Cruise Lines International Association (Clia) has announced that the number of ocean cruises taken by UK and Irish passengers last year reached over two million for the first time.
The industry hit a record 2,009,000 in 2018, up two per cent from 2017 and surpassing the two million mark a year earlier than predicted
Andy Harmer, CLIA UK & Ireland director, said: “2018 was an impressive year for the UK and Ireland cruise industry. Surpassing the two million mark is a significant milestone, as it illustrates how cruise has become a major player within the UK and Irish travel sector.
“As only the second European market to reach over two million cruises and the fourth globally, this figure demonstrates the continued strength of cruising as a mainstream holiday choice in the UK and Ireland and is a testament to the industry’s resilience to economic and political changes.”
Growth in cruising continues with an almost seven per cent increase from 2017 to 2018, totalling 28.5 million passengers globally.
Harmer added: “Clia and its cruise lines are committed to marrying the industry’s growth opportunities with sustainability, to ensuring this growth is managed responsibly to ensure real benefits for destinations we visit, local communities and our guests.
“The water around and below us, the air above us, the communities around us, the people who work for us; all are critical factors when it comes to planning sustainable growth strategy for the cruise industry. With opportunity comes responsibility, and we are working as an industry to meet those responsibilities.”