Cruise market booms in UK and Europe

The cruise industry is experiencing massive growth in Europe that is epitomised by the UK, according to recently released figures

The figures, released by industry body, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Europe, showed that the number of cruises booked by Europeans in 2012 rose to a record 6.139 million, doubling the figure for 2004. The CLIA made the figures public at the 29th Annual Cruise Shipping Miami conference, and they reflect an annual growth in the industry of 8 percent per annum over the past 5 years.

The UK is in the vanguard of cruise-oriented nations, and its individual figures replicated the Europe-wide growth, with 1.7 million British passengers taking to the seas last year, which was 1,000 more than in the previous year.

However, Europeans do not travel far to embark on their cruises, with 80 percent of them choosing to cruise in European waters, reflected in a growing fascination for cruising in less temperate Northern Europe, the market for which grew by 10 percent last year, and served 1.333 million passengers.

While Britain tops the cruising league table, Germany also grew – by 11 percent – and takes 25 percent of the market, and France grew by 9 percent.

Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio, the chairman of Clia Europe, commented, ‘2012 was a strong year for the European cruise industry, especially in view of the challenges the year presented. The doubling in the number of Europeans booking a cruise in the past eight years reflects the fact that the European cruise industry provides quality, innovation, value and great range of choice.

‘We very much look forward to seeing that growth continue this year, and the associated economic benefits that this will bring to Europe.’