Last year saw nearly two million travellers take to the seas from the UK and Ireland, with a record 1,959,000 passengers, most of whom sailed to the Mediterranean, Britons’ most popular cruise destination.
More than a third (37 per cent) of all sailings last year were to the Mediterranean (584,000 passengers in the Western/Central Mediterranean and 144,000 in the eastern Mediterranean), but the region as a whole saw a dip in passenger numbers compared with 2016.
Cruises to Northern Europe, however, saw an increase of nearly 10 per cent on the previous year, making it the second most popular cruise destination among Britons in 2017, just above the Caribbean, including the Bahamas and Bermuda. The top five most popular areas were rounded out by the Canary Islands.
Closer to home, 1.1million cruise passengers embarked at UK ports last year, a six per cent year-on-year increase, according to the latest figures.
British cruisers are more adventurous
Last year also saw more UK holidaymakers embarking on more unusual ‘exploration’ cruises, venturing to adventurous destinations including the Antarctic, Arctic, the Galápagos, Greenland, Iceland and North Cape, which collectively received 22,000 passengers from the UK and Ireland (a three per cent increase on the previous year).