Brit cruise market enjoying strong growth

The British cruise market is experiencing an unprecedented boom with cruising proving to be a huge growth area for the travel industry in 2007.More than 1.35 million took to the seas in 2007, according to Passenger Shipping Association (PSA), an 11 percent growth on the previous year. Forecasts for 2008 show that the trend for growth continues, with anticipated numbers of cruise travellers reaching 1.55 million, a 14 percent rise on last year - many of them will be first timers or so called cruise virgins.

Cruise Critic has launched a dedicated U.K. site geared toward the British cruising community, the company’s first country-specific domain and the first site of its kind to serve the British market. To mark the event, the company has also announced the findings of a survey of British cruise “virgins and veterans” revealing what attracts them to cruising, what puts them off and exploring some of the myths about cruise holidays.

As an interactive cruise community and resource for planning cruise holidays, will provide U.K. cruisers with planning tools such as cruise reviews and ports of call recommendations written by both members and Cruise Critic’s expert editorial staff. content will be programmed uniquely for U.K.-oriented readers, catering to the style and manner in which British travellers cruise. Also, with the launch of the U.K. site, Cruise Critic can now offer unique deals and discounts specifically to U.K. cruisers, something that was not previously possible through the .com site.

“The British have a long tradition of cruising, as many great ships and shipping lines have British origins,” said Carolyn Spencer Brown, editor in chief, Cruise Critic. “Despite this lengthy cruise history, just recently, the British cruise market has experienced an unprecedented boom. This boom, coupled with an ever increasing British audience visiting the .com site, made now the ideal time to launch in order to help British cruisers find the right ship, with the right amenities at the right price.”