Press Release | April 17, 2024

Latest data shows UK and Ireland cruise industry continues to engage, entice and innovate

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has revealed that holidaymakers from the UK and Ireland took 2.3 million cruise holidays last year, surpassing the highest previous annual number.

In data published today (April 17, 2024), CLIA revealed that:

  • The 2.3 million total is up from 1.7 million in 2022.
  • The Mediterranean remains the number one destination for cruise travellers from the UK and Ireland. Of the top three destinations in 2023, 35% of passengers travelled to the Mediterranean, 29% to Northern Europe and 12% to the Caribbean.
  • Exploration destinations have seen a 53% increase in passenger numbers year-on-year.
  • The average age of UK and Ireland cruisers is decreasing: at 55.1 years old in 2023 it is down from 56.1 in 2022.
  • The average cruise length increased to 10.1 days, up from 9.8 the previous year.
  • 28% of cruisers are part of a wider multigenerational group, comprising three or more age groups.
  • 65% of passengers enjoyed a pre-cruise stay in their departure destination, while 52% stayed on after their sailing.

In terms of sentiment, perception and intent, a corresponding survey of 4500 international holidaymakers revealed:

  • 82% of cruise passengers say they intend to take a holiday at sea again, a 3% increase from 2019.
  • 71% of those who have never cruised before would consider doing so.

Meanwhile, over 300 ships are set to sail this year, the first time the global CLIA member fleet has surpassed this number. Overall capacity will increase by 3.6% as a result.

Andy Harmer, Managing Director CLIA UK & Ireland, said: “Cruise continues to lead the way in travel and we can clearly see that from these encouraging latest figures. A holiday at sea offers something to suit all tastes and budgets, both on and off the ship, which makes for an ideal combination. With so many holidaymakers returning to the water, and many more eager to dip their toe for the first time, these figures reflect all the advantages a sea escape has to offer.”

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