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1.72 million Brits cruise in 2012 and the number keeps on rising

An estimated that 1.72 million Britons will have taken an ocean cruise by the end of this year - up 20,000 on the figure achieved in 2011.

And the number is forecast to rise again in 2013 by more than 2 per cent to 1.76 million on the back of continued investment in new and refurbished cruise ships, a “fiercely competitive” market and the continued popularity of cruises from UK ports.

Hapag-Lloyd's Europa II
Hapag-Lloyd’s Europa II is among the new ships arriving in 2013

The resilience of the UK cruise industry was demonstrated in the figures released today at London’s World Travel Market by the Passenger Shipping Association

The PSA says this year’s rise has been achieved despite a challenging year for the industry following the Concordia incident and a protracted subdued UK economic climate for consumers that has seen market falls in many other sectors of the travel industry.

About eight out of ten UK cruise sales come through travel agents, spearheaded by those specially trained to advise on cruise options through the Association of Cruise Experts.

Almost $5bn has been invested globally by the industry in six new cruise ships this year, and a further $3.2bn will be spent on six more ships due to enter service next year.

These include new vessels for Aida Cruises, Compagnie du Ponant, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line and Princess Cruises.

Long-term orders stretch out at an even higher level to 2015, representing more than $12bn of investment in new ships over the next three years.

PSA director Bill Gibbons said: “There is no doubt that the cruise industry faced a unique set of challenges this year but our UK figures show that the cruise sector has outperformed the rest of the holiday sector.

“The sheer diversity of cruises offered by our 41 members, coupled with unrivalled value for money has helped to attract the ‘new to cruise customer’, key to boosting growth within our sector.”

He added: “The undiminished investment in new ships and product innovation is also encouraging with six new cruise ships commissioned in 2012, and six more are scheduled for launch in each of the next three years.

“There is no doubt that value will still be an absolute priority for UK holidaymakers in 2013 and a cruise is one of the best ways to have a unique experience whatever your holiday budget.”

Posted on 6th November 2012 at 07:08 pm in Cruise News | PSA |

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