The Passenger Shipping Association have released their latest figures from their findings on the 2011 UK cruise passenger stats - and it makes positive reading indeed.
It is great to learn that the cruise travel sector is growing, especially in these tough economic times. River cruising is up 7%, with over 80,000 Brits enjoying the delights of a river cruise, and ocean cruises from a UK port has grown to 100,000 passengers.
It is interesting to point out that cruise prices have only increased by less than 1%, well below inflation and confirming again the a cruise still offers excellent value for money - last year Brits spent £2.4 billion on cruises.
Luxury cruises also increased in numbers - up by 8% - as many more UK cruisers realise the benefits of taking a 6-star luxury cruise.
80% of UK passengers book their cruises via their travel agent, which is good news - as long as the agents are putting the right people on the right ship. I am often asked what is the best cruise ship in the world, and the answer is hard to give. I could say that according to the Berlitz Guide to Cruising it's the MS Europa, as they rate it the highest in the world, however for many it would not be suitable at all - it all depends on what you want to get out of your holiday and what you enjoy doing, and as importantly, what you don't enjoy.
So while UK cruisers are growing in numbers, its important that us cruise agents ensure we match the right ship to our clients - and next year those numbers will be even higher.