UK Cruise Market to Reach 2 Million by 2020!

UK Cruise Market to Reach 2 Million by 2020!

Cruising is more popular than ever! So much so that leading cruise experts have predicted that UK cruise passengers will hit the two million mark by 2020.

Cruises are now finally being recognised as a mainstream holiday, with one in nine UK package holidaymakers booking a cruise in 2016. According to ABTA’s Holiday Habits Report 2017, nearly half of UK holiday makers – 42% – who have never been on a cruise, would be interested in going on one.

But we already new cruising was fabulous, didn’t we?! With more people wanting to experience all of the amazing things about cruising – including visiting multiple destinations, outstanding service and sumptuous fine dining – there could certainly be more of an emphasis on appealing to new to cruise guests in the future – with even more importance on the need for cruise lines to reward their existing customers loyalty, in order to encourage the market to grow.

Tailored to you

P&O Cruises’ flag ship Britannia

There seems to have been a trend over the past few years for more ships to be specifically aimed at the British market, with the launch of P&O Cruises’ Britannia – currently the largest ship exclusively for British cruisers – in 2015 and another one on order for 2020. MSC Cruises’ MSC Magnifica will be sailing from Southampton in March 2018 and has added a few home comforts to make Brits feel at home. The arrival of Marella Cruises’ Marella Explorer, which is due to launch in May 2018, is another boost to the British market. She’ll offer regional departures from UK airports to a variety of destinations, as well as offering All Inclusive as standard – something us Brits have been known to enjoy.

Onwards and upwards

David Dingle, CEO of Carnival UK and CLIA Europe’s deputy chair said, “We are getting to that two million figure. We hit 1.9 million passengers in 2016, so I definitely think we will hit two million by 2020. We are really breaking through the glass ceiling. I think we are at the stage where cruising is being recognised as a mainstream holiday. Whether we see the same year on year growth yield as we did this year that will unfold, but at the moment we are seeing further growth.”

More mega ships

As cruises become more popular, it comes as no surprise that capacity must increase to keep up with demand. This can only mean one thing – more new and exciting cruise ships! With the eminent arrival of Symphony of the Seas® and an armada of mega-ships launching in 2018, the capacity is about to surge for all major cruise lines.

Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas is due to arrive in 2018

Upcoming arrivals

  • Carnival Horizon, 4,000 berths, arriving April 2018
  • Symphony of the Seas, 5,400 berths, arriving April 2018
  • Norwegian Bliss, 4,200 berths, arriving April 2018
  • MSC Seaview, 4,140 berths, arriving May 2018
  • Celebrity Edge®, 2,900 berths, arriving December 2018

And there are even more ships to come – with 72 ships on order and due to be built before 2025, all together worth a whopping $50 billion! We can’t wait to see what these ships have in store!

Two million and one?

Need some cruise inspiration? Why not take a look at our Deals section! Or simply give us a call on our freephone number 0800 027 8302 – one of our friendly cruise team will be able to help find the right cruise for you in no time.



About Emily Corner

Emily is our culture expert, she loves all things art and design and will share her insider knowledge of the coolest places to visit when abroad. The last place you will find her is laid by the pool or sunning on the beach, there's too much to explore! Emily is also a massive foodie, she's always checking out the hottest new restaurants and bars in search of the most delicious local dishes.