Adding up the cruise numbers

//Adding up the cruise numbers

Are more British holidaymakers taking cruises? Or are fewer people taking more cruises? The questions arise from the latest statistics issued by the Passenger Shipping Association, which claim a record year for departures from UK ports.
Embarkations rose by 10 per cent in 2012 – the fourth double-digit increase in seven years – to a total of 962,000. But with cruising feeling the effects of last January’s Costa Concordia tragedy, and squeezed by the continuing financial crisis and the Euro’s troubles abroad, the total number of Brits taking an ocean cruise holiday rose by only 1,000, to 1,701,000.
Significantly, more than half of all British passengers took more than one cruise and a record 374,220 travelled on three or more. Those seasoned cruisers, quite likely seizing the opportunity of bargain fares, made up for the lack of new customers putting their money down.
In the UK, the most substantial growth in capacity has come from the south coast ports of Southampton, Dover and Portsmouth. While regional ports such as Liverpool and Newcastle upon Tyne strive to improve their facilities and attract more ships, the majority of passengers still face a journey south by car, coach or train before starting their holiday.
There were 78,000 extra British passengers and 6,000 more who had flown in from overseas joining cruises which started in UK ports, and there was also an 11 per cent increase – to 723,000 passengers in all – visiting the 52 towns and cities which accommodated cruise calls.
For those who ventured further afield the Mediterranean is still the most popular choice, attracting 698,000 British passengers. The Norwegian fjords, the Northern Lights and the allure of the Baltic capitals saw a 29 per cent increase in passenger numbers in northern Europe, up from 342,000 to 443,000. The number of Brits flying to the Caribbean for their cruise holidays fell by 21 per cent, with passengers deterred by the increasing cost of flights and the additional burden of Air Passenger Duty.
PSA director William Gibbons said: “The past year was an impressive one for the UK cruise industry, especially in view of the combination of challenges the year presented. The increase in passenger figures bears testament to the value and diversity that cruising represents and the positive experiences that bring passengers back time and time again.
“We feel 2012’s record results for British ports are particularly remarkable and we very much look forward to seeing UK ports achieve the million mark in 2013.”
Gibbons will be retiring on May 1, when the PSA will disappears and becomes part of the global Cruise Lines International Association. After 19 years at the head of the organisation, he will no doubt be joining those passengers taking three or more cruises a year.

By | 2013-03-05T01:00:51+00:00 5 March 2013|Cruise News|1 Comment

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

One Comment

  1. more info 24 May 2013 at 11:19 am - Reply

    Thanks for finally talking about >Adding up the cruise numbers – Captain Greybeard – Travel Advice – Mirror. <Liked it!

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