Cruise News

British and Irish push cruising through the two million barrier for first time

The number of ocean voyages taken by British and Irish cruisers broke the two million barrier for the first time in 2018.

The record figure of 2,009,000 was up two per cent from 2017, making the UK & Ireland only the second European market to have broken the two million cruises barrier and the fourth globally.

Celebrity Flora
Ships such as Celebrity Flora are boosting expedition cruising

Cruise Lines International Association’s annual Cruise Review industry report looks at cruise figures and stats from 2018 including the total number of passengers, top destinations, and the average age of a cruise guest.

It also found that he average cruise passenger age stood at 57 years, which can be contributed to the growth in the number of families choosing cruise as their preferred holiday.

Andy Harmer, CLIA UK & Ireland director, said: “Surpassing the two million mark is a significant milestone as it demonstrates the continued strength of cruising as a mainstream holiday choice for the British and Irish.

“With cruise lines continuing to expand their offerings both onboard and ashore, creating extraordinary experiences not found on other types of holidays, and with the appeal of being able to explore fascinating destinations and only having to unpack once, cruise holidays have become appealing to a more diverse and often younger market.”

The average cruise duration was 10.1 days, with the number of 14-day cruises increasing by five per cent to 397,000. The popularity of “taster cruises” also grew significantly, with 149,000 passengers taking 1-3 day cruises taken in 2018 – an increase of 29,000 – suggesting that new-to-cruise guests like to ‘try before they buy’ when it comes to a cruise holiday.

Cruises in the Mediterranean, Northern Europe and Baltics make up almost 70 per cent of total cruises taken, with the market still dominated by the ‘Mediterranean, Northern Europe and the Caribbean.

2018 saw a significant increase in exploration cruisingto the polar regions, the Galápagos Islands and Antarctica, with bookings growing by 44 per cent from 22,000 in 2017 to 32,000 in 2018.

The number of cruises taken in South America and Panama Canal also grew by 29 per cent to 26,000, and in Asia and China the number grew by 41 per cent, from 45,000 in 2017 to 63,000 in 2018.

Andy Harmer, CLIA UK & Ireland director, added: “Thanks to the large deployment of incredible ships offering an amazing choice of itineraries in European destinations, as well as the number of cruises sailing ex-UK, our love of cruising Europe still reigns supreme.

“Increasingly, however, British and Irish travellers are looking further afield for their holiday for a unique and authentic experience, and this can be seen by the growth in far-flung destinations that such as the polar regions, South America and Asia.”

Posted on 15th April 2019 at 09:37 am in CLIA | Cruise News |

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