British and Irish took record number of cruises last year, says CLIA

Record cruise passengers
By Linsey McNeill
Home » British and Irish took record number of cruises last year, says CLIA

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has revealed that holidaymakers from the UK and Ireland took a record 2.3 million cruises last year.

The figure was significantly higher than the 1.7m cruises taken in 2022 but, more importantly, it was also more than the 2m cruises taken in 2019, the previous highest year.

The Mediterranean remained the number one destination, accounting for 35% of passengers, followed by Northern Europe (29%) and the Caribbean (12%).

However, exploration destinations Antarctica, the Arctic, Greenland, Iceland, the North Cape and the Galapagos saw a 53% increase in passenger numbers, said CLIA.

The cruise association said the average age of cruises had fallen to 55.1 years, down from 56.1 a year earlier, and some 28% of cruisers were part of a wider multigenerational group.

But research by MMGY Travel Intelligence has revealed that 56% of the new-to-cruise market perceived cruising as a luxury, once-in-a-lifetime holiday rather than a family-friendly getaway.

CLIA said the length of the average cruise rose slightly from 9.8 days to 10.1 in 2023, and 65% of passengers enjoyed a pre-cruise stay in their departure destination while 52% stayed on after their sailing.

A survey of 4,500 cruise passengers revealed 82% said they intended to take another one, 3% more than in 2019, and 71% who had never cruised said they would consider doing so.

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