A record 116 ship visits from 53 cruise lines brought 541,000 visitors to UK ports in 2010, with 47 ports receiving at least one call. These figures are more than double those recorded in 2003. With each passenger said to be worth E.97 ($139) UK cruise tourism currently generates around E.52m ($74m) to the local economies, according to the European Cruise Council.
CruiseBritain welcomed these new figures this week which show a 21% growth in passengers visiting UK ports, while cruise travel from British ports rose by 10% in 2010, with UK ports attracting a third more embarking passengers from overseas.
One in nine package holidays is now a cruise vacation (with no-flying element) and the Passenger Shipping Association’s 2010 Cruise Review clearly shows the resilient growth of the industry and the benefits for British ports.
Southampton has now become the busiest cruise home port in Northern Europe, while other ports around the British coastline – from Dover to Newcastle – are also benefiting.
Kate O’Hara, Chair of CruiseBritain said: “Northern Europe shows the strongest growth rate as a destination over the last decade and we continue to work to win a share of that for British ports.
“Overseas passengers embarking in the UK now account for 28% of all embarking passengers and this – plus the half a million ports of call visits – combines to show the strength and potential of Brand Britain”.