According to the latest Cruise Review by CLIA UK & Ireland, the trends of UK passengers are on the move.
While regions like the Mediterranean are still the most popular, the destination underwent an 8% decrease in last year alone. The Caribbean fared little better, seeing its passenger numbers drop by 3%. So where are UK passengers going?
If the data is anything to go by, the answer is Northern Europe. A combination of ex-UK departures, more port intensive itineraries and stunning scenery contributed to a rise of 20% in passengers sailing to the region last year alone.
Below we’ve run through the official top five destinations for UK passengers and chosen a suitable itinerary for each one.
Still the favourite destination for Brits, despite losing more ground to Northern Europe in CLIA’s 2013 report.
The Mediterranean has been Europe’s most popular cruising region for decades and it’s easy to see why: fine food, ancient history and beautiful weather.
We’ve gone with a cruise from Mediterranean experts MSC Cruises. A seven-night roundtrip itinerary from Valencia, Spain.
The cruise calls at Marseille, Genoa, Rome and Palermo to give guests a full taste of Mediterranean flavour – whether they want to just sit onboard the ship and chill or go out and explore continental Europe.
It’s the number one region for a reason.
The reason Northern Europe is becoming so popular is because of itineraries like this.
Silversea’s ultra luxury Silver Cloud departs from Tower Bridge in London in August 2015 for a 15-day round-trip calling at Copenhagen, Stockholm, Talinn, St Petersburg, Helsinki, Amsterdam – and many more.
The port intensive itineraries are perfect for passengers wanting to see sights like the Kiel Canal, gothic churches and the ancient capitals of Europe – of which there are seven on this trip.
If Northern Europe sees similar rises in its UK passenger numbers, then it will become the UK’s favourite cruise destination.
Historically, the Caribbean has been the home of cruising. Why? It’s within relatively easy reach of its biggest source market (the US) and the destinations themselves look as if they were tailor-made for a cruise holiday.
Any of the big US cruise lines do the Caribbean supremely well – often owning their own islands too. These ships are so packed with activities that they’ve become destinations themselves and include everything you could possible imagine onboard.
We’ve chosen one on the biggest cruise ship in the world: Allure of the Seas.
The itinerary is almost a secondary consideration when you consider what’s onboard: seven neighbourhoods, a zip line, FlowRider and almost 6,000 guests to sail with.
The most untraditional, traditional cruise you can get.
Fourth in CLIA’s list of the most popular destinations for Brits to cruise to is the Atlantic Islands.
With destinations like Madeira, Lanzarote and Tenerife all sitting off the coast of Africa they have the best of both worlds: great sunshine plus that cooling Atlantic breeze. Unsurprisingly they’ve become rather popular with British cruisers.
Carnival’s traditionally British cruise line offers an Atlantic Islands and Canaries cruise which departs from Southampton and calls at Madeira, Gran Canaria, Tenerife and Lisbon.
A firm favourite for the Brits.
British Isles Cruise – Cruise & Maritime Voyages
Given that CLIA’s fifth most popular destination was ‘other areas’ – we’ve plumped for one of our favourite types of cruise: a British Isles sailing.
These voyages are proving themselves hugely popular, with many being pinned to the back of events like The Chelsea Flower Show or the Open.
Cruise & Maritime Voyages has a number of different British itineraries for sailings which include destinations like the Scottish Islands and Faroes, which comes highly recommended.
Those who have been to the Faroes before will know what to expect: some of the most dramatic scenery in the world.
The harsh winters make for hardy people and there are few more welcoming destinations we’ve ever experienced.