More tourists starting cruise holidays from UK than ever before
More pasengers are beginning their ocean cruise holiday from a UK port than ever before, according to the Passenger Shipping Association (PSA).
In 2012, 835,000 passengers will join their cruise ship in Britain, a 28% increase over the last two years.
The figures came as travel organisation Abta began its annual convention in Palma, Majorca.
There are 20 UK departure ports, with passengers sailing to destinations including Russia, Scandinavia, the Norwegian fjords, Iceland, the Mediterranean, America and, closer to home, the coast of Britain and Ireland.
The PSA said 2011 has been another strong year for the UK cruise industry, with growth of more than 5pc. The trend for British port departures is predicted to continue as the number of passengers taking a cruise holiday slows after a period of sustained growth.
An estimated 1.73 million passengers will take a cruise holiday next year, an increase of just over 1pc on this year's figure of 1.71 million passengers.
William Gibbons, of the PSA, said that as predicted, 2011 has proved a good year for the industry with the value and quality of a cruise holiday continuing to appeal, together with companies introducing new ports of call and itineraries to a wide range of exciting destinations.
He went on: "Looking forward, we anticipate modest growth in 2012 as capacity slows following the reduction in the number of new ships being built.
"However, we remain confident that growth will continue over the coming years as companies introduce new ships including the 3,611-passenger vessel for P&O Cruises, the largest in their fleet, due for introduction in early 2015. The great choice of ships now providing cruise holidays from the UK to a wide variety of destinations will lead to more passengers sailing from British ports."