More Brits are choosing to begin their ocean cruise holiday from a UK port than ever before according to figures released by the Passenger Shipping Association (PSA).
In 2012, 835,000 passengers will join their cruise ship in Britain, a 28 per cent increase over the last two years, as the choice of destinations continues to expand.
This year, more than 760,000 passengers will have started their cruise holiday from one of the 20 UK departure ports, sailing to destinations including Russia, Scandinavia, the Norwegian fjords, Iceland, the Mediterranean, America and closer to home, the coast of Britain and Ireland.
Moreover, this year has been another strong year for the UK cruise industry with growth of more than five per cent.
The trend for British port departures is predicted to continue as the number of passengers taking a cruise holiday slows after a period of sustained growth.
Figures released today 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 per cent on this year’s figure of 1.71 million passengers.
William Gibbons of the Passenger Shipping Association (PSA) said that as predicted, 2011 has proved a good year for the industry with the value and quality of a cruise holiday continuing to appeal, together with companies introducing new ports of call and itineraries to a wide range of exciting destinations.
“Looking forward, we anticipate modest growth in 2012 as capacity slows following the reduction in the number of new ships being built” said Mr Gibbons.
“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.”
He continued: “Cruising is expected to continue to outperform other areas of the holiday market with travel agents, who account for around 80 per cent of sales, continuing to play an important role.
“The all-inclusive nature of a cruise holiday, which can be purchased in sterling and which offers exceptional standards of quality, innovation, choice and customer service, continues to make it a compelling and mainstream holiday choice.”