I’m delighted to report that 2010 has been another record breaking year for the cruise industry. Despite facing an unprecedented period of difficulty for the world economy, we are expecting 1.65m Brits to have taken a cruise holiday.
The continuing attraction remains the two ‘V’s’ – value and variety. You can choose to join a cruise with just 49 fellow passengers around the Scottish Highlands on the delightful “Hebridean Princess”, or 6,000 others in the Caribbean on the awesome “Oasis of the Seas”, or her soon to be launched sister ship “Allure of Seas”, the largest cruise ship ever built. With meals, accommodation and entertainment included within the price, there has never been better value.
The UK growth is also reflected within the European cruise industry which continues to increase its share of the global cruise market. Passengers made 23.8 million visits to European ports in 2009, an increase of more than 9% over 2008, with 4.9 million European residents booking a cruise holiday last year, a rise of 50% in five years, and representing nearly 30% of the world’s cruise passengers. Cruising has a huge economic impact generating more than €34 billion of goods and providing nearly 300,000 jobs. More than 4.8 million passengers joined their cruise in Europe and spent €1.3 billion on services including airfares, accommodation, tours, food and port fees, an increase of 7.6% on 2008. Passengers also spent €1.45 billion while visiting ports during their cruise holiday, 1.7% up on 2008.
I’m also pleased to say that ferry travel saw nearly a three per cent increase in passenger numbers over the summer period. More than 13 million people travelled by ferry on continental and domestic routes between the beginning of June and the end of August. The number of cars also increased during the same period by 3.7 per cent to nearly three million.
Stena Line has introduced the second of its new superferries. Stena Britannica was named in October and like her sister ship Stena Hollandica, carries 230 cars, 300 freight vehicles and provides 1,376 beds on sailings between Harwich and Hook of Holland. P&O Ferries will also be shortly introducing their two new superferries, Spirit of Britain and Spirit of France, on the Dover to Calais route.
Next year will remain tough for both our cruise and ferry members but I firmly believe that the exceptional value offered by both forms of travel make them an ideal choice for holidays in 2011.
More on this and other news in Sea Breezes Magazine - November 2010 Issue
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