More Brits want to cruise than ever before – and they’re getting younger, says CLIA

By Linsey McNeill
Home » More Brits want to cruise than ever before – and they’re getting younger, says CLIA

New data from cruise body CLIA shows that the desire among British consumers for a holiday at sea is gaining strength.

Holidaymakers in the UK and Ireland took 1.7 million cruises last year, 300,000 fewer than in 2019.

However, the figure was up 479,000 on 2021 and CLIA said ‘the intent to cruise is stronger than ever’.

The Quarterly Passenger Data Sentiment Report found that 85% of existing UK cruise passengers say they intend to take another holiday at sea again, up 6% on 2019, and 60% plan to do so within the next two years, up from 53% in 2019.

Of those who’ve never cruised, 70% say they would consider taking one in the next few years, up from 68% in March 2022.

The Med remains the most popular cruise destination for the Brits and Irish, accounting for 38.4% of the market. Northern Europe comes next with 29%, followed by the Caribbean with just shy of 11%.

The average age of UK and Irish cruisers fell last year to 55.8 years and, globally, 27% of those who sailed for two or more nights in the past 12 months were in a party of three or more generations.

“Cruise holidays have once again captured the imagination of the British public,” said CLIA UK & Ireland MD Andy Harmer.

“A holiday at sea offers something for everyone, from action-packed experiences and visiting new cultures, to onboard entertainment, and relaxation.  And the word is out as we are seeing more people than ever interested to try out a cruise for the first time.”

The average length of a cruise by British and Irish holidaymakers fell slightly to 9.7 days last year.

The data was taken from three new reports, the 2022 Europe Passenger Market Report, the State of the Cruise Industry Report 2023 and the Quarterly Passenger Data Sentiment Report.

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