Figures from the Cruise Lines International Association have revealed the industry benefitted the UK economy to the tune of £2.5 billion in 2012.
Cruising – one of the fastest growing sectors of the domestic tourism sector – also supports more than 66,000 jobs in the UK.
The organisation explains the sums included money spent in the UK by cruise passengers as well as by companies, on staff salaries, ship maintenance and other areas.
Expenditure was up 3.7 per cent on the 2011 figure, while the number of British jobs supported by the industry last year rose by 3.5 per cent to 66,059.
More than 1.5 million holidaymakers joined or left their cruise in Southampton last year, making it the busiest cruise port in Europe.
“Despite the global economic crisis, the cruising industry continues to show steady growth.
“The number of people who choose a cruise holiday in Europe has more than doubled in the past decade to over 5.7 million; the sector attracted almost a million passengers from outside Europe,” said Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio, CLIA Europe chairman.