Figures released today by Cruise Britain show that the number of cruise passengers visiting Britain continues to rise for an impressive 11th consecutive year. Over these years, passenger day calls have risen by a factor of 4.5 to reach 1.642 million including an increase of 16% over 2017.

Cruise passengers arrived through 68 cruise ports from Kirkwall in the north to Jersey in the English Channel and stepped ashore for the day from 139 individual ships, with many ships calling on multiple occasions. The number of different cruise lines welcomed held steady at 56 lines, whose ships visited UK ports as diverse as Portland and Poole, Fishguard and Fowey, Tower Bridge (London) and Tyne.  

Round Britain and Irish Sea cruises continue to develop as a perfect way of exploring Britain's diversity of coasts, castles, cities and countryside with an evolving range of activities and attractions ashore. The short sailing distances between Britain's shores and adjoining countries add to the itinerary possibilities and enhance the passenger and cruise line offering.

‘‘1.642 million 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. Significant growth can be seen for ports right across the UK, from Dover to Orkney and Holyhead to London. It just four years since we broke the magic million mark and to sail past the 1.5 million milestone so quickly is a remarkable growth trajectory and one we are doing everything to support, especially in this, our 10th year. All our members work tirelessly to develop and support the British cruise industry, and to provide cruise lines and their guests with a seamless product and world-class service,’’ commented James Stangroom, chair of Cruise Britain.  

‘’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. 2018 saw 1.2 million passengers begin their cruise at a British port which is a rise of 9% over 2017. A significant number of the UK’s ports 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 immense growth trend, we are confident that Britain's appeal as a cruise destination will continue to ride the crest of the wave.’’

Cruise Britain, member ports and service providers can be found at stand 931 at this week’s Seatrade Cruise Global. The annual invite-only party held at Seatrade Cruise Global celebrates record figures and Cruise Britain’s 10th birthday and is supported by Port of Kirkwall, Orkney.