More Brits are now choosing to begin their cruise holiday from a UK port, according to figures released by the Passenger Shipping Association. In 2012, 835,000 passengers will join their cruise ship in the UK, a 28 percent increase over the last two years.
This year, more than 760,000 passengers will have started their cruise holiday from one of the 20 UK departure ports. Overall 2011 has been a strong year for the UK’s cruise industry, with growth of more than five percent in passenger numbers. This trend is expected to continue; figures released on Monday at The Travel Convention in Palma show an estimated 1.73 million passengers will take a cruise holiday next year, an increase of just over one percent on this year’s figure of 1.71 million passengers.
William Gibbons of the Passenger Shipping Association, commented; “Looking forward, we anticipate modest growth in 2012 as capacity slows following the reduction in the number of new ships being built. However, we remain confident that growth will continue over the coming years as companies introduce new ships including the 3,611-passenger vessel for P&O Cruises, the largest in their fleet, due for introduction in early 2015. The great choice of ships now providing cruise holidays from the UK to a wide variety of destinations will lead to more passengers sailing from British ports.”
Gibbons added that cruising is expected to continue to outperform other areas of the holiday market with travel agents, which account for around 80% of industry sales, continuing to play an important role.
“The all-inclusive nature of a cruise holiday, which can be purchased in sterling… continues to make it a compelling and mainstream holiday choice,” he said.