British holidaymakers have continued to be swept in to the cruise industry after the Passenger Shipping Association announced that 2012 was a record year for the industry. Brits took a total of 1.62 million cruises last year, signalling a six percent increase on 2009 and more than double 2001’s figures. As a result, the sector now accounts for 11.7 percent of the overseas package holiday market (up 1.1 percent), with the Mediterranean and Northern Europe still the most popular destinations. In addition, travelling from a UK port has increased 10 percent, while the fly-cruise market was boosted by three percent. PSA has attributed the success to the cruise industry’s customer service and quality product. “The cruise sector continues to report impressive growth and the success of UK cruising, during one of the toughest economic periods the world has seen, can be attributed to the excellent value for money and the fantastic variety of a cruise holiday,” said William Gibbons, director of PSA. “The choice and diversity of cruising has never been greater – from intimate, ultra luxury yachts to floating passenger ‘resorts’.” The association has predicted that passenger numbers will reach 1.7 million this year and two million by 2014.