Cruise holidays more popular than ever with British holidaymakers

Last year record numbers of British holidaymakers chose a cruise as their preferred option for a getaway.

In 2016 a total of 1.9m holidaymakers from the UK and Ireland took an ocean cruise which was a 1.78 million increase on the previous year, according to figures from the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).

The Mediterranean kept hold of the top spot as the most popular region, with 676,000 passengers from the UK and Ireland taking a cruise holiday there, an increase of 4,000 on the previous year. This also included less people flying out to pick up their cruise with 458,000 preferring to set sail from the UK instead.

Overall demand up

Cruises from Britain saw an increase in overall demand of nearly 9%, bringing the total up to 912,000.

More people also embarked from British ports for a trip to Western Europe in 2016, with 272,000 choosing to do so as opposed to 252,000 in 2015. this means the region (which includes the UK, Atlantic and North Sea) is the second favourite destination for British cruisers.

Senior vice president and director of CLIA UK & Ireland, Andy Harmer, said: "Cruise lines are continuing to invest in new ships and new onboard and ashore experiences."

"This all points to continued growth for the UK and Irish cruise market in the year ahead,” he predicted.

Luxury and river cruises

Luxury cruise operators such as Crystal Cruises, Silversea, Seabourn and Regent Seven Seas saw an increase in popularity as the number of British passengers choosing this type of experience hit 29,000 last year, breaking the previous record of 28,450 which was set in 2012.

Britons also chose river cruises in increasing numbers, with a new high of 166,900 passengers in 2016, showing an increase of 11% on the previous year. All-inclusive pricing was cited as a main reason for travellers choosing a river cruise holiday.

A strong demand for Asia river cruises increased the number of passengers travelling on waterways outside of Europe by 15% to reach a total of 22,000 passengers, but Europe still accounted for 87% of all river cruises. 

If you’re thinking of travelling abroad this year, be sure to organise your Specialist Travel Insurance in advance.

Date Created: 17 March 2017

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