We still like a cruise

By | Category: Travel news
 Britannia  PICTURE BY James D Morgan/

Britannia PICTURE BY James D Morgan

Just over a year ago, the cruise industry reported slower growth rates and Germany took over from the UK and Ireland as being the second largest source of cruise passengers after the USA.

From that you might have thought that interest in cruising had reached its peak here but that may not be the case. The industry has just reported that there was a 9% jump in UK and Ireland passengers for 2015, but admits the rise was largely down to capacity changes.

It’s that last phrase in italics (mine) where the truth might lie. The trade body for the cruise industry says that last year’s increase was mainly due to the launch of P&O Cruises’ Britannia and Royal Caribbean’s decision to base Anthem of the Seas at Southampton between May and October.  In addition, Cruise & Maritime Voyages’ Magellan and Princess Cruises’ Royal Princess returned to Southampton last spring and summer. That means there were more cruise opportunities from which people could select unlike the previous few years when fewer ships were here.

The industry seems to be saying that if it had more ships there would be more UK and Irish passengers.

As it was, last year there were 1,789,000 cruise passengers from the UK and Ireland. The number of passengers starting their cruise from a home port rose 13.6% from 739,000 in 2014 to 840,000 last year and there was an 8% rise in the number of UK passengers taking a river cruise holiday last year, taking the total to 150,300.

This year there largely be no further cruise ships based here so numbers won’t grow as much. But the evidence seems to show that find more ships and you will find more passengers. Our love affair with a cruise holiday hasn’t peaked yet.


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