Union Jack

Record high for cruise visitors to British ports

6 March 2018

Figures released today by CruiseBritain show that the number of cruise passengers visiting Britain continues to rise for the tenth consecutive year. In the last decade, passenger day calls have quadrupled to reach 1.415million including an increase of 17% over 2016.

Cruise passengers arrived through 68 cruise ports in 2018 and stepped ashore for the day from 120 individual ships, with many ships calling on multiple occasions. 56 different cruise lines visited UK ports as diverse as Douglas (Isle of Man) and Dover, Tyne and Torquay, Forth and Fishguard. Strong regional growth can be seen for a number of ports including Douglas (Isle of Man), Kirkwall (Orkney), Portland and Tyne.

Round Britain and Irish Sea cruises continue to develop as an ideal way of exploring Britain’s diversity of coasts, castles, cities and countryside with a plethora of activities and attractions ashore. The short sailing distances between Britain’s shores and adjoining countries add to the itinerary possibilities.

‘‘1.415million 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. The jump from just 365,000 day call passengers in 2007 to nearly quadruple that number in 2017 is a remarkable trajectory and one we are doing everything to support. All our members work tirelessly to develop the British cruise industry, and to provide cruise lines and their guests with a seamless product ranging from an efficient port-side operation to developing new and varied shore excursion choices,’’ commented James Stangroom, Chair of CruiseBritain.

‘‘Increasingly, Britain really can offer a port for every cruise ship currently sailing – from expedition ships to mid-range or boutique vessels up to the largest afloat. 1.1million passengers began their cruise at a British port in 2017 which is a rise of 6% over 2016. Many of the UK’s ports can handle both day calls and embarkations which increases the opportunity to grow the nation’s cruise business,’’ added Stangroom. “As the global cruise market continues its growth trend, we are confident that Britain’s appeal as a cruise destination will mirror that trend.’’

CruiseBritain, member ports and service providers can be found at stands 1721 and 1821 at this week’s Seatrade Cruise Global. The annual invite-only ‘Essential British Street Party’ held at Seatrade Cruise Global will be a thoroughly celebratory gathering and is supported by Cruise Jersey, Destination Plymouth (Mayflower400) and Hush Heath Estates.