While I was researching for yesterday’s post about new builds, I did a bit of digging about the number of cruises sold in the UK market. I’d been aware that it had been around 1.7m for several years. I found a source – the Cruise Line Industry Association UK (CLIA UK) – and in their ‘Cruise Review 2014’ the figures they published showed that there were 1.644 million Ocean cruises sold in the UK market in 2014, a drop of just over 4% from 2013 when the figure was 1.726 million. That figure includes both ex-UK (i.e. embarking at UK ports) and fly-cruises, so it’s not a measure of the number of cruises leaving the UK – it’s the number of sea-going cruises sold by UK operators in 2014. It’s not the number of passengers, either – if a couple went on two cruises in 2014, then that would be counted as four cruises; two cruises for each person. Interestingly, although the number of cruises sold was down by 4%, the number of ‘bed nights’ sold to UK cruisers was own by just 0.8%, indicating that although fewer cruises were sold, they were a little bit longer on average than in previous years.
In fact, the number of cruises sold in the UK has been broadly static for several years. Here are some figures for recent years:
- 2010: 1.622m
- 2011: 1.700m
- 2012: 1.701m
- 2013: 1.726m
- 2014: 1.644m
This contrasts with the figures from 2005 to 2010, when the number of cruises sold increased from 1.071m to 1.522m, a 50% increase in those few years.
The thrust of the report is that things will get better in 2015. It talks about the increase in interest as a result of big new ships – Britannia and Anthem of the Seas are specifically mentioned – and it concludes “There is confidence that 2015 will reverse last year’s one o dip in passenger numbers and almost certainly top the peak 2013 total of 1.72m”. Well, we’ll see. Here’s a link to the CLIA UK Cruise Review for 2014. There’s a lot of other information in there; e.g. on the popularity of specific cruising destinations (e.g. Mediterranean or Caribbean), and the varying popularity of fly-cruises vs. ex-UK cruises. It’s worth a read.