2016: A record year for British cruising.

Britannia

Britannia: Hosted Ant & Dec in Barcelona on ITV’s Saturday Night Takeaway. (Picture: P&O Cruises)

Figures out from the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) have revealed that 2016 was a record year for the cruise industry in the UK.

Across the world, more than 25 million people took a cruise in 2016 and 1.9 million of these were British – this equates to almost 3% of the population.

The Mediterranean remains the favourite region for British passengers with more than 675,000 cruising in this region last year. More than two thirds of these people flew to their ship, but the popularity of UK based cruising grew by almost 9% last year.

ITV’s The Cruise which showcased Regal Princess and some of their staff has been attributed to a 20% increase in UK bookings at Princess Cruises. The programme also would have had benefits for all cruise lines with people talking a cruise for the first time or rekindling their love with a holiday at sea.

Cruise coverage is hitting an all time high with a mini-series of Cruising with Jane McDonald having just aired along with TV favourites Ant & Dec broadcasting Saturday Night Takeaway live from P&O’s Britannia in Barcelona last year.

MSC Cruises Fly Cruise

Numbers of Brits flying to their ship fell in 2016. (Picture: MSC Cruises)

UK based ships are not just for the likes of P&O and Fred. Olsen – more ships are calling UK ports home than ever before, and even MSC who took a break from UK cruising are returning with MSC Magnifica for the 2018 season.

With more sailings and new ships on the horizon – it looks like the cruise industry for the UK is going to keep on growing.

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