Cruising has definitely become a more popular holiday in the UK over the last few years. And problems with flying, things like the ash cloud and the British Airways strike have really helped to increase the popularity of cruises as well.
According to this article in the Daily Telegraph, Britain’s cruise holiday industry, which is worth £2 billion a year, has received a major boost. Cruise operators have experienced a surge in bookings by up to 50% in some cases, following recent flight cancellations and airport closures. The prediction is that cruise holidays will continue to increase as travellers choose to avoid air travel this year.
Latest figures from the Passenger Shipping Association forecast that, despite the recent recession, 1.65 million Britons will book a cruise this year – more than ever before – representing a 7% increase on last year. A large proportion of these people are expected to be the newly-named “Vavs” – Volcanic Ash Victims – air travellers whose travel plans were been disrupted by Iceland’s eruptions.
One cruise line currently experiencing “unprecedented demand” is Cruise and Maritime Voyages, based in Dartford, Kent, that sails from eight British ports including Tilbury. Britain’s largest online cruise specialist, wwww.cruise.co.uk, reported “a significant increase” in cruise bookings since the BA strikes and volcanic eruptions began. MSC Cruises, one of the world’s fastest-growing cruise lines with a fleet of 10 ships, also reported an increase in bookings for cruises leaving UK ports, attributing this current trend to “passengers showing a lack of confidence in flying”.
Cruises including the Mediterranean, the Norwegian Fjords and the Baltic, are especially popular. The good thing is that people can visit all of these destinations, by leaving main UK ports, such as Southampton, Dover, Portsmouth, Newcastle and Liverpool, without ever needing to set foot in an airport. There are 19 cruise lines sailing direct from British ports this summer.
So given the fact that cruising is set to increase more than ever before. The question is have you ever cruised before? Or do you fit the bill for a typical cruiser if you decide to try something different this year? As a matter of fact, we would agree with this article, that there is no such thing as a typical cruiser. Back in the 1960’s and 70’s, when cruising was in its infancy, the majority of cruisers were more mature, had plenty of money and plenty of time. Now cruises have evolved and there are a variety of ships to suit different people and ages.
On a typical 7-night Caribbean cruise, you are likely to find the majority of the passengers in the 35-55 age range, but a good rule of thumb is that the longer the cruise, the older the average age will be.
So cruising is definitely a specialised type of holiday, but it is also growing in popularity. You tend to plan for it a long time in advance, choosing your destination and the ship that will best suit you with care. So imagine if the worst should happen, and you need to cancel your cruise or cut your trip short. Make sure then that you have dedicated cruise insurance that covers your special trip.