The number of UK Cruise passengers will hit or surpass the 2 million mark by 2020 according to leading cruise experts.
The cruise industry has finally become known as a mainstream holiday.
The symbolic figure has been a goal of the UK cruise sector for many years, and in 2016 (the last year of available figures), UK cruise passengers reached 1.9m.
Despite the devastating hurricanes, 2017 was described as a “perfect year” for the industry in terms of performance by the three leading cruise companies — and 2018 is set to surpass it.
The CEO of Carnival UK, David Dingle stated “We are getting very close to that 2 million figure,” he also said “We hit 1.9 million passengers in 2016, so I definitely think we will hit 2 million by 2020.”
Dingle, who is also deputy chairman of CLIA, added: “I genuinely feel we have broken through the ‘glass ceiling’ at long last. I think we are at the stage where cruising is being recognised as a mainstream holiday.”
Andy Harmer, SVP Membership & Director of the UK & Ireland Cruise Line Industry Association, said he believes the 2 million mark will be reached before then.
Dingle also dismissed any Brexit concerns, saying that the cruise industry is one of those sectors that will be largely unaffected by the UK leaving the EU: “There is no reason why UK passengers would be treated any differently from, say, US passengers when they come to Europe,” he stated
It has been noted that the cruise industry is undergoing a significant new ship building programme following the financial slump in 2008
Next year sees the launch of many megaships from all the major lines — Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, MSC Cruises and Carnival
There are 72 ships on order that total a value of $50 billion and are set to be built before 2025
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