UK travellers taking European river cruises increase

The number of Brits taking in the best of the continent by river increased by 12% in 2012, bringing the number of UK travellers opting for a European river cruise last year to a record 90,000.

The figures from the Passenger Shipping Association reveal that while an increasing number of British holidaymakers were happy to take to the water for a river cruise in 2012, the numbers of those taking ocean cruises grew by less than 0.1% in the same year reaching a total of 1,701,000. Concerns surrounding safety issues aboard cruise liners, in the wake of the Concordia disaster, as well as the increasing number of river-cruise itineraries, were both said to be contributing factors to the increase in river cruises.

However, further findings from the research, showed that almost a third (30%) of travellers who took a river cruise last year had taken one or two ocean cruises, while a further 23% had taken six or more ocean cruises. The continuing interest in ocean cruises was further supported by the fact that operator Viking River Cruises confirmed that half of its enquiries now come from ocean cruise passengers.

The Nile proved to be the most popular river destination in 2012, with over 28,000 passengers, an increase on figures for 2011 which showed that 25,000 passengers travelled on a Nile Cruise. However, the 2012 figure still fall well short of the figure of 58,000 recorded in 2010. The Rhine and its tributaries attracted almost 27,000 passengers, while the Danube followed behind in third place with 15,000.

Northern Europe also proved to be a hit with British cruise passengers in 2012, rising by 29% to reach 443,000. No-fly cruising also proved a popular form of cruising with the number of travellers starting their trip from a British port (807,000) almost matching the number of travellers who fly to join their ship (894,000).

These figures demonstrate the increasing presence of no-fly cruises on the market place; with figures from 5 years ago showing that fly-cruises accounted for 65% of the market; while no-fly cruising made up just 35%. If you are heading off on holiday in 2013, it is important to secure travel insurance whichever destination you are travelling to.

Date Created: 08 March 2013

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