British ports are attracting business from some the largest cruise operators including AIDACruises (Image: Magnus Budge)
The number of cruise passengers visiting Britain has increased for the 11th consecutive year, according to new figures released by Cruise Britain at Seatrade Cruise Global 2019.
In 2018, 139 cruise ships brought over 1.6 million cruise passengers to 68 cruise ports for day calls across Britain, from Orkney in Scotland down to Jersey in the English Channel. This represents an increase of 16% compared with 2017.
Cruises sailing around Britain and the Irish Sea have also grown in popularity because they provide guests with a new way to explore the region’s coasts, castles, cities and countryside via an increasingly diverse range of shore excursions.
“1.6 million is a fantastic figure to reach and the strength of the growth trend is testament to the increasing popularity of Britain as a cruise destination,” said James Stangroom, chair of Cruise Britain. “Significant growth can be seen for ports right across the UK, from Dover, England to Orkney and Holyhead, Wales to London, England.
“It is just four years since we broke the magic million mark and to sail past the 1.5 million milestone so quickly is a remarkable growth trajectory and one we are doing everything to support, especially in this, our 10th year. All our members work tirelessly to develop and support the British cruise industry, and to provide cruise lines and their guests with a seamless product and world-class service.”
According to Stangroom, Britain can provide any kind of cruise ship – from expedition ships and boutique vessels to the largest luxury liners – with an appropriate port for days calls, turnarounds or homeporting.
“2018 saw 1.2 million passengers begin their cruise at a British port which is a rise of 9% over 2017,” he said. “A significant number of the UK’s ports handle both day calls and embarkations which increases the opportunity to grow the nation’s cruise business.
“As the global cruise market continues its immense growth trend, we are confident that Britain's appeal as a cruise destination will continue to ride the crest of the wave.”
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