Record numbers of UK cruise visitors
2010 was a boom year for cruise passengers choosing to either begin their cruise in the UK or visit a UK port during their cruise according to figures just released by CruiseBritain. With UK port visitors topping half a million for the first time, the UK's place as a strong cruise destination is secure.
A rise in the number of cruise lines deploying their ships to the UK and the introduction of new ships has accounted for a rise of 14% in the number of passengers beginning their cruise from a British port. 837,000 people chose to sail from the UK in 2010 and the strong growth reflects a seven-year upward trend.
Even more significant growth has been seen for passengers calling at UK ports during the course of their cruise. 541,000 visits (a 21% rise year-on-year) were made on 116 ships representing 53 cruise lines and growth over the last seven years has risen by 134%. With each visit estimated to contribute €97 to the local economy (European Cruise Council 2010), Britain's tourism industry is reaping considerable benefit.
'We are seeing the UK increase in popularity every year and becoming a major player in the cruise market,' commented Kate O'Hara, Chair of CruiseBritain. 'Round Britain cruises are increasing and projected figures for 2011 show that this market sector will continue to grow. Our port members are welcoming new ships including Celebrity Cruises' Celebrity Eclipse, Cunard's Queen Elizabeth and P&O Cruises' Azura. In addition, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Royal Caribbean International, Disney Cruise Line and Holland America have significantly increased their presence in the UK'.