Nearly two million Britons took a cruise holiday in 2017

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According to Cruise Lines International Association, (CLIA). Last year 1,959,000  Britons took a cruise. Whilst this is only an increase of 0.5 per cent, against 2016, it still means that Britons are the largest sector for the cruise market in Europe in that 37% of all cruise passengers are Britons.

Our preference is still for the Mediterranean says CLIA.  The Mediterranean remains the most popular cruise destination for British travellers. Cruises in Northern Europe rose in popularity last year with an 8% rise over 2016 making it the second most popular region for Britons beating the Caribbean. The Caribbean was the third most popular cruise region, with a 3% rise over 2016

The age of those holidaying on a cruise has dropped slightly.  Northern Europe and the Caribbean attracted the youngest average age of cruisers, 52 years’ old, against an average of 56 for all British cruise customers.

Unusual cruise itineraries increasing in popularity with adventure-style ‘exploration’ cruises in the Antarctic, Arctic and Galapagos up 3%.

Long-haul destinations also saw a boom in cruise last year as Africa and the Middle East cruise bookings were up almost 25% per cent on 2016; Asia, China, were up almost 22%; South America and the Panama Canal saw an increase of nearly 25% but the fastest growth was seen by Canada and New England itineraries which were up by one-third,  albeit from a low base.

Cruises from UK ports are important to attracting people with over half of all cruise passengers starting from a UK port rather than flying to meet a cruise ship. The increase over 2016 was 6%.

Cruise passengers are drawn to new vessels  and in 2018 the number taking cruises could rise again as at least 27 new ships will be delivered.

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