UK Transits Overtake Embarking Passengers in 2016
20 Apr 2017
According to CLIA (Cruise Line International Association) the world market for ocean cruising increased by 4.4% in 2016 to reach 24.2 million passengers. Similarly, the European cruise market increased by 3.4% to reach 6.7 million passengers while the UK and Ireland market increased by 5.6% to reach 1.9 million passengers. On the face of it, it appears that the cruise market is growing at a steady pace but this trend masks the exceptional growth in the demand for UK ports of call in cruise itineraries. In 2016, the number of port of call cruise passengers at UK cruise ports increased by 19% to reach to exceed 1.2 million passengers.
The growth in port of call passengers at UK ports has outpaced embarkation passengers for some years but it was only in 2016 that the total number of port of call passengers at UK ports overtook the number of embarking passengers. There were 3% fewer embarking passengers in 2016 as the number dipped to just over a million passengers.
In the ten years between 2007 and 2016 the number of port of call passengers at UK ports increased by 3.3 times compared with a 75% increase in the number of embarking passengers. The large cruise ports such as Southampton and Dover are taking advantage of this growth with cruise port investment. Many of the smaller ports are losing while some overseas cruise lines complain that the port fees are too high at many UK cruise ports.