Cruise news: Cruising holidays boom with record figures in 2017

Cruising is a holiday choice that has grown in popularity in recent years with everything from entertainment to leisure onboard.

According to the annual UK & Ireland cruise industry report, almost two million cruises were taken by British Holidaymakers in 2017.

This is a record high of 1,959,000 cruise passengers, a figure published by the industry body, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA)

This figure sees the causing population to have risen by 0.5 per cent since 2016.

Attracted to the warm climate and crystal clear water, the report highlights the Mediterranean the most popular destination amongst British tourists.

The Med represents 37 per cent of all cruise holidays booked by Britons, although this number is falling.

Surprisingly northern Europe is on the rise, as eight per cent of UK holidaymakers are choosing to cruise in Europe in comparison to 2016.

This makes northern Europe the second most popular causing destination, even beating the Caribbean and is popular amongst the youngest of cruisers – those aged 52-years old.

The Caribbean lands itself in third spot although the report shows that this too, is on the rise.

This also included the Bahamas and Bermuda, two popular destinations.

But it’s not just the most popular destinations that the report highlights.

Cruise goers are expecting more and more from their cruise with unusual itineraries increasing in popularity, especially those aimed at adventure-style explores in the Antarctic, Arctic, and Galapagos which are up by three per cent.

In a comment from senior vice-president and director of CLIA UK & Ireland, Andy Harmer commented: “In a step away from the traditional image of sunshine-soaked decks, we are seeing an increase in popularity of colder-climate destinations including Canada, Alaska, and Antarctica.

Thanks to the array of unique excursion options in these regions, from penguin-watching to ice fishing, these destinations are drawing in both new and repeat cruise travellers.”

Cruisers are also branching out into long-haul destinations, as last year saw a boom in holidaymakers venturing to Africa and the Middle East, these have risen by almost 25 per cent against the 2016 figures.

Asia and China are also up by 22 per cent and South America and the Panama Canal rose by nearly 25 per cent.

But it’s not just far-flung corners of the globe that is attracting cruisers, recent figures from CruiseBritain reveal that the number of passengers setting sail in the UK increased to 1.1million in 2017.

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