Cruise industry in the United Kingdom (UK) - Statistics & Facts

The UK ocean cruise market has experienced positive growth rates over the last ten years. Cruise passengers from the UK and Ireland reached over two million for the first time in 2018. Behind Germany, they account for the second biggest source market in Europe.

Although many UK passengers fly to destinations abroad to start their journey, quite a few also embark at domestic ports. Embarkations at UK ports have developed in recent years, with routes traveling around the North Sea, Baltic sea, along the Atlantic coast and transatlantic. Southampton is the main cruise port for embarking and disembarking passengers in the UK, and one of the busiest in Northern Europe. The number of cruise ships calling at ports across the country overall has been increasing each year.

There are various global cruise companies marketing holidays to British travelers, some of which own British cruise lines. Marella cruises for example is owned by TUI Group, and P&O Cruises UK and Cunard are subsidiaries of Carnival Corporation. Cunard is a classic British cruise line, offering luxury transatlantic travel aboard its three ocean liners. Its flagship is the RMS Queen Mary 2, which succeeded the iconic Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) when it was retired in 2008.

Interest in cruise holidays is relatively mixed among Brits. Of holidaymakers surveyed who had not yet been on a cruise, an almost equal proportion were interested as disinterested in 2019. Although many companies try to market to families and younger age demographics, the age of cruise passengers remains mostly above fifty.

Statista’s Mobility Market Outlook shows that revenues of the cruise industry in the UK are expected to remain consistent over the next three years.

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Cruise industry in the United Kingdom (UK)

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UK ports

Cruise companies

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