British port during a cruise, a figure that has more than doubled in six years.

CLIA UK and Ireland Director Andy Harmer commented: ‘The cruise industry’s continued confidence in the UK market is clearly demonstrated by an increasing number of ships that will sail from British ports in the coming years.’

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